Cross country spikes

You know things are getting serious when you start building up a collection of different running shoes for different conditions. Last winter I entered a single round of the Chiltern Cross Country League and loved almost all of it, except for the fact that my regular trail shoes offered no grip whatsoever in the wet, sloppy mud; it was like running on ice in places. I’m hoping to compete in the full league this winter so these shoes should do a better job of keeping me upright.

The Round MK Ultra

Joined (and beaten) by my son for the last few metres
Joined (and beaten) by my son for the last few metres into the finish at Stony Stratford

This weekend just gone I had a crack at going beyond 26.2 miles and running our club’s annual “Round Milton Keynes Relay” as a solo runner – just shy of 32 miles of mixed terrain in total.

It turned out to be a very enjoyable day. I ran parts of it with some friends and parts of it alone, but had people dotted around the course to say hi and top me up with drink and Snickers bars. Aside from some pretty bad nettle rash there were no particular low points in the run, no hitting the wall, no painful legs, no having to take walking breaks, just a nice comfortable steady run for a few hours.

It’s made me realise (yet again) that I far prefer this sort of long steady endurance stuff over busting myself to pieces and suffering in agony for 20 minutes over a fast 5k. I have the Coniston trail marathon coming up again in a fortnight and am looking forward to taking the same relaxed approach there.

MX5 throttle body conversion update

I’ve had a few comments and questions sent to me recently about my throttle body setup and it occurred to me that the most recent post and photos that I uploaded here are quite out of date.

Black crinkle paint for the cam cover
Black crinkle paint for the cam cover

There’s not a great deal to add, but I’ve now fitted an airbox (Pipercross 600 series) over the throttles, tidied things up a little, given the cam cover a lick of black crinkle paint and refined the fuel and ignition maps plenty more.

I was having some issues with rough running at very low TPS and RPM values, I think the very short intake trumpets I’m running due to lack of space was causing turbulent airflow at low revs. The airbox appears to have the effect of lengthening the intake tract and smoothing things out a little. The car definitely runs a little smoother with it fitted, although that great ITB sound is muffled a little unfortunately. Whether it robs the car of any power at the top end is up for debate. Perhaps a bhp or two, but I can live with that.

Nangkang NS2R
Nangkang NS2R

I’m also running some more aggressive, track-biased tyres now. As the car only gets used in the dry or for the occasional track day, I figured I may as well get something suited to those conditions. In the dry they’re great, plenty of grip and very controllable at the limit. I wasn’t so keen at Snetterton circuit earlier this month though in cold and soaking wet conditions. Part of the problem was that I forgot my tyre pressure gauge and was running far too much pressure. Either way, there was lots of this going on…

Slip slidin' away
Slip slidin’ away