Sunday, 11 November 2012

That's all folks

Miles to date: 1011
Races to date: 36
£££ to date: £1307 online, £170 cash 

I'm not sure how to start this blog other than to say ... no ... shout 
"I've run a 1000 miles!" 
This has been the most amazing year. 11 months ago when I set myself this challenge I had absolutely no idea just how brilliant an experience it would be. I have met some of the most wonderful, kind, caring, supportive and inspirational people. I have run on fells I would never have dreamt I could even get close to running on. I have achieved the biggest goal I have ever set myself and, in doing so, raised nearly £1500 for Asthma UK and Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice. 

We met on Saturday morning at The Fisherman at Bingley and I was expecting about 15 - 20 fellow runners, some of whom would be suitably attired in celebratory Tutu's. 

Shortly before 10:30am we had a gathering of 35 wonderful folk, 3 dogs, and a stunning display of Tutu craziness, some even specially designed and made in our club colours. Of particular note were Simon who was almost too enthusiastic, modelled my burlesque style Tutu adopting a slight sashay to his running gait (not sure he'll let me have it back now). Trevor sparkled slightly in the bright sunshine with the sequins on his hot pink number setting off the glow in his cheeks. 

I was totally bowled over - I had picked the date without realising there was also Cross-countries later in the day and the Bingley Harriers V Cyclists race from the same venue in the afternoon (made for a very busy pub with happy landlords!). Camille, Dianne, Helen and Lorna were all using this 6ish mile trot as a warm up for their cross country (something slightly wrong about that but nuff said)! Big thanks to Matt and Roy from The Fisherman at Bingley for allowing me to wake them up and then trample around their lovely pub leaving various children and Irene there for the duration of the run! Very sadly Irene couldn't run with us as she has such a painful cellulitis infection in her foot. Given that she was the inspiration behind the run it was very sad that she wasn't able to run but I am hugely grateful that she still turned up to see us off and support me. A very special lady! 

The wonderful Mike arrived as promised to provide event photography services and I'm sure you'll agree did a superb job at capturing the colour, energy and happiness gathered together on a gorgeously beautiful November morning. 

Setting off along the tow path, on to the river path before cutting up a steepish ascent on to the top of Shipley Glen we passed walkers, cyclists, runners, rowers (on the river), spectators and parents watching the rowing and most of them barely passed comment as this trail of tutu clad, chattering runners passed them! 

Once up on to the Glen the dogs raced rings round us enjoying the size of the pack they had been adopted in to. 

As we ran I chatted to many people who I've only really shared greetings with both virtually through facebook land or in person when our paths have crossed in brief moments of time.  From tales of massive lakeland adventures and plans for Bob Graham rounds through to some who had never run off road before we had the most wonderful group together all sharing what was for me, my biggest achievement. Some will run 3 or 4 times the distance I have managed, others will have their own targets and goals. What's certain is that we can all achieve far more when we have the support of friends, colleagues and like minded people who share their achievements and experiences to help and support others to achieve theirs, what ever they are. 

We gathered together at the trig at the top of Baildon Moor. Thanks to Stuart for picking me up and depositing me on the top! Trigs are always great for panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and this one was no exception - a crystal clear morning, blue sky, fluffy clouds, autumnal leaves and orange moorland stretching out in to the distance.  

Trotting back down through the bogs and tussocks. Ellie decided she'd had enough and tried to vote with her paws - staying firmly on the road watching us all disappear down in to the valley. Simon looped back to provide some encouragement and sure enough she ran down to join back up with Sue! 

This1000th mile run was the most special and amazing experience which is beautifully captured on this perfect little film (click here opens in a new window) from David and Bridget who I thank from the bottom of my heart. They too started running last year and have some fabulous stories to tell of their new adventures!

So I've done it with 7 weeks to spare. No need for plan B which was to spend every day of my Christmas holiday running to catch-up and fit them all in. This crazy year has been made even more special by some of the lovely people I have had the privilege of meeting and sharing stories and inspiration with. 

I won't list everyone but a few deserve an extra mention; 
Caren - you know why and I say no more! Vicky Young who inspires and cares. Irene for being the DB. Jill who does so much so quietly. Camille the lakeland introduction and so much more. Emily for being there with confidence. Tina - you made me cry. Judith, Katrina, Koleen, Diane M, Lorna, Janet, Jane you all get out and do so much that inspires and supports me and loads of others. Diane W I look forward to a few more bogs with you! Kim - you made my legs hurt! Bev - Calderdale way leg 1 I say no more! Emma "The Tap" Dooks you shine. Kirsty foaming trousers Champ!  Diane Rundle - you are brilliant but haven't worked that out yet, you will! Helen C who trusted me to get her from Ilkley to Bingley - we managed! Arthur for pushing me along the ast few miles of the YORM. Steve (Amex) Taylor for pushing me hard and letting me get lost on Coniston. Steve Foster - your words and constant support are so wonderful. Mrs Stagger aka Linda a great sweeper! Hazel and Mike who swept me down from Coniston. The Ballentines one and all - you are a family of inspiration. Brett, Charlie, Sue, Dave, AliG, JAD, Ian, Tim, Tizz, Liz, Lady Katie, Fraser, J-P you are just superb to know and make such a brilliant club I am so proud to be a member of. The KCAC Ready2Run Group - you're not ready you are running, come do some fells with me! Todmorden Women - you inspire me so much and you know who you all are! Wharfedalers, especially Sharon, you're great! Noo - you're brill and I look forward to Tri13! Dave and Eileen I have no words you are just brilliant. Giles the purple tutu suits you Sir! Drs Walder (is that the right plural?) your both stars! Everyone I have run with - my miles have been so much more pleasurable because of all of you. Every race organiser, marshal and volunteer - I pay tribute and make thanks to you all for making this community of fell racing happen. 

I know I will have missed many who are very special and for that I blame the fact I can't continue as the tissue box is empty now. You have given me so many memories and experiences I will treasure forever. 

Those of you who have sponsored me - I can't list you all but a MAHOOSIVE  thanks from the bottom of my heart - Asthma UK and Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice are so appreciative and will use every penny wisely. 

My final words on this. Simon - I never thought I'd run with you! Thank you for encouraging, supporting and giving me the space and time to do this ridiculous thing - Welsh 3000's! 
And my amazingly wonderful children - Rosie and Ben. You have been just wonderful - running with me, standing round in the cold, trailing round the country, sitting in pubs whilst the post run drinking antics take place, being the photographer, supporting, encouraging. I really couldn't have asked for more.  

I might write a few more blogs when I have a great experience or event that I want to share - I've still got four more races to complete my 40 challenge - but for now, thanks for reading and 


  1. Hey, a blog is for life. Please keep posting! Oh, and a big well done

  2. I agree with Andy, we all need something to read on our dinner-break!