THE MORNING AFTER THE DAY BEFORE

Here we are then, the morning after the day before ( I like that line – that’s why I’ve used it twice) and what a day yesterday was.

The whole Family. Friends, old and new, not seen for a long time.  Current friends. The SSIJ Team.  All in one place at the same time – so many great people to get around, that I fear I did none of them justice, as I was spread a little thin.

And mustn’t forget those that don’t pigeon hole in the above. They were there  in their numbers and helped in no small way make the day that much better.

Stood at the bar having a mini re-union of those I will always think of as ‘my boys’ from the halcyon days when we swept all before us on the football pitch, sharing banter, was a real throw back.  I’m still chuckling at Bobby’s reply when I asked him how he was.

“Melancholy” was hardly what I expected.

Has any footballer ever used the word Melancholy before?  Still that kind of sums Bobby up.

The only downer was having to leave abruptly.  Having sat on my sofa for the best part of six weeks, waiting for the elephant leg to reduce to normal, I found that standing up for a couple of hours was too much for my ageing back and consequently had to give into the spasms and struggle the 100 yards to the car.  I felt and looked like I was thirty years older than the spritely 52 I am – in fact most 80 year olds look better than I did at that moment in time.

I did however make it through the Raffle of Excellence, the main event of the day.

Having worked on it for a good while, fretted, worried, cajoled, nagged, encouraged – everything came together yesterday evening and I reckon we ‘proper’ (to use a good Wiltshire word) pulled it off.

Highlight of the Raffle was undoubtedly my Mother (in her 70’s) winning the tandem parajet flight.  It took a good while to restore order, indeed when I got home and rung her she was still laughing herself.  In truth she has always liked Weymouth, so this will give her the chance to see it from a new perspective!!

The Raffle, as a whole, was far more successful than I had imagined as it grew nearer and as it turns out raised £6k – yes that’s six thousand pounds.  How generous are people in these times of austerity? Thanks to you all, if you donated you can feel rightly proud of yourself and sleep sound in the knowledge that you’ve done a good thing, as every penny will go to Factor50 and help people like me.

But that doesn’t just happen.  A lot of hard work went into getting it right.

Whilst I don’t generally single people out as I firmly believe in the team ethic, I will however now.  Tara, Pete and family were brilliant, from the outset and basically sacrificed their whole day getting the tickets sorted (there were a lot – six thousand to be precise).  Couldn’t have done it without you, so many, many thanks.

Which nicely brings me onto an area I have neglected and really shouldn’t have.

The support crew.

In many ways being a runner/rider is easy. Not physically obviously.  But you get up in the morning, don your trainers and get going.  You can however only do that because lots of people have put in a lot of work beforehand and continue to do so as you eat the miles up.

Driving, cooking, feeding, scrounging, mending broken bodies, sorting out routes, finding places to set up feeding stations….the list goes on and on as you try to pre-empt every conceivable situation with a solution before it happens.

Trust me it’s not easy.

Imagine spending all day travelling around the Yorkshire Dales and then having to cook 25 meals in double quick time.  Collapsing in a heap on a camp bed for the night and then getting up at sparrow’s fart (half an hour before everyone else) and cooking 25 breakfasts before setting off and doing it all again.  It just ain’t easy but is necessary – the whole challenge would collapse without these unsung heroes doing their thing.

And they do it all with a smile on their face.  They understand that that is important to keep the athletes going and they do it all expecting no praise or thanks.

So today I’d like to publicly say thanks – we really couldn’t do it without you.

Who are they?

Well in no particular order:

Jon Chalk

Rich Chalmers

Dawne Dawes

Scott Dawes

Penny Chalk

Mandy Forster

Steve Forster

Miné Arzu

and due to injuries, Myself and Sarah will be helping out

You make it what it is.

One final note – there are a lot of people eating Malt Loaf today.  Thanks Soreen.

TTFN.

 

 

It’s coming up …

Well, it’s getting close to June, and for me, and 13 others, that means we’re about to embark on our second “SSIJ” challenge, www.ssij.co.uk

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Last year we ran the South Downs Way in 3 days, that’s over 100 miles. This year however, we’ve decided to double up and do 205 miles of the Pennine Bridleway, we’ll be running 30 miles, then mountain biking 70, then running another 30 miles, and finally mountain biking another 70. Mad I know. But it’s for a fantastic cause, Factor50 – www.factor50.org.uk

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Not only am I taking part in this but I (jh IT solutions) are a key sponsor of the event and have been designing and maintaining the event website for the past 2 years. Something which I’m incredibly proud of and proud to be a part of.

Not only this, but a personal little bonus for me is that I have managed to get Soreen to help us out as well, through pure bloody mindedness and persistence they are going to donate some delicious malt loaf for us! Amazing!!

So thank you for reading my little update, and feel free to donate, after all, for every £1 you donate you get a raffle ticket into the draw to win some fantastic prizes, such as a flying lap of Thruxton, Bath Rugby merchandise, sign rugby shirts by Matt Dawson, Will Greenwood and others, and to top it off, you could get your hands on a signed bottle of Whiskey from none other than David Cameron… Not a bad selection of prizes!

Double up for next year he said…….knee has started hurting already!!!

So the gauntlet was thrown down and I’ve said yes ……..I must of forgotten all the pain and the tears from last year and the fact after running over the South Downs I ended up in hospital!!! But that’s just it I have forgotten and all for a very good reason pain is only temporary but pride is forever and because it is for an amazing cause and on behalf of an amazing and inspirational man who I had the up most pleasure to meet last year, Steve Chalk.

So I find myself pricing up mountain bikes for the 140 mile ride part of the 200 miles and looking at a marathon training plan that I can fit in whilst i’m backpacking around Thailand…this should be interesting even more so we are now to submit Vlogs do you guys not realize how camera shy I am!

The End

I’ll apologise for the essay now – Sorry! So sat here writing this and reading others I’m a little bit more emotional and overwhelmed than anticipated. To be there at Winchester with all these strange and unfamiliar faces, no one would have known that those same faces 4 days later would be as sorely missed as they are. Despite all the setbacks of the challenge, grumpy, old heartless caretakers, missing stops, going a couple miles wrong and yet still getting back on track, the shear agony on our legs and the long dwindling days in which light soon turned to dark, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world and looking back you could say that we all thoroughly enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to step in again.

Of course, the support team were excellent. Always holding out a helping hand for you, putting their own hands in their pockets to fuel us (I must have had a tub of peanut butter to myself! Thank god for the change to tuna on the last day ;)) Waiting all day at various stops along the country but yet still be cheery and encouraging at the end. They all have a heart of gold! Even at the last stop of day 3 at bo peep car park, the heavens opened and there was me with nothing but shorts and a T-shirt. Dawne offered her fleece jacket for me to wear leaving her with nothing, in the cold of a minibus. It’s the little things that mattered. Joff in a cold a dingy changing room making me the biggest mug of tea at 11.30PM on the smallest of stoves because we weren’t allowed in the kitchen!! Not to mention him always having my change of trainers on hand in the back of a packed van! All the other guys bending over backwards to help us get things, cook things, clean up after ourselves, unloading and loading the van, driving us about…the list is endless! I don’t think they realise just how much help they were and for that I can only salute them!

Now the runners, well, they were just made of steel. A mile away from the finish line, Seb believes he’s in the circus, doing flips and cartwheels along the route. Must have got the energy from those skittles. Some of the injuries the runners were suffering were horrendous and yet they carried on through the pain! Jades little knees were flucked before a mile was ran, added to this 6 months ago she couldn’t run 1 mile without stopping, for her to finish was something else. Through the pain with nurofen and standing only due to her friendly wooden stick I may be a little bias but I think she is incredible. Also, I won’t forget how on the last day at a snail’s speed, Joe turning to me and saying ‘I’m at a peak pace’ due to his dodgy knee, shin splints and IT band (Still not convinced everyone knows what that is mate ;) but your roller mat makes for a good foot raise at night!). Sarahs knee was pretty impressive to be still walking on too! Now I’m no physician, but basically, she had no knees. It was one solid mass of skin from her thigh to her ankle so I’m guessing something wasn’t right. And yet drondle on as she did with her heart of gold (still didn’t eat those homemade flapjacks, I was gutted!). I never saw anyone with as much determination to finish the challenge as Tara! She had her own setbacks, and yet told herself and everyone she was going to do it weather it took her all day and night! For Amy to continue after her dads injury I thought was extremely encouraging to watch. It would have been easy for her to drop out and yet she didn’t, although given where she was saying she hurt, don’t think there was a place on her body not in continuous pain!! Toz was just superhuman as always. Powering on through, fag in one hand beer in another. Loves his Mani’s pizza too, ate his own and anyone else that seemed to be ‘struggling’ with their own ;) Absolutely horrendous feet and popped blisters by the end though! Now I am a podiatrist though, and I can say that his feet were disgusting and that he should seek medical help! ;) that rusty old nail to pop them though probably wasn’t your best move! With ben, well, ben’s ben isn’t he. Not one injury and powered on through the 100 looking like he could run back home. All credit to him though for stepping in a week before. Think he lies a lot though given the amount of times I heard ‘ I reckon at the top of the hill, well go back down it and that’ll be the checkpoint. WRONG! And then there’s Steve. The fighter of them all. Wearing all the clothes he had to shield away from the sun and dripping in sweat yet still going. Even after his knee gave in he knew he was going to pass that finish line. Even when trying to be persuaded to pull out completely, he said no and up those rocky hills which weren’t good for his knees he went. A true legend that has certainly left his mark in plenty of people’s hearts.

Oh, and there’s Geoff, the late addition to the team. What a cracking man he is. The shoes made us laugh, The man made us laugh, The laugh made us laugh. He just kept on keeping us going and was a superb team player. Some great stories too (I won’t mention the one whispered at the pub at the end eh? ;) )

And that’s it. It’s over. Gone. Forgotten about and I feel rather sad knowing that. Yet, what we have achieved, with no real professional help, will be felt by others and benefit people that we may never even meet. We done something silly in June, What will you do …?

Until the next time, Over and out.

Charlie

So much to say and not enough blog!!

When my dad first told me he was terminally ill with cancer my whole world fell down beside me, I was devastated, how could this happen, this is my dad he is invincible, why has this happened to him but like I said this is my dad, there is no way he would let this defeat him and therefore there was no way I could crumble as he needed me. Through finding this out I found out who true friends are and found out just how loved and appreciated my dad is and along came #somethingsillyinjune.

Now of course I was going to participate, I would do anything for my family but when 8 other people put them selves forward I was in true awe of their commitment to my dad. We pull up at the start and everyone is full of beans, unsure of whats ahead but loving every minute. To be honest on day one it was pleasant, finding your feet, enjoying whats going on around you, hating Jon blowing that horn at every check point (which I then on day 3 was always praying to hear). Everyone got on attacked the challenge and at the end of the day we were all smiling. Of course there were a few niggles, aches and pains. Me and my dad made the perfect pair by 20 miles he was struggling up the hills and I was struggling down them, but you know what, we done it 30 miles down and 70 to go.

Day 2 I wake up and I can barely move but its ok everyone is smiling and laughing away there was no time to feel sorry for myself I just had to keep on keeping on. We push on, attack the day like we are invincible, the barber shop quartet leading the way. I’m with every step dying a little inside with pain but pushing through it, no time for feeling sorry for myself everyone was in the same boat. We fight our way through the haunted woods of death down the hill and we are at the first check point, brilliant! We set off again and bam! My dad is in trouble, its his knee. I knew it was bad when even the cows were spurring us on with their moo’s and he still wasn’t picking up the pace. Its just me and him slowly (like toddler steps) plodding along, not going to lie I wasn’t sure on what to do, with every step my dad took came a big yelp of pain or a swear word, we were pretty much at a stand still up a massive hill, and I was unsure of how I was going to get him to the next check point, but with patience and time we got there. He couldn’t go on, I stayed with him (you never leave a man behind) and good old Geoff (George) rose to the challenge, off the barber quartet went with the boat shoes in tow. My dad said he couldn’t go on so at the next stop I knew I had to, so I joined the quartet (I already knew in my head this was going to hurt) I was strapped up and jogging along with the boys. They amused me and were gentlemen, if they needed to fart they would run at the back, true gentlemen. We catch up with the others and come across a beast of a hill, it was worse than any of the hills we had already attacked, worse than the Winchester hill (if you read my dads blog you will know how hard that one was) but with a little encouragement and everyone’s smiles and banter I was at the top, woohoo! We get to the next check point strap up, refresh and off we go again. Then it gets hard, I don’t know what happened but this was the LONGEST 7 miles ever, I still say now that it wasn’t 7 miles because mentally it killed me. Everyone is powering on and then there was me and Sarah at the back, the pair of us limping away and in pain. It goes on, and on, and on. I start hallucinating thinking the sheep were the support crew cheering us on and when I found out it was only sheep I break. For the next 2 miles poor Sarah has a very depressed Amy along side her but its ok because we had each other. The mini bus is in sight but seemed so far away but we get there. I struggled alot when my dad wasn’t there, when he met us at the stop I just cried. Mentally this was tough. I wont even talk to you about what that evening had in store for us but we were not happy campers any more.

Day 3, the final day. I’m at an all time low. No one could hug me without me crying, even before we set off my lovely boyfriend comes to give me a morning hug and what happens I just cry. Oh brilliant i’m an emotional wreck and the rest of the team are going to have to put up with it, I try my very best to pull myself together, Toz clinks his cigarette against mine and we are off. Geoff in his boat shoes, still finding everything hilarious. We then head off in the fog and for the next 5 miles we just keep going up. Everyone is at a low, we are all feeling it but we trooping on. We start to come down and still there is no horn blowing, no white shirts, we have been going for 3 hours, WHAT IS GOING ON. I of course start my crying antics but its ok Ben, Tara and Joe give me a pat on the back I walk in front and keep going down. Then there it was, the steepest, muddiest, most horrible looking hill ever, I stand at the bottom, uhoh here we go again. I’m having a little moment but the boat shoes appear next to me, Geoff holds his arm out and up we go together, Geoff as always is laughing at the hill, it was always the smallest things that got you through. We get to where the stop should be but through a horrible load of coincidences the support crew weren’t there. But they arrive and then the most amazing thing happens; we are well behind on time and need the tempo upping so the next 14 miles or so are covered in 2 and a bit hours. It was the most amazing thing I have seen and I will always remember it – I would never have thought Tuna sandwiches could have such magical properties!!

Anyway as the story goes on there were more hills, more aches, but we made it as a team we crossed that line every single one of us. By that point Geoff had the speed kings which sounded like clogs clip clocking away, they brought us hours of amusement along the south downs. Every single person in that team brought something special which made every step that little easier so here I go:

Jade- one word AMAZING, through thick and thin she smiled, no matter what. She gave me so much encouragement to get back up and carry on. Gandolf became her nick name and even with a massive knee injury she just done it, she didn’t complain it was AMAZING.

Charlie- to me Charlie was silent but deadly. He was so quiet but there he was attacking every moment, he was pushing on helping Gandolf along the way, it was lovely to watch. He could walk next to me and be saying nothing yet some how it was just helping me no end.

Tara- in one word SUPER. Tara could be struggling but out of nowhere would just pull it out the bag and would just go, there was no stopping her, off she went like super woman. Picking everyone up along the way and taking them with her. She would crack a smile and everything would be ok.

Sarah- Incredible, in the most pain Sarah would just keep it going, singing her heart out, who would of thought after day 2 Sarah was going to be able to keep going with her poorly leg (Tara kindly names the tree trunk) but incredibly she did.

Ben- Invincible. Ben made it look like a complete breeze. We would hobble along with Ben in front of us strolling casually with his hands in his pockets, hopping the fences like he hadn’t already run 70miles.

Toz- Relentlessly enthusiastic is what I will say about Toz. He always found the silver lining in the cloud. No matter how crap it got Toz would just make it all seem that much better. He was consistent with his attitude and I never seen or heard a negative action come from him.

Joe- Snaggle tooth. There are much better words I could use for Joe as he was an absolute trooper but unfortunately for him he picked up snaggle tooth along the way. He has a heart of gold and was so committed to SSIJ it was great. He made sure there was no I in team on those 3 days.

Seb- Determined. There was no stopping Seb, absolutely nothing was getting in his way. He had so much life and soul throughout each day and he was never down about anything (well not to my knowledge). Seb always helped people without even realising.

Geoff- Speed kings. Geoff and his humour got me through a lot, when my dad pulled out and he stepped in his whole attitude was immense. He is so modest about his actions which makes it even better. I don’t think he will ever actually realise what he did for the team and how much of a breath of fresh air he brought.

My dad- HERO. Don’t think I need to say much else about him. He knew how to get me through the south downs and he just done it.

So that is it, no one will ever read this and even get a sense of what it was like for us. You just simply had to be there to understand just how difficult and how intense this challenge was. I must not forget to say just how INCREDIBLE the support team was. They too will never fully understand what they did for us and how they actually kept us together. Jonny, My Mummy, Aunty Alex, Uncle Joff, Craig, Luke and his amazing blister plasters, Dave oh no I mean Rich, Dawny Dawes, you are all wonderful people and without all of your cuddles, encouragement, enthusiasm towards us, time, patience and hard work it wouldn’t of been possible to of got through all of that. You are all WONDERFUL in my eyes.

I’m on top of the world today and will keep each moment locked away forever. I will never forget anyone that was involved and each of you have a special place in my heart. I’m in complete awe of you all and could never thank you enough for what you have done for my dad.

Thanks for all that have donated and believed in us and I guess I shall see you all next year YOU ABSOLUTE LEGENDS!!

Love hugs and kisses and remember …. Stay Classy!!!!

Over …..

xxxx

Pride

So, where to begin?

Well probably the beginning is as good a place as any…..

To be told you have a terminal disease is hard. It tests your mental toughness to the very core. It hangs over you every minute of every day and I can understand that many will collapse under the enormity of it all. Others will get very angry and shout at the moon (god knows I’ve wanted to many times). Some will hide themselves away fearful of confrontation, fearful of the pity in the voices and eyes of others, not knowing what to say to friends, families and acquaintances, in many ways shielding those same people from awkward and painful interactions.

Me?

I’m in the group that meets it head on. Accept the inevitable (hey – shit happens) and move on, I can’t change the situation so no point in dwelling on it – time’s now a precious commodity, so I can’t be frittering mine away on chasing an impossible dream.

Make it count and make a difference would be my mantra. I don’t mean make a difference in a earth shattering way by discovering the new penicillin but to make my mark in my little world in my own little way. Do some stuff that really matters in my world, that I and those around me can be proud of and so it began……..

As I sit here now unable to walk I wonder if it might have been better to shout at the moon – hell no. I wouldn’t have traded the last few days for anything. I have witnessed and been part of the very best that the human race can offer both physically and emotionally. You had to be there to appreciate it, my words will never be enough to convey the effort that was expended on behalf of others by Team SSIJ.

One example; how many people do you know that could run 74 miles in two and half days and then because time was slipping away run a half marathon in 2 and a quarter hours (oh yeah – cross country over the biggest hills the South of England hold, did I mention that bit?) to get us back on track? Without a doubt the most inspiring feat of physical effort I have ever had the privilege to witness and trust me, it was a privilege.

Let me try and put all of this into some sort of context. We have just run 100 miles in three days across the harshest terrain the South of the UK has to offer. It happened during two days of blistering heat and a third of driving rain (who will ever forget leaving Bo Peep car park?). Every five miles or so there was a support crew ready to feed, water and mend us. It probably couldn’t have been much better (OK the Scottish bloke aside) so it’s a good job we used professionals all round.

No wait!

That’s right we weren’t professionals at all in fact, and I don’t mean this disrespectfully, we were rank amateurs. At best only a couple of the runners had run a marathon before but the majority had no running experience at all, other than school cross country and the support crew were made up of friends and families who had no specialist qualifications over and above the ability to drive, cook and carry. That is other than Luke, who despite the pressures of time and suffering monumental hay fever kept us taped, bandaged and massaged to the finish line – of course in keeping with the whole challenge, he too had never done anything approaching this before (thanks for telling us now I hear you all shout!!).

I ask you then what the word professional actually means, ‘cos if you tell me you can find me a better set of qualified individuals I just won’t believe it. As one we believed in the greater good and that is an unshakable characteristic in a team and worth more than any piece of paper pertaining to be a certificate of competence. Upon reflection I’ll change my mind (it’s my prerogative OK?), we weren’t rank amateurs at all, we were the epitome of consummate professionalism – nobody could have done a better job.

Want another story of ridiculous unselfishness – well you’re going to get one whether you like it or not.

Mid way through the second stage of the second day my knee gave out. I don’t mean it became painful, it actually stopped working. My wonderful little Amy stuck with me as we walked about three miles at snail’s pace to the check point where everyone else had waited. It became obvious very quickly that I wouldn’t be able to carry on without a lot of work, so Geoff who had come along as general fetcher and carrier volunteered to run my miles so the team could continue. Brilliant.

But there’s more.

With no training he set off and ran 50 odd miles……in his boating shoes. Yes you read that right his boating shoes and even when I got back on he continued to the end (he was in speed kings by then but that’s a completely different story). He’ll tell you it was nothing compared to the other runners because he’s like that, but how many people do you know that would, or could for that matter, run 50 miles cross country in 1 ½ days wearing boating shoes? We tried to talk him out of it but he just wasn’t prepared to let anyone down. Phenomenal effort Geoffrey and Labi Siffre right back at you.

I’m sure everyone has their own personal low. Mine? Old Winchester Hill on day one. As we came out of a set of woods you could see this mound on top of a very big hill.

“Let’s just hope we’re not going up that big boy” I muttered to Amy, fully knowing inside that we were bound to be.

However the path, though ridiculously steep, snaked away from Old Winny. Inwardly I cheered loudly. Then slowly it weaved back towards this giant of a hill, but wait, we’re going away again. And so it continued for a while until we duly arrived at the foot of the mound on top of the hill and even then it flirted with me, teased my very being by sending us right along it’s base but then as we rounded the corner to follow the base eastwards Amy spied it…………….the South Downs Way Signpost from hell pointing directly to the top.

Man it was steep, so f**!ing steep. Mental torture at it’s best. Still as Amy said cheerfully when we got to the top “That’s that one out of the way and we don’t have to do it again”. Thanks Ames.

But the lows weren’t many and even if they were nobody complained, nobody argued they just got on and did their bit. Amazing really when you consider that all 19 of us were living in each others pockets for 3 days under the most extreme pressure that most of us had ever experienced. When someone was having a ‘moment’ others rallied around and pulled them through knowing that they’d be having a ‘moment’ of their own around the corner and somebody would rescue them. True comradeship.

I could go on and on but won’t so here’s a few I’ll just throw out there.

Who knew that petite Jade would have such an inner core of steel, actually I’ll correct that, titanium?

Who’d have thought having seen Sarah’s leg at the end of day two that she’d walk again let alone get up the next day and power through to Eastbourne?

Nobody would have thought that a pair of speed kings from Asda could keep 11 people so amused for such a long time. Praise be to George.

I would never have guessed after stage one that we’d get to love Jon’s horn.

Snaggletooth? We all know what they are now, especially Joe.

So much banter I couldn’t begin to list it out. Anyone out there got a quote of the trip?

So that’s it then. Done and dusted. Job done.100 miles in 3 days across the South Downs.

I can’t possibly write down how thankful I am to the other 18 that helped me do this. Everyone was phenomenal and underlined my belief that basically human beings are good. Never believe otherwise, the idiots are a headline grabbing minority. For the support team to give up their time and place the needs of the runners way ahead of their own and for those runners to put themselves through the physical and mental demand this challenge called for, on behalf of others, is the most unselfish of acts. Feel proud of what we achieved. Each and every one of you that was there deserves the tag, Legend.

I called and you all came and I couldn’t feel more pride than I do now. Tomorrow it will be gone from most people’s minds but not ours. We were there and shared an experience that will stay with us for the reminder of our lives and I, for one, couldn’t think of a finer group of people to have that memory of and with.

So, back to my mantra; Make it count and make a difference. Did I manage that? In my world I think so, or least hope so.

If you weren’t there but donated thank you as well and if you want to donate you still can do, just hit that button and you too can do your bit to help me help others like me.

Keep on keeping on people.

The end…………..or is it?

OH MY CHRIST its Tomorrow

This has come around so damn quick. Tomorrow we embark on one hell of a journey 100 miles over 3 days.

I have trained and trained and ran and ran and ran and ran and ran then when all that was done I did a little bit more running.  I feel as ready as I will ever be but I dont think there is ever a way I would be fully prepared for a challenge like this.

Today is the final day to get ready. Ive got my bag packed, trainers ready, checked my tent, iPod charged and water at the ready and its only 3 o’clock. So for the rest of the day I will be trying to think of the best excuse I can to get out of this………. dammit its to late. So I’ll use my time wisely and strap wheels to my trainers.

When I think about tomorrow morning its very daunting that instead of getting up, making some lunch and heading to work I’ll be eating porridge, meeting the team and we’ll all be running 30 miles and thats just the 1st day of 3 which happens to be the shortest. So think of us when your sat at your desk, behind your bar, painting, building, coaching, teaching, cooking or whatever it is you do because I’d bet that no one would want to trade places. That said CLICK DONATE and support us with anything you can manage.

Hopefully we will be able to blog and keep you updated over the next few days so keep checking.

Special thanks to everyone at work for all the support and I love the tracking board so I’ll try and keep you up to date.

Wish us luck and next time you hear from me I will be part of the way through.

Final preparations…

Firstly it’s an honour and a privilege to be involved in this event and I thank Steve and the team for letting me be part of it.

I only found out a few weeks ago that I would be doing this event so when I came to the realisation that we are running 100 miles in 3 days, I couldn’t help thinking that my current training needed adapting slightly. I am a runner and have been for a few years now. I normally run around 50 miles a week and race for Salisbury running club. However, the furthest I have ever ran was the London marathon in 2010. It took me a week to recover from 26 miles so to run another 74 after is going to be a very hard task.
I have 100% confidence that we can pull through as a team and complete this challenge for Steve.

Unfortunately I can’t get to the old ale house on Saturday as I am working but I’m sure there will be enough alcohol consumed in my absence. I’m looking forward the first cold pint when we are standing (maybe crawling) on Eastbourne beach!

The main thing is that we raise money for factor 50 and everybody continues to donate and show their support. Many thanks to the masses of you who have donated already.

Now for the last few training runs until the big thing…and a lot of pasta!

Ben

ONE WEEK TO GO. OH MY GOD.

Hello peeps, hows it going? I have been a naughty Chalkster and have not been blogging in a while (smack my wrist) but its ok IMMMM BACCCKKKK. Well since we last spoke you will all be pleased to know i have had many running disasters, not as great as the treadmill but still they are up there.

So i found i hate running on my own. When i attempt to run on my own i might aswell not of bothered, its boring. No matter what i do, what music i listen to or how many running games i make up in my head . . . . . ITS BORINGG. I also get scared running on my own, i am a victim of too many horror films so therefore everytime i go running i atomactically think the chain saw masacre man is going to get me. Which leaves me with limited “safe” places (not that broadchalke isnt safe just in my head its all a horror film) to run long distance in the land of broadchalke. So i take to the hill opposite my house. Its a hot day, im tired from work and really not wanting to run but here i go. Im going up the corn field its going good then a massive hare jumps into the track im running along and it races in front of me, its almost like he’s teasing me “haha look how fast and far i can run Amy, you are rubbish, haha look at me go, come along with your fat ass” well that instantly makes me angry so i keep going up the hill, and up and up and up. I get to the top and turn to the silly hare and stick my two fingers up to him. Now im feeling slightly pleased with myself i havnt let the hare get me down im powering on. I climb over the fence into the next field. This bits easy its a nice long downhill jogg. “oh crap, ouch, ouch, OUCCCHHHHH CHARLIEEEE” Im stood in the middle of stinging nettles they are everywhere and i think right i can hop through these quick and it will be fine, then theres more, and more and more, “WHERE DO THEY END???!!!” Im thinking to myself. Then i hear a twig snapp, of course in my head its the man from the chain saw masacre, of course it is, im in the middle of nowhere, on a big hill with no houses near by, “omg going to be chain sawed.” but i look and its only two deers about 100 metres from me. A massive sigh of relief. Then i look again and they are just stood there staring at me, so i stare back. Then i think hang on a minute “DONT JUST STAND THERE, COME AND SAVE ME FROM THE STINGING NETTLES GOD DAMM IT” but they dont. No they just stand there staring so now ive fallen out with the hare and the two deers. Ive faught my way through all the stinging nettles and im on the hill to get down, the grass is long i cant see and WHAM im in a badger hole, “WWHHHYYYY, WHY WOULD YOU DIG YOUR HOLE THERE MR BADGER” im shouting, so i spend the rest of the journey leaping in the air trying to dodge the badger holes which arent visible due to the stupid long grass. 20 minutes later im out the field, im stung all up my legs, im annoyed at the animals, im angry with the grass and i just want to get the last bit of the run over with so i can go home. I go into the next field. Im running through the field, im near the end of the field “yay” im thinking. I climb over to the track behind my house i have 400metres to go and im home “oh crap i cant get up the track” they have only gone and fenced it off, with a fence i cant climb. So now im forced to run the extra long way home. I get in relieved to be home, covered in stinging nettles, not friends with the two deers, hare and badger and have picked up 7 bites along the way. What a run. The main thing is i wasnt in a horror film and the chain saw masacre man didnt come out to play … phewwww.

ONE WEEK TO GO. OH MY GOD. I feel in no way prepared for this but im going to do it anyway and you know what ill give it 100%. Just keep donating and keep us keeping on. I am excited really, what will i do once the run is over? i will have no life anymore. I will miss all these horrible runs in the sun and rain and falling off things and down things. (hahaha joking i am, i wont miss them really) Thanks for all that have supported us and people get to the ale house this saturday for a lovely somethingsilly gig which Mr Thom Belk has very kindly prepared.

Good night all, sleep tight and dont let the stinging nettles bite ….

Stay Classy!

xxxxxxx

Lon, Lat & Long Lost Cousins (The Final Countdown)

One week until the madness begins……….OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!

At long last I’ve been given the all clear to run but I’m guessing now is a little bit late to get fit, so I’m relying on a bit of mental toughness and my fellow runners to get me across the South Downs – but I’m confident in them, after all they’re a good bunch.

Recce has all been done and the stopping points located & sorted. I did discover something useful during this particular exercise – putting longitude & latitude points into a Satnav is far more accurate than postcodes, we were pretty much spot on with every location. I also found out that no matter where you are you will see somebody you know.

There we were sat in a car park in the middle of the woods when some participants of the South Downs Way half marathon went jogging past on a track through the trees.

‘Alex’ says Joff ‘that looks like your cousin.’

‘It does’ replies Alex ‘because it is!!’ [abridged conversation]

We shouted, quite loudly, at him but his earphones blanked us out. A text though was responded to a few hours later declaring that it was indeed him. I would say at this point that the World’s a small place but I’d be lieing – have you ever tried walking around it? Still it was amazing nonetheless.

This Saturday we have our send off gig very kindly organised by Thom Belk at the Old Alehouse. It starts at 7pm, so it would be nice if you could drop in for the odd pint or three whilst taking it some quality tunes and supporting us with the odd donation or four!! Also big shout out to those performing, many many thanks from all at SSIJ.

That’s it for today haven’t time to ramble on for ages I’m afraid – places to go, people to see, deals to be done!

What’s that?

Oh yeah………..and finally…….

No time for a shaggy dog story today so a quick witticism to sign off:

These days many people get their exercise jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, dodging responsibilities, bending the rules, running down everything, circulating rumours, passing the buck, stirring up trouble, digging up dirt, slinging mud, throwing their weight around, beating the system, and pushing their luck.

Don’t be one of them – get out and get on.