Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Charity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charity. Show all posts

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Around Ullswater

Today, Sue and Jenny and I had the pleasure of joining over 2000 other hikers for a 25.7 mile walk around Ullswater in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

The organisation was excellent, and it's a fine route, if a bit 'single file' at times.

We started at 9.40 and took less than nine and a half hours for the walk, giving us plenty of time to return to our guest house to 'refresh' ourselves before adjourning to the Boot & Shoe in Greystoke for rehydration and a meal.

I'll report in more detail in due course. The four pictures shown above are representative of this excellent day out in great weather for walking.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Saturday 31 March 2018 – Wythenshawe parkrun number 332, and A Marathon Fundraising


Whilst Sue and Jeanette chatted their way around the 5km course, walking it in a shade under 40 minutes, Paul blasted round in 22.30 (those were the days – I used to be able to do that!), and I struggled home in a bit over 25 minutes. If I could keep that pace up I’d do next Sunday’s marathon in under 4 hours. But I couldn’t keep it up for another one km, let alone 37!

The results are here.

That’s my last timed run before the Manchester Marathon on 8 April. I’m hoping to enjoy that event, but it’ll be extremely hard work for a good five hours.

I’m using this marathon as my annual fundraising effort for the Levana School Partnership – a small charity that supports two township schools in Cape Town. My JustGiving page is here. All contributions, however small, are very much appreciated. The money goes a long way when spent in South Africa, and it does make a difference for a lot of children.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sunday 28 May 2017 – Great Manchester Run – The Half Marathon


I ran in this event, over the 10 km distance, once before the days of this blog, and in 2013, when it didn’t clash with the TGO Challenge. This year it didn’t clash, and the organisers introduced a Half Marathon event. It seemed a good opportunity to try to raise some more much needed funds for the Levana School Partnership, so I entered the longer event, albeit in the knowledge that I would be hampered by tired legs from the TGO Challenge.

Yesterday’s events were somewhat overshadowed by last week’s terrorism in Manchester. A minute’s silence was held before each event and the mood was a little sombre. Just being there was all that was important to many people.

Here’s what the start looked like last year. This year will have produced a very similar image.


Sue and I caught the tram into town and she relieved me of any warm clothing before taking the picture at the top of this entry. Then she headed off to the Etihad Stadium whilst I waited in an area marked for people who expected a time of around two hours, although my target was 2.10.
With about 2000 runners ahead of me, once the hooter had sounded it took two or three minutes to reach the start line, then it was fairly easy to run at your own pace in the near perfect conditions until the Mancunian Way was reached. Unfortunately all the runners were contained in just half of the dual carriageway, and then in just half of that, to leave space for runners coming the other way.
Sue took this picture of the leaders at the Etihad Stadium. The chap on the right came home first in 1 hour 12 minutes. I met them coming the other way a few minutes later.


There’s a narrow bridge at the Etihad that proved to be something of a bottleneck. Sue wasn’t able to spot me but this picture shows how busy it was.


The slow start did me no harm, and I was able to speed up a bit after getting back over the bridge (9 km).

It was good to receive support from parkrunners Andy and Kate at Old Trafford (16 km), by which time the running was becoming much harder.

It’s uphill to the finish, even if it doesn’t look like it. After having overtaken many people during the second half of the race, in the last few metres a whole crowd of folk went sprinting past when I could only just maintain my own modest pace…

All those pictured below went past me and I was only a few metres from the tape.


The finishing time of 1.50.16 was really most pleasing. Position 1451 out of 5777, and 4th out of 37 in my age group. Another Wythenshawe parkrunner, Hugh Mckenna, finished just behind me.
My split times were:
1st 5 km – 27.16
2nd 5 km – 26.18
3rd 5 km – 25.19
4th 5 km – 25.26
Last 1.1 km – 5.57, so I slowed down at the end. Couldn’t have gone much faster.


Sue appeared to meet me, as did a most appreciative trustee of the charity.
Here’s the route – click on the image for a slightly larger one.


So it was a successful outing, and I’m very pleased with the fund raising aspect. After recently donating in relation to my Toulouse Marathon effort, far more people than expected have put their hands in their pockets again. It really is much appreciated.

I’ve noticed a couple of friends were taking part in the day’s events.

John Hazleton managed 1.38 for the half marathon, making him the fastest athlete over the age of 60.
Michael Dunne, my parkrun sparring pal (our birthdays are a week apart) took part in the 10 km race and finished in an impressive 44.48, making him the fastest athlete over the age of 65.
Well done, John and Michael.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Another Charity Run


Tomorrow I head off to Oban to walk across Scotland for a couple of weeks. Details are here.

Immediately I get back I’m taking part in the Great Manchester Run (or is that ‘Great Run Manchester?). It’s normally a 10 kilometre run, but this year they have added a half marathon event. Perhaps foolishly, I entered it some time ago and the arrival of a timing chip a few days ago suddenly reminded me of my foolhardiness.

I know a lot of you sponsored me recently for my first marathon attempt (reported on here), but this is only my second half marathon (the first one was some years ago in Macclesfield) and it will be hard work with tired legs from carrying a 15 kilo rucksack for nearly 200 miles across the mountains of Scotland.

So I’ve started another JustGiving page, here, if anyone would care to make a small donation. The Levana Partnership team will be really most appreciative. I know the money I raised by doing the Toulouse Marathon (£3150 including Gift Aid) enabled the charity to provide much needed support to a second township school in Cape Town.

The page is here, should you wish to donate.


The next posting should be from Oban after a long train ride….

Monday, 4 July 2016

Saturday 2 July 2016 – The Patterdale Parish Boundary Walk


The Patterdale Parish Boundary Walk (PPBW) takes place on the first Saturday in July every year. I’ve wanted to have a go at the challenging 30 mile route with 10,000 feet of ascent for some time, so when Sue O and Mike P suggested that Sue and I join them this year (Sue O and Mike have done it many times before) we jumped at the chance.

Sadly, when the day arrived, neither Mike nor Sue O, who we’d picked up from Ann and Alvar’s in Penrith, felt fit enough to attempt the whole route, so Sue and I agreed without demur to alter our ambition and tackle just the easier second half of the Boundary walk, from Kirkstone Top to Patterdale. This meant that we could join David, Heather, Carmen and Rowan, who were doing just the second half as the organisers don’t allow under 16s like Carmen to do the whole lot (though Rowan, who is also under 16, may have managed to sidestep that particular rule).

So the long anticipated 5 am start passed us by as we lay in our beds or tents listening to the rain, the morning slowly drifting into a leisurely affair with Mike and Marian, who had kindly allowed the Sues and me to stay for a couple of nights in their homely and conveniently positioned library/garden.

Eventually, on a showery day, setting off at 11.40 from a car park inundated by banana thieves on an unrelated endurance event, we tackled the second half of the Patterdale Parish Boundary Walk, starting from Kirkstone Top. Here we are - David, Sue, Martin, Carmen, Sue, Heather and Rowan.


It was showery enough for the waterproofs to stay on all day, but without getting particularly wet. Albeit I think someone who used Paramo did get a bit soggy!

Here are the others near the start of the walk, ascending St Raven's Edge to John Bell's Banner.


In gaps between the showers there were good views to the Kentmere summits, including Froswick and Ill Bell, and from Caudale Moor we could see ahead to Thornthwaite Crag and High Street. Whilst the pictures don’t really show it, the hillsides were covered in the small white flowers of Heath Bedstraw.

It was a slithery descent in rain, with good views down Trout Beck to Windermere, to Threshthwaite Mouth, where we enjoyed lunch in and out of showers, trying to protect sandwiches and crisps from getting soggy. This boosted energy levels for the steep ascent to Thornthwaite Crag.

Here’s the view to Trout Beck and Windermere from the slithery descent.


The path to High Street from Thornthwaite Crag looked easy as we paused to regroup and chatted to a resident couple in the welcome shelter of the protective wall by the beacon at Thornthwaite Crag, from where there were clear views to Froswick and Ill Bell beyond.


Our route turned north, with the wind conveniently on our backs as we headed over High Street towards The Knott and Rest Dodd. Hereabouts there were lots of folk wandering around in pairs, scrutinising maps, as we enjoyed the views towards Hartsop and Helvellyn. We later discovered that the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon was taking place and that the puzzled looking folks with flappy maps must have been taking part in that event.

We admired distant views towards Place Fell as we passed over The Knott to reach another climb up to the summit of Rest Dodd, from where there were good views towards Ullswater.


It’s a lovely path down to Angle Tarn, past various lumps and bumps that we didn’t bother to ascend on this occasion.


The views from the two Angletarn Pikes summits (eg as in the header picture) are however excellent, so the Sues and David and I popped up to those summits whilst Carmen and her mum and pet enjoyed a second lunch.


The Angletarn Pikes are gnarly nobbles with sufficient telephone reception to enable us to warn Mike P, aka The Patterdale Canary, of our presence should he wish to join us for the final stage of our walk.

Turning my back on the sunny scene above, Ullswater and Place Fell seemed to be temporarily engulfed…


We strolled slowly down to Boredale Hause, catching up with the family rejuvenated after their second lunch. No sign of the canary. The six of us regrouped on our final summit -  Place Fell. The rev (David) seemed relieved; he had been feeling a little fragile - a state probably worsened when I reminded him that this was the last hill, and he could ‘put his back into it’.


We now took a short cut, despite David’s presence not sticking religiously to the Parish Boundary, and headed west before reaching The Knight. The path now led easily down to Patterdale. Shortly after starting the descent we were joined by the trusty aforementioned canary (you’ll see why I’m describing him thus if you view the slideshow to which there’s a link below), Mike P testing his damaged leg. It hurt, he reported. It hasn’t really fully recovered from a serious ski accident in 2015 and Mike was clearly frustrated not to be able to join us for more of the walk.

Low down, near where the path passes above Side Farm’s campsite, there's a bench on which residents of Patterdale can pause to admire their Parish. Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a view like this within a ten minute walk from home?


Time was marching on. We had a table booked for 7.30 in the White Lion. So we marched on, past a Patterdale relic, just for AlanR….


…. to the PPBW finish at the local school, where we were plied with tea and were awarded medals, bunches of bananas and certificates. We were told that over 80 people had taken part, just 7 managing the entire circuit. We were the last to finish, at about 6.40 pm, though this final checkpoint is normally open until around 10 pm as strugglers (sic) make their way off Place Fell in semi darkness to complete the entire 30 mile route.

Next year, perhaps.


The route (the second half of the PPBW) is about 20 km with 1200 metres ascent. It took us 7 hours.


Here’s a 37 image slideshow. Click on the first image then click ‘slideshow’.

There is no entry fee for this Beating the Bounds of Patterdale event, which raises much needed funds for St Patrick’s Church in Patterdale and the Patterdale Church of England Primary School. Participants are asked to gain sponsorship or to make a donation at the end of their walk.

A worthwhile cause, and a lovely event to take part in. The full route is a challenging day out. Diarise 5 am on Saturday 1 July 2017?

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Manchester 10km Run - A Great Success


Many readers will be aware that we were running today for the Levana School Partnership.  This posting is to thank those who have sponsored us, encourage those who haven’t to do so, and to report the results of our elite sub-team – pictured above.

We couldn’t really go wrong, as it was a perfect day for running, if a little warm.  I think we all wanted to come home inside an hour, and thankfully all four of us managed to achieve that aim.

For the record, our times were as follows:

Martin - 46.45
Mike - 50.38
Roger - 53.23
Sue - 58.27

There were just under 27,500 participants, of whom 12 managed to finish inside 30 minutes.  Presumably they had a clear run, whilst other runners presented our little team with some fairly solid obstacles.  I recall a rather large and ponderous Rubik’s Cube blocking my way for some time, for example.

Nell, pictured below second from left on the back row, has expressed her sincere thanks for all the donations.  She will be visiting the school in the next few weeks to check that all is well and that every penny is being spent wisely.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Raising Funds for Levana School Partnership


Please bear with me for a quick plug for this small charity, Levana School Partnership.

Sue and I are delighted to be able to help raise a bit of cash for this township primary school in Cape Town.  We know that over the years the funding received from the charity has made a big difference to the school.

We are joining my son Mike, and our friend Roger, in a sub team of four.  The event is the Manchester 10 kilometre (6 miles) race, which will be held on Sunday 26 May.  We’d like to have exceeded our sponsorship target of £750 by then.

Every little helps, so please don’t be embarrassed to donate just a fiver towards this worthy cause, should you feel inclined to support it.  Our Just Giving site, in Mike’s name, is here.  Our thanks go to the 31 people who have already donated – your contributions are much appreciated.

My daughter, Kate, is also taking part, but in a rather more leisurely fashion due to pregnancy.  She’ll be walking.  There are still a number of places available in our team of 20, so if anyone out there would like to take part, either walking or running, they should contact Nell at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Our ‘sub team’ will all be trying to break the one hour barrier, and I promise to go as fast as I can despite tired legs from the TGO Challenge and not having been running for a month or so.