Weekly blog 20th May to 26th May

Notice: Please come along & support this “Keeping Well in the Community” event to be held at Helsby Community Centre between 10 & 2 on Sat 8th June.Betty will be there running a HRC stall telling folks about the benefits of running & HRC, Helens couch to 5K & Frodsham Joggers. Please pop in if you can to see what’s going on & support Betty spreading the running word!

CBH sent in this report from his Dragon’s Back/ Wales Coast to Coast attempt.

What a week – many of you will know I’ve been away racing down Wales in an attempt to raise as much money as possible for those with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). I’ve been truly humbled by the response, support and generosity I received from my friends, colleagues and even some people I don’t know! It’s a very personal charity given that they helped me to get back on my feet so Thank you so very much for providing the fuel to the fire I needed to finish.If you missed out first time around and wish to contribute to this amazing cause please visit here, I’d love to burst £3k: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/cbh-dragon so if you’ve got a spare fiver or even more then please don’t be shy 😊

The race itself went even better than I predicted. Starting off I felt really under prepared due to a lack of mountain miles in my legs. Injuries have really taken their toll over the last 18 months and so to finish the incredible day 1 route within 20 minutes of my 2017 time was really surprising. A quick wash in the stream and plenty of food later I was starting to fear I’d gone too hard and would feel the impact the next day.

Day 2 is arguably the toughest due to the terrain; it’s certainly the roughest in Wales. Navigation was going well and there was more scope for good lines Vs the suggested route. The route gives loads of scope to play with the mountains; working with them more than trying to dominate and conquer them. Dropping off the first Rhinog I took a chance that I could find a good wide line and it paid off. I saved ~30 minutes and only had two 6ft drops to content with. The mental boost that a well navigated line gives is huge and I comfortably flew across the rest of the course despite the heat.

The heat played a huge part in the race, it wasn’t just hot, it was also close, meaning you simply don’t cool down as the sweat clings rather than evaporates. Combine that with the lack of streams around in both Northern and Southern Snowdonia and it’s a real problem.

Day 3 started well, but after a massive high in Machynlleth (due to a slush puppy machine, ice cream, bottle of coke and a trip to the chippy for a fish bap) I felt totally drained on the second half, plus my right knee was really hurting and would prove to be a problem going forward. Whilst I had fantastic company I just felt it was a roasting hot death march. I struggled to eat that evening and felt done.Sleep is a healer. I woke up positive and got going. I had soon caught up with my friends and we made reasonable time across to the half way drop bag. The second half of the day I got on it.

The Elan valley is covered in tussocks (baby’s heads) so it’s hard to move swiftly, but I managed to keep it moving and really put some time away. Maybe it was the promise of a hog roast at the pub next to Day 4 camp? Getting in I had a horrible wash in the lake (freezing and sharp rocks!) I tucked away 4 portions of lasagne and headed to the pub for the hog roast. Back in the game.

Day 5 I woke up with a really negative mind. Everything was wrong, but once I got going all that negativity disappeared. I was flying (relatively). The consequence of this was that I was in and out of the half way drop bag before Laura and the boys arrived… maybe I was just desperate to get on the stunning Fans of the Black Mountain. More great lines, shortcuts and sheep trods meant I hit the ice cream van with good time, only to make the amateur mistake of only ordering one cornetto!

Still, I cracked on and finished strongly. As I dropped down the final road section ignoring the pain in my knee I was put firmly in my place as I was passed by a young lady pushing a pram and walking her dog… okay, so that was Jasmin Paris, but it still tickled me. Hitting the final corner Laura I heard Laura and the body cheering. My beautiful boys grabbed my hands and ran across the final field and the line with me. Best finish ever!

Epilogue:This was my third Dragon’s Back, that puts me in excellent company – one of only five to have completed three. Those that have followed the others will know I’ve always had a dream to add day 6 on and run the additional 30 miles down to Mumbles Pier in Swansea, thus completing a coast to coast. To add the additional day once everybody else had gone home was mentally tough but so rewarding, especially given the quality of ice cream in the Mumbles! Hitting the beach two miles earlier than I had expected was sound tracked by Sunscream’s ‘I’m only chasing my dreams’. Apt.

Huge thanks to everyone that has supported me – you provided the fuel to keep me going

Gaz Boyd sent this in from his 24 hour charity run around Chester walls

Running Around The Bend

24 hours along Chester Walls-raising funds for Hospice of The Good ShepherdAt 9am Sunday 26th May, I left Chester Town Hall and started my Running challenge.
Just after 9am on Monday 27th May, I arrived back at my starting point – having covered 90 miles (over 47 laps of The Walls)Here’s my tale about the 90 mile journey.During the first 6 miles, I tried to get into a running rhythm (not going off too quick was key, as this ‘adventure’ was definitely going to be a ‘marathon’ rather then a sprint). The light initial rain showers were actually pleasant and I felt energised and excited.

Now, it’s probably no surprise that when one starts to run around The Walls at least 10 times or more, one starts to become recognised by individuals working along the route. This was certainly the case with 2 local artists by The Eastgate Clock and The Dee – both very friendly, encouraging and supportive.

After nearly 3 hours, the fundraising campaign stepped up a gear and I grabbed a quick ‘pitstop’ to change into my first fancy dress costume = Spider-Man. Despite being rather warm, it definitely generated a lot more interest and increased the support/cheers from passers by. Families asked for selfies in return for a donation – great fun.

Support throughout from family and friends was overwhelming and without them the 24 challenge would have been a lot tougher. Special thanks to Mike, Tim and Bex (with family), Natalie, Richard H (Green Army), Joanna, Lisa and Dale, Rob and Martin. Of course HUGE thanks to my wife Karen. Local businesses were also really supportive – special thanks goes to That Beer Place, Hypha and Chip’d – awesome chips!At about 3pm it was time to ‘switch’ into my 2nd fancy dress costume = Cheerleader.

Once again this helped generate more generous donation collections. It’s worth noting that Spider-Man is definitely a more popular costume with everyone.

As well as the fabulous support throughout, I was overwhelmed by the kind donations (both online and bucket collection). Amazing!The weather ‘gods’ were certainly looking after me during the 24 hours and I was fortunate to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Chester is a stunning city. At this stage my running had reduced to a walk/run strategy – my legs not surprisingly becoming increasingly tired/fatigued.

I was really disappointed with this but recognised that the key thing was just to keep moving forward.Between 11am to 4am, what could have been a tough period was actually quite good fun. As previously mentioned, the support from the running community (bringing food/snacks/water) was awesome and with chat/banter, the crazy scary black cat by Chester Castle and the entertainment provided by pub/club goers, time flew by!Sunrise was around 4.30am and with only hours to go, I marched (staggered) on.

I am embarrassed to say that at around 6.15am, myself, Martin and Rob stopped for a short ‘pitstop’ at a well known food retailer – here, I felt very faint, struggled to eat anything, was almost sick and had a ‘fight ‘ with a toilet role 🙄. Enough said about that……..At 9.02am, I arrived back at The Town Hall and to the theme of Rocky, hurled myself up the steps before celebrating!

Fundraising to date is around £1500. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN TO EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT. This is an experience I’ll never forget.To sponsor me go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarethBoyd

Col Bishop was at Buxton Half and sent in this report

Bank holiday Monday saw me line up on a very wet and wimdy morning outside the Buxton Opera house heading off up Axe Hill for the start of the Buxton half marathon. With constant climbing i found myself that high up i was running in the clouds with my ears popping. The route took in Axe Hill, Dowel Dale, Chrome Hill, Park house Hill, Glutton Dale, Briarlow Bar and Harpur Hill finishing at the Pavilion Gardens.

The winner came home in 1hr 17min, I am pleased to say I came in 11th overall managing to win V50 category which isn’t too bad considering I am nearer 60 than 50 😊

Whilst I have said this is by far the toughest road race I have ever run I would certainly recommend this if anyone fancies a challenge with fabulous scenery

Cheers Bish

Full consolidated parkrun results are below
https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

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