Running – 2017

As we enter 2018 there is a time of reflection on last year and of the setting of targets for this year.

Over 2017 I ran many races – a list of them is below, in reverse chronological order:
1. (official) Belgrade half-marathon – December
6. (half-marathon) Plavi krug oko Ade – November
4. Coca-Cola 5 km Happy Run (with my 12 year old son) – October
Košice Peace Half- Marathon  – October
3. Odžački half-marathon – September
Nike We Run BGD 10K – September
1. Firelighter 57 km Trail Race – September
1. Ruma half-marathon – August
Kopaonik 15 km Trail Race – July
3. trka patrijarha Pavla 2017 (Rakovica half-marathon) – July
1. Vranje half-marathon – June
38. Sombor half-marathon – May
Run up 24 floors (566 steps) of Beogradjanka (with my 12 year old son) – April
30. Belgrade half-marathon – April
12. Bratislava half-marathon – April
2. Kruševac half-marathon – March
3. Spring Rolls 7 km (charity run alongside my 12 year old son) – March
10. Palić half-marathon – March

The big race was on 1 September, running in the inaugural “Firelighter” 57 km ultra-marathon around Anglesey which was the first day of the 3-day Ring O’ Fire race. A great experience, even if it meant finishing in the dark, running along the coastal path with only a headlight to illuminate the way, and also having my watch run out of power after 55 km; fortunately I managed to keep going to the end, at just over 57 km. I raised £576 (~ €650 / 77.000 RSD) for Bowel Cancer UK through this event.

Strava made a video of my year – which can be seen at:

And my favourite photo of the year, taken during the Odžački polumaraton was:

It looks like I am running with the winner, Kenyan Wycliffe Kipkomp!

There are lots more photos on my facebook page – Neil4bc

I’m currently planning what races to run in 2018. With a major run planned, to aid charity, in July, the focus of my training and races needs to be around this, so we’ll see what happens. With the merger between Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer about to take place we’ll see what the name of the charity I will aid this year will be called soon.

Belgrade Insight article

Full-page story in the 202nd issue (March 18 – March 31, 2016) of Belgrade Insight about my running and cancer.
Many thanks to Carolyn Palletta who wrote a lovely article.

You can download this version – Belgrade Insight interview (pdf, 579 Kb).

Below is a copy of the article (which if you can’t read but looks interesting download the pdf version above,or go get yourself a copy!):

Belgrade Insight article

Thank you Belgrade Insight 🙂
Belgrade Insight logo

My ECCAM 2015 article

My ECCAM 2015 article

In February I was asked by EuropaColon if I would write a short article under the title “Everybody Deserves the Next Day” as part of the European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.

So I did, and it has now appeared on their website (click on picture/here for full text):

In addition though I asked a few friends if they could translate the article. So far I now have it translated into 27 languages. I took a photo of the translations. I would everyone who was involved in helping with the translations, and in raising the awareness of colorectal/bowel cancer. The original version is on this blog, along with the translations, listed below.

Photo of translations

English version and the then 26 translated versions of it.

The article is available in the languages below:

Afrikaans italiano ελληνικά العَرَبِيةُ 汉语
čeština magyar ру́сский मराठी 한국어
Cymraeg polski српски हिन्दी 日本語
dansk română українська ქართული
español shqip Bahasa Melayu
français suomi български
Deutsch Türkçe

If you are able to translate it into another language please let me know via the Contact Page 🙂


2014 to 2015

New Year’s Day a time for reflection upon the previous year and a time to look forward to the next. Last year for me was very different, and very life-changing. Going through major surgery, then chemotherapy for cancer took over the first half of the year, and then the second was full of fundraising activities and running. In all of my forty five years, last year was by far the most different!

During last year I found many people supported me, and I am grateful for this. Thank you to everyone who came along to the events, and to those who helped make them happen. For the Neil4BC campaign last year we had:

A Bar night (with raffle) at The Three Carrots Pub,
A quiz night, organised by the Belgrade Foreign Visitor’s Club at Le Teniza restaurant,
A stall at the St Mary’s Church Book Sale,
An evening of entertainment at Restoran Vulin, with James Randell from Blazing to Serbia singing, an art auction and dinner all rolled into one night,
A charity dinner at Restoran Vizantia, organised by the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, hosted by Sir Paul Judge and with the Crown Prince and Princess of Serbia as Guests of Honour,
A table-top sale  at the British International Primary School.

All were arranged in order to benefit bowel cancer charities in Serbia (Udruženje pacijenata obolelih od raka debelog creva i jetre), in the UK (Bowel Cancer UK) and across Europe (EuropaColon). By the end of the year around 550.000 RSD / £3,700 / €4,650 had been raised to help the work of these charities.

Looking forward to this year the focus for me will be on April 26 and the London Marathon. It is now 13 years since I last ran this race, my last marathon, and I am acutely aware that I have not been doing enough training thus far. I did manage to have a great weekend in Ljubljana and run their Half-Marathon at the end of October, and though finishing the race it did highlight the need for, and importance of training. There are a couple of Half-Marathon races I plan to take part in as training runs before London, and with an increase in training I aim to find it easier to get around them. Hopefully many in Belgrade will come along on Saturday 18 March, the weekend before London, and show their support by taking part in the 5 km Fun Run that is organised on  the same day as the Belgrade Marathon – more to follow.

The other focus will be on staying fit and well. In late February I will have a series of tests to check that whether cancerous cells are still present. The findings of these tests will determine what happens and/or any further treatment.

Yesterday I watched the YouTube video below, “Spirit of the Marathon” (ignore its cover picture below!). It shows the two types of runners in a marathon, the elite and those praying they get to the end in one piece. It’s worth a watch, just to learn some of the reasons why people want to run 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km), as well as some excellent historical images.


I also spent last year reading, given the time I had to spend recovering from cancer. In meeting my Goodreads Challenge of 75 books I read many non-fiction books about running, or runners. There  are some amazing stories out there. I compiled my list on one of the blog pages –

So, what will I do today, New Years Day. Eat a traditional British family meal, play Lego, watch a family film and run 10 km as I now have many people who will cheer me on and want to see me finish in April.

Happy New Year – I wish you all the best for 2015 🙂

Happy New Year

Cracking Cancer Compilation

Finally, finally, finally, the Charity CD has been made and is ready to be sold to help bowel cancer charities.

It has 5 bands, all with different sorts of music. Limited edition, exclusive CD

On sale at the Canadian Club on Friday 26 September. from 7 pm, Kneza Miloša 75 (as its inside the embassy you must bring ID and be over 18).

CD covers


500 dinars for per copy – get your copy whilst its available 🙂