Wednesday, 3 December 2014

My top 5 Buff's for runners ideal Christmas presents .

Well it's coming to that time of year again & I love Chrismas so I thought I would share my top 5 or 6 favourite Buff's perfect for the runner in your life.

#1 The Reflective Buff @ £18.50
This Buff is based on the original Buff but with the addition of vertical stripes of retro reflective scotch lite on each side , 
I think this is a must for any runner as it ensures you are seen on early morning runs or at night or in poor light conditions.

#2 Polar Buff @ £25.00
This is one of my favourite Buff's for the winter months as it has a section of polartec Classic 100 fleece on the bottom section which keeps you toasty warm while running, it was worn by me on Sunday while I was competiting in a fell race and it was a bitterly cold morning and it did a brilliant job of keeping me warm .In the picture im wearing the polar buff as a hat .

#3 The Buff knitted Headband @ £23.00
I love my Joop knitted headband & recently I have had loads of comments about it , as ive been wearing it before & after races & it keeps your head & ears really warm & the added benefit of looking pretty cool in it too.
There are Ladies & Mens ones available in these.
#4 Neckwarmer wool Buff @ £25.00
This is made from Merino wool and is reversible and it keeps you warm very warm , great for running in but also great to wear with normal clothes , 

#5 uv Buff headband @ £12.00
Out of all my Buff's you will probably notice me most in the above uv logo headband , it's lightweight , comfortable and brilliant for us girls with long hair to stop our hair going in our eyes when running , I love mine and ive noticed its beginning rather popular among us ultra runners .

All of these Buff® items and lots more  can be found online at or at the Buff pop up shop at the Bluewater shopping centre kent .

I hope you have found this useful and you now have some stocking filler ideas for Christmas.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Equinox 24 hour race done 2014!! Ultrabuffgirl is back

So for once I'm writing my blog early  mainly so I don't forget anything from the awesome weekend at Belvoir Leicestershire,
The first thing you notice when you arrive at this event is the stunning location and there are  not many races where you have this awesome sight in view .

We arrived quite late on the Friday evening but luckily for us we had a great spot saved for us by our awesome friends & fellow Team Buff athlete Duane ( aka Buffjedimaster ) & Lorraine aka (super support crew) 
It's fun putting tents up in the pitch black in a field of cow pats lol but we did and we got organised quite quickly , 
Our little area was now taken over by Buff® & it was looking good.

Next morning we woke quite early to sort out our very important food & drink area for the race , and I can say we were without a doubt well prepared , we were not going hungry !! 
So who was in our crazy gang of solo 24hour runners !! 

We have Buff daddy Les , Buff Jedi master Duane , Kath Buffy doddy ( new name given to her this weekend ) new boy (smiler) David Hetherington & me ultra Buff girl .
All of us been looked after by Lorraine ( Duane's wife ) .
When I put crazy gang I mean my extended family , we all look after each other & it's so nice to have brilliant friends with the same interests that you can help & support & most importantly have a good laugh with , we certainly keep each other entertained . 

Us lot before the 12 o'clock midday start.

The Race.
So what was my plan for my 5th 24 hour race ? I didn't really have one , as since my last 24 hour race in June I've had a on going shin injury ,a big thank you to for sorting me out with some Gb rocktape it was amazing and it stayed on the whole 24hours .
I've also had a nasty cough ( sorry for keeping you awake in the tent Kath with my coughing Friday night ) so I really had no pressure on me at all although I had a aim of how many laps I wanted to do 😉. (Yes I know I'm competitive ) 
The course is made up of 10k laps & there was a lot more Tarmac road sections than I expected , the first hill was at about 3k on road & was very gradual with a horrible leg sapping hill at 6k on grass which certainly slowed everyone down.
So this is how my race went :-) 
I always start my ultra races listening to music to get my head in the right place and to concentrate on the first few hours and to relax , at the last 3 24 hour races I have worn a iPod but the battery life and the weather has killed 3 now , so I was lucky to be brought this  awesome sony waterproof headphone mp3 and it kept me sane for the first 7 hours of the race .

I can highly recomend them and they are so comfortable but not to loud so you can still hear people or traffic around you.
Back to the race .
The race started at 12 midday on the Saturday & looking back I went a little bit to quick for the first 7 / 8 hours of the race but I was feeling good & sometimes you just have to go with it , for the first time in a 24hour race I was racing in my ultimate direction race vest so I didn't have to stop very often and I always had my drink & some food in it , I'm sure it looked like I was eating all the time but I find eating little bits often keeps my energy levels topped up and it certainly worked for me. 
I have to comment on how good the 5k drink station was & the volunteers on here were awesome nothing was too much trouble & every lap they would fill my bottle up and have some cool goodies for you to eat , I have never done a ultra where they had a mini sweetie box with retro sweets in , to some this may not sound like much but to me it was brilliant & I couldn't wait to reach 5 k each lap , I was also told by the lads on it towards the end of the 24hr that I was cool and hardcore as no one else would eat this 
Yes you guessed it I had popping candy and blooming loved it , so Laura and Johny please keep this in for next years race, I'm sure some of the other runners wondered what the hell was going on when I was coming up behind them while eating this lol !! Let me point out I was taking this race serious but you can still enjoy your running and have a good laugh as you go.
Back to my race , 
I was really looking forward to the night stage as it's so peacful , so I took of my mp3 player ( this was for safety too ) & I put on some warmer Buff gear and headed off with my head torch on I was feeling a bit sick & I hoped this would pass quickly so I slowed down a bit & luckily after a 10 min sit down & a hot drink prepared by my brilliant support Lorraine I started to feel better, 
The rain started quite early in the evening and thank god it didn't last to long as I got so cold really quickly & the next lap around I put on my omm waterproof jacket & my Buff balaclava .

This really kept me warm & snug & I'm really pleased that I packed it.
Please check out 
I must admit I felt the temperature change a shock to the system & I found it mentally quite tough running on my own in the dark , with just seeing the odd flash of a head torch now and then. 
I think it was about 2am when I met up with Kath & David & it was brilliant to have some company for a couple of laps & we kept each other amused with silly stories & if anyone thought they were hallucinationing or going mad you were not when you heard someone who could of easily been mistaken for Terry Wogan yes David was doing his impersonations as we were running & I've never laughed so much in the early hours.
By 5 am I was literally falling asleep while running & I made the decision & so did David to have a 45min to a 1 hour power nap, this did the trick and when we awoke the next lap was so much easier & a hell of a lot faster.
It was lovely having someone else to run with & I was so proud with how David was doing as before this race the longest distance he had ever run was a marathon & he never moaned once and was loving every min of it with a smile on his face.
A true super ultra runner , who has the will power & strength to push & keep going when the going gets tough.
We continued running together until we met up with my dad on my 15th lap.
This picture was just before I sped off into the distance (well as quick as I could more like a quick shuffle / run ) as I was told I was in 3rd solo women's place & I was chuffed to bits & looking at my watch I knew I could get another lap in & hopefully keep my place.
Luckily for me I got around the lap in time to get one more in & with a quick grab of chia charge drink & a original power cookie in hand I went out on my last lap. (Number 16.)

My last lap was very enjoyable & I got a nice pace going considering I had been running for 23 hours, 
I was chuffed to bits with my 160k ok it's not my best for a 24hour race but I can honestly say it was the most enjoyable one with the added bonus of been on the podium  ( I kept my 3rd place ) yes I am highly competitive but I feel the most important aspect of running is to enjoy it and that I did. 

So how did the rest of my awesome Team Buff uk friends & family do. 
Duane Aka Buffjedimaster did brilliant running 17 laps (170 k)
David Aka Smiler had the most impressive race to run 15 laps (150k) up until this weekend the furthest he had run was marathon distance. A awesome ultra runner in the making & we were all very proud of him.
Kath Buffy doddy did 14 laps (140k) to finish 4 and did great , ( next time both of us on the podium Kath )
And my dad buff daddy did 10 laps (100k) he ran brilliant considering he had a dodgy stomach Saturday morning.
A big thank you goes out to Lorraine for been our support at the race & she did an awesome job of looking after us all the whole 24hours. 
A big thank you also to Buff® for there continued support & help it's much appreciated and it's a honour to run in the Team Buff uk kit.

I nearly forgot to mention about squiggle & moo for those who don't know about them me & Duane both had a challenge at the buff epic 100k to buy something to carry with us in the race for 2 euros ,
I brought moo & Duane brought squiggle they are now our good luck charms and part of our team , I ran with moo & Duane carried squiggle. These now come with us on our ultra adventures & so far they have worked well .

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Equinox 24 hour race

I've been a little slow with my blogs lately so I thought I would get a little pre race blog done .
So here goes tonight me , David & my dad Buff daddy les will be traveling up to Belvoir castle in Leicestershire to meet up with our ultra family .kath , Duane & Lorraine & to pitch our tents ready for a weekend of fun ( I'm guessing my fun is very different to others but 24hours of running is FUN ) 
If your at the event please come and say hi we will be in the solo camping area (look out for the Buff® Tape ) and Team Buff Uk kit.

This will be a strange 24hour race for me as normally I have full support and I don't have to worry about anything but for my 5th 24 hour race , I'm going to be a lot more self suffient so it could be interesting , I just need to remember to eat lots and drink lots and wear warm kit when it gets dark ( Lorraine don't forget to tell me ) .
So what's my plan for the race ?
who knows how this will go , I've been having physio on my leg since the endure 24 in June I must thank  for sending me some tape for my leg & hopefully all will be well.
I've also had a nasty cough for over a week !!! Not a ideal build up to a race , but I'm not making excuses , my head will be in the zone and I'm hoping for some big miles , but more importantly I'm going to enjoy the weekend with my family & friends & I can't wait to see how David gets on in his first 24hour race .

 So for now I'm going to leave my blog & carry on packing & I would like to thank everyone who has sent me good luck messages & I thank everyone at Team Buff uk for the continued support .
Good luck to all my friends racing this weekend . 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Still no running for me :-( so a blog post reviewing Dog Buff®'s by Buffy instead .

Hi everyone my name is Buffy and I'm a ultra running dog in the making ,I'm only still quite young so I can't run to far just yet but eventually I will be .My mum Sarah Gardner-hall is sponsored by and is addicted to everything Buff hence my name !! 

As she is injured at the moment I'm not running as much so I have been doing a bit of modeling and product testing of the dog Buff's to keep me and her occupied.

So here is some of the latest designs.
This is the new 2014 Hearts & Stars Buff and one that I Hope my mum gets me soon , 
So the Dog buff not only makes me look cool but it is also very comfortable to wear & when I'm hot my mum soaks it in water and pops it back around my neck to keep me cool .
It's also brilliant when I'm running at night as it has a reflective strip on it so passing cars can see me .

For all my nervous doggy friends this next new Dog Buff is perfect 
Did you know that if my doggy friends wear yellow it might mean they are nervous and need space , so Buff came up with this cool doggy Buff for that purpose. It's a great idea and not many people know about it , so if you have a nervous doggy this could be perfect and they will look cool too . 

It's a hard life been a dog and I have to guard my mum's Buff kit & Im hoping she is running again soon as I need a run a walk is just not the same.

So for now it's woof from me and hopefully my mum will be writing the next blog & then I can also get back out running too & swimming in Chasewater.
But for the time been my job is to guard the house and guard her Buff kit & chew bones ( it's hard been a dog ) .

Just a thought for all my mums running friends if you see her at tr24 at the weekend beware she may be grumpy as she isn't running , just a word of warning from me . 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Resting still !!

Well it's been a good 2 weeks since Endure24 & I'm still having an enforced rest due to a egg like bump on my leg :-(
After finally having some courage to let a physio have a look at it and a scan I now know that it's a slight tear & not shin splints or a broken bone thank god !!
So what happens now ? 
Well I have 19 days till the Buff epic trail race in Spain on Aug 2nd 
So it's more rest lots of painful massage to break down the blood which has conjeeled in the lump , ultra sound treatment & dry needling ( not my favourite past time ) as I don't like needles. 
What is dry needling ? 
In between my physio sessions I'm also icing my leg as much as possible. 
So for once I've been told that I'm doing the correct thing by not running & the rest will do me good ( even if I'm not happy about it ) .
But I know that if I don't I won't be able to do my main race of 2014 & I will be absolutely gutted .
So for now it's rest , rest & more rest & lots of physio & ice to get me to Spain.

It's also great to hear that my fellow team Buff uk ultra runner & friend Duane Roberts will also be running with me in the Buff Epic Race so Team Buff uk will be rocking the alps.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Endure24 !! Mud mud & more mud!!!

Well what an eventful , but still a very enjoyable weekend at the endure 24 hour race, who would think this place would turn into a mud bath so quickly !!!!!! Lol 

We arrived at Reading train station late on Friday afternoon & luckily for us we found the correct train to aldermaston where the race was taking place & we got picked up by my awesome support crew Heather & Harry & took to wasing park where our area had been saved in the solo field by my fellow Team Buff uk team mate Tony Wallbank .
We were rather pleased that it wasn't raining so we could get our tents & support gazebos up in the dry & this was done in no time at all . 
So who was running in our little Team Buff uk area ( all solo I will add ) 
Me aka Ultrabuffgirl
My Dad aka Buff Daddy
Kath of my best buddies from up north who had travelled from Durham.
Tony Wallbank aka runbuffboyrun

We had support from my best buddy from down south Heather & Tony's wife Nat , so that was our motley crew & thank god for support that's all I'm going to say this early in my blog !!
Early night for me & dreams of running many miles in circles the next day . 
Race Day 
I woke up early & was very excited with the prospect of meeting up with some more of my ultra running family & the camaraderie & support is the best you will ever find in any sport in my humble opinion. 
At this time it was still dry but rain was forecast & so was thunder for the 12 o'clock race start !!!! 
It was here I got got to chat to the main man Gil Cramer aka Coach G & Nike performance coach 

Then I got asked if I would like to be involved in a ultra running project been filmed by his support crew .
Basically a informal chat about our love of ultra running , food & why we do it , to be honest I was a bit nervous doing this as I am actually quite shy but luckily for me Tony from Team Buff uk was going to be in it too so I didn't feel so bad in the end and Gil said I did good so that's ok with me . I can't wait to see the finished film .
Next was sorting all my Buff® kit and making sure my support knew what & where everything was for the next 24 hours of running.
The Start & the race
The race is 5mile loop with a mixture of road / tracks for the first 1k before you head into some trees where the race becomes completey off -road .
The course is lovely and testing and challenging enough for the best 24 hour racers out there. 
Back to the race.
As we were making our way over to the start line is was becoming clear that this race was going to be a wet and cold one , as the heavens opened and the rumbling of thunder could be heard in the distance ,
We were all about 10 mins late starting and this added to the build up !!!
At 12.10 we were off !! nice and steady I kept telling myself & I got into a lovely relaxed pace . The first lap was a bit crowded but that soon sorted itself out & underfoot was getting very muddy !! This race was going to be a tough one & survival was the key feature !!! 
My aim for this race was to obviously do well 100 miles + was my target but with a few tough months prior to the race my aim was to feel fit & well for the Buff epic 100k in Spain my main race of the year & to stay injury free.
I also knew I needed this race to prove how strong I can be under pressure and I feel I have grown confidence wise and with every lap I was doing , I felt better and better even in the torrential downpours !!! and when the course turned into a mud path .I pushed on knowing that I was strong enough & able to.
The support I got from spectators was awesome and the Team Buff® uk kit really makes you stand out so thank you to everyone that gave  me a shout , I'm sure I made some of you laugh at the transition area as every lap I had something in my hand or in my mouth as I passed by eating .
One of my favourite parts of 24 hour races is the night section and normally I'm really looked forward to it but this year I couldn't believe how cold it was & this mixed with the mud , which was getting worse it was going to be hard.
As now the whole of the course was just a mud bath if any of my friends reading this did Tr24 think 5 times worse then last years race and then you will understand the tough conditions.

One thing to remember in ultra races is no matter how prepared you are u can never underestimate the cold & the weather & a lot of runners were struggling with this throughout the night.
Kath was doing awesome until hyperthermia struck her and we were all very concerned on how quickly she went poorly , thank god for my awesome support crew & my dad who stopped his race to help and try and get her warm before the first aid took over , I was told to get out of the way and carry on running as that was what Kath would of wanted me to do all very worrying !!!! 
I think this was a massive message to me on how you need to make sure you keep warm and the next lap around Heather my support had a complete change of clothes ready for me and I even ran 3 laps in my primoloft down jacket & Hoodie Buff to keep warm. 
Kath was now safe at hospital been looked after and on a drip !!!! 
What a night !!!
I couldn't wait to see sun rise and daylight again and to now see the better routes through the mud lol !!!
I was actually feeling quite strong after some decent food & my chia charge drink was doing an awesome job of keeping me going .
I had a 20min power nap through the night and was now running on autopilot .
Looking at my watch I could see that 20 laps was still possible and I continued to keep trudging through the mud !!!!
Lap 16 (80miles) was a deciding lap for me I suddenly felt a shooting pain at the front of my left shin and to be honest thought nothing of it just an ache I thought , when I got to my support it was really hurting ??? So what do I do I still have 5hours + of running time left and I'm in 3rd solo women's place !!! 
My heart was telling me to carry on and my competitive nature also but I knew I had to think about my big 100k race in Spain in August , so I decided to go out on one more lap and see If it eased off at all. 
The answer to this was no and every step of the 5 mile course hurt :-( 
Gutted was an understatement I got to the end of my 17th lap and said to Heather  that's it I'm done (85miles) with still 4 + hours of running time left to do. 
The first thing we did was take my calf guard off to look at my shin and this is what we found underneath a painful lump which u can't see very well from this picture but it came up like an egg , so at this point I hobbled over to the first aid who have me some Ice and told me to keep it raised and if it's no better pop to a & e the following day.
So that was my race over 85miles run in some of the worst conditions I have ever run in , I came 4th solo female in the end and will return next year and hopefully get in the top 3. 
Kit used 
A massive thank you to Team Buff® Uk for supporting me and supplying me with my awesome kit for my 2014 ultra running season & I'm chuffed you did .
Every bit of kit was used and I'm hoping the mud will come out.
Below is my top 3 Buffs worn by me at the event.

The Anton uv Headband which apart from anything makes you look cool it does a great job of keeping my hair out of my eyes & it's perfect to wear under a head torch too & was very popular in this race . 

There normally would be a picture of me here but for some reason no shots were taken of me in my Anton headband so Run buff boy run Tony will have to do .

The next Buff which is also one of my all time favourites is the Hello Kity original Buff this was warn numerous ways in the race as a Buff to keep the rain running down my neck , as a hat & as a wristband to wipe rain & sweat from my face , it's classed as a kids buff but it's the same size as a ladies buff so it fits nice and snug .
Once again I wore one of the best Buff's around & my dad also wore one of these and he can't go on enough how it kept him warm & dry .
Step forward the Hood Buff !!
If you don't know what one is I suggest you try one on ASAP these are amazing in bad weather conditions.
This particular Buff combines Gore windstopper material with a double layer of soft stretchy polyester microfiber fabric .I think it's an awesome product and it keeps you nice and toasty warm.

The only other bit of kit which I wore apart from Buff was the Omm Kamleika jacket II this was purchased very last minute (as in the day before the race)after hearing the weather forecast & my zip had broke on my other waterproof jacket.
I must thank for there excellent service & all the help online making sure it was the right size for me. 
I ran in my trusted salomon xr mission off-road shoes & these did a brilliant job of keeping my feet warm & not sliding me about too much .

I think I finally got my nutrition bang on in this 24 hour race thanks to Heather making sure I eat on every lap . 
I had salt & vinegar Pringles which are my all time ultra race favourite food . 
But this time I also tried almond butter and Nutella wraps which worked perfectly & these were easy to grab and run with. 
I also had my original power cookies which didn't let me down & these will always be seen with me at my races , thanks Al & Liz for trusting in me to help promote these brilliant cookies that actually work !!!

I'm also becoming a massive fan of chia !! And particular the Chia charge drinks 
These you will either love or hate in my opinion I love them but the texture does take a while to get used to , but I've found they do work. 
Check out for further details.

So there you have it endure24 in a blog with my kit and food etc etc I hope you find this useful. 

All I have left to say is I can't thank my family and Heather my support for looking after me at the race and supporting me with my ultra running.
Ultra running to me is a way of life and I can't see a time when I won't be doing it and enjoying it.

Roll on the next Epic adventure in Spain in August I can't wait .