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David Grosse

26 June 2022 07:45 pm (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

Wrap Up


Again a lack of blogging from me. In summary:


Thursday completed the Long March - albeit they had partially truncated it given the weather to skip the highest elevation. That knocked the KM down from 75 to 65 - but given the extra mileage done on day 1 that seemed fair! The route still took us over the back of the Southern Caucasus - hence a lot of up and down - and for me 14 hours of tough going.


Friday - was the rest day - and started in glorious sunshine. A short walk from camp and and enormous vista of the Vardzia gorge opened up. The the storms and clouds rolled in and my knackered body allowed me to sleep though much of the afternoon and night.


Saturday- a short run down the 10km switchback road into Vardzia and a finish line at the site of the cave city. Given the slowest few in the field started an hour earlier, myself and 3 others crossed the line hand in hand as the very final finishers. Beer, food, and a walk up to the cave city.


Then all done. My 10th 250 km multi day completed. Feels like a good number to finish on..

Comments: Total (1) comments

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 27 Jun 2022 08:30 am

Congratulations on another finish of a tough race. 14 hours for the Long March is a great result - and being the last cross the final finishline means you get the biggest cheer. Enjoy Georgia with your family in a more relaxed way!
David Grosse
160km in the bag.

22 June 2022 08:00 pm (GMT+04:00) Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan

Once again apologies for my lack of contact. I would have blogged yesterday – but we had a big storm = hail and rain which precluded sitting at a lap top under an awning. Day 4 done – so that’s 160km in the bag.

Yesterday was over a big mountain pass – so spectacular, but much exciting weather at camp. Today we went through a large number of Georgian villages – albeit in this area they may be Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijani. So my St Georges Cross badges may or may not have been an advantage.

I was offered sweets – accepted, and lifts – declined of course! I am also in lots of selfie photographs taken by the children as I past – not sure what they will make of that once they look back through the photos..

The start of the day was tricky – as the path was full of a special sort of mud that clings to the shoes, making them twice the size and weight. And then the hail and rain returned. Thankfully to clear later

We are staying in an old dusty village hall tonight – to try and stay  dry before tomorrows long stage. No en-suite or mini bar sadly.

Let me know if any gossip from UK. Have Derby County been taken over yet? Tomorrow is the long march = so 75km ish – I will thus not be blogging again until Friday ….fingers crossed.

Love to all

Comments: Total (5) comments

Sarah Furby

Posted On: 24 Jun 2022 06:45 pm

Hope all is well in your endeavour. Well the Lib Dems in your birth town have overturned the massive Tory majority, Tiverton is everywhere in the news. R&K pass on love. And so do we xx

Kevan Jonesd

Posted On: 22 Jun 2022 10:29 pm

David, Well done - you're doing brilliantly - especially with the weather against you. Hope you manager to push through the long day tomorrow. Looking forward to hearing about he adventure over a coffee, somewhere nice and dry and warm, let's say Starbucks! Kevan

Will Grosse

Posted On: 22 Jun 2022 07:14 pm

Don't know why the spaces between sentences disappeared on my last comment

Will Grosse

Posted On: 22 Jun 2022 07:12 pm

A quick round-up of the last few days... Football: Appleby now the frontrunner to buy Derby, though Ashley has a rival bid - both £50m; Stevenage and Hertha Berlin amongst pre-season friendlies Rugby: Baabaas 52-21 England; Schickerling, Hill and Nowell in the squad for Australia Cricket (high quality): England win the 3rd ODI by 8 wickets in Amsterdam, Roy 101* Cricket (low quality): Been told "there is a place" for my floated legspin at Shipbourne CC PMQs: Boris avoided all questions about putting his wife forward for government jobs (which he did, twice), about ending the rail strikes (because he's potentially breaking international law by bringing in agency workers), and about pay cuts for nurses (a result of his Chancellor's budget) - but he did take credit for Crossrail (approved under Gordon Brown) Love Island: All kicking off Wordle: Awful Wordle: Papua New Guinea Greenacres Garden Centre: Very sunburnt Go well tomorrow!

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 22 Jun 2022 06:23 pm

ODI…..England won by 8 wickets. Roy finally scored, 101 not out. W at Shipbourne nets as I type. Ground looked idyllic and not a rain cloud in sight. Good luck for long March. Expect you’ll have finished when reading this. Will get W to comment on any Derby news. Xxxx
David Grosse
Apologies again for my lack of shaggy dog stories

20 June 2022 08:00 pm (GMT+04:00) Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan

As you can probably see from the timings from day 1 and 2 I have been on the course for a verrrry long time.

Hence my lack of thoughtful blogging

But I am still going – day 2 done.  Camp is on top of a cold mountain with ab views and snow in the gullies.

Day 1 was “interesting” where almost all of us got lost on stage 1 – hence a 5.5 hour time to do first 10KM! Not the ideal start.

Shazz and Will – hope all well DXX – can you bring my red trainers to Georgia – and the electric razor – I think I may need a tidy up

Apologies again for my lack of shaggy dog stories……(even Georgian Shephard dog ones) – maybe tomorrow.


Comments: Total (5) comments

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 22 Jun 2022 03:52 pm

Still impressed. Another stage done and the long March now to look forward to and then a run to the finish line. All sunny here. ODI England won by 8 wickets. Roy 101 not out. Xx

Sarah Furby

Posted On: 22 Jun 2022 07:53 am

Just think the days are getting shorter from now on in 🌞👍🏻 You are a wonder, keep going D, we are thinking of you and right behind you.Sis xx

Kevan Jones

Posted On: 21 Jun 2022 08:05 pm

David, I can see you have now got day three in the bag - well done on pushing on and now it's all down hill ;-) Get some rest and I look forward to the next update. Stay strong. Kevan

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 21 Jun 2022 07:50 am

Key point on this blog is "but I am still going". At least the weather is a bit more like Kent even if the hills aren't. Hoping you don't have too many stories about shaggy shephard dogs ...

Sharon Grosse

Posted On: 20 Jun 2022 07:55 pm

Great to see that you’ve got back to camp. Hope feet aren’t too soggy. Will add items into case. Continue to take it all I. Your stride tomorrow. All love S&W
David Grosse
The Always Ultra

17 June 2022 09:50 pm (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

Many Ukrainian, EU and Georgian flags flying above Tbilisi. A clamouring to come in the front door as the UK skulks out the back. Never mind they still seem to like us, or the Premier League.

Today I have tried khachapuri (good) and ojakhuri (interesting). The waiter (Liverpool FC) asked me how the oligarchs were feeling in London. A hint of sarcasm. The restaurant was called The Alcoholic- which was either a mistranslation or an invite.

The architecture is a mix of dusty old with modernist statements. An example of the latter is The Peace Bridge, whose form “symbolises the transition from past to future”. It also looks like a huge sanitary towel, leading some to call it the Always Ultra.*

I was going to describe the city as edgy, reinforced by buskers playing Radiohead. But the sax player has just started September by Earth, Wind & Fire. So I’ll settle with eclectic.

I have checked, packed and repacked my kit for the week, and crushed salt and vinegar crisps down to a nutritious 1500 calorie powder. Now time to cut out the templates for my foot taping. Strange world.


*any genuine insights are courtesy of Tim Burford and the Bradt Georgia guide. 

Comments: Total (4) comments

Kevan Jones

Posted On: 19 Jun 2022 09:39 pm

David, That's Day 1 in the bag - well done and now you know what is ahead of you for the remaining days. Get some food / rest and dry the feet! Look forward to seeing how tomorrow unfolds. Keep smiling, stay strong. Kevan

Darren Chilcott

Posted On: 19 Jun 2022 08:32 pm

Another holiday with a bit of sponsorship thrown in ? Brilliant, I’ll support 👍😂

Darren Chilcott

Posted On: 19 Jun 2022 08:32 pm

Another holiday with a bit of sponsorship thrown in ? Brilliant, I’ll support 👍😂

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 18 Jun 2022 02:13 pm

I always love your blogs. This one as good as ever. However would never have guessed you would have managed to mention sanitary towels. Alcohol maybe. Enjoy that tasty powder. You could get good money for that the Rest Day - but I bet you can't make them last that long.
David Grosse
St George and a Dragon

17 June 2022 11:13 am (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

In Tbilisi. The trip over smooth - in retrospect.

But not at 6-15 am after my taxi had been stuck on a closed M25 for 90 mins due to a “police incident” and with my chances of catching the flight evaporating.

Suddenly the road opened- announced by a cavalcade of motorbikes and police cars on the opposite carriageway. Thanks to my taxi driver who hit the gas and the airline agent who ushered me through the queues at Heathrow.

The transfer at Düsseldorf was not a thing of Germanic precision. The flustered lady at boarding announcing the gate was B52 (the other side of the airport) and not C52 (where we were standing) - sending a group of passengers on a victory lap of the terminal. It was C52 after all.

The biggest dangers in Georgia are passive smoking and driving. Which my freewheeling transfer into town at the hands of Tony (supporter of Arsenal and Dynamo Tbilisi) confirmed.

The hotel overlooks Freedom Square. Dominated by a tall column topped by a golden St George and Dragon (hopefully an omen for an Englishman) . It replaced the inevitable statue of Lenin (on Lenin Square) . Hard not to think of what is happening to the NW over the Black Sea, given that history, and the the 2008 war by Russia on Georgia. Shadows.

Comments: Total (1) comments

Sam Fanshawe

Posted On: 17 Jun 2022 09:00 am

Glad to hear you arrived safely despite the efforts of the M25 car park. Sounds like the Germans were on your side for getting some training in and preventing any DVT on the flight. Shame you had to endure an Arsenal supporter, but now you get relax, explore, eat and enjoy!
David Grosse
Georgian Shepherd Dog

15 June 2022 09:02 pm (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

????????? (gamarjoba)

Tomorrow I fly to Tbilisi in Georgia. Fingers crossed the chaos of UK airports can be negotiated, as I am not sure back up plans will be that easy.

This event has crept up on me, and truth to tell I feel under-cooked. I am not sure ambling the fields of Kent will prepare me for the Southern Caucasus.

At least I will be wearing the St Georges Cross on my arm, which may help endear me to the Georgians if I go astray.

Just read about the Georgian shepherd dog, which is described as strong-boned, muscular, and athletic, with a large head and powerful legs, and a distrust of strangers. Great.

I am however looking forward to google not directing me to Atlanta, Georgia.      

????????? (nakhvamdis)

Comments: Total (0) comments

David Grosse
The Charity - Children's Surgical Centre Cambodia

15 June 2022 08:41 pm (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

As part of the event in Georgia, I will once again be raising funds for the Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) in Cambodia, an excellent cause – and donations can be made through this Global Giving site: https://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/csc-georgia2022-dg/ 

CSC aims to improve the quality of life for disabled Cambodian children and adults by providing free rehabilitation surgery. Integral to this mission is a program of training local surgeons and health workers, focusing on the development of sustainable health services. More in: http://csc.org/ 

Funding is especially required to help with a new facility that will allow CSC to continue providing surgical assistance to Cambodia's most vulnerable populations at no charge, whilst empowering the next generation of Cambodian healthcare professionals to lead complex reconstructive surgery. 

Many Thanks

Comments: Total (2) comments

Sarah Furby

Posted On: 16 Jun 2022 09:23 pm

Of course you have Georgia 🇬🇪 on your mind, so do we now as we think of you in that culturally rich and varied land… hope you get to hear some sweet plain song singing sometime. Good luck and much love Sis xx PS Grant is doing everything possible to aid your flight (NOT!!)

Dad Grosse

Posted On: 16 Jun 2022 02:13 pm

I have Georgia on my mind.I don't knowwhereyou get it from!Eve reckoned you looked very fit in your t shirt last time you called....no worries there then,
David Grosse
Old Sweets and Song

04 June 2022 11:31 am (GMT+08:00) Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Urumqi

Georgia (Georgia)

I am determined to complete this series of blogs without making the obvious reference to Having Georgia on My Mind. 

Heading east across the Black Sea may not seem the most sensible thing to be doing at this time. Not least because my training has been scant.

Hopefully I will be able to last the whole day through (the whole day through).

Sustained by calories and tunes on the ipod. Just old sweets & song.

I am also hoping that the concept of muscle memory can be triggered by keeping Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind) 

Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through (the whole day through)
Just old sweets & song
Keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind)


Comments: Total (3) comments

Mark Houghton

Posted On: 16 Jun 2022 11:46 am

Hi David, to keep the Georgia on your mind theme going, I hope you finish your days of running before you see - moonlight through the pines. I have to say if I had agreed to do the event I would have booked via Manchester airport. Good luck and best wishes, Mark

Kevan Jones

Posted On: 15 Jun 2022 06:29 pm

David, I can see this is going to be a race to remember. You said Georgia Georgia So long to run (so long to run) Fun with sweat and tears As you tick off the miles

Mary Gadams

Posted On: 06 Jun 2022 10:52 pm

Hi David, you will always have Georgia on your mind, it's beautiful with so much culture. Good luck with your final preparations, see you soon. Mary