Wednesday, 21 May 2008

The Pennine Challenge Team. Finalised!

After month's of telling my colleagues that the 22 mile route from Castleside to Middleton "isn't really that bad*", I finally have a team of 10 able souls to undertake the Pennine Challenge.

The Team is a mixture of 5 cyclists (doing 44 miles) and 5 runners (doing 22 miles). We have various levels of experience. From accomplished club runners such as the one and only Jimmy Bell (Elswick Harriers (pictured right)) to relative newcomers such as Jonathan Dixon (A gangly 6 foot odd runner who is there to provide the comedy as much as owt else!).

We will be raising funds for The Childrens Foundation (Charity No. 1000013) whose vision is "for the health and well being of children and young people in the North East to be the best in the UK.".

The five runners are myself, Jimmy Bell, Jonathan Dixon, Steven Moore and Carlton Fletcher. The five cyclists are Mike and Michelle Paul, Richard Scholfield, Fraser Scott and Ian "The Coach" Glasgow".

Having trained in the Pennines for the most of 2007, I can't stress how difficult this route is. Only last week, one of last year's runners (Michael Dunn (pictured left)), had an exploratory operation on his knee. The injury came near the end of last year's run on the hills around Middleton. Michael will be on crutches for a few weeks and I wish him a speedy recovery. I don't for one minute think we've seen the last of Dunny's running career. You can't write off a charity hero as quick as that! And you may notice that Ian "The Coach" Glasgow is a cyclist this year. He also sustained a knee injury on the route last year and hasn't been able to get much running in as a result. The route really is that treacherous!

My own preparation for this run has been not the usual itinerary of out and out running. I've really mixed it up this time with 4, 5 or sometimes 6 spinning classes, 2 boxercise classes and 3 good quality runs a week. I've managed to maintain this schedule for 3 months now so I feel very prepared. I'm running as fast as I have for a long time, posting 01:13:50 (a PB) for the 8.4 Havannah route last week and 01:15:05 only today. I'll be spending the next 4 weekends in the Pennines getting used to those hills and getting the distance up slightly. Oh and I mustn't forget the weekly workouts on Wii Fit. They aren't as strenuous but I do enjoy the change!

*yeah right!