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There’s nowt clever about running ! Chapter 1

So many of you will know that I have decided to run the London Marathon 2022 in aid of Bowelcanceruk and in memory of Laura. There’s no effort or blog on earth that could do justice to Laura and the amazing person that she was. So this blog, the next two blogs and all of my running hours are of course dedicated to Laura and her 3 beautiful daughters.

Way back in July 2021 I decided upon this marathon journey (- see what I did there ! ). I contacted Bowelcanceruk and asked if it was possible to run the London Marathon in aid of Bowelcanceruk and in remembrance of Laura. They soon came back and said I could apply and they would let me know if I was successful in a month or so. To be honest at that time I had no idea of the challenge or commitment that it would involve – I just knew that I wanted to do something that would focus attention to the issues surrounding bowel cancer and of course try to bring Laura’s amazing life to the forefront. Id previously written a few blogs about it,- can be found here on earlier blogs; had a book published available on Amazon – ‘Nobody Said It Would Be Easy‘ – also available at other well known publishers !!!

Run a few miles – what could be difficult about that ???

So just over 12 months ago I heard that I had a place in The London Marathon 2022 for Bowelcanceruk. Must admit I just thought – Yeah that’s good a few months of running occasionally and ‘job’s a good ‘un’ I then heard from Bowel Cancer that the Marathon had been put back to October 2022 instead of April 2022 and was that still ok ? “Mmmmmm now let me think about that one – not sure if Im doing something then ! ” Yeah ok that’s fine – after all it gives me more time to train; and even more time to put off training. !!! So back last October I started to go to Parkruns on Saturday more regularly – not every week you understand – don’t want to overdo it !! Probably twice or three times a month.

Comments were coming in saying ” Hows the training plan coming on ? ” ” How often are you running?”

Training plan – mmmmm I must get one of those ! ………. ‘Great thanks – Yeah really good. Doing bits and pieces. Fit the runs in when I can.’ – which really meant once a week ish ! I put my Just Giving page up justgiving/fundraising/mikebarnes3 and I quite cheerfully agreed to raising £2,500 but as the date got closer, I started to fear that I wouldn’t make it. I needn’t have worried as friends and family soon began to donate. To be honest, I think it was more in remembrance of Laura’s inspiration than for my attempt, but I can live with that!  I must admit I was overwhelmed by the generosity of friends and family – just amazing – so in case I forget in all these ramblings – THANK YOU SO MUCH for your generosity and beautiful words.

So Id put on my running kit – bought for me by my 2 daughters for my birthday cos they said I needed ‘proper kit!’ and off I’d go round the block, which in itself was quite strenuous so i really felt I was training. I’d got my Bowel Cancer vest and i was running – sorted !

I, of course, didn’t change my diet or alcohol input ( not that it was excessive you understand just once every now and then) – or anything really. So from May onwards I would go out probably about once a week, as well as a park run and feel “it’s a long way off really”

‘How are you doing with your training?’ – “Yeah good thanks – mine’s a pint and a bowl of chips !”

In July I accepted the invite to a training session at Bowel Cancer UK offices in London, noticing that there was a half marathon around Richmond Park on the Sunday – What could go wrong ? Great idea ! So I signed up for the Richmond Park half marathon. How was I to know that this weekend would be the hottest weekend on record !!!! Training session was excellent – of course

Airbnb booked right next to the park – Arrived at the Airbnb Saturday night – hottest day ever – in the smallest room ever- with the smallest bed ever ! Checked out the course – quick call into the pub – job’s a good’en ! Up early, no breakfast – oops, and walked to the park.Arrived at the course with the rest of the runners that looked like they all belonged to an 18 – 35 club ! Advice from home – “Look out for someone else with grey hair and follow ( note the positivity – not run ‘with’ but ‘follow’ them). There wasn’t anyone with grey hair ! In fact they all had only just left high school ! And it was getting very warm – in fact it was b***** hot ! Of course it didn’t help when I fell over a tree root and went sprawling; cutting my elbow, my knee and bruising my chin ! “Are you ok ?” asked the youths of Richmond Park gathered around me with a look on their faces of extreme pity and thoughts such as “Should this old man really be running?” “I’m fine thanks but thanks for stopping; I’ll see you at the finish !” I said laughing and grimacing at the same time.

At the end of the second lap, it was now evident that this was one of the hottest days ever in the history of the world ! and I was absolutely done in ! “You can just finish now if you want to and go to First Aid.” said the marshal at the end of the second lap, “Are you ok?” – “I’m fine but no thanks I’ll finish the run first” I replied again with a speck of optimism and blood dripping down my arm. To say I struggled after the second time round the park some 14 km, would be an understatement and Id still got a lap to go.

The third lap was really interesting as it was a bit of a race between me and the marshals clearing all the barriers and bollards away over who was going to get to the finish first !

I think they won !

Anyway finish I did ! – Go to the first aid tent I did! – Dehydrated I was ! But I did get the highly prized accolade of coming first in my age category ………………. – stop it !!!!!! Oh alright then I was the only one !

You really don’t want to see what I looked like – haha

Lesson learned – I need to start taking this a little bit more seriously – food, drink, refreshments, life style – Oh my goodness my body will not know what’s hit it , after years of no breakfasts, chip suppers, beer, and late nights ! (Sounds worse than it was but you get the drift !) Still it had to be done !

Looking forward to the new life style and The Big Half Marathon in London – surely, surely, it’ll be fine – I mean what could possibly go wrong ??

2 thoughts on “There’s nowt clever about running ! Chapter 1

  1. You’ve always been an inspiration Mr B but you’re blowing the socks off the word inspiring these days!! Well done – love watching your journey xx

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