Thursday, 30 June 2011

Full steam ahead...

May have overdone it this morning.  7.4 miles and I ran at a quicker pace knowing I was due to start earlier to conduct more ineterviews.  I'll take the dog out later to stretch out any niggles...

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

2 more and it's 1/5

Quick update.  Lovely email from Jax from Helly Hansen complimenting me on the blog.  I've promised to keep her updated on the challenge.  A very "standard" email from Decathalon, which made me question if they had even read the letter given what was in their response. Not to worry - plenty more opportunities out there.  Onwards, always.

6.2 miles this morning.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Helly Hansen is a friend of mine

Another early start with this one, 4:45am with a nice 6.3 miles as the sun came up.

The Helly Hansen parcel from Holland was waiting for me when I got home - 2 technical t-shirts, 1 pair of shorts and a lightweight jacket, that must be over £180 worth of kit,  Big thanks to Jax at Helly Hansen's HQ in Nottingham for reading my letter and convincing her Marketing Manager that my challenge was worth a punt.  As the theme tune to "Jim'll Fix It" went..."Your letter...was only the start of it..."

Looking forward to wearing it with pride!

No booze...No problem

I stopped drinking when I started this challenge, and despite the sunny weather and walking past pub beer gardens witnessing some lovely ales being supped - I'm not that bothered.  Ask me on day 64 and I may have a different point of view...

Monday, 27 June 2011


Run 16.  6.2 miles

This morning was the first time since I started this challenge that I didn't feel like running in the morning and considered putting it off until the evening.  It may have been a combination of the muggy weather, and the nice weeknd, where I could afford to run later, without the pressure of getting the morning train into Manchester.  Louisa from the JDRF Press Office emailed me a cutting of an article that the Manchester Evening News printed last Saturday on my challenge.  This gives me a much needed boost, and that the challenge shouldn't be seen as a chore, but an achievement each day, until I get to the 100th run.

Thanks to Jotie, Andy & Caz and Martin for their sponsorship over on the justgiving page - really appreciated and it's taken the total so far to £550.

A frustrating day at work today will be eased by working off any bugbears in the morning up to the floating light.

It's a new day.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Run 15/85 to go.

In typical fashion yesterday's wet weather gave way to one of the hottest days in weeks.  Abandoned my plan to hit Dove Stone Res and instead stuck to a local route. I Started in Diglea, ran through Diggle-Dobcross-Up Woods Lane, then up Sandy Lane over on the trail behind what used to be the Horse & Jockey public house.  Met the Pennine Way and over to Brun Clough and back down towards the boat lane and home.

6.3 miles. Onwards and Upwards

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Stick to the roads, boys...

First of all, many thanks to everyone who has sponsored me on my justgiving page.  I took a look this morning and I have reached the £500 mark,  so thanks again.  I would like to reach £2000 by the time of next year's London Marathon, so I'm making pretty good progress.

"Stick to the roads"

Wise words from Brian Glover's character in "An American Werewolf In London".  I should have heeded this advice before setting of on today's run, but then it has provided me with something to add to the blog, other than "Run 14, 8.2 miles".

I started from home, then up the boat lane to Brun Clough, and met the Oldham Way over the tops, with usually a lovely view of Cattleshaw.  Today it was wet and misty, so I saw nothing of the landscape, slipped more times than I should have and 3 miles in, was met with a worring sense that I was lost in the middle of the moors.  A happy moment when I realised I was on the right path was short lived, when I noticed a large black cow grazing on the footpath.  Whilst working out how to get round him, my attention was arrested by the site of one of his comrades lying down a couple of yards in front of me.

Hi-Viz jackets are very useful, however totally inapproriate when you want to disappear from the view of two curious and grumpy looking cows.  I stopped in my tracks and the one closest to me suddenly stood up, and with a swish of his tail, I headed for the nearest wall and changed my route pronto.

I usually do this route with my friend and running partner, Patrick who is laid up with a virus, so he luckly missed out on this afternoon's bovine antics.  I decided to switch from the roads to the fells at the weekends to run on a variety of surfaces and take a break from pounding the same pavement.  I've no regrets about this and plan to go over towards Dove Stone Res tomorrow.

My trusty GPS told me I completed 8.2 miles. The credit for these extra miles I completed goes to Carolyn for making me the smoothie of all smoothies before I set off.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Pressing on

There's more press this week, with the original Oldham Chronicle article reprinted for the freesheet, Saddleworth Extra and the great write-up on the local news website,

Richard Jones, the Editor popped round on Wednesday evening, and we chatted about the challenge and also how popular the website is.  He recorded our interview, which was also put out on his website - there was an uncomfortable pause where the cat jumped onto the kitchen table, she was just being nosey and put me off my stride slightly.  He has agreed to keep his readers updated on my progress - thanks again for your time Richard.

Many people at work are also being very encouraging, asking about the running and walking away shaking their head.

Thursday run (12/12) - Diggle to Dobcross and up to The Floating Light and Brun Clough. 6.4 miles
Friday's run (13/13)- as above 6.4 miles.

I nipped into Helly Hansen to browse what may or may not be coming over in the post next week.  The range of gear designed to keep you cool looks very smart.  I got myself a new NB zip-up short-sleeve top to replace the one I lost at last year's Great South Run.  All very well thinking about gear to keep me cool, it's lashing down with rain at the moment, so the jacket is on standby for tomorrow's run.  As it's the weekend, I'll go for afternoon runs to take advantage of extra rest time in the morning.

The Saddleworth Extra must have experienced a slow news week, as my story has been upgraded to the front page.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Not quite in the same league as the Olympic Countdown Clock

My home-made countdown clock at work, yesterday:

The sponsorship has started to come in thick and fast on the justgiving page - many thanks to everyone who has donated.  I really appreciate it - gives me a boost on these early mornings!

I have received an email from addidas saying they cannot help by providing any vouchers or merchandise for me to wear, and that they already support local charities around Stockport.  That's fair enough, and good of them to send a reply and wish me good luck with the 100 runs.  Just a pity the photo in Monday night's  Oldham Evening Chronicle had be sporting everything addidas. 

Louisa Sampson from JDRF has prepared a great press release, so she is going to work on some of the media "big guns" to get the message out there.  Watch this space...

Richard from the local news website http://www.saddleworthnews,com/ is popping round for a chat in a moment...

Anyone fancy a part time job as a p.a?

Fame...Well, a page in the Oldham Evening Chronicle

I think it's something on everyone's wish article on them is published in the Oldham Evening Chronicle!

The interview was conducted over the telephone by Lewis Jones, and the paper's photographer insisted on a couple of "action shots".  The photo looks alright, apart from the way the wind is throwing my chin forward, but no matter.  It gets the message across regarding the running challenge, the good work the JDRF undertake and the justgiving address.  They mis-spelt that, so i'm hoping it's correct by the time the free edition comes out on Thursday. I hope they lose the "Tom Robinson 2-4-6-8" headline as well.  I'm always associated with the man for some reason.

Dave Porter, Editor of the Saddleworth Independent Monthly Newspaper has promised to publish an article for next month's edition, which shall be out in the first week of July.

Runs: Tuesday - 6.4 miles, Wednesday - 6.2 miles

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Floating Light

6.8 miles this morning.  I had a day of back to back interviewing, so again it was vital that I was up and out on the road before 4:45am today. I've got a good route that takes me down into the next village, Dobcross, and up over Standedge.  It's a great sight to see the sunrise from one of the highest points in the Parish - opposite the house which was once a pub "The Floating Light".  I have extended a previously shorter run to take in this local landmark, and joining the cutting at Brun Clough Reservoir and heading back down the boat lane for home.

I've also had a couple more donations on the justgiving website - Thanks Richard and Kirsten.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Week One

I've now finished week one and 8 of the 100 runs.  Whilst hardly a great milestone, it's given me some satisfaction that I have been able to do the 6.2 miles every day on one of the busiest weeks I have known at work.

I have been undertaking interviews for new working coming into our office, for which I need to be in earlier, so I have been getting up at around 4:15am-4:30am to fit in the run, then a quick dog-walk before setting off for the office.  On Thursday, I needed to be on the first train to London from Manchester Piccadilly.  Rising at 3:15am wasn't really the best preparation for that evening's run - but despite the lashing rain, I got my head down and got on with it.

I'm changing the route each to add some variety - here are the miles for last week:

Sunday 12th: 7.5 miles
Monday 13th: 6.2 miles
Tuesday 14th: 6.2 miles
Wednesday 15th: 6.2 miles
Thursday 16th: 6.4 miles
Friday 17th: 7.5 miles
Saturday 18th : 6.4 miles
Sunday 19th:  6.3 miles

I've been passed some good advice from Colin Bishop, an experienced fell runner, Coach and member of the Saddleworth Runners.  "Take time to stretch before and after each run and warm up before setting off". I'm grateful for any advice - it makes a change from "Are you mad?" and "You want your head looking at!".

On Tuesday, I had my photo taken for an article that will appear in a future edition of Saddleworth Extra, one of the local free papers.  I have interviews set up with and the Saddleworth Independent in the coming week.

Support comes from unlikely places

Last week, around the same time that I sent out the usual "begging" email to work colleagues and a link to my justgiving page to my facebook friends, I decided to approach major sports manufacturers and retailers as well as a a few small, independent businesses. I thought there would be a better take-up if I requested an item of merchandise rather than to outright as for money donations.  It's a mark of the times then, that the first one to respond, and pledge support should be from a small, family-run business based in a village in Hampshire.

A3 sports is run out of a small store in the centre of Liphook, the village where I grew up and lived for nearly twenty years - and where my Mum and Dad still live.  It was a shot in the dark that I should approach them to help me with my training in support for a plug in any press or media I undertake as the challenge progresses.

Beth Marr from A3 Sports sent me one of the nicest emails, pledging to design some t-shirts for me to wear - I'm most grateful and plan to take her in a bunch of flowers when I am next down visiting my parents at the end of July.  Their website is

I've also had a promise of some gear to keep me "cool, dry and warm" during the next couple of months whilst undertaking the runs.  Many Thanks to Helly Hansen, who have broken their "don't normally do must understand the amount of requests we get...etc etc" rule to support me.  A parcel is on it's way to me from their depot in Holland, I'm told...

JJB Sports have said "No", however Mark, from their base in Chorley phoned and told of his experience with type 1 diabetes when his 10 year old son was diagnosed in January this year.  We have agreed to join forces and help each others' fundraising, sharing tips and best practice in managing Type-1 Diabetes.

It's getting interesting...

Friday, 17 June 2011

100 runs in 100 days

I've set up this blog to support my "100 runs challenge", which I started on June 12th - exactly 100 days until the Bupa Great North Run on September 18th 2011.

My 7 year old son, Jake was diagonsed with Type-1 Diabetes in December 2008, aged 4 years old.  This has been a life-changing experience for not just Jake, but the whole family.  Although he is a happy and well little boy, he must live with twice-daily insulin injections as well as blood sugar testing around 5 times a day.  If this is not managed properly, it can lead to a number of side affects, and complications in his later life.

Last year, my wife Carolyn and Mother-In-Law Ann, trekked Mont Blanc, and raised over £3,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

This year it is my challenge to run at least 6.2 miles each day in the 100 days leading up top the Bupa Great North Run in September 2011.

I will track my progress on this blog, along with photos and hopefully will raise both money and awareness for the JDRF and Type 1 Diabetes.

My Fundraising page is