My Name is Nick Jenkins, I live near Foix in the Ariège region of France, which is the gateway to the Ariège Pyrenées. I moved here with my family in 2011 for a number of reasons:
- My partner, Delphine, is French.
- Climate – England is damp and cold and has just 30 days of summer per year on average.
- Vitamin D – You just don’t get enough of it in the UK.
- The realisation that the kids would not speak their mother tongue unless living in the country.
- We want to live near proper mountains for running and alpine sports.
- We wanted to live somewhere cheap.
- The Ariège is where all the hippies and communists live in France.
- The food is better.
- Healthcare is better.
- Flan pâtissier.
Some facts about me..
First and foremost I’m into mountain running – nothing beats slogging up a peak and then hurtling back down again. I got in to this because I couldn’t afford a mountain bike.
I’ve been running since 2003 and got in to the minimalist style in 2009. To get over a persistent injury I tried chi-running (for about two runs) then decided that Ken Bob’s idea of running barefoot had more merit. Then I read Born to Run bought a pair of Five Fingers and did my first ultra. (although I wasn’t brave enough to do it in the Vibrams).
I have run on roads in the past but over the years I’ve become road phobic, I run roads to get to better places, I run trails because running on trails is deeper than fitness.
I’m not a hippy – I do not believe in conspiracies, vegetarianism and that water has memory. I cut off my dreadlocks when I was 25 and with that, all pretensions to New Age philosophy.
I do not buy a new compression sock every 4 months.
I have never worn a compression sock.
I feel deeply connected to nature and the seasons when I’m running. (But I am not a hippy, please see above)
I am probably an endocannabinoid addict.
My best time over 45 miles is 10 hours 13 mins.
I’ve learnt not to eat raw onions the night before a race.
I’ve learnt to run slower to run faster. (edit) I’ve learnt that some speed sessions are needed to run faster. I haven’t learnt enough French yet. (edit) I’m learning new words by the day.
What about the blog?
This blog is about mountain, trail and ultra running and it contains top tips, reviews of lightweight and minimal gear, the odd race report and recipe and my off on a tangent ramblings. As such I hope it also finds a broad appeal with the fast-packing community, as there is evidently massive crossovers between our activities.
I review the shoes and gear that I’ve brought for myself and I accept media samples for review, although I will always give a full and honest appraisal of any item received. I try to limit “first impression” reviews – a shoe can change dramatically over the course of 100 miles, On the other hand I’m sometimes so excited about a new pair of shoes that I just can’t wait to tell the world about it!
I hope you enjoy my blog – Happy Trails,