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One of the guiltiest pleasures of my life is my love of the classic 1980 masterpiece ‘Flash Gordon’ starring the outrageously blonde Sam Jones, the tempting Melody Anderson, the debonair Timothy Dalton and of course Brian Blessed stealing the screen with his huge presence.

For God’s sake! Strap yourselves down! Quick!
One of the things I have recently discovered is that the film was part shot on location in the Isle of Skye – yes that’s right the runway scene at the beginning just before we discover that Flash hasn’t learnt to land a plane.

Gordon’s Alive
The good news is that the runway is still there and although I understand its fallen into disuse you can still get on there and grab a photo while wearing your ‘fan favourite’ Flash Gordon’ T-shirt. Trust me – I’m filled with a deep sense of glee knowing that in just a couple of weeks I’ll be grabbing that photograph.

Flying blind on a hawkman rocketcycle! Over to homing beam!
Now why is my running blog going on about my favourite movie? Ah well that’s pretty simple, as some of you know I’ll be running the 74 miles from the top of Skye to the bottom during the Skye Ultra Trail running event at the end of May and I had this amazing dream last night where Sam Jones, Brian Blessed and other cast members presented the runners with their medals for running from one end of the island to the other. I think it also had Brian May giving it riz on guitar in the background as I crossed the line – what a dream.

Forget it Ming, Dale’s with me
So here’s the thing, just if any of the cast/crew read this, if you happen to be passing Skye on May 28th/29th and wanted to eat some cake and say hi, if you happened to want to leave a message of good luck for the runners then that would be an awesome lift to those who will be battling (not Ming) the challenges of the Skye Trail and I imagine we would all jump up and down in joy.

Vultan: That must be one hell of a planet you men come from. Flash: Not half bad
I realise I’m probably abusing my own blog but putting this out there but if you don’t ask you don’t get. The Skye Trail Ultra will be one of the hardest races I have ever committed to and especially as it takes place just  five days after I will have completed the incredibly tough 80 mile Hillsborough to Anfield Run in memory of the 96 people who died at the Hillsborough Tragedy.

I suppose Ming put it best when he said;

Pathetic Earthlings! Hurling your bodies out into the void without the slighest inkling of who or what is out here. If you knew anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would have hidden from it in terror.

Well I’ll be hurling my body into the void and while I might not know what I’ll be facing I’ll be hoping to invoke the spirit of Flash Gordon and make sure I save the day.

  
There’s less than a week left to enter the Skye Ultra Trail. You might be thinking I have some vested interest in you running it, well you’re wrong – if you run it that’s more competition for my finishing position and to the amount of cake I get to eat – but I still want you to come along and race it. It’s not a big race, it’s small and intimate and all the better for it I reckon.

Here’s why I decided I wanted to race it and I think these reasons will prove more than adequate to have you reaching for your debit card to join in…

  1.  It’s a small, intimate looking race.
  2. It’s in a remote location (Isle of Skye) on a little island off the Scottish coast.
  3. It has unbelievable scenery.
  4. If, like me, you’re English you can take advantage of the United Kingdom staying together and say thanks in person to the lovely Scottish people for staying the union.
  5. You can eat Haggis Melts until you explode at Cafe Sia in Broadford.
  6. The Isle of Skye has the, now disused, airfield seen at the beginning of Flash Gordon – you can go and re-create a famous scene from a classic film (I know I will be), or you can admire where Prometheus was shot further north on the island.
  7. You get to run in a 74 mile race from the top of the island to the bottom.
  8. You’ll be supporting a small beautifully formed race and help ensure it returns year after year after year.
  9. You get to meet me and see me cry my way through some of the UK’s finest trails.
  10. This is the best thing you’ll ever do with the late May Bank Holiday weekend.

So don’t delay, Jeff, the Race Director is closing the entries so he can, presumably, sensibly prepare for the people he knows he has. You don’t want to miss out on this!

I’d recommend viewing the Sage Clegg hike on the Isle of Skye to get a feel about the race you could be running – the video is here – see you there hopefully.

Enter here or search ‘Skye Ultra Trail’ on Facebook – you won’t regret it.

Photo. Rob Van de Berg

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