There’s talk of the Scottish pistes opening early up there in the Glens after a steady pasting of snow in recent weeks. Winter has truly arrived. For some, that means dusting off the skis and salopettes while, for others, it means grabbing the 13.5 tog duvet from the loft, buying a Radio Times and battening down the hatches.
I did a little channel surfing the other day but my mind quickly drifted from what’s on in front of me to what’s ahead of me next year. The past 12 months have been epic –a record 7 ultras in 7 continents on 7 consecutive days, an Antarctic marathon and my RunHighAfrica experience where I ran more than 50km each day including Mount Kilimanjaro in one day along with a few other races and wins.
It’s all driven by a thirst for new experiences and a natural curiosity. For me, that’s what winter brings. With the seasonal change comes a whole new outdoor experience. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t harder to get outside as temperatures plummet but I still enjoy the chance to cycle, play football and snow brings new opportunities including skiing and some winter routes in the mountains.
You could say winter is my ‘down time’ but all this stimulates my mind for something suitably challenging in 2014. I’m toying with various options but 2014 will include World Championships, an epic in Britain, and even an ultra in Iran from sea level to the summit of Mt Damavand (5,610 metres).
I’ve been asked to write a second book in 2014 too, looking at what I’ve learnt from not just elite athletes but some incredible people who have their own inspiring stories to tell.