I want to start this blog with a special mention to Nic O’Doherty. I’ve known Nic and her husband since I started Uni in 2004. Nic recently ran the Paris Marathon which in itself is a great achievement, but Nic ran the marathon on almost no training and with an injury. She joined Team 30/30 on our half marathon a few weeks ago to test her injury and although she finished the race, the injury hadn’t recovered during her previous period of rest.
Nic entered the marathon to run in memory of her close friend’s Mum, Tracey Smith who sadly died of Multiple Sclerosis in November 2014. Sadder still was that a couple of months ago Nic lost her Aunty Kathy to cancer too. Nic was extremely close to Kathy and I know that she will miss her dearly. Nic decided that she would run the Paris Marathon dressed as a Nurse in memory of her Aunty, but she also chose to run in memory of my Mum too. I was incredibly touched by this gesture, you can see below the tribute that she wore during the marathon. Nic’s just giving page says that she hopes her son Cian is proud of his ‘Mumma’, I know that when Cian is old enough he will be proud, and I am too. If you can spare any pennies for Nic, you can donate here: www.justgiving.com/Paris-Tracy/.
I’m now five months into my 30/30 Challenges, and have completed 6 challenges. Since I last wrote I have completed two more – the Richmond Half Marathon and One True Grit Obstacle Race. I’m also still plugging away at a few more of the ‘rolling’ challenges; I am still not drinking any hot drinks (19 more days!), still working on my press up’s, and still slowly adding to my four cumulative challenges (beers, swimming, running, and cycling).
The start of British Summer Time has made a massive difference to my training! I can now get out and ride or run for an hour after work in daylight which is making things much easier. Overall though my training has been a bit hit and miss lately. My preparation for the Richmond Half Marathon wasn’t great, and I only managed a few decent runs before the race. One True Grit was the following weekend and since then I have been resting my ‘niggles’ on the advice of Sam (the physio). Through the summer the challenges come thick and fast and there will be very little time to recover so we decided to take this opportunity to have almost two weeks full rest. Sam blogged about me and my ‘niggles’ recently.
The Richmond Half was a good day overall for Team 30/30. It was our biggest turnout for both participants and supporters. Along with me and Cat we had Nic O’Doherty, Natalie Coode, and Peter Freeman running. The route was a very nice run along the Thames and back through a few parks and woodlands, everyone finished safe and sound although some of the injuries did hamper performances a bit. Our supporters on the day kept us motivated at key strategic points – thanks to all! The best thing about a lot of these challenges is the food afterwards and we had a great Sunday pub lunch after this race – definitely well earned!
The following weekend a group of 6 of us got ourselves around/through/over/under the 10km One True Grit obstacle race. Unlike the weekend before the weather was pretty bad, it was about 6 degrees, raining, and the wind was howling. On top of this three of us were slightly hungover (this may become a feature of my challenges!), and had only had three hours sleep due to some London Underground issues. The team (Anna Card, Cat, myself, Graham Lester, Nick Trim, and my sister Jen Atkins) arrived on time, which for those of you that don’t know us was quite an achievement for at least 4 of us! We got ourselves ready, “warmed up” and got going. We decided we’d race as a team and stick together for the whole 10km, helping each other through all the obstacles. It was a very well organised event and the obstacles were all challenging but achievable, and where you couldn’t complete them you usually just got wet! Highlights were:
- Me successfully jumping OVER fire!
- Anna getting over the cargo net with a cheer
- Jen almost getting across the wooden wall ‘thing’!
- Nick T. getting across the monkey bars
- All 6 of us screaming after getting dunked in the freezing muddy water!
As I said the weather wasn’t great, and we all ended up soaked through (as expected) and freezing cold, especially Graham who we found at the end of the race shivering under a foil blanket (he’d finished a bit ahead because he was so cold!) in the marquee. Those of us with a little more body fat and wearing a base layer got him into the car with the heating on, got him some dry clothes and waited for him to stop shaking…45mins later he seemed less blue so we took him home! Needless to say he didn’t make his hockey cup final that afternoon! It was great fun though and I would recommend it anyone, just try and get a warm day!
Hopefully you will have already seen that I have got most of my future events planned out now, with dates in the diary. If you can join me on a challenge it would be fantastic, it really does make a difference to me – I can even get you one of the most sought after purple t-shirts of the season if you do! My final three running challenges are coming up next, followed by some triathlon stuff;
- Sussex Marathon Weekend – May Bank Holiday weekend, 3 races over 3 days.
- Edinburgh Marathon – 31st May
- Passing Clouds Fell Run – 14th June, Peak District. 15km race over the hills
- Bridge Triathlon – 21st June, Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500m swim, 40km, bike, 10km run) in Dartford
- Big South East Aquathon – 28th June (2000m swim, 10km run) in Dartford
- Half Iron Man – 19th July, Marlow. (2000m swim, 82km bike, 20km run)
I’ve also got a plan for my 30th Challenge, no big announcement yet but I think it will take about 4 days, involve some chaffage, and hopefully finish in time for my 31st Birthday party!