Fords Forts


You only gave it 110% ?

posted 3 Oct 2014, 04:21 by Geoff Woodcock   [ updated 3 Oct 2014, 05:06 ]

Ever heard someone say they gave it 110%? What do they mean. Mathematically we know (but 

they obviously don’t) that to give it 110% is impossible. 

Well... perhaps not impossible but highly unlikely. If you are fortunate enough to have received 

an alien technology body upgrade then it stands to reason that your body could exceed it’s mortal 

capacity. You may even have a gauge on your wrist where you can select whether you’d like to 

coast at 110% or super-destroy your opposition with a 150% turbo boost. Or, perhaps you’ve just 

injected yourself with steroids in which case an extra 10% seems reasonably achievable, just look 

at Ben Johnson, Dwain Chambers, etc...

But for most, claiming we’ve just given it 110% is supposed to mean that we gave it everything we 

had and left nothing out there. But does it?

Firstly, let’s state the obvious. You cannot be giving it 110% since your body can not perform past 

it’s maximum capacity , i.e..100%. Since 100% is your absolute maximum, you cannot possibly 

give it 10% more than your maximum, you’d be dead and ironically in no fit state to claim your 

kudos for exceeding 100%.

So, if you gave it all you had and you are claiming 110% effort, then it really means that, in 

previous exertions, when you claimed to be working at 100% you were actually only working at 

90%. Therefore proving that you’ve only just learnt after all these years that you could have been 

giving it an extra 10% all those times. Now you’ve finally realised that 110% or your previous 

efforts is your new 100% you could, perhaps, claim to be working at 100% for the first time in your 

life. In other words, you’ve been a lazy bastard.

But hold on a minute. Were you really working at 100%. I doubt it. Can you remember the last 

time you actually pushed your body to 100%... to your body’s limit! For most people I think the 

answer would be no. Look at Olympic rowers, track cyclists and runners. Now these people 

know how to work to 100%. When they cross the line they are physically spent. They have no 

more, nothing left to give. Unable to sit or stand, unable to speak and often ready to vomit are the 

undeniable signs you’ve given it 100% (unless you were out on the piss the night before.) 

In reality these 110 percenters don’t know what giving it 100% really feels like and it’s more likely 

that they were only giving it 75%. So next time someone pants over to you after some rigorous 

activity and says, “I gave it 110%” you can respond by saying, “Good effort mate but try and give it 

everything you’ve got next time.”

If he doesn’t know what you mean, give him a Mars Bar and tell him to eat 110% of it.



posted 20 Apr 2013, 05:18 by Dan Ford

It's been a while since I posted on here, and I've had nothing to rant about for a while, so I thought I'd swat up on an 'on-court situation' which cropped up last week.  It was the classic scenario of 'turning' in the back corner.  I'm sure we have all been in this situation where player A hits a wide, long drive to the backhand corner and player B, at first, shapes to hit a back-hand return before changing his mind at the last second and turns to play the shot on his forehand, now potentially endangering player A.  Most people would play a let at this point but what are the official rules?

I did a bit of Google-whacking to find the best explanation and a gentleman by the name of Barry Faguy (WSF referees and rules committee) describes the rules very clearly:

The Decisions

If the striker turns and hits the ball which hits the non-striker:

  • It's STROKE TO NON-STRIKER if the non-striker was hit by the ball travelling either towards the front wall or a side wall.
  • It's a STROKE TO NON-STRIKER in all cases, even if the return would not have been good.
  • It's STROKE TO STRIKER if the non-striker was hit by the ball—but this time because of the non-striker's deliberate movement to intercept it. You can be sure that natural instincts of self-preservation have made that occurrence a rarity!

If the striker turns, refrains from hitting the ball, and appeals for a let:

  • It's a LET if there was a reasonable fear of the ball striking the non-striker providing the striker could have made a good return.
  • It's a NO LET if the non-striker was well clear and there was NO reasonable fear of striking that non-striker.
  • It's a NO LET if the striker could NOT have made a good return.

Must I Stop Play

It isn't obligatory to stop after turning. The striker has the option of striking it or not, but this should only be done if convinced that there is no danger to the non-striker. Should the player strike the ball and endanger the non-striker, the referee should penalize the striker for dangerous play with a Rule 17 assessment.

Unnecessary Turning and Stopping?

Sometimes a player will want to avoid hitting a difficult shot and will quickly move into the corner to place the ball on that player's other side—thus setting up an artificial turning situation—and then asks for a let. If the referee judges this to be a deliberate attempt to stop play rather than a legitimate attempt to play the ball, then a NO LET is the correct decision since this is considered a form of created interference. The intent here is to keep the game continuous as much as possible. Luckily, this is also a rare occurrence.

Avoid turning

Of course the best way to avoid this situation completely is to NOT follow the ball around, but to quickly back away from it towards the middle, keeping it on the same side of your body.  This avoids the 'turning' movement, forcing your opponent to back away to stay clear, thus opening up the entire court for you to drive it back into the same corner.


posted 14 Jan 2013, 06:50 by MrTrickle Boast

A view of the 3rd tallest mountain in the world. I just had to stop for a minute to enjoy this view

Reading Post issue 2 Jan 2013

Day 5 Stage 5 - 18 miles - Up a lot - down a lot (can't remember the exact numbers)

posted 5 Nov 2012, 06:00 by MrTrickle Boast   [ updated 6 Nov 2012, 11:33 ]

Stage 3 had knackered my morale and knees, especially with that horrific descent.  Stage 4 made me ill.  I survived the "Cultural Evening" without needing to do 'Ernie'.  Instead I hid behind a performance of 'Jerusalem' performed by tone-less group of Brits (so I fitted in perfectly).  The one and only Kiwi performed the All-Blacks 'Haka' which was both funny and brilliant.  The rest of the performances were mediocre but possible due to the fact that I was feeling quite ill and just  wanted to get to sleep.  A week of spaghetti and rice had messed me up and there wasn't much my body would accept that evening.  I ended up eating a piece of chicken.  I was the first to bed even though hardly tired at all, just very apprehensive about running 18 miles the next day feeling as bad as I did.  Very unlike me, I took 2 Nurofen to help me sleep.  I woke up feeling pale and weak, and spent the entire breakfast contemplating how I might be able to make it through the day.  The long hill was worrying; I didn't have the strength.  The downhill was just as worrying;  I didn't have the knees.  I stood on the start line feeling sick while waiting for Mr Pandy to shut the hell up with his over-the-top, dragged-out pre-race speech.

The first 7 miles were all uphill on switch-backs.  For 2 miles I felt so ill that it was torture just thinking about the next 15 miles.  I nibbled reluctantly on energy sweets and made a point of drinking isotonic drinks every 500 metres just to give me a fighting chance.  Maybe this paid off because at about the third mile I started to feel some life in my bones.  By the 5th mile I began to gain a bit more strength and although I wasn't keeping up with the people that I'd usually expect to beat it was more encouraging than I could have expected.

At the top of the hill I had the task of running 11 miles down to the finish.  Mental games were swirling about in my mind and to be honest, despite how I felt, I was embarrassed at my position in the field.  I didn't want to run; it was too painful.  As I was wading down the hill feeling sorry for myself one of the female runners came past me at quite some speed.  A subconscious calculation in my head told me that if I didn't make an effort to keep up with her then I was going to, a: take hours to finish the race (which was going to be a whole new level of pain), and b: finish way down the overall rankings (which wouldn't do my pride any good).  I know I can be a bit over competitive sometimes but pride was really f*&5ing with me at this moment.  THERE WAS JUST NO WAY THAT I COULD LET THIS GIRL OUT OF MY SITE.

The blisters on my feet was causing me pain with every single step.  I started to jog slowly but surprising found the pain did not increase, it just shifted a little to other parts of the body.  Actually, I say pain but it was really aching discomfort.  The sort of discomfort that if you were out having a jog on a nice evening you'd immediately say, "Stuff this, I'm going home and having a beer."  Anyhow, I had this girl to catch and much to my amazement, my slovenly stride was still quicker than her run, so much so that I'd overtaken her within a couple of minutes.  I kept pushing and managed over the next 7 miles to overtake another 8 runners.  My body kept wanting to walk  but my priority was to get the run over and done with asap.  The only way to do that was to keep running.  With 3 miles to go I caught, and joined, a newly made friend named Stumpy.  Stumpy is a paralympic cyclist who, 10 years ago after a motorbike accident, had his leg crushed and arm pulled off.  Surgery managed to save his leg although he will forever have symmetry problems when running.  In addition his arm was twisted numerous times and it was over 3 hours before he was found unconscious on the ground so unfortunately his arm had to be amputated from the shoulder joint, hence the name 'Stumpy', which he answers to quite fondly.  Now this might sound a bit, er... wrong.. but there was no way I was doing to let a cripple beat me and certainly now at something that I was totally able-bodied to do.  But, although I felt capable of leaving him behind it would have been tough mentally and physically to do so, not because I felt sorry for him (not at all), but because I was just hurting so bad.  Instead, I offered a truce (I have since found out that he was also doing everything he could to beat me!!) and he accepted.  So me and Stumpy ran the last 4 miles together, sharing the pain, whilst concentrating our efforts on loosing the next guy behind us whilst trying to catch the next guy in front.

The last few miles seemed like an eternity but the adrenalin had started to effect us both and the pain was less an issue.  When the finish line came in sight we saw all the locals out cheering and clapping us in.  The local school had lined up all the Nepalese children to wave flags as we sprinted the last 500 metres, and as the kids held out their hands we were high-fiveing all the way  to the finish line.

Of course, I was extremely pleased/proud to finish but I'm too much of an emotionless git to get soppy about a run.  I signed up for a run, it was tough (much tougher than I thought) but it's done and now I'll move on to something else.  BUT, I couldn't help but get emotional when watching my fellow competitors come over the line.  I hadn't realised how much it meant to some people and it brought a tear to my eye when some of my new friends were running the last 100 metres and trying their very best to hold back the tears.  It just showed that to many people the event meant more than just a run, it was a massive life accomplishment, and I think I felt more proud of my accomplishment as a result of theirs.

Race Summary

Final Placing:
19th place overall

Stage 1 - 7hr37
Stage 2 - 4hr43
Stage 3 - 8hr04
Stage 4 - 2hr40
Stage 5 - 3hr44
Overall - 26hr48

Thank-God it's over.  My body had been needing to rest since the very first steps of the very first  day.  I'm looking forward to drinks, curry, partying... and rest! for the next few days.

Of the Himalayan 100 race I'd say amazing scenery, seriously tough challenge both mentally and physically, and a great life opportunity... now that it's over.

I have however no desire to return to India.  The country is quite obviously messed up with the minority rich getting richer and the majority poor living in standards that sicken you every day.  I had no idea how bad things were over here until seeing it with my own eyes.  Every day is the same with millions of people scrapping for food and money on dirty, disgusting streets in a smelly, polluted city with little hope of long term life or happiness.  I was chatting to the hotel owner today and he tells me that this country survives on black-money.  Just to pay his electricity bill he has to bribe somebody.  If he wants to build a 2-bedroom extension to his house then he has to pay £300,000 in bribes to the local authorities before he is able to do so.  We all gasped in shock; He said it's just the way life is in India.

Thanks to everyone that has sent me emails of support.  It does help during the tougher moments.
I'm coming home.  See you soon.  :0)

Day 4 Stage 4

posted 5 Nov 2012, 05:58 by MrTrickle Boast

Why I'm here I don't know.  This seemed like a good idea a few months ago.  I am enjoying the holiday only my body constantly aches, my feet are sore and I'm loosing my appetite which is making it difficult to refuel.  I'm dreaming of steak and baked beans.

Stage 4 was the half-marathon though we were all sceptical of the distance so were prepared mentally prepared for 15 miles.  The race started at 9am which meant we had our first lie-in.  As with every morning Mr Pandi insists on taking a thousand photos of us at the start line which is infuriating when you just want to get going.  Then he says a few words but manages to drag that out too.  Eventually we set off just after 9.15am.

The first 6 miles was steep descent on switch-back roads.  This is the first time all event that we've run on a flat surface and was well received.  6 miles downhill might sound easy but it was really tough.  Being worried about my knees I decided to put a second pair of insoles in my shoes and wore a second pair of sockets too.  I was just trying to soften the impact my knees were about to endure.  2 miles in and my knees were fine so I kept running.  By about 4 miles I was absolutely knackered.  The heat from the sun was intense and it was an effort to keep hydrated, let alone put one leg in front of the other.

At the bottom of the hill I was aware of 4 blisters and my left knee was stiff and sore.  Fortunately the next 6 miles were straight back up the other side of the mountain which, although physically tough, meant my joints could take a rest.  However, I think the last 3 days must have taken its toll on me because I had absolutely nothing in the tank to push.  I was getting overtaken by people that I'd usually be miles in front of.

Mr Pandi proved once again his inability to count because the finish line came at 19.8km, so almost a mile short of the advertised distance.  I didn't complain this time. :0)  

My total time was 2hrs 44 minutes and the people I usually beat were coming in just over 2 hours.  I hope I can do better tomorrow.

Tonight Mr Pandi has organised a 'camp party.'  We have been told that we will all sit in a circle and take it in turns to perform something, anything that relates to our country.  What!!  I didn't sign up for this.  I can't sing, I can't juggle, I definitely cannot dance.  I'm terrified.  The only thing I have in my locker is 'Ernie - The fastest milkman' which I have never performed sober.  I am going to try to hide in the shadows.  

Day 3 Stage 3 - 26.5 miles - 6,000' descent

posted 5 Nov 2012, 05:57 by MrTrickle Boast

I managed 6 hours sleep which although not enough was a big improvement on the previous night.  We were up at 5am and the race started at 6am.  The route was the same as yesterday for the first 10 miles then we had 5 or so miles in another direction before the big descent of 6,000 feet.

The first fifteen miles went like a dream and I was feeling good.  The descent started at mile 16 and at this point I was really pretty strong.  The descent was mainly cobbled ground with regular narrow ditches and log paths.  It was pretty uncomfortable to run on and fairly dangerous too.  As the slope progressed the paths became narrower and even more uneven.  After 3 miles of non-stop descent I had a sense of humour failure.  Any description I write won't do this hill any justice.  It was by far the worst terrain I have ever had to run on.  There was no break from the cobbles or steepness so every step was just wearing down my body and spirit.  After about 4 miles there was a checkpoint.  I asked the guy how far to go and he told me 4km.  Well, another 2 miles later I asked the same question to next checkpoint guy and he told me 6km to the finish!!!  I was seriously pissed off but a bit further down the hill the sound of a nearby river gave me hope that I was nearing the finish.  When I got to the river there was no sign of the accommodation but instead another massive hill.  The fact it was a hill and not another slope came as some relief but I was sure I'd already covered 26 miles so wasn't feeling chipper about continuing on.

2 miles or so later I reached a checkpoint which had a mile marker showing 24.9 miles.  Thank-God it was almost over.  I put my head down and pushed for the final mile dreaming of my first hot shower in 3 days.  After a mile and a half or more of steep ascent the hotel was nowhere to be seen.  After another mile, still no hotel.  If I could have got hold or Mr Pandi (the race organiser) I would have throttled him.  When I finally reached the finish line the usual bunch of Indians were there to clap me home.  I think they could tell that I wasn't very happy.  I tried to explain to one of the organisers that when I see a sign saying I only have 1.5 miles to go then I kinda expect there to be about 1.5 miles to go.  

The total run took me 8 hours and 3 hours of that was doing the descent.

Much debate (arguing) has since taken place between the competitors and Mr Pandi, but Mr Pandi is a plonker and didn't take too kindly to the criticism so basically our grievances fell on deaf ears.  His organising of this event is the most slap-dash I've ever experienced and yet he self-proclaims to be an example/teacher to many organisers planning to hold their first race.

So on to tomorrow and thankfully we only have to cover 13 miles.  The first 7 miles are downhill (joy) followed by 7 uphill.  At present I cannot walk due to a sharp pain behind my left knee and my already mentioned messed up right knee.  This is not helped by the 3 massive blisters on my feet.

To finish on a positive - it's warmer at 6,000', we have a shower with water (believe me that they don't all come with water!), proper beds and a 9am race start.


Day 2 Stage 2

posted 5 Nov 2012, 05:56 by MrTrickle Boast   [ updated 5 Nov 2012, 05:58 ]

Out of bed at 5am to see the sunrise.  From here we can see 4 of the 5 tallest peaks in the world.  The views are stunning.

After a quick breakfast we began the 2nd stage at 6.30am.  My body was hurting from the brutal day before and I wasn't confident of finishing the stage.  400m into the race and the first decline caused me great pain to my right knee.  I tried to waddle and shimmy down the slope but the pain was so sharp that I was sure I'd have to quit.  I decided to try every different type of stride I could invent and suddenly I hit jackpot.  By landing my foot, slightly to the side, without bending my knee I was able to run pain free.  Of course this has other implications on the other parts of my leg but for now it's getting me through the race.  A slight consequence is that I need to throw my hip forwards to get the right amount of extension which has raised a few eyebrows amongst the other runners.

From this point on my mental attitude changed completely and for the first time I actually believed it might be possible for me to finish this race.

The course was 10 miles out to a checkpoint and then 10 miles back.  It was described as flat but I'd describe it as seriously undulating with hills from hell.  I managed to finish in 4hrs 45mins which put me in 19th place.  Actually sounds better than it is because there were only 67 people dumb enough to sign up for this race.  But still, to finish in the top 20 was very satisfying.

Tomorrow we have the Everest Challenge Marathon which is supposed to be 26 miles but rumour has it that it's actually 33 miles.  We start here at 12,000' and finish at 6,000' which means it should be warmer with more air to breath plus we have been promised a shower and a bar!  The only worrying part of the stage is the 4 mile steep descent at the end which could play havoc with my knee.

Last night was awful.  I ended up putting on my gloves and wooly hat and even then I wasn't comfortable.  The matter was made worst because despite being too tired to read my book I wasn't tired enough to sleep and I don't think I got even 2 hours kip in total.  I'm hoping my body lets me sleep tonight because I really need the energy and spirit to get through tomorrow.   


Day 1 Stage 1 - 29th October 2012 - 24 miles - Ascent 6,000 feet

posted 5 Nov 2012, 05:56 by MrTrickle Boast

Regarded as the toughest stage of the 5 days I knew I was in for a tough time but still I managed to completely underestimate it.  We rose at 5am to catch the bus which took us up to 6,000 feet for the start of the event.  Just surviving the bus journey is a feat in itself as the bus drivers insist on driving just a few feet from the edge of the cliff edge.  We arrived in good spirits, the sun was shining bright and the locals had all come out to cheer us off.  After a quick blessing from the local religious man we set off at about 7.30am.

The first 10 miles was virtually all uphill and although seriously steep my legs felt strong and I was able to push hard.  Running up the steepest parts was too tough so for the most part it everyone was content with a fast walk.  Checkpoints came every 2 miles so water was plentiful and at every other station we had a choice of bananas, boiled potatoes with salt or biscuits.  The boiled potato became my favourite pick of the day and I was amazed how much my body accepted it.  Up until about 10 miles everything was dandy, but then we hit the steep downhill section.  My knees couldn't take the impact of running downhill (which I already knew before starting the race) and it wasn't until the pain started that I realised it was too late.  From that point on every downhill section involved me carefully placing my foot on the ground and trying my best not to use my knee.  It was so painful at times that I seriously considered calling it a day.

I struggled on for mile after mile in major discomfort.  The downhills were incredibly painful and the uphills were so, so steep that I couldn't know for certain if I had the mental strength to get to the finish.  The only part of me that seemed to be efficient today was my breathing.  Air seemed in short supply for the final 4 mile ascent but generally that was the least of my problems.

The finish line was a glorious site but not a relief.  All I could think about was the 20 miles I have to do tomorrow.  Anyway, after some hot soup and tea and a quick rest in my sleeping bag to get the blood back in my toes (it's bloody freezing up here!) I felt much better (so long as I didn't move).  We are staying in very basic accommodation.  There's no heating, the toilets are squatters and we had to wash from a bucket of hot water.  Dinner was cold and there's no bar.  Lucky I've still got some of my whiskey left which is going down rather well.  I'm currently laid in bed typing this and every time I breath I can see my condensation hence why I'm wearing 2 pairs of socks, tracksuit bottoms, 2 t-shirts plus I have my gloves and wooly hat on standby.  I'm sharing a room with 8 other blokes so am hoping that the snoring isn't too loud.

There's at least a few things to look forward to tomorrow but the 5am start isn't one of them.  Firstly we get to see the sun rise behind Mount Everest which is really what I came here for.  The second bit of good news is that the course tomorrow only has a 300' gain so basically pretty flat.  I'm just praying that I can use this stage for my knee to recover.

It's 1920.  I'm going to finish my whiskey and get some sleep.

Himalayan 100 (Part 1)

posted 5 Nov 2012, 05:15 by MrTrickle Boast

Hello.  As some of you know I'm currently running the 100 mile stage race in India and a few people requested that I keep them updated on my pain.

Wed 24th Nov - Sunday 28th Nov.  Pre-race preparations.
3 flights, umpteen bus journeys through uneven, polluted, crowded, noisy streets and finally we are ready to race.  I've just worked out that so far we have spent 27 hours on transport, most of which has been very uncomfortable.  It didn't help that some geezer (I'm assuming it was a bloke) had a smelly bottom for most of the 6 hour flight to Doha.  

On arrival in India I was shocked (mainly due to living in a naive little bubble) that Delhi is disgusting.  The noise, pollution and overcrowding are beyond belief.  You see the stuff on the news but until you see and smell it for yourself, well, I just didn't realise that people could live in such squalor.  Begging from the locals is relentless, and trying to buy something... anything... is a nightmare.  Why do these people have to bloody barter for absolutely everything!?  Just give me a price and I'll decide if I want to pay it, but oh no, first they hit you with a ridiculous price, then I have to do the trademark walk away disgusted because it's too expensive, then the shop owner chases me out and says, "How much you want to pay?", so I give him a price, he rejects it, I walk away, he negotiates, yawn, waffle, and it goes on until eventually he sells it to me at the price I would have agreed to pay him in the first place if he'd just stuck a reasonable price tag on it beforehand!  Anyway, suffice to say that I haven't had the patience to buy anything since.  Even looking at something is dangerous enough to initiate a haggle.

Anyway, I probably shouldn't have, but some poor street urchin came up to me one evening begging for money.  He must have been no more than 10 years old.  I wanted to make it a bit more challenging for him so I told him that if he could guess which hand the money was in it was his.  At this point I was trying to use some Derren Brown psychology on him (I've no idea if it worked, but) he chose wrong, so I showed him what he could have won and walked off.  But I'm not completely cold-hearted.  I told him he could have another go next week when I come back.  I'm already thinking about what Derren Brown would do.  Do I put the money in the same hand because I know he'll pick the other, or will he guess it's in the same hand therefore I need to move it.  But what if he second guesses me!?  Am I taking this too seriously!! :0)

So, I'd better mention the reason I'm here.  I'm currently in a village called Mirik (not far from Darjeeling) which is at about 4800 feet about sea level.  Tomorrow morning we set off at 5am for a 2 hour journey to 6000 feet which is where the race starts.  We will receive a blessing from some local religious guy and then we set off.  The distance to cover is 24 miles on stage 1 and we'll be climbing to 11500 feet so it's gonna be pretty tough.  The race organisation here is diabolical.  We have no heating and no hot water and today we had no water at all.  Worst of all I cannot get a pint of cider anywhere though I have found a local liquor store and managed to get my hand on some whisky.  Despite the rumours it is disappointing to learn that I'm not getting drunk quicker at high altitude but I'll have another go tomorrow at 11,000 feet.  

Right now it's 2100 local time and I need to get to sleep despite not being the slightest bit tired.  I'm not looking forward to the early start, nor the rickety, death-defying bus journey and then the 24 mile hill doesn't really seem that appealing either, so lots to look forward to!

I'll write more tomorrow.


posted 31 Aug 2012, 14:29 by MrTrickle Boast

The One Mile Court Challenge

How quick can you cover one mile on court?  The aim is to run 165 lengths of the court in the fastest time possible.  Here is the current leader board:

1. Dan Ford                      - 8 min 30 secs    - 28th Feb 2012
2. Wojtek Drankowski - 8 min 40 secs    - 28th Feb 2012
3. Geoff Woodcock       - 8 min 47 secs    - 22nd March 2012
4. Mark Elliott                - 9 min 58 secs    - 10th April 2012

1-10 of 13