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Fetcheveryone Member of the Month

Each winner receives a £100 ADVANCE PERFORMANCE voucher



Interview with ITG 🇮🇸

Mandymoo asks: Yay well done ITG, worthy winner. You run in some stunning scenery, but where is your favorite/ideal run?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: I love to hike and run at Ásbyrgi which is a fantastic canyon at the mouth of the Jökulsá river. It’s an incredible place with a vast array of landscapes. It’s about 2 hours drive away so I don’t go nearly often enough.
Helegant asks: Congratulations. You've posted photos of some wonderful runs. What is left on your bucket list?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: The aforementioned 32km Jökulsárhlaup. Otherwise, I’m not sure. I’ve plenty fantasies but I’m not serious enough about them.
westmoors asks: Congratulations ITG. If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Like many other fetchies who’ve lost someone, I’d love to see my dad and ask him why he never told us he was ill. I know the answer but I need him to say it so I can tell him I forgive him.

As for famous folks, I’d like to say Ruth Bader Ginsburgh to show off how clever I am. I reckon we would sort the world out over a few G&Ts. But in all honesty, anyone, anyone at all? George Michael. We’d get high and gossip. He’d be a hoot.
DrPhleecingD asks: Congrats, ITG! I’m lucky enough to have your real life sticker :) What is your favourite ever race?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: That would the Jökulsárhlaup which ends at Ásbyrgi. I’ve only run it once – the 13km trail run – but I need to go back and take the 21km and the 32km
Mushroom asks: Congratulations. If you could only choose one more race, ever, would you choose your favourite, or one you've never done before and, if so, which?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Assuming I had infinite time, money, dedication and natural talent, I’d want to get the most bang for my buck, so it would definitely be an Ironman! Probably Hawaii, since I was meant to go there in 2019 but my husband got sick and I had to cancel at short notice. I’m still bitter.

My problem with tri is I’m not all that good at cycling. I like pottering along on my own but I really don’t like racing on the bike – and 180km is a very long way if you’re not enjoying yourself. But the feeling of having competed an Ironman must be incredible. I’d never have to get out of bed again and could dine out on that forever!
RRR-CAZ 🇬🇧 asks: Yay well done ITG. If you were given a golden ticket to any sports event what would you choose to go and watch ?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: I’m gonna go back in time to 8th February 2004: Roma 4 – 0 Juventus at Stadio Olympico. Dream team of Totti, Cassano, Mancini, Panucci, Samuel, Emerson, Chivu, Dacourt and even a young De Rossi as sub. The inimitable Collina reffed. Pelizzoli saved a Trezeguet penalty.

Since it’s a golden ticket, I’m expecting full hospitality and hanging out with the WAGs for some Italian style tips.

Second best would be Wembley 1967: when Scotland won the World Cup.

England 2 - 3 Scotland.

Looking forward, I’d like to take the boys to see Scotland, Italy or Iceland in the Euros or World Cup, men’s or women’s.
Steve NordRunner asks: What's your opinion of plunges in icy water, thermal pools or mud baths?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Icy water: madness

Thermal pools: grand if they are monitored but don’t just jump in a random hot pool on the side of the road or you might die

Mud baths: filthy business
Raggedy runner asks: Congrats! You seem to be attracted to cold places and I love the photos you post. Is cold-weather running the way forward or would you ever enter a race somewhere hot?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: “Attracted to cold places” would suggest it is an active choice; it’s more coincidental than that. But I do struggle if it gets about 15C. I have run in Italy which is “hot” by my standards. It has not always gone well, with my only ever DNF owing to heatstroke in Chiavari (see answer to Yumee). I can’t see myself running somewhere proper-hot though.
MisterTea asks: Congratulations ITG. I think you're the only person who's ever been rude to me on Fetch. Your photos include a lot of snow - what's the deepest snow you've ever experienced, and the deepest snow you've ever run through.

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Sorry for being rude, MT! I’m glad I didn’t scare you off fetch, though, and the fact that I am the ONLY one who has been rude, tells you just what a lovely, friendly, warm and supportive community Fetch is. [not a bad recovery, eh?]

It’s not really possible to run through snow once it gets much more than ankle height so maybe 12cm? But sometimes I’ll get trapped on a run (or trying to get a WSW square) which means wading up to thigh deep. I walk to work in knee-deep snow probably a couple of times a year.

When I was pregnant with DS15, I had to go to the hospital for an emergency scan on Christmas morning. There was no chance our Renault Clio was going anywhere in the deep snow, so there was nothing for it but to hike. It was well over our knees, and as it was a holiday, there was had been no ploughs out and very few jeeps yet to flatten it on the roads. I really could have done with a donkey!
FlyingScotsman asks: Congratulations ITG. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: I’ve thought about this and while there are loads of places I would love to live for a few months, I keep coming back to Akureyri. I love my town. I’ve had opportunities that would have been very good for me professionally and I’m not saying I would never move on once the kids are out the house but I suspect I will keep wanting to come back here.

Having said that, I do fantasise about returning to live in Scotland but I know my memories are rose-tinted by time and distance.
chunkywizard asks: Congrats, well deserved. 2 questions if I may. Firstly, if you were interviewing yourself for the podcast, what question would you ask? And secondly, what 3 things doesn't your average Fetchie know about you?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Chunky, I think that is 4 questions!

3 things… this sounds like the game from Jane Austen’s Emma and my challenge is to restrain myself to only three things, very dull indeed.

1) I learned the Highland Fling on the streets of Turkey when I was 14 during a folk music festival.

2) Aged 20, I was on an Erasmus summer course in Brittany and wooed a handsome young Italian with my Highland Fling skills.

3 At 22, I applied for doctoral studies not because I was a dedicated student or was fascinated by a research topic but because I needed a visa and scholarship to live in Canada with said Italian (now my husband for 20 years).

So two of those 1million+ Erasmus babies are ours.

A question: How about: if you had to choose between your kids or your cats, which would it be?

More seriously: If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be? I think about this a lot, probably since Stephen Fry wrote that letter to his childhood self. My answer would be this:

You are different. It is ok to be different. School is a very small part of the world. Stop trying to fit in, stop worrying what other people think about you. Keep your head down and just get on with it; don’t be afraid to do the things that you like, not the things you believe that teenage girls are expected to like, and when you get out, you will find your niche. You will find a place where the things that make you different are valued and you will thrive.

And also: those are migraines and you don’t have to have them. Go to the doctor and ask for the mini-pill. Honestly! 25 years of migraines! Literally hundreds of them that I didn’t need to have!
Serendippily asks: Congratulations ITG when is your favourite time to listen to a podcast?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: First run after it comes out. That will usually be late afternoon on the Monday but can be as late as Wednesday as Tuesday is normally cross-training day. I do a little jig at my desk as soon as the notification comes through that it is ready.
TeeBee asks: This is most excellent news, ITG. I'd like to know how you first came across the site Fetcheveryone.com

ITG 🇮🇸 says: I hadn’t been running for that long and was reading an article in the Guardian about running websites and I checked it out. Hooked ever since. I think my first post was asking about Biscuit Browns to prevent uncomfortable, ahem, impulses while running.
Pothunter asks: Congratulations! How did you end up in Iceland?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Short version: OH finished his PhD in 2002 and I was finishing mine (due 2003). We were in England for a year at Herstmonceux Castle where he had his first job. He was applying for everything. I was applying for nothing because I couldn’t see past the doctorate. He was offered tenure track in Barbados and they were keen to offer me something too once I graduated. The University of the West Indies law school is in Barbados and I was in human rights law so there would have been plenty work to do. This is not to say the West Indies has particularly bad human rights problems - all countries have human rights problems, including Iceland - but it would have been a very different career. Meanwhile, a new faculty of law and social science was opening in North Iceland and the Dean was someone who had taught us both. He suggested we apply for one-year contracts. We did, we got them, and never looked back. Hence human rights law became Polar law became Indigenous Peoples and decolonisation rather than death penalty and poverty cases.
Sushi. asks: Congratulations ITG. If you could ask anyone at all, dead or alive, to interview you for the podcast, who would you choose?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: The day the award was announced, Corrah stepped up for the interview and I couldn’t ask for better! As for celebrities, apart from George Michael? I’m quite combative so Laura Kuenssberg.
Columba asks: Many congratulations ITG. How is your study of Greenlandic coming along?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Qujanaq! ITGmik ateqarpunga. Islandimeersuuvunga. Maanna Akureyrimmi najugaqarpunga. Qasuvunga. Kissaatigaara kaffi.

That’s more or less all I know after 4 months and I had to look most of that up! It is very, very difficult for someone with a European language basis and it doesn’t help that I am locked out of Greenland and cannot try it out.
LindsD asks: Congratulations, and well-deserved. How many languages are spoken in your house? And which ones are best for swearing in?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Three regularly: Italian, English and Icelandic in that order of frequency.

Italian is definitely best for swearing; there are also loads of dialects with their own words that gives a rich variation for different contexts. The word for penis in Sicilian is so rude that even I won’t say it; the Genovese variant is so mild that it has even passed the lips of my prim MIL.

Icelandic is short on swear words. They didn’t hang around to insult one another; they just got on with axing each other through the head.
minardi asks: Congratulations and well done on those excellent podcast interviews. What would be your ideal holiday?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: I think I might already have had it. We went on a family cruise in 2019 with OH’s parents around the Adriatic (Italy, Greece, Croatia, Albania). I invited my parents too but my dad did not want to come. It was wonderful to have a full holiday – everything done for us and nothing to think about except eating, drinking, relaxing and visiting new cities.

I did chat with my friends (two couples both married in 2001, like us) about going a 20th anniversary cruise together this year but that obviously isn’t happening.

Oh and OH still owes me a trip to Hawaii! (see my answer to Mushroom)
Yumee asks: Congratulations ITG :-) You've had some tough times in the last year or so, and though it hasn't been easy you've come across as someone who has a depth of resilience. When you hit the wall on runs, what gets you through?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Oooh, there’s a lot packed in there:

On a training run, I’ll keep in mind my target race. (When I don’t have a target race, I’m unlikely to run far enough to hit the wall.)
In a race, I trick myself with the fallacy of the sunk cost: I remind myself how hard I worked to get there, how many blizzards I ran through, how many days I forced myself out when I CBAd, how many hours I pounded the streets, how hard I worked to recover from a slipped risk, and how much money I spent on kit and travel and race fees.

I had one DNF at a half marathon in Chiavari. The race started about 5pm but it was still very hot and humid and I got heatstroke about 5k in. I didn’t know what to do and got very confused very quickly, so all I could think of to do was to pull out. An hour later, I was eating pizza and watching the runners coming in and I felt really sorry for myself. If I’d just slowed down, got some water, walked a little, I could have got back on track. So determination not to feel like that again also helps. I learned to adjust my expectations based on conditions – both before a race and during it. But there haven’t been a lot of races since then because I slipped a disc shortly afterwards and then Covid came along.

Now resilience… well, there is a word with which I have a complex relationship! I probably am quite resilient, but no more than most mums managing growing teens, aging parents and a full-time job. We’re the last resort. When things are good or even just fine, it’s ok. Everyone chips in and gets through the day. But when things get tough, it falls on our shoulders. I’d like not to have to be resilient. I’d like to hide under the blanket for a few days and let someone take care of me for a change. Maybe that’s why the cruise was such a great vacation! (see answer to Minardi). When I had my second child, I had post-natal depression and I used to fantasise about being hit by a car and breaking a leg so I could stay in hospital for a few days just to get away from them all. I think that’s a pretty common fantasy for mums! But it really shouldn’t be!

So resilience, eh? Not sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be.
Night-owl asks: Congratulations As for scenery where would you prefer to live and runs the beach, mountains or somewhere else

ITG 🇮🇸 says: For running, definitely the beach because I’m rubbish at hills! I also love the sea and would really miss it if I had to live far from the open ocean. But for cycling, it would be the mountains, as long as there was a good asphalt road. None of that mountain-bike, mud, puddles, jumps and falling off for me.
northernslowcoach asks: Many congratulations ITG, for the 700ers: please can you read out the shipping forecast as provided by the met office here metoffice.gov.uk ? (I suppose some truncation may be permitted if time is tight

ITG 🇮🇸 says: I'll leave that one for the podcast!
Lip Gloss asks: Congratulations on your win. If you were stranded on a desert island what the one thing you like to have with you?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: my bed. easy question!
Carpathius asks: Yay, congratulations! I see Bint hasn't asked her question, so I will ask it for her. You are stranded on a desert island. You are allowed one Fetchie, one household implement and one type of cake. What and who do you choose and why?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Fetchie: I’d go for one of the mad endurance runners like Bint or Wallman as I reckon they’d know a thing or two about survival in the elements.

Implement: if my bed doesn’t count as an implement, I’d take my slow cooker. I don’t fancy raw rabbit or fish but with my slow-cooker, I can whip up a soup with whatever my endurance runner brings back.

Cake: Cheesecake. A good, fruity one – maybe raspberry or fruits of the forest. Counts as one of my five a day, too.
um asks: After your advice on terns, you ruined it with munching puffins. How often do you eat puffins? Do you need one each, or carve it like a chicken for family dinner?

(congrats as well!)


ITG 🇮🇸 says: Gotta love a puffin but they are quite hard to come by. You cannot exactly buy them in the supermarket and to hunt them, you have to abseil down a cliff. I’ve only ever eaten them in restaurants but the local restaurant where I used to have them got taken over and went touristy – tiny portions, huge prices – so it’s probably been a couple of years since I’ve had it now.

They are really small, so you need a whole breast and then some. At the aforementioned restaurant they were served with a bit of goose and various sauces, veggies and potatoes. But like I say, restaurant has gone rubbish so they’ll probably charge me 50 quid for just the breast these days.

For the connoisseurs, the meat is quite dark, a bit oily and faintly fishy.
Ness asks: Congratulations, ITG. A well deserved winner of MOTM. Do you have any tips for cold weather running? I struggle with pace but am not sure why so any advice would be appreciated! Thanks! :)

ITG 🇮🇸 says: First of all, ignore your pace! You’re never going to run as fast in the cold. There is surely some science behind this that some clever fetchie can explain. If there is snow or ice, then you have the friction against you but even if it is clear, you just run slower. Run to effort – it’s only ever going to be a couple of days of proper cold in the UK anyway – and pat yourself on the back for getting out. And layers and pockets. Two pairs of gloves and ideally a jacket or sweater with those extra-long sleeves you can pull down over your thumbs. Buff round neck, buff round head, maybe a woolly hat as well. And hence the pockets, for stuffing things as (if) you gradually warm up a bit. Glasses are good when it is snowing heavily; otherwise, the snowflakes half-blind you.
Sombrero asks: Well done ITG, I was forced to vote for you due to pressure from a kitten but I would have voted for you anyway. My question is this - if you had to get a tattoo of an animal on one of your buttocks, what animal would you get and why?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Aw, those kitties are irresistible.

I’m not a huge fan of tattoos – each to their own but they are not for me. I’m also a bit fainty around needles. So I’d go for a single-cell organism. One jab, I pass out, it’s all over, and on the rare occasion that some poor bugger is exposed to the site of my bare arse, it would look like a freckle.
HappyG(rrr) asks: Well done ITG super star Fetchie. Love your accent so hope someone records your MotM interview with you for the podcast . My question is what do you think is/are best thing(s) about Fetcheveryone.com? Congrats again. :-) G

ITG 🇮🇸 says: The standard answer is “FETCHIES” of course but to be more precise, the culture. Many sports clubs, online and in person, are elitist, cliquey or focused on money-making. The new or slower members are ignored until it is time to pay the membership or race fees to subsidise the fast athletes’ jollies and prizes. Fetch is the absolute reverse: it doesn’t matter how fast you are or how much money you have. Everyone is welcome. The fetchband epitomises this spirit of inclusion.

But if you are in need of some mild abuse, check out the misanthropes’ thread.
halfpint asks: Congratulations! Amazed you haven’t won this already. Due to a glitch in the system you have to live forever in one fetch thread. Which would you choose?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: 700 miles, but only if I can put it on mute when they talk too much!
Corrah asks: Many congratulations on the win. Question I was going to ask has already been asked so out of the languages you speak which is your favourite?

ITG 🇮🇸 says: Probably Italian. See swearing (answer to LindsD).
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