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 😉

Belgrade record achieved…

Belgrade record achieved…

Well I managed it – I completed a half-marathon, on a treadmill, in a pub!

running in a pub...

I now hold the Belgrade record for the fastest half-marathon in a pub – of 2 hours 7 minutes – at a Neil4BC social charity event.

launch1

In the process those in the pub bought raffle tickets and drank several drinks each, raising 41.240 RSD (~£302 / ~€335 – as of date of this post). All this money will go to support the work of EuropaColon, who themselves support colon cancer activities across Europe, including Serbia.

EuropaColon

Many thanks to everyone who came along, who helped out at the event, and also to those who donated the many raffle prizes we had that evening.

Some raffle prizes...

Just some of the many raffle prizes 🙂

I know the winner of the main prize, a trip to Bratislava next April (including coach travel, 2 night’s accommodation, breakfast AND entry to the Bratislava Marathon), courtesy of Active Traveling / Marathon Travels, is very happy.

Running in a pub

More pictures at http://bit.ly/2dsyCcG

Many more pictures can be seen on Flickr.

If you would like to donate and increase the total raised please just send me a message 🙂

 

Neil4BC

 

Half marathon in a pub!!

Dear friends,

After a long time without a fundraising event (but having done lots of running) I am pleased to announce there will be a fundraiser for the bowel/colon cancer charity EuropaColon at the 3 Carrots Pub; but with a twist!!!

As well as a raffle (some great prizes!) and special drinks that evening I will also run a half marathon (on a treadmill) in the pub!

To celebrate the fact that my oncologist does not want to see me for a whole year – my very recent set of major hospital tests showed I am still cancer free and thus it is 2 years since I completed many months of chemotherapy – worth celebrating.

The fundraising is to help EuropaColon with their work across Europe (including Serbia) as a charity helping and supporting those with and who may have bowel/colon cancer. Having been there, done that, and survived advanced cancer myself this worthwhile cause is so worth supporting.

So do come along – 3 Carrots Pub, Kneza Miloša 16, Wednesday 28 September, from 18:30 until late 🙂

Mines a half poster

See you there 🙂

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.
6nm_baner_600x240_eng

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…

 

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 🙂
3 Carrots2-poster-final-700w