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Just a little Horse


Big Running Weekend.  Sunday AM.  Accelerate Red Route, led by ATR (Accelerate Trail Runners)’s Jon Osborne and attended by, among others one Angus McKendrick from Silva.

Angus on the right in the red

Mid run – and Angus sides up to me with a delicate tone.  “You’ve got a very distinctive running style Chris”, is what he starts with….

So far, so flattered.  As I’m expecting him to comment upon my natural upright posture, fast feet, high cadence..

My feet are always a blur, partly thanks to my shorter than average legs doing three steps to everyone else’s two.

But he continues..

“I’ll tell you what it reminds me of – – – – now, please don’t take offence until I’ve explained myself…”

Go on…

“My Girlfriend and I went to Iceland recently”.

“We took in a stand up act entitled ‘How to become Icelandic in 60minutes’”.

“He describes the ICELANDIC HORSE and its unique gait”

I’m now gripped, so far not offended in the slightest, as I’ve been to Iceland, love it, completed 2 successive Laugavegur Iceland Ultras, finishing 1st Brit and PBing by over an hour in 2009…

But it’s about to land….

“These short horses, more like Ponies, have a style where they move their feet very quickly and appear to be covering ground very smoothly.  Their rider appears to be gliding along, with the Horse/Pony wheeling away like crazy underneath”

“And they call this extra movement pattern, unique to this breed in Icelend, the ‘Tolt’.

“You Tolt”



Still not offended…

1st Brit – Laugavegur Ultra 2009

Perhaps I ought to be, but it did almost sound as if I’d been complimented on my running style…

At least I think so.

Regardless – I have of course mentioned this conversation to others.  Checked out the existence of such a creature, which until Mr. McKendrick piped up, despite having spent multiple trips in Iceland, I’d never heard of.  And it is of course true.  It exists.  And I do (it seems) indeed ‘Tolt’.

Icelandic Horse

Watch this space 2018….

Hashtag Tolt.

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