Sunday, 11 April 2021

David Fairlamb Fitness - New Sponsor

What a week for getting commercial sponsors on board it has been for Run Geordie Run! Chapman Ventilation was announced as my main sponsor on Thursday. Soon after that, Taylored-Fit Physio, Steven Bell Property Rentals and D-Line Cable Management also pledged kind support which all goes to benefit St. Benedict's Hospice of course. Active Edge, who have been supplying me with the   Cherry Active recovery drink for 10 years had pledged their continued support at the back end of last week. It all adds up to a quite remarkable set of sponsors. 

As I've mentioned already this week on the blog, these are all family owned and ran businesses. They all share my passion, determination and vision and I'll be going all out to deserve their amazing support over the coming months.

There are now just 2 slots left to fill on the shirt that will be on my back for 50 miles per day as I run the gruelling 250 mile Stage X of the run around the world. This special stage has been inserted into the around the world schedule due to the current pandemic. I'll be going back to Ukraine to tackle the 2100 mile route to Kazakhstan via Russia when it's safe to do so. For now, this "intermediate" stage has been dreamt up to provide a safe local event that is very worthy of sponsorship.

I'm pleased and very proud to announce that the penultimate sponsor this year is none other than David Fairlamb Fitness. I've worked closely with owner David for the last 13 years. He has been a trainer, mentor and very good friend (not to mention Best Man) during that period and has played a critical part during many of my trans continental runs. Dave knows how to get the best out of me and that was very evident back when he helped me claw back a seemingly insurmountable mileage deficit during the run across the USA in 2011.

I've seen Dave turn around a lot of people's lives around through fitness and mentoring over the years. To say that he is more than a personal trainer is an understatement.

I've probably never written about the time during the run across Europe in 2016 when I was running up the Stelvio Pass. The motor home had recently suffered some careless damage that would go on to cost over £10,000 to fix (thank goodness for insurance but I paid £1000 out of my own pocket for the excess!). There was also frequent alcoholic like behaviour on the support team at the time. If running up to 43 miles per day wasn't difficult enough, the performance of those who were supposed to be helping me affected my morale and overall mental health big time. Anyway, I was 8 or so miles up the Stelvio on the Bormio side and I rang Dave while I was running. I told him that I didn't think I could take any more and continuing the run was looking in doubt. I will keep private what Dave said to me that day but suffice to say that I kept on running and successfully made it to the finish line in Belgrade 3 weeks later. 

During the run across the USA I remember Dave being in constant contact, particularly near the end. There was one day in Pennsylvania when I was having a particularly bad time and he arranged for numerous people to ring me up to boost my morale. It was one of those game changing defining moments and I'll be forever grateful. That day was also very humbling as he got Olympian Chris Cook to chat to me. The rest, as they say is history, and with constant contact during the final weeks of that run I made it to the finish line at Coney Island, New York on time.

Fast forward 2 years and Dave was helping me prepare for the run across Australia. The video below are his thoughts on my chances of success, a look back at the run across the USA and the eternal issue of my weight. It's a video that I often revisit and I can't tell anyone how much it means to me to have such a person in my corner. I said earlier that Dave changes people's lives. It's no exaggeration to say that Dave has had a quite profound impact on my life over the years. 

Fast forward to Monday 12th April 2021 and there will be only 90 days until the start of Stage X. After a very time consuming but successful and rewarding work project I'm probably in the worst condition that I've ever been this close to a major event. If it wasn't for Dave's Zoom sessions and the odd long run the situation would be far worse. I say "worst condition" but I still cracked out a 20 miler last week and lived to tell the tale. There is a lot of work to be done however!

I've always trained to be able to get through just the first few weeks of a multi month ultra distance event and never taken care of my weight. When you get those first few weeks over with having, say, ran up to 43 miles (as was the case with the run across Europe) the fitness levels just get better and better and the weight loss is considerable. With Stage X I won't have that. It's 250 miles over 5 days with 15,000 ft of elevation. The previous strategy just doesn't fit. This event will be over before it's began in comparison to previous stages around the world.

Back to the aforementioned date (tomorrow) when I have a session at David Fairlamb's new gym. For me that will be the equivalent of standing on the start line at Huntington Beach in California. It's day 1 of a very long campaign. I simply have to be in the shape of my life come day 91 when I stand on the start line at Bamburgh. It will require unprecedented discipline and the kind of effort that has seen me run almost 10,000 miles around the world so far. I will have my critics and doubters but I'm going to use that to my advantage.

I'm really looking forward to getting started at David Fairlamb Fitness tomorrow at 0715. I'll then be training on my own during the day before returning for a double session later in the day. I'll be straight on the Cherry Active tomorrow night! The video below gives you a sneak peak at Dave new premises. It's got all my favourite bits of equipment in there and I'm really looking forward to getting in the VersaHub for a session on my favourite machine, the VersaClimber.  The lighting and sound in the dedicated studio have been optimised for a fitness class. I don't believe there is anywhere quite like it in the UK.

Thanks to Dave for the continued incredible support. The David Fairlamb Fitness logo fills the final place on the front and back of my running shirt. I'm sure that you'll agree that this is a formidable set of businesses that I'm now representing. We all share the same passion, determination and vision to do what we do well. This very important fact is not lost on me. In fact, I'll be using that sentiment to my advantage over the next 95 days and beyond.

There is now just one more sponsor to reveal. That will be done as soon as I have agreement to use their new logo which I'm very excited about by the way! I think a lot of other people will be too. I can't say any more for now.