Let the new challenge commence!

If climbing Mount Kilimanjaro two years ago wasn’t enough I’m now set to run the London Marathon in April 2017! I thought it would be fitting to create a new blog to track my training and fundraising activities as my Kilimanjaro blog was so successful and it also acts as a great reminder of the experience.

So why put myself through the 26.2 mile challenge of the London Marathon? Over the past few years I’ve got into running from general road running to ridiculous 12 mile obstacle courses. The Tough Mudder events have become a bit of a yearly traditional with friends, with us only completing the latest one last month. They are great fun to do some of the obstacles require teamwork while others just require mental grit, especially Arctic Enema where you get plunged into a skip full of water and ice!

TMIn the Arctic Enema obstacle at Tough Mudder in May 2015

Also, I have quite an addictive, somewhat OCD nature, and the fact that I get a different coloured headband for successful completion of the event appeals to me. I just received my blue headband for my third Tough Mudder and I’m already looking forward to getting my yellow one next year. I’m also taking part in a Half Tough Mudder in September which will not only help with the training but I also get a white headband to add to the collection!

Doing a marathon is going to be a whole different kettle of fish when compared to doing a Tough Mudder course. They are both physically demanding but in different ways. With Tough Mudder you have many different terrains including muddy bogs and hills. The obstacles make you crawl, climb and swim too so it’s not always running involved. Whereas, with the London Marathon it’s all relatively flat road running which doesn’t sound too bad except it’s over double the length of doing a Tough Mudder and I’ve only ever road ran between 8-9 miles! Constantly running for hours with your body tiring is going to be one hell of a mental challenge too. I will be drawing on all my experience from the Kilimanjaro summit night to get me through it.

MKOn top of Mount Kilimanjaro in March 2014

It’s going to be so brutal on my legs and feet that gym work to boast my glutes and hamstrings are a must! This will help take all the impact off my calves as if they go ping, like they have done before, I’m well and truly screwed. The good news is that I have plenty of time to ensure I am as prepared as possible. The real training will begin in September after my honeymoon. I’m literally out of the country for 4 weeks so there is no point overdoing the training beforehand or it will all go to waste. I’m sure I will do plenty of walking while I’m away and a couple of the hotels with have gyms which no doubt I will feel a bit guilty and therefore make use of.

253,930 people have registered in the ballot for the London Marathon 2017 with only around 50,000 that will be chosen to participate (the actual number that will run on the day will be around 30-40K due to injury and illness). I applied for a bond runner place with Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) and have been incredibly fortunate to be guaranteed a place with them. Why run for MRF? Not everyone will know but I had bacterial Meningitis at 8 months old. It had an everlasting effect on me leaving me deaf in my left ear. I was lucky, I still had my life & thankfully can lead a normal life. Some people aren’t as fortunate as me. I wanted to give something back to a charity that does such incredible & important research to help save lives. Without this research I may well have not been so lucky.

I’ve pledged to raise £2,000 for MRF. You can expect to find a variety of different fundraising activities which I will update on this blog. I always need knew ideas for challenges so please leave suggestions in the comments below. Who knows the mankini from the Kilimanjaro fundraising may make another appearance! My sponsorship page is up and ‘running’ (awful pun I know!) so please donate, even a small amount will help this great cause.

Special thanks to Libby Ryan who even at this very early stage has donated already!

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