The perils of pavement pounding have forced me in recent times to take to the trail.  Armed with my anti chafe cream sachets and a supply of jelly babies I can run for miles.  And what a perfect time of year to run through the quiet, undisturbed woodland of North Yorkshire resplendent in full Autumn glory, basked in the warm afternoon sun, alone with my thoughts and… the swarms of gnat type flies and big fat blue bottles that greet me at every turn joined by the occasional ‘drunk’ wasp giddy from end of season celebrations.   I’m now coming to terms with a new type of runner’s hazard – insect eating and wasp attacks but I found by accident that my anti chafe cream relieves my wasp stings too!

Concerned by the amount of anthropodian matter I’ve been consuming I did begin to wonder whether it might do me some harm and after a little desk top  and many conversations with fellow fly eating  friends I now consider myself an expert on the subject.

Well what have I learned… and generally speaking (there will always be exceptions so do consult with your GP if you anticipate a mass feeding frenzy) it won’t do you any harm.   The body will successfully digest most insects this includes spiders, gnats and flies; most small winged things that you are likely to encounter on a run.   An important exception, of course, is the stinging biting varieties, to be avoided at all costs as a sting in the mouth/throat area may mean that you’re running, breathing, living days could be over for ever.  Now wasp stings, this is where the small sachet of Grizzly Active anti chafe cream comes into its own.  Not only does it help with the running chafing but from experience it helps with stings and we’re told it’s great for soothing wasp and horse fly stings.

Back to fly eating and some good news, they won’t make you fat.  They have zero calorific value (unless you eat a bucket load) and don’t believe Bear Grylls, they have little nutritional value so stick to the energy bars.  But they are nevertheless a pest.  If you’re not quick to spit and the gargling, gagging, choking takes a hold you are likely to attract the services of a well-meaning first aider and the run is ruined.

So my limited advice is thus… 1.  Perfect your technique and practise spitting in private.   2. Try not to run with your mouth open it’s really not very attractive. 3. And if it really can’t be avoided, be selective, opt for the small skinny ones which are much less trouble than the big fat juicy ones and keep a sports bottle of water to hand, it aids digestion!

Oh and don’t forget the Grizzly Active anti-chafe and sting cream supreme – you might just need it.

Now that reminds me of a tale there was a Grizzly Active runner who swallowed a fly, she swallowed a fly we don’t know why -perhaps she’ll die? I now know that not to be true!

The reluctant runner