I'm no athlete. I move because it feels right to, and feels good (most of the time). I'm designed to move, I'm lucky enough to be able to, and I believe that any movement can be the beginning of something bigger. It all starts from energy converted to the first movement. From there, things become possible.
I try and run intuitively with my body. When it says continue, I continue. When it says stop and eat, I listen. I judge my heart rate on feeling, and I don't map my runs on anything other than GPS when I need to. Mostly it's just me and my watch for time checking. This is true for training, and runs for pleasure in the mountains.
I want to make my Bosnia run in line with this approach. I'm not worried about running to a tight deadline, or breaking myself in the process. I plan to do it as fast and comfortably as I can with the resources that I have.
Bosnia is known to have water shortages, and I plan to run at the end of summer. This is just one reason to be sensible with water, and not rely on dehydrated foods. As such I want to think carefully about nutrition. I want to eat well, eat healthily, experience the country through its food, and have absolutely nothing to do with sports gels!
My plan is to try and support local livelihoods and make the most of produce along the way. Seeking out food on my route through mountain villages, and cooking them on my stove. For this, I'm grateful to the support of expedition chef Kieran Creevy, who is helping me work out how to run light and eat fantastically. I will probably come home heavier.
people & environment
Getting the right kit is going to be important. I want to run with less than 10kg. But I also want to do it right by the environment, and by the people who manufacture the gear. This means I'm seeking products made by companies who care. I might not always get this right in every way, but I'm trying to balance products that work, with products that are kind, and from companies who are engaged in the conversation.
The Balkans has it's share of problems, and Bosnia is no exception. Dam building in BiH, Albania and other neighbouring countries is troubling (as highlighted by the new Patagonia campaign), everyday litter in the mountains is likely to upset me, and there are still landmines in this part of the world. The Bosnian mountains are not the Alps. It's wild, untamed and largely unknown. But then that is the point. My mission is always to try and see what needs to be seen.