(Almost) crying because of a halo…

(Almost) crying because of a halo…

I almost cried this week in school, not a thing a Deputy Principal should do!

Why?

I showed my Year 11 (Grade 10/16-year olds) a 28 minute YouTube film that came out this week. It is inspirational, and as such next week I will show it to Year 7-10 in their assembly.

My, almost (I didn’t, just felt like it) cry, wasn’t because of the content of the film, but because it brought back so many memories for me.

I remember being on the start line of the London Marathon in April 2015, when 7 months earlier I couldn’t run 100 metres alongside a Bulgarian friend. For me there were tears of joy at the end of the London Marathon, as before this I had spent 7 months of treatment in and out of hospital turning the pages of my kindle with my nose, as my arms hurt too much from the chemotherapy drugs, then training from zero to be able to run 42.2 km; it was a major challenge, but one I am proud to have accomplished.

The film, which I think all should watch (it is only 28 minutes long!) is:

In 6 weeks I take on a new challenge, something I have never done before, a 100 km race, the “Carphone Warehouse Race to the Stones“. I’ve done many races in the past 4 years, mostly half-marathons, interspersed with a few marathons and the inaugural 57 km Firelighter (the first day of the Ring O’ Fire 3-day ultra) but this is definitely a running challenge beyond what I’ve done before, both before and after bowel cancer.

Why?

Because I can, and also to help others…

I’m almost fifty, just over 200 days to go an Excel formula tells me, and I feel lucky to still be alive, and capable of mad challenges. There are many who go have bowel cancer without the support I had from my wife/family/work/friends, and many who do not survive it. In addition to it being good physically and mentally for me to run such races(!) I also aim to raise money for bowel cancer charities, this time for Bowel Cancer UK, in the hope that they can today help those going through what I did (it really isn’t nice), and in the future help medical progress so that such things cease to exist.

Am I ready – no, in my humble opinion!

My training has been limited – only 500+ km this year, with one extreme marathon, one marathon and a few half-marathons within that.

Will I still do the race – YES.

Will I finish – at this distance it’s the mind that will get me there, not my body. I will be fortunate to be running alongside a good Slovenian friend, who will fly over with me to the UK just for this race, and he has run several 100+ km ultras.

I am looking to increase the amount raised – if you can help please, please make a donation via my JustGiving page:

JustGiving logo

Going back to the film today, I pointed out to a student after he had finished watching it, “don’t you dare complain about me ‘volunteering’ you to run next week for Global Running Day, you are fortunate to be able to do such things, maybe one day you will realise this” (NB he completed a 7 km race for the first time a couple of months ago for his Duke of Edinburgh International Award, with me as his coach!) 🙂

Please support my charity efforts via the link above, thank you.

Countdown to #rtts2018 on my website 🙂

Just to remind you this is the route, roll on Saturday 14 July:
Race route

Race to the Stones 2018

Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones on 14/15 July 2018 is my charity race this year – a new challenge as I have entered for the 100 km non-stop race. The 100 km non-stop is on Saturday 14 July, though there are options to do a 50 km on the Saturday and then again on the Sunday (camping overnight), or just do 50 km on either day. But, with the saying of “in for a penny, in for a pound” I opted for the full non-stop race 🙂

Once again I will be raising monies for Bowel Cancer UK via a new JustGiving page.

Bowel Cancer UK logoJustGiving logo

Something new for a Saturday in July, for me. Alongside me I will have a very experienced ultra-marathoner, my Slovenian friend Relja Mirović. This will aid both in terms of motivation as well as having someone there who has done such races before so knows what it takes to get to the end. for both of us though this will be a new venture, myself in terms of distance, Relja in terms of location.

We’ll start at Lewknor, in Oxfordshire, and finish at the Avebury Stones, with most of the race along The Ridgeway, recognised as the oldest path in England.

Race route

This is the promotional video for the event, makes you want to enter too doesn’t it 🙂

I have designed a training plan, to start from the week commencing 5 February, which starts with runs of 19 km on Tuesday, 17 km on Thursday and 24 km on Saturday – should be a fun start to a 20 week programme.

If you would like to support my efforts, please click on the JustGiving picture below:JustGiving logo

Thanks to the gentlemen of “Club 11” who raised £415 at their January dinner; therefore I am almost there with my initial goal of £500.
Club 11 BelgradeSo:Keep Calm

Firelighter – charity run in 2017

Having passed my target of 1200 km in 2016, for me the main target is to continue to run, and more importantly to enjoy the running. My target for 2017 is 1500 (recorded) km.

At the same time, I still, very personally, appreciate the fact that I can enjoy my running, many can’t. Therefore, I have set myself a challenge for 2017; finish my first ultramarathon, via the Firelighter event on 1 September 2017. This will also be the focus of my charity fundraising for 2017, to try and raise funds to benefit bowel/colon cancer charities via a challenging first for me.

So why the Firelighter?

Well, it’s unfinished business for me. The Firelighter is (for the first time in its own right) the first day of the Ring O’ Fire 3-day race. I tried this a couple of years ago, but it was beyond me at that time. That story, my attempt then, I posted here.

The basic details are:

Firelighter overview

The organisers of the event have Bowel Cancer UK as an official race charity; they feel supporting it is something worthwhile.

bowelcanceruk

It is a great race, well organised, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience last time. This time, with the Firelighter as a new event, I intend to ensure my training (and arriving in North Wales in time) means I will complete the event 🙂

This is an ultramarathon along the coast of Anglesey with many undulations/surfaces of over 57 km (with a lowered time limit of 10 hours now, it was 11 hours before) –  it’s a major challenge!

Therefore, I’m going to try something I haven’t yet achieved, at the age of 48; of running in a race further than my age (in km)!

Why, because I believe I can, and more importantly appreciate that I can.

Please do support me in this challenge, by donating online via my new JustGiving page. If you are in Belgrade and don’t want to donate online please get in touch and if you give me cash I will donate that amount online on your behalf. There will be some fundraising events in 2017, in Belgrade, I just have to get them planned (ideas welcome!)

All monies raised from individuals will go to charity. If a company wishes to cover some/all of my expenses (flights/train/accommodation/kit etc) then fantastic, but no money raised from individuals will be used to cover this.

Please support my efforts, they will benefit others who need support. I’ve been there and know first-hand what the impact is, which is why I want to support charities helping others/research into a cure for all – it really is not a nice thing to go through.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

PS If you fancy joining me in the first ever running of this specific race, the Facebook event is at – https://www.facebook.com/events/308294206236982/ then formally join via the SignUp form 😉