It didn’t take us long to get to the final stop of the day. The forty mile point was on Test Lane, near the old Redbridge bridge. We parked in the car park of The Anchor pub and waited. An icy wind was blowing up off the River Test and the sun was beginning to set. It was getting close to four o’clock. We shivered and pulled our coats around us. My hands and face were numb and I couldn’t remember when I’d last felt properly warm. Continue reading Five run fifty at fifty – fifty miles and beyond
Shortly after half past twelve we’d watched our intrepid runners and cyclists leave Southampton General Hospital. We had an hour before their next stop, outside Eastleigh College but we had things to do before then. This was Rob’s fiftieth birthday and Kim wanted to get some balloons to decorate the View Bar at the Sports Centre where the run would finish. This meant a trip to the Swan Centre and a chance to grab another coffee while the grabbing was good. Continue reading Five run fifty at fifty – the hard miles
Five thirty on a Friday morning and I’m trying to peel my gritty eyes open. The last couple of days have been a manic haze of preparation, mostly revolving around food and maps. This is the morning Commando and his friends, Rob, Rob, Ian and Luis run fifty miles to celebrate Rob’s fiftieth birthday. To say I can think of better ways to celebrate turning fifty would be an understatement. There is also a frisson of worry about Commando running such a long distance given the events of the past year. Continue reading Five run fifty at fifty – the first ten
Six thirty on a Sunday morning is not exactly my favourite time to be crawling out of bed. This is especially true after four ten hour shifts. There was a very good reason for my early start on the second Sunday of July 2014 though. Back at the beginning of the year I’d signed up for the Southampton 10k Race For Life. For me 10k isn’t exactly a stretch but Race For Life is something I feel quite passionate about. Cancer has touched my life more times than I care to remember and raising money for Cancer Research seems like the least I can do. Little did I know back then quite how poignant this particular Race For Life was going to be. Continue reading Racing for a reason – first published 7 July 2014
The Care For A Walk fifteen mile hike in 2014 had begun with mud and fallen trees. There were blisters too, thankfully not on my feet. It was drizzly and wet, not the best weather for walking and we’d stopped to let some of the tail walkers catch up. At this point, we still had the hard miles ahead but everyone was still in surprisingly good spirits. Continue reading Care For A Walk, mud, pubs and sunshine – first published 22 March 2014
Starting the day with a seven thirty pub visit is not a normal Saturday morning for me. In 2014 this was exactly what I was doing though because it was the day of the annual Care For A Walk hike through the New Forest in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care. Of course there was no actual alcohol involved, at least not for me, although some of the more hard core in the group did have pints of beer. Ok, so I did have a bacon sandwich but I didn’t have the coffee on offer, mainly because there are only so many trees in the forest to pee behind. Continue reading Fifteen miles with Care For A Walk – first published 22 March 2014
My original blog was just over a year old in mid July 2013. The first ever post was about a Race For Life 10k. Back then I’d done precisely zero training, I was gaining weight at an alarming rate and making every excuse under the sun not to do any exercise. The plot had been well and truly lost and I’d wandered so far off the path it was a wonder I ever found my way back. What a difference a year makes! A year later I was at the start line of another Race For Life 10k, this time it wasn’t raining, it was hot and sunny, some would say a little too hot or at least too humid. This time I’d rather over trained for a mere 10k and, apart from the weather aspect, it was hardly a challenge. Now I was walking as part of a team.
The easy miles were over and I’d passed the halfway point. If this had been a training walk I’d be in Winchester and have turned for home about then but, as it was, I just kept going, blindly following the pink clad throng all around me. The half mooners had gone and I couldn’t help imagining them all celebrating with coffee and cakes before toddling home to their warm beds. There was more than a touch of envy. Now for the hard miles, walking into the dawn… Continue reading into the light, pain, tears and joy – first published 11 May 2013