Sunday 23 December 2012

2012 Closing out part 1 (in case I do a part 2)

This may (or may not) be my last write up for 2012. The runners festive (look it up on Facebook you runners has started again. From 23 December up to and including 01 December. Physical and Virtual friends around the world pledge to run a certain distance. Log it on the website. And at the end the good people from The Runners Festive add it all up.

What happens if you run less than your pledge? Nothing, you still have ran?
What happens if you run more than your pledge? Nothing, you still have ran?

But it's just a little incentive to run. Last year I pledged 50k and I think I did 60k or something. This year I pledged 100k. This may be a bit more of  a challenge. But hopefully the mountains/hills and/or beaches from / near Marbella will help.

I did my first 13.7km today, with 7kg on my bag. Need more leg work in the gym. So I guess tomorrow is gym/run day.

So much for 23 December.

The coming week, most likely 27 December, I will be doing a Bikram Yoga. That is when my mate Wayde tells me a time/place where to meet and what I need to bring.

The last week has been very lazy. Just a bike ride (48 km), a gym strength session (45 minutes) and the above mentioned run. Pretty lazy. So I need to run up to and including 25 December. Than go off and see the in-laws for a lovely turkey (pizza in my case) with wine (beer in my case but mainly soft drinks as I drive) Xmas dinner. With 16 or so other people.

I look forward to Marbella, still seems to be 20 degrees (C that is) so nice an warm and capable of running. Maybe should bring the wetsuit for a swim in the sea.

Not so looking forward to a RyanAir flight. But you can't win it all. At least seats reserved, for outbound and inbound flight. You can even by a £3 fast track security lane thing at Birmingham airport. So it maybe relatively relaxing. As much as it can be relaxing at 0630 in the morning.

So far I'm totally on schedule with my non-existing plan for the MdS. I would advise my fellow running friends just to chill. Unless you break your bones or a scorpion kills you you will finish it.

I must say I have been very pleased and privileged with the people I met through the MdS event and the other running events I am doing. Really cool challenging and motivating people.  Thanks all for this.

On the 22nd we (my girlfriend and I) met up with friends in London Southbank. We strolled the Xmas market where we had mulled wine. Than a funny/nice dinner in Wahaca Southbank with is built from 8 recycled shipping containers. Very nice food. Than back to the market where i had a cinnamon bun and a coconut macaroon. 

Probably way too many calories. But who cares once a year.

For now, I wish you all very nice Christmas, do eat and drink as much as you want.
Of course a great new years eve as well. Do eat and drink as much as you want.

CU you guys soon, back in Richmond Park.

Saturday 15 December 2012

A quick update - my sports CV

As there are some issues with my website. Thank you website hosting company and I am in process of looking for sponsorship, I decided to do a quick update and add my sports CV to my blog. Cleary what I've done in 2012 is part of 2013 MdS. What I will do after MdS is just to keep on living.

If it's true that too much running may kill you earlier, well - I rather be Scared to death, than Bored to death.

This week has been a quiet week. Only two cycle rides, some weight work in the gym and a run. Clearly slacking here. Need to do better.

For now, happy reading and stay healthy.

2013 –
London Ultra 50k run (February)
Bath Half Marathon (March)
Marathon des Sables - 6 days in the Sahara (April)
South Downs Way 100 mile run (June)
Amsterdam TCS Marathon (October)
Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes (November)

2012 –
London Ultra 50k
Bath Half Marathon
60 Mile Tour de Tendring cycle ride
Holten Triathlon Olympic Distance
London/Richmond Park Duathlon
Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes - Nice to Cannes

2011 –
Kingston Run
Bath Half Marathon
Half Ironman Antwerp
London Triathlon Olympic Distance
Swim 2.25m/3.4m Hampton Court to Kingston Bridge
Half Ironman Galway
Hankley Hustle 10 mile Surrey Hills
Marlow Half Marathon

2010 –
Kingston Breakfast run
Half Ironman Oceanside California
Dorney Lake Olympic Distance Triathlon
35 mile Northampton Shires & Spires (DNF)
London Triathlon Olympic Distance
London/Richmond Park Duathlon (long distance) DNF
Kingston run
Hankley Hustle 10 mile Surrey Hills
Marlow Half Marathon

2009 –
Kingston Breakfast run
Sprint Triathlon Dorney Lake
Half Ironman (Distance) Trentham Gardens
Kingston Breakfast run

2014 – onwards in planning
UVU Jungle Marathon
Sierra Leone Marathon
Atacama Desert
Gobi Desert
Kalahari Augrabies
Full Ironman (or 2)

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Lost Worlds Racing - An Interim Update

As you all or hopefully most of you know, I'm the Ambassador for UK and The Netherlands for Lost Worlds Racing (
What this means is increasing their brand name and recognition. So I'm working on a few ideas.

Why would this fit in a MdS Blog? Well I was wondering this myself as well. To a level I still am, but I think it's all part of becoming a part of a different environment and world. Not a parallel world or universe, just something else, a change in interest and a change in who you meet up and hang out with. It's also part of mental preparation for the MdS. Getting in the mood of being active, rather than just sitting in front of some technological electronic device.

Now, what I've noticed is that everytime I mention the Causeway people I know get excited and their eyes get a little glimmer and sparkle. Of course I asked why is this? And it seems it's a gorgeous part of Ireland. I will most likely go and check out on the 4th of May 2013 when the Causeway 50k and 100k is.

This is the other part why I decided to write an extra episode of my blog. For those of you interested in participating, below are links to registration. And because I like and love y'all so much, there is a discount :-)

What is so special about Lost Worlds Racing:
When I mentioned it to this sales lady friend of ours, she immediately thought about dinosaurs. Well there ain't no dino's anymore. But they are National Heritage sites so we would like to believe that when the great reptiles roamed the earth, they went here as well.

What it means that the runs are in National Heritage sites? Well it's not your everyday place where you easily get access to. So it's a special place. And special places need to be treated special and preserved for years and generations to come.

So what we see in the MdS, is how the organisation under Patrick Bauer does everything to ensure the desert stays pure and we can keep on running and visiting it. They give back to the desert.

Why do we stick to 50k and 100k. Well those distance are do-able well within 24 hours and we try to do them on a Saturday. So Sunday can be the recovery day. It's about making it convenient and attractive to participate in a one day event.

So if any of you is interested, please feel free to contact me on or (+447795333765) with questions.




Monday 10 December 2012

Another week (s) went by

Hello, I am back.
Some sad news, my hosting company has made disappear from cyberspace so there is a call outstanding to repoint it.

Some good news:

  • I'm working slowly but surely to get and our races promoted. Up and Running in East Sheen, e-zine and I've requested a page in ultra tales e-zine.
  • I have a call later this week with a knowledgeable person about some ideas I have.
  • I've started running with a backpack (about 1kg) with additional 6kg weights in there.
  • I have marshalled at the Bushy Park run. And I realise how far I can still go but how far I've come already. There is a guy there with a 50 pound backpack and a husky dog who runs it as fast as I do. Which is about 22 minutes. There are people there who take more than twice that time. And I still dig them. Pretty cool. Respect as they say.
  • I think I will be in Ultra Tales in January

Last week I did a lot of cycling, running and weight sessions. Mainly to work (the running and cycling, the weights in the gym). My body is in pain, but it's muscle pain and not joint or bone or nerve pain. So pretty happy.

Between Xmas (which I'm not a fan of) and New Year (party in Marbella) I will be joining my friend Wayde for a Bikram Yoga Session. That seems to be something hot, so can't wait.

When writing this I am watching Man vs. Food. Tempting, Tempting as they say. The Yoder Peanut Butter cake looks fab.

So off to the Netherlands on Thursday night after meeting up with some old friends/colleagues in London. Train to Harwich, crash on the boat and sleep till in the Netherlands.

People ask if my training is going ok. As I've said before, if I had a plan I would know. I ain't got no plan, so I don't know. But I feel ready. Would love the date to move to 20-27 December. How cool would that be, Xmas in the desert? Yes I know some of the guys signed up, not excited about that :-) But what it means for me is: I'm ready mentally and physically. So that must be a good thing.

I'm cautious with my events before the MdS. Got two planned, a 50k and a Half Marathon. May do the Kingston run but that is 24 March so may be just to close, from a potential injury point of view.

I can see my Triathlon friends getting back in to training as well. My plan is hard until 24 December than off for 25-26 and hard again. Some hill running in Marbella coming up. Can't wait, but have to, so what can I do :-)

So much for today. But I will be back soon.

Keep safe and love thy neighbour


Saturday 24 November 2012

Part 12 - Excited - a brief update.

This week I am quite excited. Why is that you could ask yourself? If you were interested in asking yourself.

I've done my 9th Park Run. The 9th one was in Bushy Park where I did my first one as well. That means I am one Park Run run away from 10. Today's run was good but not great.
Great because I didn't go off like there is no tomorrow to collapse half way through.
Ok because I should have gone a bit faster on the first 2k to make the PB.
So the average between great and OK makes good. In my book that is.

I dropped a mail to Park Run for both Bushy and Richmond Park that I am happy to volunteer every now and then. Always fun to give something back.

As of this week I am the UK and The Netherlands Ambassador for Lost Worlds Racing ( My first activity is to increase the brand awareness of Lost Worlds Racing. We are a company that organises races in or very near World or National Heritage sites. So they are not  your run of the mill locations. Obviously all of you are interested in this, so feel free to question me about it.

Tomorrow there will be no Richmond MdS run for me. I'll do a run going to the Running Show in Sandown Park. Which I am sure will be quite good as usual. To snoop around (is that a word/activity)?

Training this week has been good. A couple of runs. Even a cycle ride and two flat tires on two different bikes. Not happy but such is life.

The race season is over for the year. Will keep on training hard till 24 December. Than have a few days off to get back into it on the 29th of December.

Hopefully I will be able to do a good couple of runs in the hills behind Marbella at the end of the year. Burn some calories before taking them in, in the nice food and drink places of gorgeous Marbella.

There isn't much more to report, I could bore you with what weight I lifted or what runs I did, but I will not. Most of you do the same, so what use is it to tell you I ran x KM in Y minutes which equals a pace of min/km or min/miles. I could do this by sharing all my Garmin workouts.

As part of the MdS, I have ordered a little Greek, Dutch and British flag which need to be sewed on my backpack. To represent the 3 countries that I am linked to.

So much for now. Have fun and be safe.


Friday 16 November 2012

Part 11 - Where are we today

Today 16 November 2012, physically I am in the Netherlands. Mentally I am somewhere over the rainbow. This morning I did a very gentle 5.49km run with my youngest daughter Kim. I would place a picture, but teenagers don't like their pictures except on Facebook.

Clearly that is a short run and it wasn't fast. But you know, it was a great run. For her and for me. Tomorrow I will do another gentle maybe at best 8-10km run. Then I will go with my son Ezra (again no pictures, FB only) to his football match. Where I am proud is he is 15 and a bit and plays in a team the A1 (which is a dutch grading). What the proud part is, is that the age to get into this team is 18. So he's clearly a good player. I guess, sort of. But proud anyway. So in January we go to an information day of the Dutch Royal Marine Corps. As you all know the Marines were invented by the Dutch. So would be great if he could join them.

In September when was in the Netherlands, I joined my oldest daughter, Naomi (no pix not even FB), to her gym. Which was pretty good. Doesn't mean we do the same things, just going to the gym, doing fitness with your kids is quite fun.

In the week after the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes I ran most days or went to the gym for strength training everyday. The weekend, I did the Parkrun 5k, added 7k did this with a friend, Helen. She is one fast runner. She's going to make me run faster, so pretty good training there.

You would ask, what this all got to do with training for the MdS? Well training for the MdS is not just running long, far, fast, consecutive days. It's getting mentally in the right frame of mind.

Where I am slacking (is that a word?) is pilates. I should do more and I do less. I need to get in the right frame of mind. I want to, but for some reason it ain't working out.

So I am clearly not all the way in. However, I know that if I would get a call tomorrow that the MdS is moved forward to next week, I am ready. Well ok, need to get a sleeping bag quickly and some food but that's it.

What also is important that the people I have met so far who will be there in the desert, are really great. Funny how we all seem to compliment each other.

As of today I am talking with Lost Worlds Racing ( to become their UK/NL Ambassador/Representative. Slowly slowly, but would be great fun.

Again, it's getting in the right frame of mind, and I feel big changes coming up. And I love big changes. I love change. Change is good. It's not the strong that survive. It's the adaptable. Or something like that.

I came over by boat, the Stenaline nightboat. I can recommend. You drive on it, around 2200 hours, about 1 hour 15 minutes before departure. Throw your stuff in your cabin. Go downstairs, get some wine, log on and play around. Than at 2300 go to sleep and you wake up in the Netherlands. Easy like Sunday morning. However, on Sunday morning I'll drive back to France to get the Calais crossing. Never done that, so that's a little change.

Next weekend, 24 November (yes nearly over) back for a run and The Running Show in Sandown Park.

As you  may have noticed, I started playing around with my own website. Very cool, but not sure if I'm creative enough. I like tinkering with it. But again, all sorts of change.

Well so far that's it for today. Will be back soon for more. Look out for the New Years Marbella edition.

Monday 5 November 2012

Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes Part 2

Decided I should write a bit more about the race itself and something, let's say funny, that happened around 00:15 Sunday morning.

So I set my alarm and went to sleep Saturday around 21:00. Suddenly my alarm goes off. I don't look at the time, but decide I go downstairs in the hotel I am staying in. More about that hotel later. I look around for finding coffee. There are 4 people sitting at a table playing cards, so I walk up to them asking where to get coffee. They look at me like I am totally weird (how can they) and they ask me why I ask them. I thought they were staff playing cards to stay awake, clearly not. So the night porter comes over and I ask him for coffee. Which he sells to me.

Day 1 Saturday - register at the expo. Well organised, pick up the free t-shirt. Graham and I gone through the expo shop part twice just to have a look and buy some stuff.

The start is at Promenade des Anglais, right in front of my hotel. Well to be fair, 200 m or so to the left.

So I go back upstairs and drink my coffee, eat some yogurt ready to dress. Finally I look at the time and see it's 00:15, which clearly is about 5-6 hours before I have to wake up. So actually I can go back to bed. Pretty cool, but why I didn't notice I still don't know.

So back to bed, and finally the real alarm goes. Clearly the previous one wasn't real alarm. So again, go down get coffee. More yogurt an a banana. Had a large 4 cheeses pizza the evening before (well actually half a pizza) at Francis Cresci La Pizza in Nice. Worthwhile going there. Busy place. Groups of 7 or more keep on coming in. Had a lovely starter (but forgot what) and some chocolate stuff. So not very hungry.

Meet up at 07:00 to drop the bag. Large trucks ready so we can hand it all in, no waiting time. Walk to the start area, nicely split form elite down to 04:30+.
Once it starts it flows through very quickly and they have pacers for 03:00-onwards. Drinks and food every 5km. Only thing can say here is, the Coca Cola should be flat. No further comments. Chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, dried fruit. Water, energy drinks and so Coca Cola.

One long relatively steep hill at km 28. Mentally too many people told me to walk it, so I did. Don't think I needed to.

Arrival in Cannes - lots of people. Great atmosphere. Lot's of people across the course as well. When arrive in Cannes, you queue. Not as organised as in the UK, but much faster. Pick up the medal, the finisher gift, a small backpack. Than a plastic bag so you can stock up on drinks and fruit. To than walk through to the trucks to pick up your drop bag.

Normally you would take the train, where your bib number would be your ticket but SNCF (Societe National Chemin de Fer - French Railways) decided to do work on the track between Nice and Cannes. So busses arranged. Only thing to say there, they could have been a bit closer. 

The course it self is seafront, past famous places like: Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, starting on the boulevard in Nice ending on La Croissette in Cannes.

I am very tempted to sign up again next year.

Marathon des Alpes-Martimes Report

As preparation for the MdS and because I never did one I participated in the Marathon des Alpes-Maritimes on 4 November 2012 from Nice to Cannes. A very worthwhile event. I would recommend this event to anybody. Very well organised. Normally great weather. Except this weekend. Saturday 03 November the weather was ok, on Monday 05 November, looking outside, the sun is back. On Sunday 04 November it poured. However lucky me, and my friend Graham who was here as well, we were finished before the great pour-down at around 1400.

This was done with my friend Graham Kehily who is training for his first Ironman next year.

It was my first Marathon, one, where I stop at 42 km and 195. Not one where I continue or have stopped earlier. So a new experience. Below split times. Just under 12000 started, just over 6400 finished within the 6 hours cut off. Which interestingly makes is higher fall out than the MdS.

Dossard n° 11433
Arrivé(e) 3800 out of 6440
1464 sur dans la catégorie V1- which I guess is my age group.
10Km : 00:55:42
21Km : 01:54:21
30Km : 02:47:17
42Km.195m : 04:09:27

I set up my watch for following Alex's advice, but I started slower than I maybe should have. I learned a lot, still my left leg is my weak side, and my left feet though much better is still not perfect. The pain is there but not very obvious. But that'll be fixed before April next year.

My 10k was slower than my fastest, my half marathon was 5 minutes faster than my fastest but should have been 10 minutes faster.

I needed to stop just once to often for a stretch.

But I enjoyed the weekend out, it was great. Great company, nice food, good drinks (diet coke and Orangina).
Overall I am happy but not ecstatic with my result. But a not so great run is better than no run at all. Sometime later today I will post the Garmin extract so you all can delve into statistics.

So far this report. Now up to 50K in February 2013.

See some of you 06 November or on Sunday 12 November.

Tuesday 30 October 2012

Part 8 - 5 Nights before 42.195 meters

On Sunday 04 November 2012 I will be doing my first marathon. This obviously sounds strange as I've done runs longer than that. However I've not stopped at 42.195 meters.
I stopped at shorter distances, and I stopped after. So there is a first time for everything they say, guess this is my maiden voyage on the Marathon distance.  Ok so we got that out of the way. I will keep you updated on how this goes.

This week I've been cutting down on running but increasing weights and Total Body Crossramp. This TBC is some sort of Cross-Country thing in my gym. I've done a bit of run on the treadmill and have been cycling to work. Unfortunately I had a flat tyre so had to take the train back home one day. Again, all part of life's little enjoyments.

I also found a "partner in coconut crime". Meaning a friend who likes coconuts. It has to be said however, coconuts are best eaten in a warm climate where they grow. But they still taste good in the United Kingdom or anywhere else. The coconut partner in crime knows who I am talking about.

Today I saw the pictures of the MdS expo. Wonder how I get copies? Specially of those people (yes you know who) wearing a sleeping bag hoodie. What is that all about, do a riot then fall asleep or something? ;-)

I received my £10 mummy sleepingbag arrived. I need to trial out if my claustrophobia handles a sleepingbag without a zipper or that I have to give in to the weight of a zipper. Am sure if I have to I will survive.

Despite loving my runs around Richmond Park with the MdS running club, I think we should start running through the park using the off road and hillies more. I know Wayde is planning a trip to the dunes in Wales but November and December are pretty full for me so I may have skip. But Wayde, get a date and I may join.

For my new friends doing the Druids, good luck, hope the weather gods may be with you.

I also hope my friends in the USA are safe and sound after Sandy came along.

I would think, as we are all a little or a lot obsessed with stuff, we can drive eachother nuts on our facebook page. But it's for a good cause, as the military says: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. However, let's leave some unknown in going to the desert, I personally will. But that is me, and I respect every man/woman has their own way of doing stuff. That is part of beauty we are all different.

I'm glad I picked up pilates again, I had been slacking a bit due to time constraints and there are only classes where I go on Tuesday and Thursday. But it's good to be back in the swing.

It is interesting to read that not only well know pro's are pulled up on doping but also high performing age groupers. But I ready the reasoned decision from the USADA and despite overwhelming statements, I still find it strange how this went on almost as a conspiracy and kept from  the outside world.

So, so much for todays blog, another random soapbox rant. But they are equal part of my preparation for the MdS as are the running events I am doing, so they deserve their place in history.

Ok, have fun and speak soon.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

23 October MdS expo notes

A very interesting expo. Specially of course Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Mike Stroud whose books were partially responsible of my desire to do the things I do now. Lia thanks for organizing.
Hearing, meeting and seeing Patrick Bauer. Another not regular but relevant event. What about his sleeping bag, 3kg and we worry about a zipper in it.
Below my bullet point notes. They are aide memoires not full write up.
Sleeping mask and ear plugs if you are a light sleeper.
Tingerlaat sun protection
Flip Flops
Sand goggles and/or sun glasses
Toothfloss strong and light
Think about packing order in your bag
Think about gaiters and understand if the ankle or the knee ones are for you.
Deal with little niggles there and then. Don't wait.
Alternate socks daily. Wash/rinse them. Dry them on the back of your bag.
Small things matter.
Prepare mentally at least for the unexpected.
Concentrate when relevant, like climbing or descenting maybe not or less when flat. Allow zoning out.
Think about battery operated devices. What if ur mp3 player breaks?
Fix infections there and then.
Evaluate constructively. What went well, what can be better, what should I stop doing
There will be regular signposts, think every 100m or so.
Be as clean as you can
But most have fun. It is the experience of a life time

Tuesday 16 October 2012

16 Oct 2012 - A short Update

Hello my dear friends, followers and casual readers,

I would like to thank you for your interest in what I got to write.

This is about small (my own) and large achievements (Malala and Felix).

I guess you have all seen Felix Baumgaertner jumping out of a capsule about 39km/120k feet up in the air. How cool was that? Well cold it was, for him.

But also let's not forget the heroism of Malala. No preparation or anything, just standing up what she believes in. How cool and inspirational is she!!!

Firstly I've been training my feet by walking around London with my daughter Kim and her friend Tess. Today their last day in the UK we are taking the bus from Kingston upon Thames to London so we can go to Harrods. How posh is that, by bus to Harrods?

What does the above paragraph have to do with the MdS? Well for me it's about standing on your feet, and I've been standing and walking on my feet. But also it took my mind of running and other things and I've walked some parts of London that I normally run or ignore.

On Sunday 14 October 2012 I participated in the Kingston Breakfast Run. It's not actually called the Kingston Breakfast Run, but that's what I think a lot of people know it by. In April 2009 that was my first running race ever and it took me about 1 hour and 16 minutes. I signed up for it, as a motivation to keep running that I started in the summer in 2008 in Greece. Well 14 October 2012 it took me 59 minutes to run the same distance which is 8.2 miles which is 13.1 km. Guess I've improved a bit.

After that April 2009 event I signed up for a triathlon and it all moved on from there.

So coming weekend we have the MdS expo. Good for meeting new people and seeing/meeting Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Patrick Bauer and some more people, unfortunately I forgot who, but that makes it all the more a surprise party.

I've been playing around a bit with the template\background. If you don't like it let me know and I may take it into account.

Saturday 13 October 2012

13 October 2012 - Another period in life pre MdS

I've picked up the Park Run ( again. Did Bushy Park 2 minutes faster than my PB. So happy with that. I did my first Richmond Park version. I held back as people kept on telling me that it is hilly. Well it's not really but hillier than the Bushy Park pancake.

On Sunday 07 October I met another MdS compatriot, Alexander. Who will be trying a top 50 place. You rock man, but what's good is that you are realistic enough to understand that it should not kill your chance finishing.

Have nearly finished the book by Jolanda Linschooten Eenzame Uren (Lonely Hours), which she should translate into English.

Been slacking a bit on training but have picked up swimming again, so happy with that. The next thing I never thought I would say, but I am very much noticing the fact I'm a non-smoker since 25 August. I believe that's what helped my 2 minutes off in Bushy Park.

Therefor on 14 October I am doing the 8.2 miles Kingston run. Hopefully I can do this about 5 minutes faster than I used to. If not, well then not.

Today, 13 October I did a lovely walk in London, from Waterloo Station to Tower Bridge on South Side and back North Side with my daughter Kim and her friend Tess who are over. They are the other reason I am doing the Kingston run, as it's cool to have one or more of your kids cheering for you. Like I had my son Ezra and his mate Carl in the Summer during the triathlon Holten.

For some obscure reason, I feel ready for the MdS. I am thinking of doing a heatchamber as there is one in Kingston University about 5 minute walk, but not sure yet.

Have been thinking that trying to predict everything for the the MdS will take away the mystery so may not do that. Will just see what happens I think.

This week my dvd and t-shirt for - Racing the Rez arrived. It's a movie I sponsored about Navajo and Hopi kids running a race. Go and watch it, specially when you in the USA as it's broadcasting there. Very inspirational.

Talking about inspiration, while I write this in Kona Hawaii 1800 athletes are participating in the Ironman worldchampionship. My friends Martin Muldoon and Matt Molloy are there and I saw Mr. Molloy came out the water in 54 minutes, in the middle of the pro's. Mr. Muldoon needs to work on his swimming, but he'll make it up on the run. Keep in mind when I say Mr. Muldoon needs to work on his swimming, he is still about 30 minutes faster on the IM 2.4miles/3.9k swim then I am.

This week I signed up for the SDW 100 miles. Next journey, do that within 24 hours.

Met some great people already in our Sunday morning Richmond Park runs and look forward to the expo next week. Specially as Sir Ranulph Fiennes (And others I can't remember) will be there.

I met up with my friend Mark Hines last week, who resigned his job, but still did a VO2 max test for me. I scored 53 but feel I should have gone 2 minutes longer. He's off next year to Yukon and the North Pole to do some 1100 miles or km (can't remember either) to get to the a couple of North Poles. I won't tell more as he will write a book about it. But pretty cool he resigned to go travel the world and do stuff he would want to do.

So much for now, not sure if this makes any sense to any of you. But I'm not very structured so you will get sort of my thoughts on paper as a braindump. Can we still say braindump? Or is it brainstorm we can't say anymore? Can't remember either.

Well I'm happy with my training, I'm ready for the MdS and can't wait for the sun.

Speak to y'all soon.


Friday 28 September 2012

01 October MdS Part 4 - The Charity Chapter

This episode will be about charities and my opinion. I'm not in favor and I'm not against them. But like with anything I don't want it shoved through my throat.

I believe or think that most of us do this for us. I do it for me. However, if /when I can help a good cause with it, why the hell not. I think most of us will support a good cause. I have seen CLIC Sargent from MJG and Laura is supporting the British Heart Foundation.

I'm also pretty selfish, I don't really donate to other charities, as I have my own. However, I will of course support friends/colleagues when asked.

Two very memorable supporting activities I did this year:
1) Andy Large (and I) were doing a 60 mile bike ride Tour de Tendring. Andy did this to support the charity of his son's friends father for soldiers coming back wounded from Afghanistan. What was so memorable: Andy falling down on the grass out of breath when we finished and showing his emotion. Pretty cool being part of it. Not just donating, but being there with him.

2) Stuart Smith running 100 miles from BT HQ in Central London to the BT R&D facility in Adastral Park Martlesham (Ipswhich). I picked Stuart up in Adastral, dropped him off at the BT HQ around 2200 so he could start his run. Again, not only donating, to his Red Nose charity, but supporting just that little more.

I am supporting which is a small charity for Melanoma. The gentleman who runs the charity, Harry Townsend, has also done the MdS a number of years ago.

He founded the charity as his wife died of Melanoma. I'm supporting his charity as my girlfriends brother died of Melanoma. Melanoma is a skincancer and the most common cause is sun. Well guess where we get lots of that?  In the Sahara. So nicely combined as a charity event in the sun to support a charity that as they say fights "The Darker Side of the Sun".

What I am looking for in events is that it is still a race and not hyped by charity. Don't get me wrong, it's never bad to support a good cause, but running should be about running and not about charities.

I saw a really interesting run in London, but reading further not only did I have to pay an entrance fee, I also had to pledge £750 towards the organisers chosen charity. Personally I feel that's wrong, anybody who wants to do this, good on them.

I already see people being disappointed not making the London Marathon and I bet you most of them will now look to charity places. So I question, why are charities able to reserve places in certain runs? What happens with those places if they don't get the takers? Personally, I couldn't care less about the London Marathon, I just feel it's a shame so many people miss out participating in it.

Also people, think about which fundraising company you use. I've moved to BT's as they don't charge, so all money goes to the charity. Again, I am not judging the ones that charge as they are very transparent about it, but it means less of your hard earned cash goes to your cause.

And of course, it starts today:

I will be back with more soon.


Wednesday 19 September 2012

19 Sep 2012 Marathon des Sables Part 3.

As the title says it is now 19 September and just under 200 days to go before we fly out. I have now been back from vacation at work for 2 weeks nearly. This week I had a bit of a lapse in energy. On Monday I went out for a ruby in Brick Lane (that's an Indian meal for people). I wasn't home late but getting up on Tuesday was nearly impossible.

Last evening (18 September) I did some weights downstairs in our little weight gym. and finally today I cycled again to work and that has brought back some energy. Tomorrow I'm flying out to be in the Netherlands and hopefully can hit the gym there a bit with my oldest daughter.Which should bring the mojo back.

I will admit I don't look forward to Fall/Autumn/Winter. It's not my favorite time of year. But it will bring the dark, and I like the dark. Dark is good. It brings the best out in people.

So I've been slacking on:
Gym., Pilates, Swimming, Cycling.

I've been: running and a bit of weights.

So next week is to look for my mojo and week after it better be back.

However, I've been spending time on getting my list together on items I need to take. I've received the backpag and the two camelbak bottles. So I would think I am working towards getting there. I think my main challenge is, the sleeping bag. I looked at the PHD a number of times and they look very very attractive. But there is something holding me back.

One of the nicest things of this going to a sand pit is the people I'm meeting in Richmond Park at Roehampton Gate. Well meet them there as that is where we agree to meet. These are not just random meetings in a park.

I've created a little bit of a plan (more a desire) to do before I die (or go to a desert).
1) Some 5-7 laps in Richmond Park at midnight.
2) Run from Kingston u. Thames to Reading.
I am going public with this, because I now have to do it, otherwise I am letting people (and myself down). It's a bit of a strange way of how my mind operates. But it's done that for years, so I assume it's normal for me.

I feel very comfortable and confident about the upcoming event. But I will not underestimate it.

One of my inspirations is a man I met Good Friday on the beach in the Netherlands. Joop Keizer, 71 years young and still running. He used to be good, very good. I can only dream of being that good. But also, Joop is a great person. Typical person from Amsterdam.

So for now, this is enough, but I thought I put some thoughts on paper (well a screen) for future generations.


Saturday 1 September 2012

01 Sep 2012 Marathon des Sables A week into the journey.

So I guess about 30 weeks to go. I am in Turkey since Thursday and have been swimming, running and to the gym. In between I am in 37 degrees heat tanning and eating. Two barefoot (really bare) runs on the beach. 16k for one and an hour for the other.
Learning: if you wanna toughen your feet, run without shoes. Forget creams and stuff.

I also joined the Pilates class and the lovely East European teacher could well write a book called 50 Shades of Pilates.

My laps in the sea for swimming are either 200 or 400 meters, so 3 or 4 laps is my swimming done and the rest of sea entry is for play.

Getting back to the running on the beach. Seriously I would advice all to do this, as I think that our feet need to be tougher than our legs. Feet will do the work. But heho (is that a word?) up to you guys.

I have been really good on the food, lots of veg, salad and fish. To be fair the hotel is pretty good and very big. And for the single people under us some very pretty women here. Men as well I guess.

I actually decided not to do an update every week. That would be 30 more and probably get boring.

The gym in this hotel is very very good. Big room for cardio with the latest life fitness kit and big room for waits with pretty new hammer strength. Yes I know same company.

So far my training is going to plan. Remember I don't have a plan.

But learning's for this week:
Go to this hotel and get a week of heat training in. No I don't get paid for saying this.
Run barefoot to toughen your feet.

So till next time.


Saturday 25 August 2012

25-08-12 - Marathon des Sables - The journey starts

Weeks to go - 31 Weeks - 6 days - 4 hours
07 April - 12 April 2013
It's just before 0700 (am for non-24 hour clock people) and I have just paid the 2nd instalment for the 2013 Marathon des Sables.
For those of you not familiar with this event, it is a 6 day self-supporting running event through the Moroccan Sahara Desert. More information can be found here

The event will be in it's 28th year in 2013 and allows c.1000 (probably not that much) people to participate every year.

As this is my first ever serious attempt on a blog please stay with me while my writing skills improve I hope.

So, as I've paid today the 2nd of 3 instalments, I guess my journey starts. I've been doing many events over the last few years, so it's not like I've not been swimming, running, cycling, doing weights, fitness before.

Everybody has their own method of training, as friends of mine who have done it told me, it's your race, not anybody else's race, so do what makes you feel good.

So I will prepare my way. This year I have taken up Pilates. I didn't realise how weak some of my muscles were before I started this. But I have been almost religiously going twice week since March. Very impressed with myself, as I don't like going to class particularly.

My training is what makes me happy and feel good:
Swimming - at least once a week of which one is in a lake to do about 2km
Running - where-ever, whenever I feel. Sometimes to work. Which gives me just over 20k. Sometimes just around the block.
Cycling - to work and back most days. Which gives me just over 42k (return)
Strength - at home or the gym
Cardio - in the gym mainly
Inline Skating - my re-found passion

Do I have a plan. No I don't. Too much hassle to have a plan. You have to stick to it. Maybe I do have a small plan, or more a desire, if I can lose another 5-7 kilo's of bodyweight, that makes dragging myself through the sand probably easier.

Many people sign up for as many events as they can. I don't. I have a few events scheduled before April next year but that is it. I will write about them, as part of my, what I hope is somewhere between once a week to once every two weeks.

Last week, I met up with two other competitors in Richmond Park for a run. That actually was pretty good fun. May do it again this week, if I'm back in time from the swimming. Providing of course I go swimming.

Now for those of you who read this, in a few months I will all send you a link for a small donation to the charity of my choice. Which is the myfanwy townsend melanoma charity. But more about that later.

I do feel that the MdS is the first step to a journey of more of these events, but very selectively.

Why do people do this, it's a desert? Well it's because we can. It's because for me, it brings you back as close as you can to a time and place where you have to look after yourself. No government, institutions or other support around you. Maybe not strictly true, there is a very professional organisation there to ensure you survive, but to finish it needs to be you, and you alone. No Nanny state there.

I look forward to the solitary confinement during the days, the heat and the what I have seen from pictures the views.

So my plan for today. Alan Carr, a whole day. What am I doing there. Well I really want to stop smoking, but so far I have failed. So today is the first day I will no longer be a smoker after the event. I have tried to give up smoking before, it makes me feel better, but I always went back to it. Like a dangerous mistress. Do I mind people smoking, no. It's a choice we make.

Well that was it, not sure if it's worth reading, but as I said, I will be back next week for more. I can write about the the first 2 days on the Turkish beach where I will try to do 30k a day for 6 days in a row.