8 Aug 2013

July Review (550.38 - 616.32KM)

July was a strange month. After a mishap with a cargo net, pond and a £300 camera it turned in to the most expensive month of the year. Despite two races in one day and an epic trek across the Peak District it was also one of my shortest distance covered months of the year.

For those of you who would prefer not to read, check out my video review of July instead.

The month would get off to a relatively slow start as I ha d no race planned for the first weekend, and instead would run a solo 10k with the intention of resting up for some big weekends ahead. My first race of the month was originally scheduled to take place on the evening of Wednesday 10th. I was planning on driving to the start of the race after work, although roadworks and a traffic accident lead to some extreme levels of congestion and what would have been a 5 minute drive home took 50 minutes and I had to abandon my plans.

Fortunately I wouldn't have to wait long until my next (or first) race, as that weekend I had lined up the Berghaus 12.12, a twelve mile race across the Peak District. It was a race I had been looking forward to for quite some time, after falling in love with the idea with running across the area a few months ago. When the day finally came I was excited, even bought a new pair of shoes for the occasion, but mostly nervous. The website warned that you would need experience navigating as well as a whole host of equipment, and with the massive climbs it was going to be one of the most difficult races of the year.

Luckily most of these fears were unfounded, I got slightly lost and went the wrong way once, but for the most part it was an issue free race. With all the running I'm doing this year I'm very rarely going into a race feeling 100%, this race was no different, but it is definitely one I'd look to run again on less tired legs.

Reaching the summit of another hill
The next weekend saw another unprecedented event in this challenge with two races in one day. The first was the Rother Valley 10K, a different event to the one cancelled earlier in the year, and my third time running round the lakes so far. Throughout this challenge I have been hoping to inspire friends, family and perhaps even strangers to take up running and maybe run a race with me. It was a surprise however when I managed to coax my mum out of running retirement to enter this race, even more of a surprise when my sister said she'd run it too.

The race was a fairly standard affair, two and a bit times around the lake meant that it wasn't the most exciting of races. Initially I planned to try and run sub 40 as it was simple, flat course but after trying and failing, again, after the first mile or so I slowed the pace down a bit and focussed on the not tiring myself out too much for the race later in the afternoon.

Just finished and already looking towards race #2
My second race of the day, the Sheffield Man of Steel 10K, would take place a mere 5 and a bit hours after my first race. It was one of a handful of 'obstacle' races I am entering this year, simply because of the increased cost of the events. As it was one of two races on the same day I planned to record the day and create some form of video blog to help publicise my fundraising, so borrowed a GoPro camera from a client at work. 

Genuinely impressed I managed these
After a tough first lap that involved climbing over walls, crawling through cargo nets, crossing a pond, running up impossibly steep hills, carrying sandbags and successfully navigating a set of monkey bars I continued round for the second lap. Whilst the first lap was challenging, the second would be disastrous. The camera got caught in the net whilst crossing the pond and as the runner behind me jumped in and grabbed the cargo net to pull himself under, the camera went with and was lost to the depths of the pond forever.

I spent about 5 to 10 minutes on my hands and knees searching for the camera during the race before eventually giving up. My Dad has since been back to the pond with a handmade rake, fashioned from a netball post, and after half an hour of scraping the bottom of the lake still returned empty handed.

Not actually my Dad
What was supposed to be a weekend of celebration, with two races in a day and breaking the 600km barrier instead turned into a rather sour one.

The final race of the month would be at the Heckington Show 10 Mile Road Race.The race was part of a weekend of activities and events as part of the largest Village show in the country, so in a way I guess I was an attraction. Aside from bizarrely running around the inside of the arena twice, almost as if we were being paraded, the race was a fairly standard affair. One bit of note from the race was that I finally managed to beat a runner that I had seen at around 15 of my 27 races so far this year. He always seemed to be 20 - 40 seconds in front of me, so to finally finish a race in front felt like an achievement, even if the score is still 14 -1.

Elsewhere this month I was invited back on to BBC Lincolnshire for a follow up interview, having recently reached the halfway stage. You can listen to interview that in the YouTube video above.

I am also still currently holding my Charity Raffle with over £400 worth of prizes. Tickets only cost £1, and any donations received this month will be automatically entered into the draw. There are a whole host of prizes suitable for familys, couples or individuals so please check it out. I have worked very hard sourcing all these prizes in an attempt to give something back to those that have sponsored me, so it would be a shame for them to go to waste.

As always, please visit my JustGiving page and donate what you can. If you can't donate then please share my JustGiving page and news of what I'm doing with others, in case they can. The only way we can end the suffering that Jenny and millions of others go through on a daily basis is with your help.

July Stats:

1000KM Challenge Distance: 65.94KM

Time Running Total: 06:04:55
Total Running Distance: 239.93KM
Bananas Eaten: 34
Races: 4
T-Shirts: 3
Medals: 2

1000km Challenge Stats:

1000KM Challenge Distance: 616.23KM

Time Running Total: 52:56:54
Total Running Distance: 1312.74KM
Bananas Eaten: 302
Races: 27
T-Shirts: 14
Medals: 13


A look ahead to July

Confirmed Races
04/08 - York 10K

11/08 - Hermitage 10K
16/08 - Sleaford Striders Summer 10K

Unconfirmed Races

18/08 - Belpher Rugby Rover 30K
26/08 - Grimsthorpe Castle 10K
31/08 - Wolds Tough 10 Mile

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