500 dinars per 500 metres

500 dinars per 500 metres

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Whilst I may not have the time to organise events at the moment, I decided I should still try to raise money for bowel cancer charities.

With 2 races, in Serbia, coming up I therefore set a challenge to raise money related to them:
Palić half marathon – 21 km – 5 March 2016
Belgrade marathon – 42 km – 16 April 2016

Total distance ~ 63 km (to nearest km!)

So I set a target of raising 63.000 dinars (~€510  / ~£400) by asking people to donate 500 dinars (in total, not per 500 m!!) which would cover 500 metres of these races. Therefore if 126 people donate I would raise the target amount.

All monies raised will be split 50/50 between the Serbian colon cancer charity and EuropaColon (who work across Europe, including Serbia).

serb-charity  EuropaColon

2 days after launching this initiative (last Thursday, 4 February, which was World Cancer Day) I had received pledges covering the Palić half marathon race, i.e. 21.000 dinars 🙂

21.000 raised already!

Now I’m looking for donations to cover the 42 km of the Belgrade marathon.
If you can help please send me a message, or email me neil4bc@gmail.com.

Thank you 🙂

Neil4BC Logo

 

 

Life, and running goes on…

It’s 2016, and I haven’t updated this blog for quite a while, so here’s an update…

After the fun of the Ring O’Fire I took a break from running, and then I took a break from Facebook for a  couple of months, and in doing so I really took a break from society. Work continued, as did family life, but what with all the running, the charity activities and the post-cancer life I needed a break from things. I achieved so much last year, in terms of my fitness through running and enjoyment of the races, but also in terms of the money raised for charity with the help and support of so many people. This was all part of my personal recovery from the previous year in hospital.

Then during the Christmas break I decided I needed to start running again as I was missing it, and so with heavy snow on the ground I ran through the local forest on January 3 (having run there the day before with no snow). After a just over an hour long run I returned home to be asked by my wife how many other runners I had seen on this popular route. “None” I said, “That’s because they’ve more sense when its sub-zero with a strong wind, and there is thick snow on the ground” she replied! It was great to be out running and as I enjoyed it I went out a few more times that week, e.g. Snow Run 2.

However, for me to continue to run I need targets, many people don’t but I need to have something to aim for, so I signed up for four races, 2 half-marathons and 2 marathons; well if you are going to have targets make them achievable but tough!

The first race will be in Palić on 5 March:

Palic polumaraton

The second race is the Belgrade Marathon. I ran the half-marathon in 2007, and both want to try the whole marathon as well as support a friend who wants to run her first marathon.

bgmaraton-logoBelgrade Marathon route

As I plan to be back in England this summer for a proper holiday (not the fleeting 3 day for an event visits I had last year) two races appealed to me. The first is a tough half-marathon around Bath on 24 July:

bath-hm1

and the second the Gloucester Marathon on 7 August. Back in my home city I will benefit from having family and friends there to support me.

Gloucester Marathon route

Gloucestere Marathon finisher t-shirts

The charity work, using the neil4bc/Charity Runner Neil I have now put on hold, though it could be revived. I have a new role as Chairman of the British Society of Serbia (BSS), within which we will be having our own charity events as well as supporting and promoting other charity events. One such event, organised by the Belgrade Lions Club is on this Sunday (31 January), a Burns Night event. So there is still a lot going on involving charities, just not with myself being the focal point. I do only have one running vest though, from Bowel Cancer UK so, weather permitting (it rained at the Belgrade Marathon and Palić half-marathon last year) then I will be visibly wearing it.

And that’s the update thus far…thanks for reading 🙂

Ring O’ Fire adventure

Ring O’ Fire adventure

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View from the start

I survived the Ring O’ Fire ultramarathon; I didn’t complete it but I did survive it 🙂

After all the training I lasted for 6 hours and 40 km, but just getting to the start line turned out to be a major adventure in itself.

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My timings – CP = Checkpoint

The race started on Friday at 13:00, with my plan being to fly over on Thursday morning from Belgrade, and catch the direct train from London Euston station to arrive in Holyhead at 21:00, have a good sleep and be ready to run the next day. Well things didn’t quiet go that way, with so many things going wrong from Wednesday evening…

The evening before my flight I went to for a massage, and with my physiotherapist being away on holiday the masseuse said she would put some kinesio tape on my knees and back to hold me together. When I turned up she said she didn’t have any tape, but after massaging my back also said I really needed it. So then she frantically rang around other physiotherapists she knew, she, and her next client found me one on the other side of the city centre who would stay open until I got to him (it was after 20:00 by this time). So I went off to him, and he taped me up almost the same as my regular physiotherapist but as he wasn’t used to me it was never going to be the same.

So Thursday morning I was ready, bags packed, waiting for the taxi driver to take me to the airport. We get to the airport on time and then the Air Serbia checkout people tell me that as I hadn’t reserved a seat I had the choice of going to London via Athens, or having a refund. For the first time ever that I have flown with Air Serbia the flight was full, not only full but they had taken the money from more customers than they had seats in the plane. This was normal business practice they assured me, and basically I could take it or leave it as they had decided that I (and a few others) weren’t going to get a seat on the plane, even though I had bought a ticket a few months before. Air Serbia won’t be in my Top Business list that is for sure. Having checked online there was a later train from Euston, but only to Birmingham, with a 4 hour wait until the 05:30 train to Holyhead so in theory I could still get to the start line of the Ring O’ Fire. I also had to pay for another train ticket, but they weren’t interested in that either.

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Welcome to Greece!!

So first time ever to Greece, totally the wrong direction, but it was clear from the mentality of the Air Serbia staff that it was either that or get a refund; they couldn’t care less. Had 4 hours sat in Athens airport before getting a British Airways (BA) flight to Heathrow. Serbia is one of a tiny minority of countries that BA don’t fly to (they used to), and only having mainly flown with Air Serbia over the past few years it was good to enjoy a much higher standard of plane/staff/flight, even if I was not really happy to be there in the first place.

Arrived in Heathrow, just had time to get the Heathrow Express, and the tube to Euston in time to get the train to Birmingham. Arrived at 01:30, less than 12 hours before the race started, and not having had any sleep yet. Birmingham New Street station is having a major refit, so as I got off the train the announcer said the station was now closing so all passengers must leave the station. So what do you do in Birmingham on a Friday morning from 01:30 until your next train at 05:30? I went around the corner to the Britannia hotel thinking I could get a few hours sleep at least. The sign said £47 for a single, but the manager hiding in his office told the receptionist to say to me it would be £140 for 3 hours; needless to say the room stayed empty and wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone. The 24-hour Starbucks Birmingham New Street was the only place along the high street open, so I went in and stayed there for 3 hours. The friendly staff were great, and given I wasn’t a drunk or party-goer they were more than happy to just let me stay and have the occasional coffee (would recommend this place if you are in Birmingham).

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Finally in Holyhead

Caught the 05:30 train and arrived at Holyhead, on Anglesey, at 08:30. No sleep (managed about a hour in total on the final train journey) for 26 hours now and my first ultramarathon was just a few hours away! I had sent Dave the owner of the Beach Hut Guest House a message so he knew not to expect me for the night, but he was ready to give make me breakfast and to let me use a room to have a shower/get ready, so I did get a decent full English breakfast on Friday.

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Beach Hut Guest House – recommended place to stay

Fortunately, another runner was staying at same guest house and he gave me a lift to the start area in the Breakwater National Park. Welcomes all round from the organisers, volunteers, and also from the other runners; they all made me feel a part of the event and that it was so worth the hassle of getting there. Much more of a close, friendly run than one gets at major city runs. Most people had seen each other at different events and so there was a great atmosphere at and around the start of the race. But it was chilly, with a strong breeze coming off the Irish sea. The daunting Holyhead Mountain was in front of us, this being the final part of the race, so if you survive for 134 miles/215 km you have this to look forward to in the last mile to get to the finish line!

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View at the entrance to Breakwater Country Park

After a briefing by Bing, my GPS tracker attached to my backpack that contained my emergency blanket, first aid kit, survival whistle, maps, and compass, the adrenaline of starting my first ultramarathon was over-riding the tiredness I felt.

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At the start line – bit chilly

And at 13:00 we were off, and at 13:01 just over 100 of us came to the first wooden kissing gate and had to wait one by one to get through, and the same happened at around 13:03, but then we were all on our way. We ran along the coastal path. The first few kilometres this also took us around Holyhead, and plenty of bemused looks from locals and tourists (along with welcoming remarks and clapping). Then across bridge, turned left and were very soon onto the rocky cove. This is where the fun really started…

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One of many coves – tide starting to come in

Try running for a kilometre or more across a very large pebble cove, with the tide coming in, and into what felt like a gale force cold wind; exhilarating, but cold. Then it was across farmer’s fields and up and down hills. At the first checkpoint, around 9.5 miles/15 km from the start my body felt good, but I was still cold, and getting colder. At the second checkpoint (~16.5 miles/26 km) I was the same, enjoying the race but getting colder and colder. Things were also getting tougher as the hills were becoming much bigger and much steeper, so it was very much a run when you can, and walk up the hills time. Given I was getting colder all the time, every time I stopped to walk up a hill it was becoming harder to start again as my legs muscles tightened up. The winds whilst running along the cliff tops were strong, but they became extremely strong when running across several more pebble beaches. At around 30 km I went through a stile to find a few hundred cows looking up wondering what on earth I was doing there. Trying to get through them was amusing.

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Great views

I reached the penultimate checkpoint (25 miles/40 km at just before 19:00) on Day 1 and was shivering. Given that the final 10.4 miles/16.5 km would take me into the night and I wasn’t running with anyone I decided that enough was enough. Getting hypothermia and being lost somewhere with vehicles unable to get to you I just decided was not worth the risk (the ambulance was called out for one runner suffering from hypothermia during the race). The team at the checkpoint were great, they found me a blanket and some tea, and then got my emergency blanket from my bag. Thanks to Toby who drove me to the Amlwch Leisure Centre, the final stop for the day, and made sure I was OK. As we hadn’t removed the tracker (or even thought about it) my speed over the stage must have seemed fantastic for those tracking me live!

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My Ring O’ Fire race – dark blue line is height, spot the hills!

At the Leisure Centre, those involved with the race (organisers and volunteers) were very helpful. The few (fastest) runners who were back all understood where I was coming from and the leisure centre staff were helpful with meals, directions. I had a cool shower, and managed to get myself onto a massage table where the masseuse got my legs working again. At this point, around 20:00 I had not had any sleep for around 38 hours and whilst I was no longer freezing I was a bit exhausted. As I was out of the race the thought of a 05:00 wake-up call the next morning was not appealing so I looked to other options. The Leisure Centre staff first tried a taxi as the best option would be to return to Holyhead, but even they were amazed that it would cost £50. Eventually I walked into Amlwch’s town centre and found a quiet room at the Dinorben Arms hotel, and crashed out there. Thanks to the Scottish taxi driver who drove me back to the Leisure Centre to get my gear and back to the hotel then charged me half of what the meter said I owed him, think it was out of pity for what I had been up to that day!

After a very good English breakfast the next morning, Saturday, I left Amlwch and caught the bus to Holyhead, only £3.50 (bit cheaper than a taxi!) I spent the day wandering around Holyhead, and watching England beat Ireland at rugby, and then Wales beat Italy. As the Beach Hut Guest House was fully booked I had to find another place, and as it was close-by I found a room at the Stanley Arms pub, and after eating there went off to bed.

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Stanley Arms – jumped over gates to get breakfast!

Woke up Sunday morning and when I went downstairs found that everything was still all locked up. This was 08:00 and as it was a Sunday I thought that maybe they just started late, however when I came back down again at 08:45 the place was still all locked up with only a one way door out to the car park available. As I was hungry I didn’t want to just sit around so got my stuff and decided that as I had paid up front for the room I didn’t need to stay and wait for anyone. So I went out to the car park, and found that the main gates were padlocked. So now I was out of the building, with no way back in, high walls all around the car park, and the high gates locked. Only one thing to do, put my rucksacks carefully onto the top of the gate and climb over, receiving an odd look from a passer-by but such is life. Fortunately the Beach Hut Guest House was open and as I wasn’t going to be getting breakfast there the next day (leaving too early) I got a free breakfast in lieu of this.

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Can you see the runners ? Last 1 km

Then it was off to the Breakwater National Park to watch and congratulate those who had stayed in the Ring O’ Fire finish. Richard Heath came home first, in a new record time of 22 hours 19 minutes of actual running. Like the first dozen or so who came in over the next few hours, they all looked like it was a stroll in the park and they could turn around and run it the other way with no problem at all. Phenomenal group of runners, and they all deserved their medal and the bottle of Purple Moose beer. Well done to all who were there on the start line, and congratulations to all those who got to the finish line, a massive achievement. And finally well done to all involved behind the scenes, the organisers, volunteers and supporters, they all made it a great race to be part of, and a great place to be.

Top 3 runners home and RoF organisers - well done to one and all

Top 3 runners home and RoF organisers – well done to one and all

You can see more at the Ring O’ Fire website, or on their Facebook Page. It is certainly worth the 4 Points towards the Ultra-trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB).

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Medal table

Just to finish my adventure, the trip back was so uneventful that it isn’t worth commenting on. Needless to say I got up at 05:00 and was in my home at 17:00 (UK time) so 12 hours; just as it should have been getting there, but wasn’t!

So to finish this post a few questions to be answered:

How much was raised?
In total for this event I raised £830 (~€1,130 / 135.000 RSD); this will all go towards the Bowel cancer charities I support.
Thank you everyone who donated directly or via the events. I am aware that many had already helped with raising money (£4,200) when I ran the London Marathon earlier on in the year.

Would I enter again?
Think I’ll go as per Sir Steve Redgrave in Atlanta 1996 on that one 🙂

Would I recommend this race to others?
Yes, most definitely 🙂

How could the race develop?
Make it harder – do a non-stop 135 mile race!
Make it easier – now it’s an established race look to build up with those just starting to run ultras by making it possible to do Day One (as currently) an option in its own right – 35.7 miles / 57.1 km is still an ultra itself.

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Thanks for the adventure

Barcelona – Cancer Congress talk

Barcelona – Cancer Congress talk

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I was recently invited over to give a talk at the above event, a prestigious congress in the world of gastrointestinal cancer. My thanks to Daniela at ESO, and Jola and Geoffrey from EuropaColon for both the invitation and for looking after me whilst I was in Barcelona.

European School of Oncology EuropaColon

The event I was to talk at was at a symposium, taking place in the evening, at CCIB – Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (Barcelona’s International Convention Centre). This is a sort of add-on extra to the congress, focusing on one particular area. In this case it was called the Colorectal Cancer Observatory.  A few years ago the organisers had decided that it would be good for the practitioners, during this event, to hear from a patient, hence me being asked to go to this event.

Posters for the event are here:OBS GI Barcelona_500w_Page_1
OBS GI Barcelona_500w_Page_2
Showing OffSo I had to talk at the 12th ESO Colorectal Cancer Observatory: innovation and care in the next 12 months symposium, with the topic being “The Patient’s Perspective”. I though there would be around 20-30 people there, given it was the evening, and if they had been at the congress since lunchtime, most would be wanting to get back for their evening meal. I was shocked then when I walked into the room and saw several hundred professionals sitting around waiting to hear from the speakers.

ESO presentation-title-slideTitle slide for my presentation

Having listened to some very eminent doctors in this field, most of whose words went over my head I was called up to give my talk. With a lovely introduction by Jola, the co-chair I walked over to give my talk, with the slides also appearing on a huge screen for everyone to see. Apologies for the quality of the picture; I was sent this one of the talk: IMG_0854

The talk was well received by all those present, and I enjoyed giving it. After this I was approached by a couple of ladies who asked me if I would do an interview for Bulgarian State TV. It hasn’t yet been published, but if it is I will add it below.

bg-tv-programme-logoBulgarian State TV programme – духът на здравето (Spirit and Health)

The following day, when I was just visiting the congress to see what went on at this sort of event, I was asked if I would mind doing an interview for Patient Power EUAndrew Schorr, the Co-Founder of Patient Power had a chat with me, and then we went ahead with an unprepared, unscripted interview, in the foyer of the CCIB. The final result can be seen below:

Colon Cancer Patient Neil Howie talks at the ESMO 17th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona. from Patient Power.

I did manage a run alongside the beach in Barcelona on the morning before giving the talk. Well I ran for 7 km, then walked 1 km, then ran last 2 km; it was in the mid-thirties so very hot to be out running, but still a lovely experience:
Barcelona run

Next talk:
I am honoured to have been invited to give another talk at the end of September in Vienna, at the European Cancer Congress with a talk entitled: “The benefits of physical activity during and following cancer treatment: The patient perspective”. Looking forward to it…

Next charity run:
This will be a couple of weeks after the Ring O’ Fire, a run around Anglesey, and my first ultramarathon, which I am running to aid bowel cancer charities. Please do support my efforts:
Ring O' Fire support Neil4BC
Thank you 🙂

 

 

Supreme Quiz – Ruma – 13 June

Summer in Ruma (Рума); a lovely place to be 🙂

As well as the sights and sounds of this lovely town on a normal summers day, on Saturday June 13 there is an extra incentive to be there. In the centre of the town a “Family Fun Day” and “Supreme Quiz” will be held. Alongside lots for adults and children to do (bouncy castle, face painting, local stalls etc…), Yvo Kühling, renowned author, and expert Quiz Master will host his final quiz in Serbia, before he and his family move to their new post.

Organised by Philomena and Jules, Co-Presidents of the Belgrade Foreign Visitor’s Club, and supported by the Turistička Organizacija Opštine Ruma (Tourist Organization of the Municipality of Ruma) it will undoubtedly be a great afternoon 🙂

Proceeds from this event will go to bowel cancer charities, via the Neil4BC campaign, and also to the Giving Back Serbia campaign.

Hope you can come along 🙂

Family Funday in English

Family Funday in Serbian

Novi promotivni spot Turističke organizacije opštine Ruma – Tourist video about Ruma

Ring O’ Fire

I have entered another race, to aid bowel cancer charities, and to show that there can be life after cancer 🙂
And so, with the brains of a man in his mid-forties I have entered the Ring O’ Fire race. This is a not a normal race, but one that is a bit of a challenge (he says jokingly!)
135 miles (217 km) around Anglesey in 3 days is what is takes to complete the amazing Ring O’ Fire coastal ultramarathon.
NB – an ultramarathon is a race of any distance greater than that of a marathon (like the London Marathon I just managed to get around at the end of April!)
I’ve never done an ultramarathon before, so why not, especially at my age, have a go at a tough one if you are going to do one 🙂
Ring O' Fire Logo

The race is on from 4-6 September, so I will try to fit in a bit of training over the hot summer months in Belgrade (noting I will do a half marathon in Novi Sad on 27 June at night, because it should be too hot during the day they have it a night – logical!)

Basically an ultramarathon isn’t about the time (provided you can get to the daily final checkpoints within the deadline set) but it is about endurance – can you keep going to the end. That’s what I want to see if I can do, so my time and distance deadlines will be:

Ring O' Fire Route

 

Whilst this is a major challenge for me, it is also about helping others, and as my facebook profile picture shows, in entering such a challenge I do want to raise monies to help others. Please donate and help 🙂

FB-top-851-x-315-BCUK-ROF-neil4bc2

So what is the Ring O’ Fire?
Below is an explanation in both English and Serbian, and then a video the organisers produced a few years ago (before they lengthened the route by a few miles!)

“Ring O’ Fire is a 217 km coastal ultra marathon circumnavigating the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales.

This epic foot race is staged over three consecutive days (Start 13:00hrs 4th – 6th September 2015) and follows the rugged and spectacular Anglesey Coastal Path around the island. The extreme distance and variable terrain places Ring O’ Fire as one of the most extreme ultra marathons in the United Kingdom.

Set against the dramatic backdrop of Snowdonia Mountain Range, Ring O’ Fire offers adventurous runners the opportunity to challenge their limits in some of the most awe inspiring coastal scenery in Wales.

Almost all the coastline of Anglesey is a designated “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” and runners will encounter a wide variety of terrain, including: tidal estuaries, sandy beaches, pebbled and rocky coves, steep cliff top paths, sand dunes, farmers’ fields and sections of forest.

It’s not all nature, as runners pass Holyhead’s ferry port; Beaumaris Castle built in 1295 AD; the grand Menai & Britannia Bridges spanning the turbulent Straits; the ancient burial mounds at Cable Bay are worth a few moments of time; and later RAF Valley, the airbase where all RAF and RN jet fighter pilots advance their training!

Ring O’ Fire should not be underestimated; the 135 mile (217 m) distance and 13,695 feet of vertical ascent make this a mammoth undertaking for even the most hardy of runners.”

“Ватрени прстен (Ring О`fire) је ултра-маратон којi својом трасом у дужини од 217 километара прати обалу острва Англеси у Северном Велсу.

Епска трка траје три дана (почиње у 13х 4. јуна, а траје до 6. јуна 2015. године) и прати стазу познату и као „Anglesey Coastal Path“ која се протеже дуж спектакуларно дивље обале острва Англеси. Екстремна дужина трке и промењиве карактеристике терена чине „Ватрени прстен“ једном од најекстремнијих ултрамаратонских трка у Уједињеном краљевству.

Планински ланац Сноудонија даје импресивне кулисе за „Ватрени прстен“, па тркачи имају идеалну прилику да границе своје издржљивости  испитају у можда најимпресивнијем природном окружењу које Велс може да понуди.

Скоро целокупна обала острва Англеси је означена као „Област нарочите природне лепоте“ што тркачима омогућава трку кроз различите пределе који укључују речна ушћа, пешчане плаже, камените обале и стеновите заливе, стрме литице, пешчане дине, фарме и шуме.

Међутим, трка није само у природном окружењу јер пролази и поред луке за фериботе Холихед, замка Бомарис, изграђеног 1295. године, потом величанствених мостова Менаи и Британија који преко немирног залива повезују Англеси са копном, античких погребних хумки у заливу Кејбл, који сваки за себе заслужују неколико тренутака пажње. На самом крају трасе налази се база Краљевског ратног ваздухополовства „Вели“ у којој енглески ратни пилоти увежбавају своје летачке способности.

Трку Ватрени прстен не треба потцењивати. Раздаљина од 217 км као и успон од 13,695 фита чине је мамутски великим подухватом за велику већину тркача, укључујући ту и ветеране”

Should you wish to join up and enjoy the fun then please do either via a charity place (5 still available at time of posting), or pay for your own place – it is sure to be an experience like no other 🙂

Oh, and why’s it called the Ring O’ Fire (…Johnny Cash) :-):

“Love is A Burning Thing
And it Makes A Fiery Ring
Bound By Wild Desire
I Fell Into A Ring Of Fire
I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down
And The Flames Went Higher
And It Burns, Burns, Burns
The Ring Of Fire
The Ring Of Fire”Johnny cash

or just go to this link, the original video made a year before I was born (it is though on Rolling Stones list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time) 🙂

Neil4BC @ BIS ICF on 16 May

This Saturday, if you are in Belgrade, do come along to the British International School‘s Primary Campus (at Užička 7a) between 10:30 and 16:00 for the annual International Charity Festival (previously known as the Spring Charity Bazaar). The proceeds of this years event will go to support the work of the Red Cross in Kragujevac who have a special link to Britain.

Lots for children and adults to do, see and enjoy, so come along…

BIS International Charity Festival posterIn addition to all the stall there, there will also be a Charity Runner Neil/Neil4BC stall.
It’s there for several reasons, which tie in with the reasons for this whole campaign and stated on the website:
1) Raising money for bowel cancer charities through the sale of Neil4BC polo shirts/t-shirts/charity CDs as well as asking for donations;
2) Promoting and raising the awareness of bowel cancer through having literature and links available, and generally by simply being there make people think about bowel cancer and what can be done;
3) Letting people know about the next charity run, and thus demonstrating what can be done post-cancer, and hoping that people will think I am so mad in doing this run they will donate to the charities (which links in with point 1!)

Mentioning point 3) above, I just received the A2 and A3 sized posters today, to go along with other materials that will be on display. A full description of the race in Anglesey will come in the next blog post, it’s a big event…
posters-ready

So come along and join in the fun this Saturday 🙂

 

Thank you London

I did it, I made it, I got around the London Marathon on 26 April 🙂

The year before I was undergoing chemotherapy, and when I crossed the finish line and then for the hour or so afterwards it was very emotional. It hit me harder than I had imagined that the silly idea I had had whilst lying in a hospital bed unable to feel one of my arms due to the drugs I was receiving, had actually come to fruition. Forget the time (just over 5 hours, slowest ever by a long way), this wasn’t about that, but just getting to the finish line, and having the medal around my neck. Also, and just as important, is the fact that we have raised over £4,100 for bowel cancer charities.
with London Marathon medal
Thanks also to the team at Bowel Cancer UK for looking after me when I finished. I really needed the cups of tea, slabs of cake and the four-hands massage!

I now have the t-shirt as well to show I finished it:
Finshers t-shirt

But time moves on, and the desire to continue running, both for my own benefit, but also to use something that (most times) I enjoy to help others is still with me.

To this end I have entered, at the end of June a half-marathon, and along with some friends, around the lovely city of Novi Sad, at night. This one is just for me, so that I know I can still get around 21 km, and hopefully improve on my post-cancer best time of 1 hour 47 minutes.
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Before this though I have more medical tests at the end of May, I hope they too will come back as clear so it stays post-cancer!

I also have another charity run planned in September, but this event in Anglesey is SO BIG it deserves its own post…

 

800 km up

800 km – this is the recorded distance I have run since my chemotherapy finished last September, as training for the London Marathon​ which takes place in exactly one week’s time.

800km-running

Please support my charity efforts,
£8 / €8 / $8 / 800 RSD for the 800 km would be fantastic 🙂

http://justgiving.com/neil4bc
http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/neil4bc
or (if in UK) text BOCA99 £8 to 70070

All monies raised go to help bowel cancer charities in the UK, Serbia and across Europe.

A

Send-Off party @ 3 Carrots

With the London Marathon just over a week away, if you are in Belgrade, I hope to see you at a Send-Off party at the Three Carrots Pub on Thursday 23rd April from 7:00 pm. The following day I will be flying to London ready for the marathon itself.

Great time to socialise, with special drinks prices, and also a raffle with some great prizes.

Hope to see you there 🙂
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