Monday, 31 October 2016


I love running at this time of the year.  Clear bright skies, running on a carpet of crunchy Autumnal leaves and fairly mild weather as well for the last fortnight. This last week has been a busy week of running again. Four runs completed including a 6 miler on Sunday. Tuesday saw me on the Outer Ring with Gill to Domino's Pizzas and back (no, I didn't bring a pizza back with me) which was nice and gentle.  Not the most glamorous run to be fair.

Wednesday saw me back on the treadmill at Castleknock Hotel whilst on some work business for some speed work.  When I say 'speed work' I mean slightly less slow than usual!

Mountsandel Forest
I am still trying to track down Bear Grylls to see if we can get some publicity sorted for my marathon run.  Bear is one of the new chief patrons of the charity HOPE FOR YOUTH NI which was founded back in 1972 by his grandmother.  I know he's busy with his final few live shows. The bear hunt continues!

Coffee at KOKO
Gill, Nigel and Mary 
The weekend saw me up the North Coast with family.  What better way to prepare for a morning run than with a Cabernet Sauvignon tasting night the night before.  Saturday morning was beautiful at Mountsandel forest, one of the nicest runs I've had in a while. 

The trail was full of fallen leaves and plenty of rowers on the River Bann. Great to run with good company including Gill and sister-in-law, Mary. Coffee at KOKO in Portrush followed. Great coffee and amazing views as well.

Sunday saw me out locally again for 6 miles which I found tough with plenty of hill work too.  

I ran past a traffic speed camera at the side of the road.  I await the speeding ticket! Finished with a peanut butter, banana and vanilla yogurt milkshake! Rock 'n' roll.

Finally, good luck to my friend Vicki and her buddy Colleen as they head off later this week to New York for the marathon next weekend. What an adventure that will be. I know you guys will smash it! 

Sunday, 23 October 2016


Stormont parkrun
So the weekend started with volunteering at Stormont parkrun. 135 runners this week round the Stormont Estate route. Always good to help out.  My role this weekend was timer which is always stressful as everyone relies on you getting it right. 

I met a runner who I'm hoping to run with in the near future.  Having company on runs is really helpful. This week has been busy with work, a trip to Birmingham and squeezing in the usual runs. 

So the charity I am running for is HOPE FOR YOUTH NI and did you know it was started in 1972 by Bear Gryll's Grandmother?  He is now one of the chief patrons of the charity so I'm hoping that Bear will be willing to help me with some promotional stuff to help me reach and surpass my target of £2,000.  I was hoping to meet him at his SSE Arena live show this week but I was away with work in Birmingham.  Still plenty of time to sort something out. 

Bear Grylls c/o The Guardian
Me with another bear
When you can't meet Bear Grylls who better to meet than a substitute bear? I'm talking about Sparky (the Ulster Rugby mascot) who I grabbed a quick selfie with on Friday night at Kingspan Stadium. 
A close game in the end with a narrow victory over the Exeter Chiefs. 

It was also my youngest daughter Ella's birthday party and what better way to celebrate but with an enormous home-made rainbow cake.  
Paula Radcliffe would be proud 
The only way to work off the cake was with a 10k run at Shaw's Bridge today. Today I wore my new compression socks for the first time.  

Thanks to Alan Irwin for suggesting them after I had some calf trouble a few months back.  Gill bought them for me and they are really incredible.  Maybe a pic next week if you are lucky! 

It's the first time I've run that route and it won't be the last.  It was so beautiful and beats my usual A55 Outer Ring route! 

I'm glad to report they made me run like Paula Radcliffe who always wears this type of garment. Thankfully I had no emergency toilet stops along the way though.

Ella's rainbow cake

Shaw's Bridge

Saturday, 15 October 2016


The rain managed to stay away for the duration of our parkrun this morning at Stormont Estate.  It was great to run it with Gill and our friend Alison Renfrew who was completing her 69th parkrun.  

I have to say it was very tough this morning and I think I was still feeling the effects from Thursday evening out in Belfast!  Last week I was a second outside my PB but today was a minute down on that time. Anyway, another parkrun chalked up and good to chat on the way around the course. The course was very wet underfoot this morning and there was also a lack of volunteers. I have offered to volunteer next weekend.  No volunteers, No parkrun.  

Putting the feet up this afternoon and maybe head out tomorrow for a longer run. I've emailed all my info back for the London Marathon so that's another thing done.  Starting to look at flights and accommodation for next April already.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Great early morning run (three miles) this morning. Autumn is really kicking in with plenty of leaves on the ground. I've been running about four times a week for the last month and will continue this until the proper training starts with four months to go.

Along the way I will incorporate some other runs and events to help with my training. I hope to rack up my 100th parkrun in the New Year and maybe a few 10ks and a half marathon.  

A run that will soon be on the horizon which will help with my preparation is Run In The Dark 10k at Stormont Estate in Belfast which is always a brilliant night time run. It is always well attended and supported and seeing all those flashing armbands heading up the hill at Stormont is always a spectacle. Date for that is November 16th.

I've just received the official entry info from Hope For Youth NI which I've to complete.  It certainly makes it all feel very real. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


A new marathon challenge deserves new trainers! So, I've been breaking these Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 in for the last fortnight. First time I've gone for Nike and they feel great so far (after a mini blister on the first run!). 

The message on the inside of these trainers states 'RUNFAST' which I have to be honest has never been my motto. Maybe these are the ones to change that?


Delighted to be running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of Hope For Youth NI. This will be my second Marathon after completing Belfast City Marathon in 2015.

I'm thrilled to be supporting such a great local charity that promotes children getting together from cross-community backgrounds.  

This is the start of my journey and keep checking back to see my progress as I aim to complete one of the greatest runs in the world and raise as much money as I can for a fantastic charity. 

On here, I'll be posting training updates and sponsorship progress along with any mishaps that occur along the way. I'll also be going behind the scenes of the charity and finding out more about their brilliant work.

Don't forget you can donate to my sponsorship page here