Tuesday 27 September 2011

Lovely Acknowledgment from Willow Burn at their AGM. Even made the front cover of the Annual Report.

It was humbling to be singled out at the AGM, but my achievement is nothing compared to the efforts of the staff at the hospice. May have to think of another challenge in a couple of years!!


Forgot to update last week, but managed to run another Great North Run in 2:14:57, not best time, but an enjoyable day.


__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 6498 (20110927) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.


Sunday 18 September 2011

Time to run..

Scanned by MailDefender - managed email security from intY - www.maildefender.net

Great North Run 2011

Off early to Newcastle for the 31st Great North Run, my 5th. Weather look ideal, cool and a hint of rain.

It has been a while since I have updated the blog, and since the Coniston 17, I have kept up the running doing 2 further half Marathons - The Hadrian Wall Half Marathon and the Northumbria Coastal Run, plus the 10 Jelly Race

Further update at the end

Scanned by MailDefender - managed email security from intY - www.maildefender.net

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Final Update

Good Morning all


Just over a week after the 10th Half Marathon was completed, I thought it appropriate to send an update as since crossing the line in Prague, I have received an overwhelming response with an additional £5000 raised in the last week alone, and several other donations promised. The total has now broke the £20,000 barrier, which is a fantastic figure, and a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last 8 months.


To prove that there must be some level insanity in this challenge I decided to do another half marathon again last Saturday, less than a week after the previous one. This would have been fine if I had not chosen a picturesque route around Coniston in the Lake District. Following the floods in 2009 a bridge was damaged, so they decided to increase the distance to just under 17 miles (longer than I have ever ran), it was also very warm and surprisingly for the Lake District a little hilly. I did however get round in a very tiring 3hours 13minutes, and according to the Garmin GPS device I use, I had managed to burn in-excess of 3000 calories on the way. This was followed by a celebration on Saturday night back in a local pub, during which this calorie deficiency was more than replaced.


A big thanks to everyone who has supported me and all of your kind words on the way. I won’t email anymore other than to hopefully confirm the final total received.




P.S. Have already entered another 4 half marathons this year….. Could be hooked.

Saturday 2 April 2011

Mission Complete, 12 months since the mad idea was born, less than 8 months since the first race, Number 10, the Prague Half Marathon, was completed this afternoon

24 flights, over 15000 miles travelled and for all of the doubters out there, I did it (even though I often doubted myself).


The last race was in Prague, a city I hadn’t visited before, but will definitely come back, contrary to rumours, it isn’t all stag doo’s and pick pockets, it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities I have ever been to. If you haven’t been, it is certainly worth a look. The conditions were again very warm at around 20 degrees, not the ideal running conditions for an over-weight northerner. Lovely route through the Prague streets and across numerous bridges, few issues with cobbled streets, but today was all about getting to the finish. I saw more casualties today, than in any other race, the unseasonal heat caught many out, and a lot of collapsed runners on the route. Got round in a slow 2hr 16 minutes, but the main thing was I got round.


So far the challenge has raised over £14,500 for Willow Burn, which is absolutely fantastic, hopefully those who promised to sponsor me at the end will push that figure up. (I know you all thought it was a safe bet and I wouldn’t make it, but sorry it’s time to get your hands in your pockets, 10 half marathons have been done, and I am still alive at the end of it).


No more time for writing there is a large glass of Staropramen with my name on it waiting in the bar, which will hopefully be followed by many more


Thanks for all the support




Prague Half Marathon at the Start

After 8 months, numerous flights and 9 half marathons, in Prague on a lovely sunny day, ready for the final 13.1miles.

Thanks to everyone for the support so far. Update in a few hours.....

Sunday 20 March 2011

Lisbon - No. 9 complete and the toughest race yet, hot crowded, badly organised and ill.

Just finished the 21st Lisbon Half Marathon and found it the hardest yet, but it is done and only one left now in the challenge.

First problem was health, I have been ill for a week or so, and only to go ahead to fly on Tuesday (didn't mention to the doctor that I was running!). A diet of antibiotics, ibruphrofen and paracetamol isn't the best running preparation, but hopefully all will be sorted for Prague.

The Portuguese organisation left a lot to be desired. The Half Marathon coincided with a 7k walk, which was to start 15 minutes after the race, most entrants decided to join the run start. This resulted in 2 miles of runners, push chairs and ramblers all mixed, which isn't good. The result was first mile in around 12 minutes, instead of the usual sub 9 minutes. The problem repeated itself at 7 miles when the 2 events converged again. Even though the 2 groups were supposed to be segregated, the walkers all like the runners side of the road.

The final and biggest issue was the weather, as I passed the 19km marker there was a sign showing the temperature as 85 degrees or around 29c. On top of this no shade and no wind. The heat completely saps your energy

Finally hobbled over the line after 2 hours and 23 minutes, more tired than I have been from any other run.

Good luck to John and Neil who are off to the Sahara desert in 2 weeks, I hope it isn't too hot!!

Less than 2 weeks now to last race, hopefully Prague will be a little cooler.

Thanks for the support, we have now raised over £14,000 which is amazing

Time for a well earned beer


Made it to the start, 5 minutes to spare. Its bloody hot and forgot both hat and suntan cream!

Lisbon half marathon chaos. Queue to get to the start.

Looking like a long day in Lisbon. Start in 30 minutes, hotel 2 miles from start, have been travelling to get here for 1 hour 45 minutes already and still can't see start. To make it worse it is 24 degrees and blazing sunshine (sorry England)

30000 Portugal residents all trying to get to the start, plus at least one mad Englishman. Makes the Great North Run look quiet.

Next report when I get to the finish (assuming I get to the start!)


Sunday 30 January 2011

22nd Marrakech Half Marathon Complete 8 down only 2 to go.

Just finished the Marrakech Half. I would highly recommend a visit to Marrakech, if you haven't already been, the old part of the city is amazing, you half expect Indiana Jones to drive through in a German army truck.

The race wasn't unfortunately very inspiring. The route was a string of one or two mile straight roads, with no discernible views followed by the odd corner then another 2 mile bland road. Only at around 10 miles did we see some sort of civilisation, by which time it was too late, I had lost the will to live.

In addition it rained early this morning, so the humidity meant I was soaked through after only a mile. Add to this the locals who insist on walking/running 6 a breast on the narrow parts of the course and the total chaos at the end of the race, with people fighting to get medals and you will get the general idea that it was not the best race.

Finished in an uninspired 2hrs 10 minutes.

Lesson of the day is definitely visit Marrakech, but don't run the Half Marathon.

Rest through February then penultimate race in Lisbon in March.

22nd Marrakech International Half Marathon

Cold and Wet, surely this can't be Africa. Race number 8 in 30 minutes

Saturday 8 January 2011

The Most Northern Half Marathon on the Plant completed in the middle of winter - 7 down only 3 to go

Just finished the Polar Nights Half Marathon in the city of Tromso, which is at Latitude 70 degrees North, making this the most Northern Half Marathon in the world. That is the same latitude as Siberia and Alaska.


It was certainly challenging with a temperature of -7 degrees, darkness and a track that was a mixture of ice, compacted snow and the odd snow drift for good measure. The race was ran on footpaths, which were only partly lit by street light, the remaining sections were lit by candles (what looked like IKEA Citronella candles actually). Saw my first ever multi runner pile up on an icy bend near the start, but all seemed to be uninjured. The route was also quite hilly, especially the first 3 miles and last 3 miles.


The route took you from Tromso City centre out to the airport, were a large cone in the middle of the path had the sign “halfway point turn around here”. Managed to stay on my feet, avoid frost bite and finished with a respectable 2:07:30.


Still haven’t seen the Northern Lights yet which is disappointing, but hopefully tonight.


Next race will be a little warmer in Morocco.


Thanks again for all the support and keep the sponsorship coming in,




Cold and Dark, but all set to go....

Famous in Norway - big article in the Tromso Paper today

I have no idea what it says, but it is even in the Sports section, does that make me a sportsman?

Off into the late morning darkness to collect my number, more updates later

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Running Man Article on BBC Website






Live Interview on Radio Newcastle

Below is a link to the live interview I did on Radio Newcastle yesterday (4/1). Fast forward to 49 minutes to hear it





Saturday 1 January 2011

Happy New Year and a week until the Polar Nights Half Marathon.

Hope everyone had a great New Years Eve and has a successful 2011. This year is starting with a bit of publicity, an article today in the Northern Echo.

Listen out on Tuesday (4/1) as I am doing a live interview on Radio Newcastle at 7:50am. Think I am more worried about that than the Polar Race!