Monday, 30 September 2013

Stoptober Day 22 - Olympic Park - Mercy Street - Peter Gabriel

'All of the buildings, all of those cars, were once just a dream, in somebody's head' - The Awesome, Sir Peter of the Gabriel...

I've been on the road for 22 long days now, some 616 miles of road, pavement & cycle-tracks in some of the UK's most amazing land and city-scapes you could ever wish to see. Apart from the sheer number of people I've met, dodged or seen it's the vastness of the architecture that's blown me away today especially down at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

Not only is it being redeveloped further, it's being surrounded by new buildings and shopping centres that look like they've arrived from Grand Designs...they look pretty wacky to me and as Peter Gabriel says, they were once a dream in someone's head. We are remarkable creatures us humans, makes you wonder why we need the urge to smoke cigarettes in a world that can deliver so much wonderment in just a few hours of the day, like it did for me.

My #Stoptober Challenge peaks tomorrow in London in Trafalgar Square, where I can remember going to at lots of different times in my life, from a little boy of 7 to all those times I've been in London for the Marathon. I'm going to try and get a quick look in the National Gallery too if I can and soak up the embankment landmarks before my run into the Square at Midday.

If you can come and see me, that would be great.

And if you are going for STOPTOBER tomorrow - Good Luck and keep at it - There's more to life than cigarettes, I can promise you that for sure. I know...

More tomorrow...

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Stoptober Day 21 - Forever Autumn - Justin Haywood

'The summer sun is fading as the year grows old, 
and darker days are drawing near' - Wayne

Well I've been blessed with some awesome Autumn Sunshine and Norwich provided a fantastic backdrop for today's 21st, 28 miler in my Stoptober Challenge.

I had my good friend Chris Whistler with me again today and he loved the Radar Museum at Horning this morning so much that it was hard to drag him away from this 'Cold War Bunker' but I'm glad I did as we entertained each other pretty well during the day. It's fun on the run you know...

We totally enjoyed Norwich and what a beautiful place it is too...highlight of the day being serenaded in by the Rock Choir at halfway in the Haymarket area of the city - a real life moment, thanks Ladies.

From there is was easy at 'em for the other 14 miles at a very simple pace to cover our distance. For the techies, I did 354 mins at active recovery heart-rate today

It's a day off the Wheel Push tomorrow and its just a simple 28 mile run to get done - I will of course let you know how I get on. - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Stoptober Day 20 - Queen - Friends will be friends

'When you're in need of love they give you care and attention' - Mercury & Deacon

Day 20 of my Stoptober Challenge took me to Peterborough today on one of the sunniest and hottest September days, I can ever remember.

Clocking in an early parkrun really helped and these 196 mile training weeks are helping as I knocked some more seconds off last weeks and did 24:15 which I'm very pleased about, which isn't far off my 22.45 Pb.

It felt very easy actually and it was a break for my body to run at speed for 5km rather than my usual #Stoptober slower pace.

Having my friend Chris to run with me also helped today and luckily he's also running with me tomorrow too.

Peterborough proved to be a wonderful place to run and the Cathedral is well worth a well as Longthorpe Tower, which was used by The Home Guard during WW2.'

I'm looking forward to running in Norwich tomorrow and a nice curry to celebrate Chris's Birthday tonight...

So more tomorrow... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Stoptober Day 19 - Birmingham - Paul Hardcastle - 19

Nininininininininin Nineteen, 19, Ni-nineteen 19' - Hardcastle

Well, what else would you expect me to choose! 

We've had another B E A U T I F U L day out on the roads of Birmingham and Peterborough today. I've renamed it the British Riviera as it's been simply Mediterranean in sun and temperatures with the bonus of some wonderful autumnal colours provided by the trees right now. ahhh...

I feel a poem coming on! It's all this extra oxygen I'm getting and it's bound to have some effect I'm sure. I have spent a long time today, trying to decide which out of 'Live Herald', 'Bursting Out' and 'What do you want from Live' was the best live album of 1978/9 and I'm favouring The Mighty Tull right now but things might still change... thing is I had to get some more music today as I'm now thru my entire extensive rock catalogue and these did the trick nicely.

Anyway all this running has helped my fitness loads so far and I spent a long time today at 99bpm running, which is active recovery according to Map-my-Run statistics. It won't be that low tomorrow as I'm doing parkrun again and I'm going to see just how fast my legs can do 5km (3.11miles) after 532 miles of slow training.

How are my legs and feet? - well they are just dandy actually, although I will soon have to change into another pair of Brooks GTS as my current ones are feeling mildly destroyed now. Shame as I really like them especially as they are properly worn in and the laces are finally at perfect tension!

There will be more tomorrow and I have my good friend Chris Whistler coming to run with me and carry my pack (only joking Chris). So I'm looking forward to seeing him and his wife Wendy who is also parkrunning for the first time. No pressure there then.

So I'll see them and blog to you then...

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Stoptober Day 18 - Stoke - Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer

'I've kicked the habit' - Peter (the Amazing) Gabriel 

Well it's been another good day of #Stoptobering out there in Stoke today and the running was nice and easy if not bitty in places.

It all takes time you see and we stopped in in High Onn last night, which if you go there is still pre-decimalisation and was many furlongs and chains from where we needed to be in Stoke-on-Trent, so it took ages for me to finally hit the road this morning.

After a quick run down Porthill Bank (of Potteries Marathon Fame), we did a photocall at Sandyford Fire Station before hitting the #Stoptober roadshow in the centre of Stoke itself.

The crowds were busy in the city centre and it's some years since I've been there, therefore the A34 took a bit of finding so I could head south towards Birmingham. The roads also lacked pavement in places which made it quite a hairy ride.

It didn't seem to cause me much trouble though and I eventually got my 18th consecutive ultra completed ready for an overnight stop at the 5 Star Caravan Club site at Wythall in Worcestershire... my word we get around.

Lastly, congratulations are in order for Jenny's Brother Mark and Wife Catrin, who are celebrating the birth of their daughter Gwenllian Eleri, a bouncing 8.5lbs and an amazing 18 points on a scrabble board :-)

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Stoptober Day 17 - Stratford - Tears for Fears - Shout

Footie - England Style
'These are the things I can do without' - Orzabal

I've just had the best running day of the whole #Stoptober Challenge so far and Stratford-upon-Avon provided me with my third day of 28 milers in so many days. It must have been a combination of a 3pm meet at St. George's Park, home of England Football Training and running on familiar routes around Luddington which inspired me to run like the old days of 1994 when I first started out on this running lark.

It was strange start to the day really as I thought I'd be stiff after all the hills yesterday but it was quite the opposite and I just ran freely and went back to my 3.5 mile out and backs that zipped away the early miles into Stratford itself and onto Tiddington away quite nicely. A second slightly bigger lap got me to 15 miles VERY nicely.

What I have discovered is that it's best to do 7 mile laps or out and backs as that suits my brain to put it into bite sized chunks.

That made the last 13 an easy and fast one, out to Barton and back to get me back home and finished in 5hrs 32mins, a personal best for the Challenge so far.

I'd like to say that after that, playing soccer on the indoor pitch at St.George's Park was a piece of cake...but it wasn't as the other players were half my age but I gave it a good go and it was a privilege to be able to go there and do that. I'm very good at the running but not at the kicking!

Ah well...nearly bedtime and another 28 tomorrow will do nicely...

More then. 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Stoptober Day 16 - Jethro Tull - Sweet Dreams (Live)

Luddington Phone Box Number - Welford 361
'Live the rest of your life in a day' - Anderson.

What a brilliant day of running, 13 miles of the Stratford Half-Marathon to get the day rolling followed by a pilgrimage to where I was born in Wolverton some 51 years ago...

The first part of the day covered that first half-marathon I ever did and again brought back loads of 1994 memories. It was tough back then but a whole lot easier today!

My pilgrimage took me to Blacon Farm Cottages where I was born and up to the farmhouse itself where my Grandparents had lived back in the 60's where I had played as a very small child. We knocked the door and a nice young man called Jack showed us some old photos that brought it all back.

A magical day and just one left here before we go to The England Football Academy in Burton tomorrow. - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Stoptober Day 15 - Stratford-upon-Avon - Clutch - Electric Worry

800 up at Stratford-upon-Avon Racecourse
'I get satisfaction, everywhere I go, where I lay my head that's where I call home' - Clutch.

This played on my MP3 at my 20 mile point today and if you've never heard the song, I urge you to YouTube it and then you'll know just how uplifting this foot-stomper really is.

I'm not sure if I needed uplifting that much as I'd already been the special guest at Broad Street School's morning assembly AND been met local celeb, Cyril Bennis on the way to meeting Richard Howarth at the Stratford Herald, where he's a reporter.

My 28 mile route encompassed all my fledgling running routes of 1994 - some 800 marathons ago.

Tonight I am going to savour the celebration of passing that 800 marathon barrier and tomorrow I make a dent into the LAST 200 marathons to notch up for that magic 1000 marathon target.

Day 16 beckons and its been a long day.

More tomorrow... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Stoptober Day 14 - Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi

School Photo with my brother Martyn - 1969
Oh we're half way there - Bon Jovi, Sambora & Child.

What a great way of getting to the halfway point in my #Stoptober Challenge and my 799th marathon of all time.

It started with a long run into Reading on the A33, which I've nicknamed McDonald's Avenue after all the litter I saw along the 9 or so miles I ran along to get to the roadshow in the centre of the town.

The roadshow was the busiest one and loudest to date with a spectrum of balloons, cakes and crew encouraging folk to quit on October 1st, National Stoptober Day. It was really going well!

After that and all the crowds, I was then out on my own notching up the miles out of town and as far out as Goring where I got to the end of my run today. Talk about a beautiful place...nearly as nice as Stratford-upon-Avon where we are tonight ahead of at least a couple of days here.

Tomorrow's the big one as I clock up my 800th marathon, a feat I'd never have thought I'd be capable of 20 years ago or even when I ran my first in Telford on 6th November 1994.

It's going to be emotional AND I have Cyril Bennis coming to run with me after I'm a guest of my old primary school, Broad Street, for their assembly. I left there in 1973, some 40 years ago and I wonder what's changed. I know I had more hair then!

I'll tell you tomorrow, so more then... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Stoptober Day 13 - Armed and Ready - MSG

'Is it hard enough, is it loud enough' - Schenker

Phew, that was a long old drive last night and whoever thought of sending the M42 through Solihull Town Centre on a Friday night must have a very strange sense of humour as major roadworks had closed IT AND the M5 near Bristol later on causing us a late night arrival from Sunderland. It was a marathon all of it's own...

It can't have been too bad though as Jenny knocked over twenty seconds off her Park Run PB at Little Stoke, Bristol to make it 18:36 now and I did 24:28 (sub 8 min miles, oh yes) and blew the soot out from my 336 miles of running on #Stoptober so far.

I think it really helped with the whole day and Martin Dunne and his Parkrun Team were so friendly to us as were Bristol City when we went on there afterwards. I can't express just how welcoming Darren was at the ground. I hope they start winning soon for his sake!

The Bristolians were great at the roadshow and from there I just decided to smash the miles out along the A420 towards Chippenham and did a great time of 5:36 for the 28 miles including some massive climbs up to Bath Racecourse.

I'm looking forward to some nice rest tonight before hitting Reading tomorrow. 

Know any good places to go?

More then... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Stoptober Day 12 - Tears for Fears - Mad World

Rory at the Wearmouth Bridge, Sunderland.
'When people run in circles, its a mad world' - Orzabal.

It's been a mad old day on #Stoptober today as there hasn't been a moment to spare from a Breakfast-time BBC Newcastle interview to finishing our day at Seaham some 28 miles later.

In between, I went to Newcastle United's, St. James' Park and Sunderland AFC's Stadium of light, pushed our Stop ball thru Sunderland AND spoke to my training clients on the run. See what I mean...

I think the running bit was the easiest and my route ran the Great North Run, back to front and then down the coast, which certainly helped with the mental approach to covering the first few miles of the day.

After lunch, it was much lonelier and I just thought about cutting the route into easier 'Bite sized chunks'. Talking of food, I'm now starving and am thoroughly looking forward to a hearty supper as I'm now over 3kgs lighter than when we started 12 days ago.

We now have a marathon drive to Bristol - so see you there tomorrow - Jenny is racing at Park Run so watch out! - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Stoptober Day 11 - Rain - The Cult - Rain

'Open the sky and let her come down, here comes the rain' - Astbury & Duffy

Oh my did it just RAIN and RAIN today...I didn't mind as I expected it to give me a good soaking until midday but my poor iPhone did and sadly passed away in the Apple Store, drowned to death in a lifeless pool of water.

I'm not surprised what with the bath submersion incident of a month ago, the recent exposure to the Cardiff Monsoon and finally today's north-east downpour as it was just too much for it's circuit boards to cope with. It was struggling with 3G anyway, the poor thing and for a while, I was without Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Email, Google Maps and my 70's progressive rock ... it was touch and go out there!

Luckily, it was very quickly replaced and was up and running in no time ready for our photo call at 11am this morning with Newcastle's Press and a STOP BIG RED Wheel roll to the University, NUFC at St.James' Park and a visit to Northumberland Street for the #Stoptober Roadshow.

Getting in 12 miles before that and 16 afterwards broke the run quite nicely in two and I really enjoyed the Tyne and Millennium Bridges. I'm in Sunderland tomorrow after a Radio inteview at BBC Newcastle at 7.30am. Talk about a full itinerary!

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Stoptober Day 10 - Rush - New World Man

'He's a Rebel and a Runner' - Lee, Lifeson & Peart

Every day on #Stoptober I say it's been the best so far, but really was the best.

It wasn't about getting past the 10 day mark and the 280 mile barrier it was about the pure simplicity of the day and just how when you are running, your mind can take you to another level and you just feel free and at one with the world.

Taking my daughter Pearl (8) to school this morning in Long Eaton got me off to a great start. She stayed aboard our Motorhome last night and kept Jenny and me entertained with a complete spectrum of endless questions about every topic imaginable. My word she has an active mind! She's awesome...

From there it was a bit of a 9 mile dash to get to BBC Nottingham to link up with BBC Wales for their mid-morning show with Jason Mohammed, if you follow my Map my Run you will notice my heightened heart-rate along Castle Boulevard in Nottingham.

The best part of going to the BBC was actually meeting footballer Robbie Savage, he was just fantastic and very charming. He seemed most interested in my #Stoptober Challenge as he's just done the Great North...The idea of 28 x 28 just blew him away I think. Anyway, it was lovely to meet him.

It was also great to meet up with Denise Lowther and Paul Nicholls towards Sherwood and Mansfield to get those last few miles in the bag to wrap up a very satisfying 10th 28 miler in 10 days...

We are now in Newcastle ready to get some sleep in for a full media day tomorrow in the city centre and some more sight seeing.

More then...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Stoptober Day 9 - Cardiff - ACDC - Hells Bells

'I'm rolling thunder, pouring rain, I'm coming on like a hurricane' - Johnson, Young, Young & Young.

Boy oh boy did it rain!  As it poured down from 11am today in and around Cardiff and I couldn't have got any wetter in the deep end International Pool. #Stoptober Day 9 was the wettest so far...

Did it dampen my spirits? Did it heck as I'm still chonking out the miles and I'm really getting into the rhythm of getting out on the road early and getting into double figures before breakfast to keep my morale high.

I did go sight-seeing again today and I went to Cardiff Castle as well as Llandaff Cathedral, (a city in it's own right) and really enjoyed the buildings and their historic pasts. As well as running down to Cardiff Bay again, I believe I live in a beautiful part of the world.

How's the body coping? Well I'm getting thinner and it's surprising how you can quickly get used to knocking out the miles both mentally and physically. I'm treating this like a job and it's working just fine for me right now.

I like treats too and there's none better than seeing my 8 year old daughter, Pearl tonight as she's coming on-board to stay and I can then take her to school in the morning.

Tomorrow I'm in Nottingham so please come along and see me there if you can spare a few minutes for some running around the city.

More then...

Monday, 16 September 2013

Stoptober Day 8 - Limelight - Rush

'All the world's indeed a stage and we are merely players' - Lee, Lifeson & Peart

What an awesome #Stoptober Day 8 and I must thank the City of Cardiff for making this one of the best Stoptober Day's so far. It started a little later too at 9am which made life a whole lot more user friendly as well so it was happy days right from the word go.

I started with an open mind on where to go today as I have run thousands of miles around the city in the past two years BUT I aimed for the Millennium Stadium for starters and they very kindly let me into the Stadium and let me go pitch-side to have a photo call. Going out from the players tunnel made me feel very proud to be an adopted Welshman - My Welsh Granddad would have loved that.

It seemed only right to go to The Cardiff City Stadium and do the same. Excitedly, I waited until after a double bacon sandwich lunch and a run to Penarth Pier (one of my favourite places ever) before I went to get my special 'Stoptober 28' branded Cardiff City Shirt and had my picture taken next to the pitch holding it like the clubs latest signing, although I'm not sure they need a 51 year old with 100,000 plus miles on the clock.

I have to thank Cardiff City and especially Barrie McAuliffe, for making this happen... They were so kind to Jenny and me and are really behind #Stoptober which is great news too. I'll be back there for the Newcastle game on October 5th.

From there the last 8 miles just flew by...and the day was just a breeze. I feel great for it being my 8th consecutive 28 miler in 8 let's hope that continues!

More tomorrow...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Stoptober Day 7 - Smoke on the Water - Purple

'We made a place to sweat' - Gillan, Blackmore, Lord, Paice & Glover

Gosh, where do I start on Day 7 and 197 miles into my #Stoptober 28 x 28 Challenge as its been awesome today in lots of different ways.

It started with a cold sunrise at our Caravan Park at Bursledon near Southampton and the sun quickly burned the morning away but not me luckily... as it actually got quite warm at times.

Luckily to spur me on my good friend Lou Herron came and joined me for a few miles and we had a good catch up as we haven't each other since she survived a second year's MdS tent with me last April. She's a 100% total energy giver so I took all she had to give - thanks Lou...

From there it was onto Portsmouth and another great #Stoptober Roadshow, those guys are really working hard on all the smokers they meet, I believe we are really starting to make a difference.

Up to then I'd already got 20 miles under my belt by then and headed for HMS Victory as I'd never been aboard and luckily for me, Hannah the Museum Manager let me aboard for my own very special sight seeing tour. How cool was that!

It was simply amazing, I felt real history under my feet...I'm going back after the run as I found it so interesting and I can take more of the history of the oldest British Warship still serving.

More tomorrow... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Stoptober Day 6 - Greatest Day - Take That

Pam giving me Special Encouragement
'Watch the world come alive' - Barlow

My world came alive at 5.30am this morning for my latest 28 mile Marathon in 6 days making a total of 168 so far on the #Stoptober Challenge.

We even managed to fit in Park Run Croydon too on a very wet yet rewarding jog round Coombe Park in 33 minutes and Jenny won the ladies race of course in just over 20!

Best thing about it was starting Park Run with 9 miles on my GPS already for the day and finishing over 12... It really moved my mileage on nice and quickly as did meeting Edward Mills and Pam Storey at the #Stotober Roadshow. It's great to see friends along the way and I'm looking forward to seeing Lou Herron tomorrow...

Yet again it was a low key day of running and my Average Heart Rate of the last three days is just over 100 so I'm hardly overdoing it. For the HR geeks amongst you I spend 3 hours a day roughly at 133bpm, that seems to be my perfect endurance speed.

It's all good though and there's no blisters or injuries (YET) to speak of but might get a physio booked for Monday as we head back to overnight in Caerdydd...and a proper bed at Home before we head up to Derby and Nottingham. So if you are in God's City on Monday, please come and have a run.

More then... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Stoptober Day 5 - Prince - Sign o' the Times

'Is it silly no, when a rocket blows
And everybody still wants to fly?' - Prince Nelson.

Apt lyrics for the #Stoptober campaign today as I've been in and around wonderful Barnsley, where I believe we've had the best roadshow so far and I've had my easiest and most enjoyable run so far.

It started from my parents house in Doncaster and I ran from there out towards Barnsley where I was joined for a good seven miles by my friend Tom Fitzsimons. Trotting along with someone in complete empathy is extremely satisfying and peaceful thing to do - it was a real luxury for me.

As was the trip from A to B rather than an out and back as it gives the run far more meaning. I'm amazed how much difference it makes to the runs relevance and motivation.

I must thank Barnsley FC for being so welcoming and having the most perfect pitch I've ever seen, amazing!

Nothing I thought would top that until I found Prince Edward was visiting the Town Hall to open the new civic fountains just as I was running by. He looked very smart as did the Mayor and Mayoress unlike me in my sweaty running gear.

Then again, I didn't look too shabby and only had a couple of miles after that to get the 28 miles in for the day and with the 140 mile mark passed in five days, slightly more than the Marathon des Sables, I hasn't to add in the same time. That's a good thought to have as we now travel down to CROYDON to run tomorrow.

More then from a very happy Royal camper... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Stoptober Day 4 - Hung Up - Madonna

#Stoptober at YCCC
'Those who run seem to have all the fun' - Madonna, Price, Andersson & Ulvaeus

It was Leeds turn today for the #Stoptober treatment and following our 5am start, I was soon out on the road covering my first seven mile loop.

If you look at the route I took, you might think that my internal gyroscope had gone haywire as I did a lot of running in all directions trying to find he best way to Elland Road and the Leeds United Football Club ground. I did find it a did a lap before heading back to our Motorhome Base by the Market in the City Centre.

As I wrote yesterday, it takes a leap of faith every time I take that first step on one of these 28 milers BUT I'm treating it like a job (the best job ever btw) and I'm just loving the ever changing scenery and the people I'm meeting along the way.

My trip into Yorkshire Cricket Ground was certainly the highlight of the day and Leeds is a vibrant city, especially when you see it come awake like I did this morning.

Tomorrow, I'm heading from my parents house in Doncaster where we've stopped tonight and start my day running to Barnsley Football Club in the morning. That will get the first half of the day out of the way, so more then.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

#Stoptober - Day 3 - Where the Streets - U2

'The city's aflood' - Hewson, Evans, Mullen, Clayton

Liverpool provided a great backdrop for our third #Stoptober day on the road and the shoppers gave me good Liverpudlian Humour as I pushed the big red inflatable wheel thru the city centre. This came at my 23 mile point of my 28 mile ULTRA-marathon that began at just gone 0600hrs this morning.

I’m already discovering that the hardest part of the Challenge is taking that FIRST STEP each morning,  just like it is for anyone quitting smoking and although tough, in my experience what you need is focus and determination as well as a couple of hundred thousand other peoples’ support  to get you thru in the #Stoptober as well as my challenge I hope.

 I've got that determination firm and straight in my mind about my challenge have you got what to takes to conquer yours?

Mine is starting to fly by! The first seven miles whizzed by as did the second and third, especially after my double cathedral visit. If I ever needed divine inspiration - I got it.

Even the rain didn't dampen the Road-show or Movie Making as we even shot an advert for the campaign which I hope to see later in the week. As for now, it’s a chicken supper followed by another early night with my run tomorrow being based around Leeds. If you are around, please come and say ‘Hello’. If you know some nice places to go and see please direct me as I like a bit of ‘sightseeing’…

Oh, how’s my body coping? Well it’s fine and only a bit achy from three days of RUNNING and yes I am RUNNING all day and it’s just the other stuff we do that slows me down, I did get an eight minute mile in at the end today in the rain after I was prompted by my Garmin that my Battery was LOW.

Anyway, more tomorrow and keep tracking us at #Stoptober… see you Chums…

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

#Stoptober Day 2 - Yes - Parallels

Rory with Suzanne Collins
'I've been all around the world and seen so many faces' - Squire

Well it's been a fine day out on the Wirral covering my second day of 28 miles for the #stoptober campaign that I'm running for only the next 26 days now.

It all started very early at the '5 Star' Burr's Country Caravan Park, where we stayed in our Motorhome last night and we were on the road and ready for our 8 am start. (Big thanks to Jeanette at Burrs for helping us out btw).

I decided to start by running along the coast for a 3.5 mile out and back that would give me my first seven miles in the bag before some more breakfast but found I was expending a lot of energy into a howling gale and the path also sloped from left to right which could lead to Anterior Compartment Syndrome (bright red and painful shins which I certainly don't want on this trip), so I kicked this idea into touch and headed the other way.

I'm glad I did too as the scenery was far more interesting and it was well sheltered too, especially in the light rain squalls. The miles flew by with more food on board and I got to the photo call at 22 miles in good time enabling the interviews to be time-limit free.

Here I met Actress, Suzanne Collins who is pledging to quit with the #stoptober campaign and again with more of the people who are working on the roadshows encouraging people to sign up. It's all good stuff and very rewarding.

Passing the 26.2 was also very satisfying and I enjoyed the last 1.8 miles to get me to The Woodside Quay for some Iconic pictures with the Liverpool skyline behind me.

That's where we are heading tomorrow and I look forward to seeing you there.

More then.

Monday, 9 September 2013

#Stoptober Day 1 - Marathon - Rush

'You can do a lot in a lifetime, if you don't burn out too fast,

You can make the most of the distance, first you need endurance.' - Rush

The words of the song make perfect sense today and my 0345am morning call underlined the 28 day task ahead of me of running 28 miles a day as a prelude to Public Health England's #Stoptober Campaign.

In it's second year, hopefully it will build on it's previous success and help 500,000 people, this year, give up smoking just as I did some 20 years ago.

My goal today was to get to the press launch at Manchester United's, Old Trafford Ground by 1130am ready to push the giant inflatable STOP Ball 3 miles to the Salford Shopping Centre for a roadshow directed at smokers shopping there today.

Fueled with a good porridge breakfast and a strong cup of Earl Grey, Jenny cheered me off on the first of 4 laps out from the stadium and back. These I just dutifully jogged at 11 min/mile pace to get the marathon done in 5hrs 32mins ready to join the Soldiers from the 207 Manchester Field Hospital who pushed the ball with me to the 29 mile mark in 6hrs 42mins.

I have to admit to getting quite emotional at the 25 mile point as none of the above would have happened if I hadn't made the decision all those years ago to quit smoking and get myself into a completely healthy place. 

Being able to do this run today is a real privilege that I am going to enjoy over the next 27 days. Today was REAL FUN! 

Tomorrow, I'm on the Wirral running along the Seafront at Meol and If you are in the area, please come and say 'Hello', I like that.

More tomorrow as it's nearly bedtime:-)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Time - Pink Floyd

What a brilliant way to start our road trip with Jenny smashing her 10km PB in a great time of 39:06 mins.

All that hard work and training has paid off and her professional approach to today's run easily got her to breaking the 40 minute barrier.

Over the last few months she's really upped the intensity and focus of her running and today it's paid dividends.

I held the bags of course ahead of tomorrow's first run and clocked up my own 10km just supporting. Maybe it was just what the doctor ordered as I've done very little since the Wolverhampton Marathon last weekend.

We've just left Wales and are off to Manchester right now to prepare for the challenge ahead.

More later... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.

Location:M4,,United Kingdom

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles

Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour - Lennon & McCartney

But more like a 'Pack up, Pack up for the Mystery Tour' as we've been filling the Motorhome where Jenny and I will be living ready for a month out there on the road. It's a beauty too and has all the space and mod-cons we believe we're going to need to get me through my next BIG challenge.

It's taken most of the day to get all of the equipment, kit and FOOD onto the Motorhome. Am I really going to eat ALL that food?

Thank heavens I had Jenny with her 'Accountant Head' today as the 'Devil is definitely in the Detail' on this kind of project. She's a bloomin' packin' genius, it's her MdS speciality and we won't be able to nip home if we've forgotten something.

Oh, What the heck are we up to?

Well you'll have to wait until Monday to find out, when all will be unveiled. There will be more from us tomorrow as we head to our first overnight stop where we can chill out and enjoy a night off on our fabulous Motorhome.

More then...

Friday, 6 September 2013

Get Ready - The Temptations

'Get ready 'cause here I come' - William Robinson Jr.

'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail', is one of my favourite sayings and in setting off on my next adventure I've tried to do as much dark detail as I'm capable of in the lead up to Monday's kick off.

Luckily I've had lots of help with my preparation, especially from Jenny of course but also by Sports Massage Therapist, Lynn Rees who has been getting my old body in tip-top condition for the task ahead. I love Lynn's direct and very honest approach to sports massage, she's help me feel totally ready and in my best shape in ages - psychologically that puts me in a great starting place.

That's VERY important to me right now and it's really going to help over the days ahead.

It's all too easy to 'wing it' races and when was the last time you REALLY prepared to go and smash an hour...

More tomorrow... - The UK's Leading ULTRAmarathon Coaches.