All I Want For Christmas Is Strava King of the Mountain (Andrew)

The Christmas number one is the most coveted chart position every year. Everyone wants to know who will be number one on Christmas Day. This year, in America, the Christmas number one battle saw Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You finally reach the summit 25 years after it was first released. (It had previously stalled at number two).

But, over on this side of the Atlantic, the UK celebrated as another person reached the summit in first place many years after first trying to get there.

Yes, forget about the pop charts, and check out the Strava charts as I finally, finally, finally conquered the War Memorial segment on Strava to become the fastest person in the world to climb Stornoway’s highest spot. You can read about my challenge here.

It almost didn’t happen. First, when Iain checked the Top 10 it turned out that another competitor had secretly conquered the top spot just three weeks before. No longer was Florent Schaal my nemesis – read about our imagined rivalry here – nor was Iain – read about his cheating ways here – instead a new man, Michael, had sneaked in under the radar and stolen the top spot. I needed to not only run faster than Florent, but also Iain and now, Michael.

I was planning to attempt a run on Boxing Day but, when we went out yesterday morning, Iain wanted to give it a go. I wasn’t up for it. I felt tired and was only wanting an easy run around the Castle Grounds. But, after he said to give it a go, I thought it would be good practice for the ‘real’ attempt later in the week.

There was no wind, so I thought this run would be slower. How was I meant to run fast if I didn’t have a helping push? So, I tried running fast, but not necessarily as fast as I could. This was just a practice anyway.

I didn’t even check the time when I got home. I thought there was no point as it would only show how much faster I would need to go.

But, when I did, all I can say is…

HAIL TO THE KING, BABY!

Why I switched off Strava kudos (Iain)

Strava is a great tool. It allows me to see how far, how fast and how often I swim, bike or run.

I have data going back years on it. I can see just how much or how little progress I’ve made.

BUT there’s one thing about it that I hate – Kudos!

I don’t want kudos because its mostly undeserved. For example, last week, I played squash. I lost 5-0.

So far this year I’ve lost every squash match that I’ve played. I recieved Kudos for every loss. I don’t deserve kudos! I deserve a stern talking too and a final warning about my performance.

Once, due to a mistake with my GPS watch, I uploaded a swim of one length of a 25m pool, I got Kudos for it! I shouldn’t have got Kudos I should have got a call asking if I was ok? Asking why I hadn’t swam back? Nobody does just one length of a pool unless they’ve gone to a pool party at Michael Barrymore’s house.

Its like the Great British Bake-off. In earlier seasons Paul Hollywood would rarely give his “Hollywood handshake” of congratulations to a contestant but during last years season he was giving one to everyone.


Does your cake has a soggy bottom? Don’t worry about it. Have a handshake.

Is your scones so hard enough you could sink the titanic with it?
Don’t worry about it. Have a handshake.

Have you lost both your arms in tragic bread mixing accident?
Yes? Don’t worry about it. Have a handshake…actually probably not in this case considering they are arm-less but you get the idea.

Once it becomes routine to get a handshake/kudos then it becomes meaningless. Kudos should be about achievement not failure.

So I’ve switched off Kudos alerts and I’m happier for doing so. I can now concentrate on getting true kudos – a win at squash.