Don’t Dream It, Be It

The dust has settled – it’s over five weeks since London, indeed I’ve since run the first Dorchester marathon. But there remains one #VMLM blog post that needs to be seen and I’ve determined that it must be posted before next weekend.

I Had A Dream

Yeah – back in 2013 – and it was this. You have to raise £2000 to run your first marathon for charity. Well lets leverage your obvious?!? musical talent by recording a load of songs and shoving them on youtube. And include a little link to your giving page. And then thousands of people will come along, like the music, like the charity, stick a couple of quid on here and there, it will all mount up, and before you know it Bob’s yer Uncle – job done. The money will be raised – HUGE weight off your mind. Well that’s just what I did and let me tell you, four years later, just how much money I’ve managed to raise that way for CLIC Sargent … precisely nothing – zilch – DIDDLY SQUAT!!! Maybe, looking back, it was a pretty daft idea? But more of that later.

Now Is The Time To Say Goodbye

And so, for a second time, my London marathon dream is done. So many people have been very complimentary about what I achieved a few weeks ago. And yet I stubbornly reserve the right to feel just a little bit disappointed with the 4hrs 26mins and 29secs that I spent out there. That wasn’t how it was meant to be. That wasn’t what we trained for. I never planned to get to 17 miles and just not feel I had the strength to carry on.

Tramantuna Trail, Majorca

So what went wrong? I’ve certainly asked myself. Was it the weather? We found it hot out there. But that didn’t stop Mary Keitany … or Simon … or Claire. Did I not taper well enough? Was parkrun on Saturday a mistake? Should I not have pushed that run along the esplanade with Asa so hard on the Tuesday? (5k that was very close to my parkrun best). Was it a mistake not to wear a cap for the first time ever? Was my diet wrong, having been eating almost exclusively “veggie” for several months? Did I get the fuelling wrong on the day? Was I dehydrated? Should I have not gone skiing (twice) in the build up? Did I go out too fast? Did I go out too slow? Should I have got a hotel closer to the start. Should I have gone up on the train? Did I get the balance between running and fund-raising wrong? Is the whole thing just a bad idea?

Having sent Hayley on her way, it was one hell of a struggle. Not for the first time I told myself “you really don’t ever need to do this again”. And this time I felt I really meant it. Maybe you’re just too old for this. The irony … you spent thirty years or so waiting to discover this great new hobby and then – before you know it … you’ve got to pack it in because … quite frankly … you’re past it!

Then again, if I met the ME that first turned up at Les’ summer Egdon session from the squash club, precisely four years earlier (to the day) I could ask him a question. If I said to me, “in four years from today you will complete the London marathon (your twelfth) in under four and a half hours” how might I have felt. I guess suprised and pleased, but tinged with just a smidge of disappointment (because EVERYONE knows a decent marathon is run in under four hours!). Hmmmm – so what’s changed?!?

But there is more to it than that. This year I was joined in running, and raising money for CLIC Sargent, by three great ladies from EHH, Hayley Howard, Mel Ward and Kim Fudge. Which leads us back to youtube. Very early on Mel and Kim chanced, almost by accident, on their carpool karaoke idea. People would donate via their giving page, nominate a song, and Mel and Kim would go out in the car and video themselves murdering singing along with the above song choice. Clearly a huge mistake since I have already proven definitively that you just can’t raise money through youtube. Forward to May and Mel and Kim’s carpool karaoke giving page is showing over £6,000. It reflects a HUGE effort on their part and is a huge achievement. Hayley meanwhile ran a prize draw, cake sales, came in with me on organising a quiz night and helped with our band concert. And now a quick visit to our team giving page, “Egdon Run London For CLIC”, shows that our total raised is more than £11,500, surely way in excess of what we were expecting.

Thanks For The Memories

It was (again) a very special time. Thanks so much to my family, to Anneliese and to Madeleine and indeed to their mother Marion for such wonderful belief and support these last few years.

To CLIC Sargent, truly a wonderful supportive charity to run for. My only regret – what happened to those brilliant London training days that I attended a couple of times?

When “keithsmarathondream” was still a pipedream I started blogging using the realbuzz platform, and still post there. Thanks to all you guys, especially this time Kat, for such wonderful, uplifting support when I was really struggling towards the end this year. And of course especially to the inspirational Hollywood Dave and Mrs HD – wishing you both all the best at this time.

My wonderful extended running family, the Egdon Heath Harriers. So many more inspirational people there – to mention just a few of the great marathoners, to Brian, Nigel, Simon, Bruce, Paul, Richard, Gail and John, Bev, and the Frances’s (not forgetting St George!).

All the “Egdon (and WSPH) Splitters” that I ran with at some time or another, Matt, Phil, Lucy, Alyce, Richard, Monica, Zara and Hannah. To Anna and Jane who each completed their first marathon this weekend in Dorchester. But even more, two other special ladies and new(ish) friends who I shared more runs with (and also those first few miles of London), to Stella and Jane – you’ve both been brilliant.

Of course, two other special friends, Mel and Kim (or Kim and Mel) and of course also Patrick and Jim and their families. And not forgetting “guest vocalist” Ellie who helped raise over £600 at our Brass Concerts.

And most of all, this time, official “training partner” Hayley (and of course Nathan, Will and George too). If you ever had any doubts about your ability to deliver, this year’s marathon must surely dispel any of those. Yours was an awesome (and hugely merited) run which I so wished I could have kept pace with. I’d love to say get in there and start training again for next year. But there’s a time and a place for everything. And there are things that are far more important than running (like family) so maybe this is not the time. But there will be a time, and when that time comes I hope you’re up for the challenge ‘cos I reckon you’re well capable of something special.

(wipes a small tear from eye)

Don’t Dream It – Be It

I’ve sometimes regretted choosing the name “keithsmarathondream” for the website. Why not “keithsmarathonblog” (I ask myself). After all, that’s what it is. But then when this all started it was just a dream. I don’t mean the sort of dream you do when you’re asleep. I mean it was something that I wanted to make happen, and that’s what I did. I made it happen. I made the dream a reality (hmmm – www.keithsmarathonreality.co.uk?).

I’ve never had a “bucket list” but if I did, “Run The London Marathon” would have been right at the top. So what else would have been there? Two things for sure, “Visit Auschwitz” and “Ski The Vallée Blanche”. And within these last twelve months both of those dreams have also become realities.

Approaching all three, my feelings could very much be summed up as a curious cocktail of trepidation, expectation and excitement. And then, after completing each, not surprisingly some very mixed emotions. But one thing for sure … absolutely NO REGRETS.

Last Sunday – Dorchester marathon. Next Sunday – sixtieth birthday (crikey – how did that happen). Maybe time to start formalising that bucket list (already got a few ideas). Maybe time for yet more trepidation, expectation and excitement. But absolutely no regrets! In the words of the great Dr. Frank-n-Furter, “Don’t Dream It, Be It” – Click here for a (slightly bizarre) musical interlude.

Thanks for reading,

xxx / manhugs,

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

Walk Like A Man

The first post London marathon 2017 blog entry – this blogging only ever started as part of my fundraising campaign, so please don’t hesitate to visit My Giving Page if you’d care to make a small donation to the wonderful charity that is CLIC Sargent. Saturday 23rd April 2017. Four years to the day that I officially took up running! Kew Bridge Travelodge. Up ten minutes early at about 5:50 – time for a shave, and standard travelodge marathon do-it-yourself porridge, honey and banana (and comfort stop). Leave right on time at 7:00, park up by Turnham Green tube – hmmm – seem to remember that was the butt of a two Ronnies joke years ago. District Line to Embankment, walk to Charing Cross, time for (another) comfort stop and reach Blackheath in very good time to make my way to Blue start.

Splitters Start

Time for (another) comfort stop, and a message to us blue starters from Stella that she is by a baggage lorry. Don’t find her and time is marching on – I stow my bag and head to (the back of) Blue 5 where I’m expecting Stella to be. No sign of Stella. I wait on the grass verge on the far side, but after a bit I see that Stella is now waiting by the entrance. She is keen to meet fellow Egdon “splitter” Jane who we hope will head for the front of Blue 6, but no sign.

Time is getting tight. We see Susan and fellow “splitter” Hannah from Weymouth St Pauls. Hannah is also headed for Blue 6. And finally I spot Jane processing towards Blue 6. It takes several shouts to attract her attention. She comes across – we decide to abandon 5 and queue with her to get in 6. This suits my own (complicated) logistics as I plan to run with Hayley, who is at the front of pen 7 (Red in Greenwich Park that is!!!).

Five to nine – we’re still queueing for the pen. But what’s this! Pen 7 is on the move – I’m faced with the (very real) prospect of actually being behind Hayley on the road! It’s all a bit of a blur, but somehow we make it in and we’re heading towards the start. Before I know it we (Stella, Jane and myself) are heading along Shooters Hill Road – past the “Sun In The Sands” (a sometimes favoured watering hole of my youth) – Indus Road (where I think dad was born) – and along Charlton Park Lane towards Woolwich.

Reunited, But For How Long?

Woolwich is nice and downhill, around where the routes join. It’s a real buzz to be alongside so many others. We head down towards the free ferry and as we turn left, the routes officially join. We pass a lady wearing a “bustinskin” shirt, and then Jackie from Dorset Sole Sisters. But I will be splitting from the “splitters” soon. As we come to the first roundabout, I wait in the middle of the road for Hayley (having somehow managed to miss my support crew). According to the chip timing, I must have waited about two minutes before Hayley appears – crikey that plan went remarkably well – I think we both breathe a HUGE sigh of relief. Let’s get on with the business of running this marathon as close to four hours as we can.

As we head past my spiritual home, I see a bloke wearing a Charlton shirt – “ROLAND OUT” I shout, but he doesn’t hear me. We head through Greenwich to the cacophony of the Cutty Sark. Somehow running with someone else I feel able to take much more of this in than the last time. Out through Deptford and Bermondsey, we overtake the mad barefooted Jesus on the cross (hmmm – cross training maybe? – thanks for that Darren). We pass Jane, who has fallen behind Stella. And we spot Mel’s husband Patrick populating an otherwise unpopulated part of the course brandishing his camera-phone. Apparently he was “live” on facebook but (unintentionally) stops videoing just before he sees us, so we are denied that honour

We were hoping for great running conditions, but we sense it is getting quite uncomfortable when the sun is out. Next is Tower Bridge, with its CLIC Sargent cheerpoint. Hayley spots husband Nathan and for the (to my knowledge ONLY) time of the day heads briefly off-piste. On the other side of the road, Kim’s husband Jim sees us as we head towards the half marathon point. My dream was to get there around 1:56 (about the time I did when I managed to crack four hours in Paris – imagine that – sub four hours!!! – did I ever mention that?). But we are very constrained by those around us, and Hayley is there in dead on 1:59.

Somewhere after fourteen miles I am hoping to see the (lovely) Ingrid from Dudley Kingswinford, but try as hard as I might, cannot see their flag anywhere and as we pass mile fifteen I give it up. Mile sixteen – start to count down from ten says Hayley (hmmm – but I like to do my counting down in kms). At some point we catch up with Stella (who has lost time due to a comfort stop), but she starts to push on again. And we also pass the hugely impressive Sue Fox from Maiden Newton (and her distinctive running shorts) onwards inexorably towards that finishing line. At some point Anneliese and Madeleine and their mum Marion see me, but really don’t know where. I stop to embrace my two girls.

And then at seventeen miles, body informs head and heart that the game is up!!!! Wasn’t expecting that (quite so soon). We fight it for a bit but it is useless. GO I tell Hayley, but she won’t. GO! I repeat – GO WITH STELLA. Eventually, faced with the (very real) possibility of me stopping in my tracks and refusing to budge she (reluctantly) takes her leave, and I am on my own. I walk for a bit. Like not a problem – I KNOW I will run walk this to the end, but 14km or so still sounds a b$%&&y long way! I mean yesterday we had an Egdon table for 32 at Zizzi’s Tower Hill – RIGHT BY THE 23 MILE MARKER. I sure as hell am wishing I was there right now (if for no other reason than it’s at the top of a little downhill). But then what goes down must come up 🙁 (hmmm – flat on the average?). Come on – now is the time to stop this madness (we tell ourselves) (again). This is (definitely) YOUR LAST SERIOUS ATTEMPT at a marathon.

Zizzi Dreaming

Onwards we plough. At some point Jane overtakes me. I never seriously contemplate going with her. We get to the place where there are runners the other side of the road, but by now those runners are mostly walkers. As I pass twenty-two miles, I know I’m headed for the RealBuzz bloggers, and I’m right on the right side of the road (the right) to see them. Have to say that was ONE HELL of a boost. At expo, that nice Mr Yelling said in a normal voice that high fiving should be avoided at all costs as a waste of energy, but not this time. I spot Gloshawk Jim from London three years back, and (apparently) high-five Kat 🙂 There I go, warming up the crowd for the great Mr Hollywood Dave!

Pain Is Temporary

Mile twenty-three at the top of Tower Hill arrives and somehow I feel too k$*^&”£ed to actually make much of an effort downhill. A 4hr 15pacer comes past and I make a serious effort to go with him, but after a bit he is getting away, and I resort to walking pace again. I learned this last time, but the worst you look, the more the crowd shout for you, and again I’m getting huge support as we head towards the embankment. Each time I walk, the shouts get even louder, imploring me to start running. But Big Ben is getting closer. The end is getting closer. Past Big Ben and Parliament Square and into Birdcage Walk. There is NO WAY I’m going to stop running now (if for no other reason than that old chestnut – the more you run – the quicker you get there – the shorter the pain lasts).

As we turn into the Mall I put in a big (final) effort. I am actually flying past people (sadly nothing like the number who’ve already flown past me). Again I’m remembering Mr Yelling speaking quietly – look around – choose the finish arch you’ll look best in and I do (the one on the left). Forget (b$%&&y) Garmin for a bit – HANDS IN THE AIR – Job Done (now stop Garmin). In 4hrs 26mins 29secs (hmmm but note – I can of course knock off my official time waiting for Hayley which gets me down to 4hrs 24mins 20secs).

My huge regret was not beiong able to last the pace with Hayley for longer and inevitably I am wracked with self doubt. Hayley for her part finished in a hugely impressive 4:06:31. Did I wimp out too soon? We trained for four hours and only two years ago I dipped under that mark. We were going to triumph magnificently together. How did it all go so wrong this time (I shall of course be trying to work that out over the next few weeks)? But ultimately you can’t feel too bad for anyone who has gone out and done a marathon, not even yourself. We will never know whether I gave it my best shot, but I gave it a pretty good one for 17 miles. I wish I’d been there for you at the end Hayley (tears in eyes) but I wasn’t.

Splitters Breakfast Photo Call

Of the other splitters, Stella finishes her first marathon in a fine 4:14:31, while Jane completes in an equally fine 4:21:20, and quickest of all Hannah has finished in 4:02:09! Our partners in (fundraising) crime, carpool karaoke queens Mel and Kim complete in 5:25:13 which is damned good considering the amount of “stuff” they had to do on the way around. And they had a ball 🙂

Pure Mel And Kim

To pick out a few other notable Egdonites, Simon, who two years or so ago was laid up with a broken back, has cracked three hours with 2:56:52 (hugely faster than he ever achieved before breaking his back!), while his dad Nigel, in the M65-69 category has completed in 4:08:32 (hope for me yet maybe?). Stella’s husband Bruce finishes in 3:00:49, the second year running he comes within a minute of cracking three hours, whilst Steve goes round in 3:19:28 dressed as St George!

Further afield my amazing skiing buddy Claire clocks up PBs year on year and is now down to 3:21:51. Jackie finishes in 4:30:10, while Sue Fox is tenth in the F65-69 category in 4:12:58. And finally the great Mr Hollywood Dave in 4:58:48. The rhino roadshow now rumbles onwards to Belfast next weekend,  a fourth  marathon in five weeks, as his beautiful Mrs HD wages her own (cancer) battle. There are (tears in eyes) people I’ve met on this journey that it’s just been such a privilege to know – serious manhugs.

Hollywood Days

Oh – and that nice Mr Yelling finished in 5:01:41 – crikey – if I’d known he’d take that long I’d have paid less attention to him 😉

Hmmm – I suspect there is still one more #VMLM post to come – the emotional one – the Oscar acceptance speech one where I break down and start thanking everyone. But not yet.

A brief musical interlude.(hmmm – don’t you go getting ideas for next new year’s eve!!)

#egdonrunslondonforclic

xxxxx / manhugs

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

Heroes

I grew up a total sports nut. I was out all hours kicking a ball around the garden or throwing it against a wall and whacking it with a cricket bat (seasonally dependent) and when I grew up I knew for sure that I would be a top racing driver. Cup Final day was so special and the first I remember was Spurs beating Burrnley in 1961. I became hooked on Tottenham Hotspur (a habit I later, happily, found remarkably easy to kick – haha), and Kent regularly played cricket locally at Blackheath. All I wanted to do was score – goals and runs. And so it was simple – my three sporting heroes, the king of goalscorers Jimmy Greaves, the man who made an artform of scoring runs, Colin Cowdrey, and just the best racing driver, Jim Clark.

heroes #1, 2 and 3

April 7 1968 must have been one of those days I was out playing because I remember as plain as if it were yesterday mum coming out to break the devastating and unbelievable news that Jim Clark had died in a crash at Hochenheim. I mean, I knew that racing drivers died almost every day in those days, but surely not Jim – Jim who won every race he ever drove (in my memory) – surely HE, out of all of them, was immortal.

But it wasn’t the Spurs that we went to watch – no it was our local team, Charlton Athletic. Now we accepted them as perennial under-achievers. Their natural place was near the bottom of the old “second division” (now the Championship) but I was lauded with tales of how “we used to be one of the best teams in the country” – culminating in victory at Wembley in the 1947 FA Cup final (mum was there!) and so we come to simply (in my memory) the best I ever saw in a Charlton shirt our young (well he’s 69 now!) Scottish midfielder Alan Campbell.

hero #4

Those were the days of George Best – “Beatle” Best – but Campbell had the haircut too, and on his day he could be the best too. Good Friday 1969 – in those days Easter was special in the football calander. Out of the blue, a Campbell inspired Charlton were threatening promotion to the old “first division” (now the Premiership) and today we hosted rivals Cardiff City. But (shock/horror) Campbell had been in bed with the flu all week and his participation was doubtful. But he made it onto the pitch and by the time he was withdrawn at half-time, our boys were 4:0 up! The then Cardiff manager, dour Scot Jimmy Scoular, openly lamented the fact that none of his team had the flu!

And then in my youth, along came the book “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”. Wasn’t there something in there about real men being born within shouting distance of the football team they support? Woolwich Hospital for Mothers and Babies! I gave myself a firm talking to. Overnight Spurs were dumped and Charlton officially became my first love. And in those days we had the most ruthless of goalscorers – a true cult figure – I present “Killer” Derek Hales. He wasn’t much of a footballer but God help you if you upset him. Fellow striker Mike Flanagan must have done once, because Killer hit him – on the pitch (they were both sent off!). He didn’t “lead the line” particularly well. He wouldn’t “hold the ball up” for you. He was no good with “his back to goal”. But when it came to “sticking it in the net” …

hero #5

I grew to adulthood and developed an armchair passion for Ski Sunday. And in those days there was just one man, peerless and fearless, Austrian Franz Klammer. I went skiing and was soon hooked, and it was (prior to the birth of Madeleine and Anneliese) surely the greatest shared love of my married life. And if you know me, you’ll surely know that, for the past five years, I’ve rejoiced in becoming a “born again skier”.

hero #6

But there’s something else. In the “noughties” I developed an obsession with watching the London marathon on the “red button” and that was for just one reason – I just LOVED watching Paula Radcliffe – it may sound boring – two and a bit hours just watching one person, metronome like, pounding out step after step around the streets of London – the streets of Woolwich and Greenwich and Charlton – the streets where I grew up – strangely hypnotic. I remember the great Michael Johnson being in total awe. In his world he was quite prepared to beat himself up for best part of a minute, but to do it for two and a bit hours????

And so grew inside me that strange desire to experience, just once, that experience. And in 2014 I did. And I came back for more. And Sunday will be my twelfth 26 miler. This is genuinely a love / hate relationship that I’ve grown to love. The three “me”s – head, heart and body in total disharmony – the discussions – the conferences – the compromises – the agreements – as we go about trying to achieve our (hopefully) shared goals – the pain – the joy – ultimately the ELATION.

Two years ago it was such a privilege to be there to support (alongside Hayley) Paula on her marathon swansong. I’m welling up now just thinking about it – to Paula Radclife – truly a most worthy inductee to this life’s “hall of fame”.

#egdonrunslondonforclic

Next stop Blackheath (and Greenwich Park),

A musical interlude.

Visit Keith’s JustGiving Page if you feel inclined to make a small donation to CLIC Sargent.

Thank you for reading,

xxx / manhugs,

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

Here Come The Girls …

Just a quick update from the parallel universe of #egdonrunslondonforclic

Well I did mention earlier about stepping ever so slightly outside my comfort zone on Wednesday evening and tonight I am pleased to be able to present the evidence. Hayley and myself were invited along to share in the madness of Mel and Kim’s carpool karaoke, and the upload of “Here Come The Girls” as sung by the Sugababes went live tonight

Other than that, today I did expo. It somehow felt a bit different this second time around, somehow a bit calmer. I took the time out to spend some money on a series of items that I genuinely needed. And I posted messages on a couple of other charities’ walls – pancreatic cancer for my dad, and then this message for mum at dementia research. Somehow these few words just always reduce me to tears (and today was no exception).

 

Of course, I visited the CLIC Sargent stand and was photographed by Lewis for the wall, before meeting David Hepburn, one of the charity’s world record attempting “Scooby Gang”. And I was also delighted to meet marathon first timers Helen and Kath and pass on to them some of my distilled wisdom as a veteran of one previous London marathon 😉

And next I sat down and listened to a couple of speakers. There was a very interesting talk from top nutritionist Anita Bean. But the highlight was undoubtedly some more distilled marathon wisdom, this time from the inspirational Martin Yelling. Afterwards the chap next to me asked “was that man Yelling” – “no” I replied – “that was his normal voice” (actually this never happened but I never like to pass up the opportunity for a cheap joke).

Unlike the last visit, I didn’t have to put up with the Olympic marathon champion bugging me to have our photo taken together 😉 But I did later bump into Martin again in Costa Coffee and mentioned that my friend Chris had once been overtaken by him pushing his twins around Montacute parkrun in  double buggy. Apparently he was born in Weymouth and claimed personal responsibility for including the hills in the Bournemouth marathon route!

Meanwhile, the Egdon 4 crashed through their £10k fundraising target. Huge kudos to my co-conspirators. Watch out London – those girls are truly coming to get you.

Another most satisfying day in the world of #egdonrunslondonforclic

Thanks for reading,

xxxxx / manhugs,

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

Let’s Get Serious

I mean don’t get me wrong – I LOVE fundraising on behalf of CLIC Sargent – who wouldn’t? – but that wasn’t why I decided to do this for a second time. It was (again) really all about me. Last year I came up to London on a bit of a whim to support on marathon day, but what a day I had? It was so special supporting so many friends, Egdonites, my daughters’ friends, elites, non-elites and everyone else. “I just have to be there taking part next year” (he thinks).

And so the plan hatched. It would be low key. I would set up a couple of events and the required sum would be raised. And I could concentrate on the run. None of this going outside of the comfort zone that so categorised my 2014 experience. No busking in town. No radio interviews. No newspaper articles. No stripping off in churches. Just slip under the radar, raise my £2k, and enjoy the day.

And then the sudden realisation that I didn’t even need to do that as I become the one person I know who gets a place in the public ballot! But running London is a great experience and just maybe one that every runner ought to at least have the chance to experience. And so my thoughts turned to my erstwhile “running nemesis”, Mrs Kim Fudge – shouldn’t she be given that chance in my (charity) place? After due consideration she decides to step into my running shoes and take on my charity place, and is soon joined by fellow Egdonites Hayley and Mel (sorry Patrick – just wanted to show the Egdon Four here 😉 ).

The Egdon Four!

Now this is great, but it does change the dynamic a bit doesn’t it? From not having to worry much about the fundraising, suddenly we are looking at having to raise around £6k on top of the £1k I already had in the bank.

Early on, Mel and Kim hit on, almost by chance I believe, the carpool karaoke idea. It was hilarious to see their early efforts, but I have to admit I had some doubts as to just how much mileage (haha) they could get out of it. After all, after all have given, they won’t keep on giving will they?

Well let me tell you, they stuck with it and now they are amazingly nearing the £5000 mark in terms of money raised. I think they’ve had a ball doing it, but no-one should underestimate just how much of themselves they’ve given to it. Just of late they’ve been putting in a massive amount of time doing the footwork to get corporate sonsors on-board. Sure they are having fun, but I have learned that under the bonnet (haha) it is also a very professionally run operation.

Meanwhile, Hayley has worked more closely with me. We decided to run an additional quiz night. I took on the role of quiz-master, something I had always wanted to do, while Hayley took on the role of catering for around 90 people. Huge credit to her for what she achieved that night, putting on a wonderful spread, because that was another example of someone stepping firmly outside of their comfort zone. Just a week ago at my long planned “brass band concert” she was again there, this time running the raffle for me, and in between times has managed to raise another £1000 in personal sponsorship

It’s damned hard work because all this time we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we also have the small matter of a marathon to run. Oh yes and a life to lead, families, children, jobs, husbands (them, not me!). Inevitably at times one thing will be compromised by another. At times it is damned hard. And (as stated before) we should particularly pay tribute to the role in all of this of Jim, Patrick, and Nathan, of Will and George, Felix, Jasmine and Jake, and Issy, Jaz and – doh – dammit – can’t remember you son’s name Kim!

But, what they are doing is something ever so special. They are experiencing things and creating memories that will last a lifetime (or in my case at least until the dementia kicks in). Yes, I reckon London 2017 is something that they will look back at in years to come as a very special time and I’ve just had the time of my life being a part of it.

Now on the other hand I’ve stayed pretty firmly within my comfort zone this time. Or at least I had until last night. But that’s another story …

Thanks for reading,

#egdonrunslondonforclic

Keith xxx / manhugs

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

The Land Of Make Believe … Buck or Fizz?

Sorry but I have failed dismally in my attempts to chronicle our road to London. There follows a (not so) quick picture scrapbook of these last few weeks in the world of #egdonrunslondonforclic:

Early March – and Mel And Kim are featured in the April edition of Runners’ World:

March 11 – Mel and Kim (and Patrick) run the Larmer Tree half marathon:

March 11 – And on the same day Hayley and Keith run the 20th anniversary “Grizzly” (Pearl’s a Stinger) (20 miles of Grime and Punishment):

This was really very muddy and towards the end Hayley was seriously pushing me beyond where I would have gone left to my own devices. But it resulted in a time way quicker than my previous Grizzlies 🙂

March 18 – Keith went skiing (again), so didn’t really take to much notice of what was going on in the parallel universe #egdonrunslondonforclic. But (namedropping) we did complete the world famous Vallee Blanche off-piste route (from the Italian side) – here is the view from the top cable car!

March 19 – Mel and Kim appear to have done some muddy thing:

And after that they retire to Menorca for a bit where it appears that on March 25th they completed a 20 miler:

April 1 – Mel and Kim get up at stupid o’clock so they can finish their 22 miler at parkrun (fools!) 😉

But they fail so Keith is privileged to be able to run the last couple of miles with them:

And then on April 2 – Hayley and Keith and the other Egdon “splitters” complete their own 22 miler (at Sandsfoot Cafe). Post run #recovery tea (Egdon Heath Harriers motto: “Will run for cake”) it says on facebook. Have to admit that last couple of miles was TOUGH! But Phil’s Lemon Drizzle was divine 🙂

April 7 – from this day onwards Kim can no longer refer to herself as a “forty something”. The theme is 1980’s and instead of presents she asks for donations to CLIC Sargent.

Jim was made in the 80s:

While Hayley and Nathan came all the way from Maplins (not the electrical store):

Keith was a Ska Man:

And those perennial masters of the fancy dress Mel and Patrick were one half of Bucks Fizz (but which half?):

And April 8 Keith’s brass concert Brass, CLIC and (a long) Old Race raises another £500 for CLIC Sargent:

Where Keith took some clothes off in church, Hayley did a grand job running the raffle and Mel and Kim led the community singing of “We All Live In A Yellow Submarine”:

And our friend Ellie sang like a true Songbird:

April 9 – as if all the other stuff weren’t enough Mel, Kim and Jim take on Bustinskin’s sprint triathlon:

And Mel forgot to tell Patrick that she had entered him too for his first ever “tri!”:

April 13 and Mel and Kim, Hayley, Keith and Patrick raise almost £500 more at Morrisons:

More than ably assisted by Hayley’s son Will:

April 15 and Keith is Run Director at a record breaking Weymouth easter parkrun. There were 476 parkrunners there, 50 more than our previous best:

And a gentleman from London, Phil Wicks, becomes Weymouth’s fastest ever parkrunner in 14:47:

After which a good many parkrunners retire to Kim and Jim’s for an Easter Egg hunt, which raises another £336 for our chosen charity:

Phew!!!

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

Climb Every Mountain

Slip Sliding Away

Just a quick update as this week sees a break in marathon training for me with a ski trip to Alpe D’Huez, France and already two fine skiing days into the holiday. The weather is sunny, and the snow coverage is starting to look a little sparse. One (beneficial) side effect is that I am forced to act very sensibly.

But tonight  (Monday) “they” have threatened that a storm is coming in with a huge dump of the white stuff expected. We wonder if this is just a marketing ploy to keep us all interested. Time will tell. As I sit here writing this I can see cloud rolling in on the mountains across the valley.

Of course those ski buffs among you might know that Alpe D’Huez is home to the Sarenne, officially Europe’s longest black run. Apparently those Tour De France boys were made to ride down it on their bicycles a couple of years back. And that same mountain top also gives access to “the Tunnel” where you ski through one and come out on the face of the mountain, covered in huge bumps (or “moguls” as we like to call them). No way we’re going anywhere near that at the moment, but after a huge dump of snow …

Hmmm – and now another update … Well Blow Me Down Thursday and it’s been snowing solidly since Tuesday!!! Survival skiing time. But we were “forced” to eat out at Edelweiss last night …

Where I remade my acquitance with Iles flottantes

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch …

… things continue to move on in the world of #egdonrunslondonforclic

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melandkim

Before leaving home on Saturday morning I was lucky enough to be able to catch Mel’n’Kim live on BBC Radio Solent, reviewing the week’s on-line news.

They were, as always, hugely articulate, both in their choice and discussion of news items, and also as representatives of our chosen charity CLIC Sargent. They now have their first corporate sponsor on-board, Prototype Electronics, sponsoring them to sing a song for mile 1 in London. Hopefully their efforts in publicising the cause will result in plenty more.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/egdonclicrunners

Meanwhile, Hayley held a cake sale at her office. It may only be a relatively small office, but it is clearly an office of cake lovers, as she was able to contribute another £145 to the cause, another great result 🙂

And so, between us our total is now well over £5,000, with plenty more to come hopefully. To quote young Mr Grace “You’ve All Done Very Well”.

Thanks for reading,

#egdonrunslondonforclic

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

Catch Up Time ….

Sadly life does get in the way of blogging … and running. It strikes me there’s a lot to catch up on so let’s try and skim through a bit of what has been happening in the world of #egdonrunslondonforclic

Labelled With Love – 14th / 15th January

And if life ever did get in the way it was the start of last year when we finally lost our mum to the curse of dementia. But Ian (my brother) and I didn’t let it get in the way too much and a year later we still haven’t finished clearing the house. Hence I head off to Kent that weekend – a snowy Kent with the threat of flooding.

Saturday morning was my home from home Pegwell Bay parkrun. But the usual carpark is shut?!? Further investigation reveals that the expected storm tides are responsible, and what’s more the footpath to the country park has warning notices posted. But parkrun is still on. The pre-run briefing does come with a health warning. They have sent the ice-breakers out, but not recommended as a day to go for a pb. As it happens I am around in 24:15 – my quickest parkrun for some time. A good start to the day. A day that saw the filling of countless dustbin sacks.

Sunday morning and I wake full of enthusiasm – get out there and knock a little 8 miler (I tell myself). But it’s cold out there. House clearing is physically (and mentally) draining (I tell myself). Cathartic is the word (apparently). And I still am suffering the dog end of the post-Christmas manflu. Nahhhh – give it a miss!?! But we did attempt to address our main outstanding problem – the garage! Where I chanced across the fort that my dad made circa 1963 / 4.

The story was that it had to be finished in time for Santa to deliver. The poem might claim that “not a creature was stirring – not even a mouse”, but that was clearly not the case in our house, ‘cos dad was definitely still stirring, and apparently turning the air quite blue with profane and profuse use of the dreaded “B word”. So how did I pay him back? Simples – by stuffing a series of ever-ready batteries down the circular turrets. And 50 plus years later they are still there. I fear this might constitute some sort of health hazard.

Crikey … to think that dad did all that just for me. With a tear in my eye I take one last photograph of this much loved artifact and decree that it should be tip-bound (a crass and c%&p snap decision that I have since rescinded).

Hello Bovington – 15th January

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/melandkim

But in another parallel universe many Egdon Heath Harriers are heading to Bovington (famed for its tank museum) (and tank training area) for Bustinskin’s “Dirty Devil Stampede”. Bustinskin is Weymouth’s famed triathlon club and their director Mark Steen has asked Mel’n’Kim to be the warmup act. And for some reason the Egdonites have decided that evening dress is the order of the day.

Apparently they put on a fine show (drawing heavily on material earlier made famous by their lesser known namesakes).

Afterwards, following in the (caterpillar) tracks of some of the army’s finest, they all got very wet. And finally they received a very generous donation from Mark to CLIC Sargent

Because They ARRRRRRRR!!!!!! – The PyRATs of Portland, 21st / 22nd Jan

What is it about Egdon Heath Harriers that EVERYTHING involves dressing up. Sat 21st and our de-facto Social Sec Simon has organised the “PyRATs of Portland”. Some might claim this is a social run. But it is my understanding that RAT actually stands for Real Ale Trail. This is essentially a pub crawl. And a logistical challenge since it starts in the south of the island, finishes in the north of the island, and is a pub crawl. I have a plan. I will drive to the start, walk home afterwards, and then will be forced to do a proper LSR on the Sunday to reclaim my vehicle.

Well I think we visited eight pubs on the day. These included the New Star Inn. The last time I was there I was the ONLY person who bothered to get dressed up for an ABBA tribute night at the nearby theatre and I got some VERY STRANGE looks. But today the locals seemed to regard a troop of pirates with relative indifference.

Here we are in Portland’s historic and atmospheric George Inn.

And on the Sunday I was happy to complete a half decent twelve miler back to pick up the car from outside the Eight Kings.

Pottermore Or Less – Thurs 26th January – Fri 27th January

Well to date I guess Mel’n’Kim have largely been the public face of #egdonrunslondonforclic. But the next week would give Hayley and myself a chance to take centre stage. But first I have another little matter to attend to since I am due to attend Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with daughters Madeleine and Anneliese.

Ha – but before that I’m contemplating the meaning of life (like you do) and blow me down … what is that HUGE WET PATCH in the middle of the carpet. My usual plumber can’t come for two weeks and so an alternative is arranged for Saturday morning (the day of our fund-raising quiz night “Quiz Me For CLIC”). And meanwhile I’m off to the smoke!

I am staying at the Wembley Travelodge (particularly convenient for the N Circular!) But it is equally convenient for the Grand Union Canal, and I enjoy a decent 10k along the towpath on Friday morning.

In the spirit of some of J.K’s later books, maybe this theatrical event was somewhat bloated, being spread out over two evenings! But we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. And then a dash back to Weymouth for my appointment with the plumber (and quiz night).

Quiz Me For CLIC – Sat 28th January

I have long harboured a desire to perform the role of “Quizmaster”(or in this case “joint quizmaster”) and tonight would be my chance. Hayley for her part has agreed to take on responsibility for the small matter of catering for 90! And Mel’n’Kim have agreed to do a bit of singing during the “Magic Of The Musicals” round.

I won’t bore you with too many details but for a little taster try this little poser?
“The biggest selling singles of 1963 and 1964 were both songs by the Beatles, but which Liverpudlian entertainer unexpectedly recorded the biggest selling single of 1965?” – answer to follow 🙂  (oh yes and click here if you want to try the music round)

Hayley did a magnificent job, as did Pete, my joint quizmaster. We were hugely grateful to so many friends for supporting us so generously (and baking cakes) and were delighted to raise well over £700 for our chosen charity.

“Morning Ladies … “

To quote one early morning dog-walker … There are some definite benefits to being a late convert to this running lark. And while a number of my fellow chaps are out there LSRing on a Sunday morning with a view to nailing London in under three hours, my more natural LSRmates veer more towards the distaff side.

But we did receive a little bit of stick for having the temerity to set something up as an alternative to the main event. To borrow Hayley’s words:
“10 miles done this morning in this beautiful weather ☔️ The beach road on the turn around was particularly lovely. Thanks to Stella for organising and planning the route and thanks to the other “splitters” Keith and Zara.”

Portland Coastal Half Marathon – Sunday 5th February

And then suddenly I seem to be right back where I started with the post-Christmas manflu, getting in from work and putting myself straight to bed.

But Hayley and myself (and Zara too) have entered Bustinskin’s Portland Coastal Half Marathon as a good excuse for a LSR. Simples – turn up and run. But at parkrun yesterday Egdonite Jane disavowed me of that view with a “have you seen the kit-list?” (no I hadn’t). Before I know it I have invested in a first aid kit and am desparately searching out whistle, torch, space blanket, hat, gloves, ice-axe etc …

This was one tough run … hilly, windy and very muddy. Sadly there was no way I was going to keep up with the other two, but ultimately, it was a very satisfying trip around the rock. I’m seriously hoping the manflu is finally under control ‘cos I seriously need to get out there and get some proper miles under my belt.

On The Road To Damascus – Feb 6th – 13th

At last a proper week’s running – follow the plan to the letter, with the bonus of walking to and from work to get a few extra miles on the clock.

But also something of a Damascene (ha – great word) moment for me. I have joined the CLIC Sargent London Marathon Runners Facebook Group and there is a post stating that one Christopher Pinnock has set up some sort of Strava group. Now I know what people say – “if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen”. If that’s true then, to date, everything I’ve done has been a figment of my imagination.

I join and blow me down if before I know it I’m not drowning in a new world of segments and statistics. You’d think this would appeal to my saddo statto side but sadly the figures just don’t add up. Reckon I might be getting the bike out on a few of those segments before long 😉

I Will Survive – February 19th

This Friday and it’s Egdon Heath Harriers Awards Evening. I shan’t be there (more of that later). But Mel & Kim have been asked to perform Carpool Karaoke there. Strangely there are some other members who will use any excuse to don women’s clothing and, with backing singers Simon and Brian, the ladies have raised another £173 for our chosen charity. Well done to them and more huge thanks to our running club colleagues for their continuong support and generosity.

Family Matters – February 19th – 20th

But I have a long standing alternative engagement. Celebrity? fan Jim (“Nick-Nick”) Davidson claims that he grew up thinking the place where he lived was actually called “Charlton Nil”. But in reality all London marathoners should know where Charlton is – after all you run through that area of South-East London twice. My mum and dad were both born and raised there and as a child there was constant talk of those halcyon days when (believe it or not) Charlton Athletic were one of the top teams in the land. And mum and Auntie Brenda were at Wembley in 1947 when we WON!!!! the FA Cup.

And this weekend I am meeting up with brother Ian and cousins Marian and Judith to donate this model of the cup, made by mum and signed by the winning team, to the club museum.

After that a trip to the West End with daughter Anneliese to see the greatest musical ever (I refer of course to Les Mis). It doesn’t disappoint. Considering I spend the last 20 minutes or so sobbing my heart out, I come out feeling strangely uplifted.

Saturday morning is a visit for a very satisfying parkrun in picturesque Osterley Park.

I decide that some culture is in order with a first ever visit to the National Gallery but not before a premature trip to the Mall. And later we all meet up again to see daughter Madeliene starring (in the ensemble) of the Cygnet Players production of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”.

Finally it’s a long drive home to Weymouth because at 11AM I have a date for another Egdon Heath Harriers alternative Sunday Long Slow Run.

Near Far – Wherever You Are – February 21st

Phew … the whistle stop tour is nearly complete.

It seems there is actually an alternative alternative EHH Sunday LSR and Mel’n’Kim are doing that. Not so much long / slow as long / slow / muddy!

Led by Hayley, we set up for a 16 miler. Five ladies today (Hayley, Jane, Zara, Lucy and Stella) but we’re also joined by Matt. A particular pleasure to (finally) get to meet Jane, who alongside Stella, is recipient of a club London Marathon ballot place. But then it turns out that we were fellow sufferers somewhere around Portland Bill two weeks earlier on the coastal half!

We head over to Portland, back around the back of Weymouth, and along the waterfront to the end of the Stone Pier at which point Matt decides to recreate a scene from Titanic (sadly we missed the pose here).

But the rest of us prefer Stella’s selfie option.

And finally back to Sam and Josie’s excellent Sandsfoot Cafe for coffee. By the time I get home that’s another 17.5 miles clocked up – there’s only one place I’m going after that (to sleep)

Thanks for reading,

#egdonrunslondonforclic

Keith

(oh yes – and of course, the answer to the question is “Sir Ken DODD”)

Posted in Dementia, London, Team Egdon, Training

Happy New Year … Happy New Year …

The latest in the world of Egdon Runs London For CLIC Sargent. Since I was lucky enough to get a ballot place, fellow Egdon Heath Harriers Hayley, Mel and Kim have decided to join me and to raise money for children’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.

Simple – blog every week – that was the task I set myself – did I achieve that then?!? But I guess it was Christmas. So let’s take stock – now is the new year and we are all brushing off our favourite marathon plans. One thing that I don’t think has changed is that you will have to rely on my take on things – might I just persuade Hayley, Kim or Mel to write something at some point? But for now the ladies are too busy 🙂

Running has been a bit dire for me lately, but the Friday after Christmas, I went out with Hayley for a hilly 10k. Have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to this. When we first did this, Hayley seemed very grateful to me for keeping her going. But now the running shoe is very much on the other foot. It is she that is driving me on, and I’m sure she could run this faster. Well the week before she did do this course much quicker with husband and recent Weymouth ironman finisher Nathan. But for now we both seem to be suffering from whatever lurgy is going around. All-in-all I’m pretty pleased to finish this without stopping.

And then onto New Years’s Day. There seems to be a tradition round these parts (not one that I’ve ever followed before) that Jan 1st means the Broadstone Quarter Marathon. I’m sure that on some long forgotten session months ago someone said something along the lines of “Oh we should all do that”. So I duly signed up. But new Year’s Eve in Weymouth is BIG (as I always like to say, “if you can’t cross dress on New Year’s Eve in Weymouth, when can you cross dress?”) But that’s another story. Do I really want to be up at the crack of dawn driving to Bournemouth for a run? But then Kim gives me the great news that she has also decided to do it as a stop off en-route to Southampton. Oh glad tidings – no way I can drop out now!!

This was essentially a two lap course, and looks pretty flat. But not that pretty flat with a nice little downhill section being followed by a long old uphill drag, probably about 2km, which of course had to be completed twice. In the end I was pleased to get around in around 57 mins, but was some way behind Jim (aka Mr Kim) and also Stella and Claire from Egdon Heath Harriers who I would normally hope to be much closer to (if not in front of). Either they’ve all got quicker or I’ve got slower (or both). But I know the Christmas MANFLU is still lingering.

And then onto Tuesday night’s Egdon club night, chasng the “quick ones” along the sea wall. It is fairly clear to Mrs Fudge (aka Kim) that I really shouldn’t be doing this at the moment and she tells me in no uncertain terms. So for now stick that sub-four hour marathon plan on the back burner and hang up the Sauconys for a week 🙁

But it’s not all running. Now one advantage of being laid up is that it is a ready excuse for missing the “Friday Fresheners” sea swim. But this is Weymouth and for forty years of so the harbour swim has been a traditional starter for Christmas Day. Like running marathons, this was something I thought I’d never do, but I braved it in 2015, and decided that 2016 would be no different. But in truth both these years have seen incredibly mild weather.

Mr and Mrs Fudge have already phoned in sick, but there is nothing that will stop Mel and Patrick. I register early and am in the aptly named Wave 5, whilst Mel and Patrick end up in Wave 6. Wave five is called forward. We hand in our bags, which are taken across by boat, and creep down onto the platform. The whistle goes, but I am in no rush and wait ’til just about everyone else has entered the water, before creeping forward. Three … two …one … well blow me down that’s COLD. I enter best survival breaststroke mode and creep slowly across. Baggage reclaim for me is easy ‘cos by the time I get there, there are only three or four left. And I decide to hang around and wait for Wave 6 to come across. Mel, in true Mel style, is looking incredibly cool (haha), while Patrick, in true Patrick style, is milking it for all it’s worth, floating around casually on his back!

Back to the marathon. On her previous attempt in 2015, Hayley got around in just under 5 hours. But a significant amount of this time was occupied taking selfies and launching herself into the crowd. And in September Nathan completed his first ever marathon (at the end of his first ever ironman!!!) in 4:22. She would like to beat that time. In my “expert” (haha) opinion that’s not out of the question. After all – if I can get around in under four hours … I am confident in my own ability to match that time as long as I train well, and so the plan is chosen, and that is what we hoping for.

But what about Mel and Kim? I know only too well from my previous effort in 2013 that the marathon can seriously take over your life. Not just the running, but the charity fundraising as well. It becomes all embracing. It can occupy just about every waking thought of every waking hour. Early on I had the idea of using youtube as a platform to raise money. Surely some people would like my guitar playing enough to stick a pound or two in the pot. And three years on, via youtube, I have raised precisely £0 – STUFF ALL. Which is why it’s so brilliant that Mel and Kim have cracked it on youtube, and after just a month or so, have raised around £1300 from their Mel & Kim Carpool Karaoke videos. BTW please feel free to visit Mel & Kim’s justgiving page and put in your very own request 😉

Their efforts have not slipped under the radar. The organisers of the marathon have been in touch with them, secretly hoping that they will karaoke their way around on April 23rd. Mel & Kim have been investigating just how they might be able to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records, and CLIC Sargent are looking to feature them on their web-site. And they have also been contacted by Runners World magazine, who did ask the (very pertinent) question “when are you going to find the time to do any training?”.

And that’s not all. Don’t they say “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. So Kim was very thrilled to be featured in an article called “5 People Who Tried to Recreate James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke and Failed” which appeared on some site called “One World” which apparently is followed by millions! Naturally she asked the author for a donation, but to date I don’t think one has been forthcoming.

I would certainly not want anyone to get the idea that either of these ladies are not serious runners. Mel has completed a full distance ironman and two London marathon, with a best time very close to the 4:17 that I achieved in 2013. Kim for her part has overcome injury, which at one time threatened to stop her running altogether, to complete a half ironman distance triathlon last year. And Mel & Kim (and Patrick & Jim) all completed the Giant’s Head off road marathon last year.

But I think their marathon experience this year is largely going to be defined by Mel & Kim’s Carpool Karaoke. Their chances of running a fast time will surely be compromised by the amount of time and energy their fundraising is taking up. But that in itself can be oh such a rewarding experience. With every day they are building up an every increasing memory bank of stories. April 23rd will be tough but it can still be the culmination a wonderful, memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

For our part, Hayley and myself cannot afford to take the foot off the fundraising pedal either. Early on we decided that we should do a quiz night. And that is only three weeks away. Hayley is looking after catering, and I offered to be (for the first time ever) quizmaster. And I am amazed just how much time it is possible to burn researching, thinking up questions, recording the music round, designing answer sheets, thinking up ideas for games, accumulating raffle prizes, composing spreadsheets, writing computer programs … etc.

It was never supposed to be like this when I decided to run London 2017 on a charity place and I never dreamed the chain of events that would be set in motion. But I am so pleased that these three ladies have come on-board. Probably said it before … it’s all very well asking friends, neighbours, workmates, relatives etc for donations just for doing it. But we’ve all done that before. No … if you want people to donate money to your cause you really should give them a reason to donate. And to quote modern parlance Hayley, Mel & Kim clearly get it too!!! I am (small tear in eye) soooooo proud of what they are doing.

#egdonrunslondonforclic

Thanks for reading,

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training

And So This Is Christmas

Hayley, Mel & Kim and Keith Run London For CLIC Sargent

I’m afraid that you’re still going to have to make do with my view of the world of “Egdon Runs London For CLIC Sargent”. Hayley for her part is taking a well earned rest after the success of her Christmas draw, whilst Mel & Kim are totally focussed on their major London marathon fundraising project, Carpool Karaoke .

Last Friday was Egdon Heath Harrier’s Bad Santa pub crawl training evening. It’s long been my ambition to find a lady to help me (in the spirit of Mel & Kim’s Carpool Karaoke) to ruin sing the greatest Christmas song ever. And karaoke night in Weymouth’s Tides Inn (get it? THE TIDE’S IN!) provided just the opportunity. Armed with follow Egdonites Lucy and Tannis, plus one of the locals, and a background chorus of angels, we duly mounted our assault. Damien (aka Mr Tannis) captured it all on video. So sorry Shane and Kirsty for what I have done. Mel & Kim and Hayley did not make it, but (the long suffering) Mr Mel & Kim (aka Patrick & Jim) did. Hmmm …

After which there was no way I was going to parkrun on Saturday. But post parkrun coffee that day was at Kim & Jim’s house. With Jim doing a magnificent job as barista, over £200 more was added to the London fundraising pot.

Sunday was Weymouth’s annual “Chase The Pudding” on the beach. But there was no way any of us would be catching that pudding. The pace was just about as fast as I can manage at the moment. Some of us are more photogenic than others, as evidenced by this offering in the Dorset Echo. Afterwards Mel & Kim managed to buttonhole Wessex FM’s James O’Neill for another interview, and apparently they have designs on inviting the poor chap to appear live on one of their videos.

Tuesday would be the final Egdon Heath Harriers club night before Christmas. Hayley (who I reckon is far and away the strongest runner at the moment – no presssure haha) was absent due to a prior appointment drinking cocktails, Kim is resting a troublesome toe, and Mel tends to work late Tuesdays. But for me it’s just not going so great at the moment 🙁 I went out with the “medium” group and had to cut and run early for just about the first time ever after struggling to make it up Southill Hill. I’ve tried to get a few more km on the clock since then, but can’t quite believe how slowly garmin tells me I’m running. I’m almost hoping I might have a cold coming on, otherwise this is about the worst it’s been in the three and a bit years I’ve been doing this.

Fast forward to Friday morning swim club at Weymouth’s Oasis cafe. Have to say it was b$%&&y cold in the sea, but with the Christmas Day harbour swim coming up, you have to keep your hand in. The other two ladies in my life 😉 are returning home for Christmas and they’ll be expecting a Christmas tree to decorate. But I’m blowed if I’m going to pay the £40 that I was asked for at Morrisons earlier in the week. C’mon guys – Christmas day is almost upon us – surely the price should be dropping faster than the needles. And so today I headed out to make a purchase. Apprentice style I have vowed not to pay any more than a score for one.

The first place I try reports that they have just sold the last one 🙁 On to the Garden Centre. Yes they have trees, but how much. Between me and another chap we reckon it must be £29.99 – hmmm – more than a score 🙁 And then the bloke selling them appears. Every tree £1!!! … well blow me down … I’ll take ten I say (haha). We decide on a nice six footer and I head home. I love a good bargain.

Christmas Eve and 423 runners turn up for Weymouth parkrun (FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY THREE!!! – that’s 90 more than we’ve ever had before). Mel and Patrick present me with a great little guitar stool.

But the final word must go to Carpool Karaoke. Where will this journey take us to next?

Thanks for reading.

#egdonrunslondonforclic    www.justgiving.com/egdonclicrunners

Keith

Posted in London, Team Egdon, Training
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