Saturday, 14 April 2007

Just 3 months left.........not time to panic (yet)!

There are less than 3 months before the big run. It's time, just for a moment, to take a step back from all the training, organising, pestering, dreaming and planning and take stock of things.

This event has presented me with 4 main challenges; organising it, training for it, sponsoring it and running it. The organisation of the run has gone almost 100% to plan so far. I haven't managed to acquire the camper van that would have solved all of my accommodation problems in one fell swoop. I have, however, managed to get some very cheap and often free "digs" with the help, imagination and generosity of colleagues and friends. So far, I've got 24 nights of "quality" accommodation. This leaves 18 nights sleeping in a tent in both the Scottish highlands and later in Devon and Cornwall. These 18 nights coincide with support from my wife and son - Katy and Jack (and not forgetting Monkey of course!). It should be an interesting family experience to say the least! My other supporters, Keith and Owen, have put their hands into their own pockets for digs. I owe them a beer or two after the run when I start drinking again (My last beer was New Year's Eve!). Speaking of support, I have all but 4 days of the run supported. I need to finalise support for these 4 days very soon or I face the prospect of running 96 miles solo! Heaven knows how that would work out.

I'm currently giving thought to the changeover arrangements needed when one supporter finishes and another starts their duties. I do feel that I'm almost there on the organisation front.

My training for the run has gone far far better than I'd expected and my fitness is probably the least area for concern. I'm running quicker than I have for a long time and further than ever before. Apart from a sore groin lasting a couple of days and a bad back caused by carrying 2 litres of water for 51 miles there's hardly been the hint of an injury. I've said it many times before and I think it is worth emphasising again. The support and encouragement from my colleagues at Northern Rock has been key to the progress I've made in training. Again, I think a few beers are in order when I return, God willing, from the south coast in August.

I set an unprecedented and very ambitious sponsorship target of £5000 for this event. At the time of writing, I've achieved 51% of that target. In my school days, that would have been enough to get you a pass in an exam. I'm after an A+ this time round and nothing less than £5000 will do for the pain I'm about to put myself through. I've still got plenty of avenues to pursue and remain ever confident of reaching this target in aid of St Benedict's Hospice.

And finally we come to actually running the thing. How on earth is a human being supposed to run that far in 6 weeks? Especially a 16 stone one! I'm resigned to the fact that it's going to hurt like mad. I'll be prepared for the pain knowing I'm backed by so many people, pledging money, for such a great cause as St Benedict's Hospice. One thing is for sure. This is a real step into the unknown for me. It doesn't compare to anything I've ran before. I could really do with something like a "Running 900 miles for Dummies" book.