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Adventures in the Balkans: part one

by Robert Britton
Wednesday 26th July 2017
 
 
Robbie Britton reports back from the start of a very big adventure across the Balkans. Keep checking back for further updates over the next 10 days. 
 
What do you get the girl who has everything for Christmas? I’m pretty sure the answer isn’t “a 500km holiday across the Balkans” but it was that or a pair of those fancy custom Salomon shoes and the Kom-Emine Trail would be more fun for me too. Actually this might just be a present for me…
 
From Peak Kom in the West, to Cape Emine in the East, the Friendship trail runs across the whole Bulgarian Balkan range for about 400-700km. That’s quite a big range, I know, but there are several numbers quoted and we’re not quite sure which one it’ll be. Given that the record is just over 4 days for the whole route, and it wasn’t set by Rob Young, we reckon it might be a little shorter than 700km. Fuck, we really hope it is.

 For this adventure we have a small, but effective, gang of ragamuffins. 

Bulgaria 1
Robbie and Natalie get some running practice in

Natalie White, Tor de Geants finisher and therefore toughest/most experienced/champion of the team will be in charge of pacing, Instagram Stories and Pot Noodle management. 
 
Ry Webb, the man’s man of ultra running (at least until he shaved his beard off), will be taking control of heavy lifting, deciding when it’s time to run topless and wrestling bears/wild dogs.
 
Zhivko Zhechev, Bulgarian Mountain Guides, will be the one man support crew, local knowledge, wheelman and general life saver, although we aim to not be in any situations where actual lives need saving, just when we run out of Haribo etc. and feel the need to be melodramatic.

Bulgaria 2
They check out the route (left) and, no idea what that is (right)

Last, and sometimes least, myself. I’ll probably be in charge of rubbish Tweets, eternal optimism, navigation and interaction with others on the trail (ie. wild gesticulation and piss poor attempts at Bulgarian).

So why are we heading out onto a trail unknown to us, for 10-11 days of trying not to get lost or eaten by bears? Because an adventure with out risk is no adventure at all and there are always new limits to be tested, plus I’m a big fan of goulash, which could well be our staple diet for the duration. 

We’ll try send a few blogs in from the wilderness, will update Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis, will Strava the lot with my TomTom Adventurer (otherwise it never happened) and, most importantly, will be having a bloody good time. Now does anyone know the Bulgarian for “Help, I’m lost”?
 
The ragamuffins are using a guide from www.bulguides.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About The Author

Robert Britton

Robbie is a 100 mile runner who is a member of the Great Britain 24hr Running Squad and Team Centurion and likes to run ridiculous distances as quickly as possible.

To provide enough food to feed a monster running habit, Robbie coaches other ultra marathon runners through www.robbiebritton.co.uk and is also a member of the coaching team at Centurion Running. He likes to dabble with a bit of writing so that others can learn from his mistakes and enjoy the sport as much as he does.

Robbie is also a is a Profeet ambassador.

www.robbiebritton.co.uk

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is just part of the fun"

 
 
 
 
 

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