Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Diana Nyad Cancels Extreme Dream

I posted over the summer on 60-year-old American swimmer Diana Nyad and her plans to swim from Cuba to Florida.
It all sounded very exciting but has been slowly cut off by visa regulations, problems with permits and finally the weather. This inspiring sportswoman has just announced that the dream is being postponed until next year. SHe posted a sad farewell on her blog a few days ago - Extreme Dream

Do you think she should go for it next year again?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is a Women Only Sports Channel a Good Idea?

You might have noticed that I get a bit irritated with the lack of coverage for sports women in the mainstream media? Well, it looks like ESPN has met some other frustrated athletes. They are giving us espnW in the new year. Not a network but a blog and other digital media although so far it's just a FB and Twitter page. 

Bloggers seem generally positive. Megan Hueter, a Women Talk Sports blogger   posted this: "I think it’s safe to say that, at the very heart of this new business is the mission to serve current and former female athletes… a uniquely different audience, one that’s been struggling for public attention for 38 years."  She's talking about the progress/lack of progress (depending on your view) in promoting American women in sport since Title IX. Read about Title IX here.

But on the Mister Women's Sports blog, we get: " What I am confused about, even after reading the opening remarks from the recent espnW retreat, is why ESPN is committing to the creation of a blog rather than bringing more gender equity to their current array of cable channels."

I'm curious to see what they will actually do. It could be an opportunity for women to gain exposure, new fans and sponsorship. Or it could become a backwater used to sideline women's sport or deepen the divide between so-called real sport and girls just messing around.

What do you think - a great idea or are we moving backwards?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Surf Kayak Championships Portrush

Surf kayaking is another one of those sports which sounds easier than it is; a cross between two great sports that's somehow better than either....according to those in the know.

Garazi  Iturralde, Basque country

This month the Irish team will be out and about in a few beautiful places. Portrush up in the north of the country will host the British Open Surf Kayak on the 23rd of October.
Found some great shots of women in action in their kayaks - it is another sport more popular with men than women but what can you do except focus on the people having fun!

Ainhoa Tolosa Portugaltalks blog

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Buenos Aires Marathon Result

Agneieszka Gortel Winner Buenos Aires
Australian marathoner Marlo Perry was here last week, talking about her preparation for the Buenos Aires marathon. Very excited to report that she came home in four hours 11 seconds. Just a squeak outside her aim of four hours but a PB all the same. Well done! Other results are here Buenos Aires marathon. 

Marathons are one of the toughest ways to test your sporting mettle,  we'll have some more inspiring runners on here soon. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Athletes Aid 350 Actions

10.10.10 was a busy, busy day; marathons (more on those later in the week) and the 350 climate action group hosted Work Parties in 188 countries.

Their website 350 tells us: " Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. Our focus is on the number 350—as in parts per million CO2. If we can't get below that, scientists say, the damage we're already seeing from global warming will continue and accelerate.  But 350 is more than a number—it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet"

Quite a few international sports women were involved in promoting this goal this including American climber Kate Rutherford and British rower Roz Savage.  By its nature, professional sport encourages athletes to become self-absorbed so it's exciting to see women making the effort to remember what lies outside the training room.

Kate Rutherford


Roz Savage

Friday, October 8, 2010

Happy Birthday She-Ra

Some little girls had Barbies, some She-Ra. I was coming to the end of my doll phase when she appeared which was a pity. I battered some Sindys through an assault course or two; She-Ra might have been more durable. And, of course, there was that classic line: "For the honour of Greyskull! I am She-Ra"? As clear as mud that. Fighting the Evil Horde and Skeletor - if only life was still so simple.

I didn't appreciate then how unusual it was to have a doll who didn't depend on high heels and an invisible corset to hold herself together. But I'm sure there are lots of kick-ass martial artists and sportswomen out there who have a She-Ra stashed in their cupboards.

She-Ra from Hack Princess

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Marlo Perry Prepares for Buenos Aires Marathon

Aussie Marlo Perry has run marathons in Bangkok, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro but her running heart lies in Buenos Aires. She ran her first marathon there in 2008, and is lining up again for the 10.10.10. Working in BA with the Buenos Aires WHL, Buenos Aires Urban Adventures and Vamos Spanish Academy, she has also cycled through Brazil, Uruguay, Vietnam (8 times), across Argentina and Cambodia (twice), summited some 6000m peaks in Bolivia, walked the Inca Trail (over 20 times), and competed internationally with the Argentine MuayThai team. Phew!

Tell us about your first marathon
My goals were simple; to finish, and to finish under four hours. I ended up with a time of 4:11. I still had a bit of energy left and pulled up really well the next day so instead of being proud I was actually annoyed I was 11 minutes over. Especially as at least 5 minutes was spent waiting to use the toilet at km 25! 
There was a transport strike in Buenos Aires that day and I hadn’t brought enough money for a taxi so I walked about 10km home – eating a caramel-chocolate-chip ice-cream. That’s my most vivid memory of the day!

What’s special about running in Buneos Aires?
Twice a week in the mornings I go for a short fast run in an area known as the Palermo Parks. It is a park in the middle of the city and a great way to escape the noise and congestion. I usually run with a group from the Vamos Spanish Running Group Weekends I head to the Costanera Sur area or do a long run out of the Palermo neighbourhood. I enjoy this much more than 50 loops of a plaza!

 You travel a lot for your work, how do you fit in training?
When I was training for my first marathon I was still working as overland tour guide, based in South America. It was really difficult to fit in the long runs as my work schedule was never much of a routine. I was also working a bit in Bolivia, and training at altitude might be great for an Olympian but as a normal runner a few laps at 4000m is not advised.
But it also meant I never ran the same route. My training runs included desert runs in the Atacama, the beaches of Brazil, hill runs in the volcanic landscapes of the Lakes District and the most beautiful run I have ever done – a crisp morning in the National Park near Bariloche, Argentina. There was snow on the mountain peaks, crystal lakes, autumn colours in the forests. I ran twice as long as I intended and it will forever be the most awesome run ever!  

What do you eat in the run-up to the race?
I don’t pay much attention to my diet. I know I should be carb loading but I also like a bit of chocolate milk. Anything plain that doesn’t upset my stomach too much as there is no way that I am going to get stuck 5 minutes waiting for the toilet this time!

Good luck to Marlo and the other runners in Buenos Aires on 10.10.10!