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North Downs Way Ultra 50M - 7:27:50 - 2nd
JUL 22
Cotswold Way National Trail 102M - 20:36:48 - trail record
Malvern Hills Ultra 52M - 7:49:49 - 1st record
Green Man Ultra 46M - 7:08:45 - 1st record


NOV 19
Brecon Beacons Ultra 46M - 6:29:05 - 2nd
OCT 22-23
Caesar's Camp 100 Mile Ultra - 20:32:30 - 1st
JUN 26
Worcester Sprint Traithlon - 1:19:36 - 2nd

MAR 27
Malvern Hills Ultra 54M (4000ft) - 8:09:00 - 1st
MAR 27
London Marathon - 2:50:36
MAR 27
Kingston Breakfast Run - 1:36:42 - 7th
Sri Chimnoy 10M - 57:38 - 4th



***** SUPPORT *****


Offas Dyke Experiment
1-2 September
178-mile non-stop trail run in <44-Hours
(DNF injury - 80 miles completed)
Report Here

16-28 August
190-Mile Camping Hike in 12 days
Report Here

The Pennine Way
25 August - 6 September
270-Mile Camping Hike in 12 days
Report Here

9-21 June
Lands End to John O'Groats Island Hopper (via Outter Hebrides) Unassisted Bike Ride
Report Part I Here
Report Part II Here
Info on Calmac Network/Scottish Islands
Gavin Robertson Thread

19 June to 2 July
Lands End to John O'Groats (to Inverness) Unassisted Bike Ride
Lands End to John O'Groats 2005 Report
Pre-Lejog prep
1. SJR Thread
2. SJR Thread II (Probs)
3. Ray Thread (Arrival)

UPDATE 12 JUN 2009
The paperback of my brother's third book, 'Blood Water' has been released.

Blood Water (paperback) on Amazon for £4.49
Dean's myspace webpage here

The hardback and paperbacks of 'Hunting Season' and 'Hand of the Devil' are still available:

Eight years ago, the Austrian emergency services were called to the scene of a bizarre car accident... two mangled bodies were found in the snow not far from the vehicle, clawed and chewed by a ferocious animal.....
Something unspeakable took Gerontius Mooreís parents from him, leaving him orphaned and alone. Now, that something, is back. Caught up in a terrifying hunt and finding help from an unlikely source, Gerontius must once more flee the clutches of an appalling beast, before it learns its business is unfinished. Full moon or not, the hunt is on.

'Better than Stephen King' ANDY McNAB

When young magazine journalist Ashley Reeves receives an intriguing letter, he leaves his London office in the hope of reporting on an unusual species of insect - the Ganges Red. That evening he arrives on Aries Island and encounters the writer of the letter - Reginald Mather. At first Mather seems no more than an eccentric collector, happy to live in isolation on the island. But when Reeves unearths the horrific truth, he finds himself thrown headlong into a macabre nightmare that quickly spirals out of control. His life is in danger ...and Mather is not his only enemy ...Both gruesome and compelling, chilling and page-turning, this much-anticipated thriller from Dean Vincent Carter will delight older readers.

'Sensational' DAILY EXPRESS
'Set to be [the] next big hit' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'The next Stephen King...' EVENING STANDARD
Last Blog Posts
Been a while
Base Training
Ironman UK, Enduroman

Total topics: 166
Total posts: 1656
COAST2COAST HIKE (190M across England)
Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:09 pm Daz
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    This might be my last blog post for a little while, but it's a monster. Attached below is a report on the Coast2Coast camping hike I did recently with my brother Dean. I'd definitely recommend doing a multi-day hike. It's as challenging as you want it to be, more so of course when you are self-sufficient, carrying your own gear. But I wouldn't recommend one immediately after ironman/ultra-distances races. My feet were already damaged, and I feel I may have made them worse. So much for recovery.

    I still have occasional pains in left achilles from Feb, two unhinged toe-nails, a dodgy nail from Lanza 08, hard tissue behind the right soleus, and now a more serious problem with the right heel+arch. Thankfully the x-ray is clear regarding bone issues and, following a chat with the GP, it's probably aggrivated bruising. I'll hold off the physio for a few more weeks. It's frustrating not being able to continue the improvements I made in my running from last winter (and one of only 2/10 targets I missed this season is the <33min 10k). In fact I turned up to an inter-departmental track & field champs last Friday to try it out, and represent Defra in the 1500m and 3k. I managed a light 1mile jog beforehand. But from the 1500m gun I was in agony. Amazingly, I limped the first lap in 1:13, hardly stressing the cardio-v. It's no doubt backed up by my gym work. But my compromised form from the limp took it out of me and I struggled home in 5:03. A lot of pain, and no way I could even start a 3k. So it's swimming and cycling for the moment and I'm a long way off previous form.

    Anyway, the racing season is over and I REALLY have to recover from this soon because next year is probably my most important. I have the opportunity this winter to improve my IM from 9:20 to <9:00. I have plenty of room for development from increasing training time and working on my training formulas (seems to be working for those I coach too). If I go <9:00 at Roth then I'll think about turning PRO. But I'm not mad enough to do that without knowing I can keep it up (or better) for 2010. And it won't happen if I don't recover quickly. I noticed that the guys who finished 16th and 19th at IMUK were just behind me in Austria, so maybe I should do IMUK next year afterall. I don't want to be a PRO hanger-on though.

    Head back in the books now and I'm enjoying the coaching. I'd like to start coaching a few more and begin personal training the public. Time to to think about advertising. I'd also like to start spectating a bit more and watch a few of those I coach at races, clip board in hand, anorak, reading specs and a wispy beard.


Friday 15 August

St Bees
    The Coast2Coast is one of the most popular walks in Britain. It's not an easy route. It's 190miles from St Bees on the east coast to Robin Hood's Bay on the west coast. A route devised by Alfred Wainwright that goes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors. I agreed to do the Coast2Coast with Dean last year, just after we completed the Pennine Way. Again we decided to hike with all our camping gear but, rather than covering 26miles/day as we did on the Pennine Way (almost killing ourselves in the process) we decided to ease up a little with 15-17miles/day. It didnít make it any easier though and I'm still feeling it two weeks later. I still consider the Pennine Way hike THE toughest thing I have ever done in my life so far (completely wasted for 12days), but the Coast2Coast wasn't far off.

    We left London late morning of Friday 15 August. I was extremely frustrated at the thought of having to miss the second/most exciting week of the Olympics. Not the best planning, although we'd picked this two-week window several months earlier based on availabilities. It wasn't until Dean handed over the Martin Wainwright C2C guide (that we'd also use as a navigation aid) that I started to get really interested. We finally reached Bees Head after three train journeys to dark clouds and drizzle (a climate we'd have for the majority of the trip) and unpacked the tents.

Saturday 16 Aug

St Bees - Longlands (Campsite)
12.5M (12.5M Cumul.)
    The first night camping out is always uncomfortable. I was also not looking forward to wearing the hiking boots. I'd struggled with them last year and they hadn't been cleaned since then! Who'd have thought a triathlete would be this unprepared! If I hadn't taken a pair of running trainers with me then I probably wouldnít have gone the distance. After cooking up some breakfast we headed down to the beach to dip our boots (a traditional start/finish to the C2C). It began. I'd brought a little radio with me that eased my Olympic frustrations a little during the morning.

    The two mile walk along St Bees Head involved plenty of screams and shouts as we listened to team GB in the rowing and cycling. I'd also finally started to make use of my Garmin 305 and not only used it to record the trip, but it also proved useful at times for navigation, particularly white-outs in the hills and mountains. I was also concerned at just how much my ankles were hurting already.

    We passed the first of fellow C2Cers just before the village of Cleator. A friendly American couple, who we'd chat to occasionally for a few more days before we moved-on, on a tighter programme. Our first pub stop (of many) was here and a chance to stock up at the village shop. It was essential to eat and stock-up as much as possible as shops were hard to come by.

    A tough hill (Dent), a naked arse protruding from a hedge (some girl-hiker taking a toilet break, facing the wrong way, thinking no-one would be around), a few exchanges with the Americans as they seemed a little lost, and we were well on our way through plantations, fells, becks and crags. That's what hiking is all about. We noticed a farm at Low Cock (not the funniest name of the trip as Dean spotted 'Hawsker-Cum-Staines-Acre') that allowed camping. My favourite stop. Not only did we have the owners beautiful back garden/grounds to ourselves but also a shed with a TV! So of course I was up at 2:00am to catch the last hour of Paula's marathon, and some.

Sunday 17 Aug

Longlands - Longthwaite (YH)
15M (27.5M)
    We were both in good spirits today. An easy 2miles to Ennerdale Bridge, and on to the first feature of the day, Ennerdale Water.

    Bit of a struggle at the craggy Robin Hood's chair but after an hour or two we were walking up a track through Ennerdale Forest. There were two hostels on the track. At High Gillerthwaite YH we stocked-up and I dropped (and killed) my radio. Oh the pain, no more Olympics!

    So, under the shadow of cloud/rain and my swearing we continued up the valley track and stopped at Black Sail Hut. What always shocks me is the trust at these unmanned mountain huts and bothys. There was a kitchen with a selection of foods on display, and a price list. You were asked to leave money. I had to control myself when confronted with a large mound of homemade flapjacks. It was at this hut that we met a father+son, also doing the C2C. We would see them a few times over the next few days.

    Loft Beck was a really tough climb and the weather wasn't good at the top. It was misty and boggy and we lost the route for a while, but found our way back over the moor. Stopped at Honnister House (a cafe in the middle of the hills, built on an old slate mine). After a tough 15mile day we decided against the cheap campsite at Longwaite and instead treated ourselves to the local (decent) YH. The fact that it had internet access (for coaching purposes) and a TV room (for Olympics purposes) may have helped. Walked to Stonethwaite in the evening for pub food.

Monday 18 Aug

Longthwaite - Patterdale (Campsite)
14.5M (42M)

    Up in to the mountains. Always a challenge carrying 15-20kg of gear on your back, but the weather (closing mists and drizzle) didnít make it any easier. Also, the recent rain had enlarged the streams that crossed our path and after a couple of miles the path and a stream became one as we struggled up Lining Edge and the beautiful hanging valley at Greenup Gill.

    We then had to literally climb vertically up a waterfall at Lining Crag. Surely it would have been impassable if this waterfall/stream had frozen over. I remembered a girl at the YH referring to this as the 'Lord of the Rings' section. A Birmingham lad caught up with us on the edge, protruding out over white nothingness. We'd meet up with him a few more times over the C2C, mainly at campsites. It was too cold to hang around, so we followed him soon after.

    Half an hour and the mist got thicker (20m visibility). We had experienced times like this during PW but it can get quite infuriating and miserable when you have no idea where you are. The 'paths' were just trodden heather, grass. Hardly discernable on boggy ground. We could hear shouts from someone in the mist, but not only were we struggling to find the right track ourselves and couldnít put a fix on them, but we didn't want to make our own predicament worse. We reached Greenup Edge and could just make out two marker posts that did not mark our route, so we used the compass and headed into the unknown. We reached a steep beck and dropped out of the mist. No tracks of any kind though. Took a 15min break to discuss options. We didnít want to go back into the mist so took a risk and headed down and over the beck. Turned out to be the right decision as our path was on the other side.

    Plenty more boggy ground to negotiate before we finally reached Grasmere, a decent sized village, and we decided to take a break. We were already applying plasters, but my ankles were also very sore and becoming inflamed. It seemed that the sides of the boots were aggravating my ankles/shins. The route continued north through rain over Tongue Gill, passed Grisedale Tarn, Patterdale Common and alongside Grisedale Beck. We were exhausted when we finally reached Patterdale and Side Farm campsite.

Tuesday 19 Aug

Patterdale - Shap (Bunkhouse/B&B)
15.5M (57.5M)
    Rain right through the night on a damp, wet slope (we both had dreams of sleeping on a beck) and I could hardly get my swollen feet into my boots. Covered some sores with Compede and was ready to go. It was going to be another tough day in the mountains. A long, steep climb to start with and a slight navigating error at the top near some ruins didn't do our legs any favours. But once we climbed up to 500m it didn't matter anymore.

    Angle Tarn was a great sight and we enjoyed hiking up and down the mountains in and out of the mist. Over The Knott and Kidsty Pike (780m), the highest point of the C2C, before following Haweswater Reservoir. We took a break at Shap Abbey and then found a new Bunkhouse/B&B in the town. Called in at a pub, chip-shop, village supermarket and we were done.

Wednesday 20 Aug

Shap - Kirkby Stephen (Campsite)
20M (77.5M)
    Quite relaxing over Ravensworth Moor to Orton village. After a break at the cafe/chocolate factory we headed on to Ravenstonedale Moor. Dean must have had a lot of patience at this point as I was getting increasingly annoyed by the pain from the boots, and would look forward to any breaks and the chance to take them off. We were both exhausted at Kirkby Stephen, second only in size to Richmond, and were pleased to find the main campsite had decent facilities.

Thursday 21 Aug

Kirkby Stephen - Keld (Campsite)
11M (88.5M)
    Walked uphill around the Hartley quarries and on to Nine Standards. In the space of 5mins (while cooking up some coffee beside one of the stacks) the mist rolled in.

    The next 5 miles over Birkdale Common were tough and involved a lot of negotiating of bogs, but the views down Swaledale were great. We stopped at a campsite just short of Keld. It was at this point, after two days of limping, that I packed away the boots and put the trainers on. I'd have to get the boots out for a few boggy sections over following days but at least my ankles could now recover.

Friday 22 Aug

Keld - Reeth (Campsite)
11M (99.5M)
    Back up into the hills today to see ruins and disused lead mines. The ruins made the hike very interesting but you had to earn it with some tough climbs. It was hard to imagine life up in the hills as a miner. Apparently life expectancy was typically in the 30s because of the terrible conditions. But I could imagine spirits were high, especially with such great views.

    We headed back down to the alternative Swale river-route later in the day. Very cold and not a lot at the campsite but the village square was surprisingly packed with shops and pubs, keeping us entertained all evening.

Saturday 23 Aug

Reeth - Brompton on Swale (Campsite)
12.5M (112M)
    Early start as we intended to go on beyond the town of Richmond and a campsite 2miles further down the road, meaning less mileage for Day 9, which was a biggy. Struggled to walk and after a slight navigation error I wasn't in the best frame of mind. I regret that I may have taken it out on Dean a little at this point when it wasnít his fault. A few more hills and fields to Marske. I do love the Dales but the boggy fields were a nightmare as I couldnít get my boots on, so had to trudge around in damp trainers most of the day and tip-toe through some fields. It was nice then to finally reach Richmond and civilisation at last! Richmond has everything, so we stocked-up and I even managed to get an hour on the internet in the library. Dean went on ahead to the caravan/campsite. When I finally limped in I couldn't believe the size of the place, and the activity/noise. It was a haven for holidaying families. He'd also been placed on a grassy walk-through (and open 'play' area) between caravans and the toilet block. I could hear him having a go at kids when a football caught the tent and later when another kid tripped over it. His tent was dark green and there were no lights. Not a good day for him. I popped out and improvised by attaching a few 'coloured items' and large space blanket to his tent.

    It was also during the evening that I told Dean I may have to pull-out of the following day's hike. We originally planned to take Day9 as a rest day but Dean was really keen to leave this campsite, as was I. He agreed to take a break the next day if need be, but I was worried it may be academic as my ankles were at their worst and anti-inflammatory treatment was having no effect. I was worried what a 20mile day of hiking might do long term. BUT I tried something new overnight. I elevated my legs high, on top of all my gear. By morning I felt a lot better and we were able to continue.

Sunday 24 Aug

Brompton on Swale - Ingleby Cross (Blue Bell Inn Garden)
20.5M (132.5M)
    What we found surprising about our efforts so far in the C2C compared to the Pennine Way was, despite a reduction in daily mileage (26 to 16) we were still struggling. Ok, I only experienced one day of complete energy failure (Day12), whereas the Pennine Way I felt it for most of the days. But we were in a lot more pain this time around. Richmond to Ingleby cross covers the flattest part of the C2C between the end of the Dales and the start of the North Yorkshire Moors, and we weren't looking forward to the monotony of all those fields. However, we were pleasantly surprised. The corn fields in particular were quite therapeutic. A couple of miles from the campsite and we reached Bolton-on-Swale. The route went through a graveyard and it wasn't until Dean pointed out a particular monument to Thomas Peac0ck that I saw why. Apparently he died at the age of 169 and the records are 'supposed' to prove it.

    An enjoyable and bright day to Ingleby Cross. There are no campsites marked on the route at this point but at the local pub (Blue Bell Inn) we were told that we could camp in their back garden, and that hikers often do this. We spent the rest of the evening in the pub and decided we'd take the following day to rest. We met up again with the Brum lad for the last time in the pub. He would continue during our rest day. We never saw him, the Americans or the father+son again for the remainder of the trip. However Dean was able to track boot footprints of the latter, so we knew they were not far ahead. It was great to meet all of them and we hoped they got as much from it as we did.

Monday 25 Aug

Ingleby Cross
    We both needed the rest. We were going to take a slight short-cut through Arncliffe woods the next day so Dean took this opportunity to visit Mount Grace Priory, which we would have otherwise missed. I only took a walk to the nearest petrol station for some supplies. On the way I wanted to see what it felt like to run on my damaged, hiked legs. I almost stopped as soon as I started!

Tuesday 26 Aug

Ingleby Cross - Clay Bank Top (Great Broughton, back of Jet Miners Inn)
11M (143.5M)
    Steep climb through Arncliffe woods and on through Clain Wood. There was a great view opening up to the north as far as Middlesborough. This view would be available for the next couple of days.

    It was just after we joined the Cleveland Way (another very popular route for walkers) that Dean did something to his ankle. After the initial outburst of pain and rest he tried to limp through it. At first I thought it was a bad twist but it wasn't until I saw it over the next 24hrs that I realised he'd sprained it and still have no idea how he lugged all that weight over 40miles of North Yorkshire Moors with a foot and ankle that looked like a large plum. The pain must have been mind-numbing. I was impressed with the grit he had.

    Another good view at the Wain stones, before we headed back down to Clay Bank Top. I was disappointed not to find a campsite-area nearby and as wild camping was illegal we decided to get a taxi to the nearest town (Broughton), and come back to the same point the next morning. The campsite, again, wasn't strictly a campsite but the back of another pub (the Jet Miners Inn). We were developing a taste for 'pub camping'.

Wednesday 27 Aug

Great Broughton - Grosmont (Priory Farm Campsite)
24M (167.5M)
    Today was the clincher. If we could get through the 24 miles to Grosmont then we'd make it to the finish. A walk up to Clay Bank Top, and then up over Urra Moor to Round Hill (450m). We passed a few face stones (ancient direction markers), before departing the Cleveland Way at Blowarth Crossing.

    Here we followed the tracks of an old Victorian mineral railway line, that kept to the contours of the hills around Farndale Moor. A good opportunity to get some speed up. On the tougher days in the mountains we'd only be averaging around 1.5-2.5mph. On the railway we were getting up to supersonic speeds of 3.5mph. On to High Blakey Moor and lunch at the Lion Inn. Following more repairs to our legs and feet we trudged up the road, past Fat Betty and on through Danby High and Glaisdale Moor. This was quite a pleasant walk now that the sun had returned. We were really keen to find a campsite either in or just past Glaisdale. Having confirmed there was only one two miles short of Glaisdale, leaving 21 miles for the final day we decided it would be better to proceed to Grosmont.

    Took a break at Glaisdale before continuing through East Arncliffe wood, Egton Bridge and along a road to Priory Farm (just before Grosmont), that had a field for camping. It was about 1-2 miles short of this that we had a 'Pennine Way moment'...dropping to the ground from exhausted energy stores, too tired to talk. I noticed Dean even had his head in his hands. I'd never seen him do that before, was funny in a way. It was great to reach the campsite. They didnít have any shower or washing facilities, just a kitchen. But we werenít bothered.

Thursday 28 Aug

Grosmont - Robin Hood's Bay (Boggle Hole YH)
15.5M (183M)
    The last day! We'd already caught a glimpse of the horizon and the sea over the last two days. At Grosmont we took some time to check out the old steam trains and the NYM railway and then struggled up a really steep hill out of the town and up over Sleights Moor.

    At Littlebeck we turned South through the Woods. This was another highlight of the hike. As well as an excavated mineral worker's cave we passed a large hollowed-out boulder, that formed 'The Hermitage'. We followed the path through the woods to Falling Foss waterfall and a great little cafe that has taken over Midge Hall (worth knowing if you're passing through). At the village of Hawsker we were just a few miles from the beach head and took one last break. The final 2-3 miles along the coast were tiring but a joy, knowing we were finally coming to the end of another adventure.

    Sitting on Robin Hood's Bay, having dutifully dipped our boots/trainers in to the sea we were glad it was over and the pain had come to an end. It's only in hindsight that you realise just how great these journeys are. Having checked out bus times and booked ourselves in to Boggle Hole Youth Hostel (a little further down the beach in an inlet) we could finally relax. For the first time we had to share a room. We didnít see much of the other guy though. I reckon he had to keep leaving the room in order to get some fresh air, as we hadnít had the chance to wash clothes for some time.

Return to London
    Plenty of time during the travel back to London to think about what we'd achieved, and Dean was already making future plans. I think he has a route through Corsica planned. I'm not sure I'll be doing another hike for a while though because I just can't mix it with the ironman/DIM races. We met up again on Saturday to finish the week off with an REM concert. We've wanted to see them since we were teenagers (Dean more than me) and damn they were good!

Likeys 9Bar Bike Science Eladon

~   Last edited by Daz on Mon Sep 15, 2008 10:28 pm; edited 8 times in total
Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:24 pm savaloy
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WOW Exclamation A blog fit for the occasion Mr Carter Clap Personally I can't see how the majority of long distance PROs can earn a living purely on racing/sponsorship - for me the sensible way for you to do it is to use your coaching/nutritional advice income to live on, knowing that you will have the time to train as a PRO due to the flexibility the coaching offers. But FIRST (as you well know) you need to let your body recover Smile
Swim smart, Bike strong, Run tough

Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:41 pm vickich
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Great account Daz - I've read Coast to Coast....your version is better Wink

It's something I'd love to do and thinking about for next year, albeit on a smaller scale Very Happy

Good luck with the training and coaching - hope the injuries heal soon!
I'm Cenzo's pool fool
Mojon ruined my Christm(ar$e)
The more miles I run the fatter I become

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Time - 8:58 (Challenge Roth 2009)
Position - 19th/4th (IMUK 2010)
Swim split - 0:56 (IMUK 2010)
Bike split - 4:46 (Challenge Roth 2009)
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Ultra wins - 3
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All about Daz

Joined: 15 May 2003
Location: Hampton, London
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Occupation: Elite Endurance Athlete (Triathlon, Ultra Trail Running), Coach, Personal Trainer and Consultant
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