I organised my first race and decided to ride a long way!

I feel like I haven’t blogged in a while and should probably give an update as I’ve been up to a bit but also this is just the bleurghhh bit of marathon training, 6/7 weeks in and long runs are becoming long and it just isn’t much fun! No point pretending!!!

Starting with the interesting bit, I organised my first race! The Hedge End Scramble. Using the Paris Raid 28 as inspiration, I placed 8 checkpoints across the village (with a rough 5k and 10k loop) and pairs were asked to go to a maximum of 5 and then come back. Checkpoints had random scores so the furthest away wasn’t necessarily worth the most etc. + then 5 challenges that weren’t on the map they had to work out with points for each. I have to admit I was panicking a bit before, but the evening went well and I think most enjoyed it despite the torrential rain… The best selfie competition was brilliant yet I’m still expecting a visit from the local police about some of the photos! We had kissing a frog (an actual frog), getting in a shopping trolley, dancing round a maypole sign with workmen, accosting the local fish n chip shop owner, being laid out on the floor in said shop, playing fake guitars in the band stand etc etc.

The best bit for me was seeing people coming back talking about their run, what they’d been up to, where they’d been, how they’d got lost. It was really enjoyable and also raised £100 for KIDS charity. The next event will be the West End Wander hopefully in May using the same principle and hopefully in the dry!

Because I’m getting older and my knees aren’t so happy with life, I started cycling a bit to see if I could get the same fix as running. I’m not sure I’m quite there at the moment so, over a couple of beers (isn’t this always the case), Naomi, Jenny and I decided to enter Ride London as Neighomi’s riders (see what we did there!). We entered the ballot a few months ago on a “one for all, all for one” motto (I’m really hoping you’re all thinking muskahounds right now!). We would enter the ballot and whatever happened raise money for KIDS (the charity I ran the marathons for a couple of years ago who have looked after my brother in law so much) and Kicks Count – a charity close to Jenny’s heart. The ballot results came in and actually, they never did…. We waited patiently by the doormat for the postman like a dog waiting for it’s tea and it never came! After a week we called and were told “oh yeah, you weren’t down for a magazine and didn’t get a place!”. So, we’re in, Ride London it is.. no idea what that really means if I’m honest. 100 miles is a long way but it’s on a bike, so is that like a marathon or a half or more of an ultra??? Goodness knows but Jenny Brailsford (actually not sure I can use that name anymore…) is our chief coach and is trying to get us to do training and stuff! It’ll never catch on!!! I’ll update the blog once I know what I’m in for, but the more I research the more it sounds like it might hurt. For example, in looking for a new seat for my bike, I discovered the penile groove function – this sport is slightly odd !!!

If you’re interested in following the fundraising progress of the cycle and generally how much pain I’m in – this is the link

http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stefan-hargrave

Finally marathon training… I’m at the middle stage where the marathon feels too far away to panic but not so far it can be ignored! Training is going OK, I wish I’d done more (don’t we all), but roughly have done a lot of running, cycling and a bit of swimming in an attempt to spread the load. I’ve got 5 weeks and a little bit left so I need to have a good 2-3 weeks coming up and then I’ll be OK for it. As it is, I know I can just go and plod round but I would like to put in a good show (for me), then potentially put road marathons to bed and concentrate on the longer more enjoyable stuff.

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