4 June 2011 – Miss Scotland
Where does time go? I just didn’t realise until this morning but I haven’t blogged for over two weeks. Time is evaporating around me. But the times are exciting.
At the Women’s 10k, I spent a lot of time talking to Jennifer Reoch, one of the finalists in the Miss Scotland. She had been reading the website and loved what we have done. On Thursday night she was crowned Miss Scotland and, sponsors and timetable permitting, will be coming up Kilimanjaro with us in January 2012. She may even be Miss World by then. Jennifer is a bit unfortunate that she won Miss Scotland in 2011 because the Miss World contest is being held in London, in recent years it has been held in China, Abu Dhabi, South Africa and the Maldives. Okay, agreed, it has also been held in Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Poland, but you still expect to get a decent trip abroad when you’re crowned Miss Scotland.
Recruitment for the men’s 10k was boosted this week when 25 new runners joined our ranks, taking us past the 50 mark for the big day.
I have piled the beef on over the last couple of weeks as I am waiting for my groin strain to subside. The physio started last Tuesday and I can already feel the improvement. Hopefully running will recommence tomorrow. We have signed up for the Dingle marathon in Ireland on Saturday, 3 September. We will jump on a flight straight afterwards back to Glasgow for the Great Scottish Half marathon on Sunday, 4 September. A year ago this would have seemed a ridiculous challenge. No, it is a ridiculous challenge. A year ago this would have seemed an impossible challenge. The three marathons over four weekends has made it possible and spending time with Mark Cooper, Richard Smith and Douglas Tinning on Thursday makes it appear to be quite feeble. Thursday was the first time I had seen Richard and Dougie since they completed the West Highland Way in four days. They ran the whole Way, the equivalent of four marathons in four consecutive days. This is a remarkable achievement especially considering the terrain.
Mark Cooper’s plans make me want to run continually for days on end. He is a remarkable chap. We had a meeting at the Corinthian Club in Glasgow, who are going to stage his attempt to break the world treadmill record (161 miles in 24 hours). The Corinthian are totally into it and are going to put the treadmill on top of a chrome and glass table in the Showcase Bar. It will be amazing. There will be a launch party, big screens and countdown timers.
To put his achievements in perspective, he will also be running the West Highland Way race on 18 June 2011. The winner of this race will cover the entire length of the way in 16 hours. Mark is going to take it easy, as he has never done this race before, and is aiming for 20 hours. What took me seven days, he will do in less than one.
We are putting our plans together for fundraising over the next 12 months. We have a two-year target of £500,000 for research. The ideas are coming in thick and fast, it is just selecting the best of them and capturing people’s imagination. We are investigating a swimming event, a cycling event and a running event over three separate weekends. We are discussing a comedy event. We have Kilimanjaro to plan, The Big Fat Wobbly Wedding to organise and the Great Scots Cup to sell. It is amazing how it has grown.
This weekend is my first free weekend of 2011. Nothing is planned. I am just going to lie on the sofa and shout instructions at my children to fetch beer and takeaway, and, if necessary, to press the appropriate buttons on the remote control for me.
Vicky and the girls are going away for another week in July which, conveniently, coincides with the World Matchplay Darts in Blackpool. This, my friends, is an opportunity too good to miss. A weekend in Blackpool at the darts. Kilimanjaro training can be done another weekend. Or perhaps by climbing the Blackpool Tower. Kiss Me Quick.
18 June 2011 – Buzzing
There is so much energy surrounding what we are doing at the moment. There are many people pulling hard to make things happen. We have momentum and it just keeps building.
I am going to devote more time to WobblyWilliams and Funding Neuro. I have had discussions about spending a couple of days a week on the fundraising, and there is a general enthusiasm from my employer and my sponsors. I struggle sometimes with the belief people have in me and it is a leap of faith on my part.
The network is building. Tomorrow 74 men will run as TryAthletes in the Mens 10k. Half of them I have never met before. On Monday I meet the owner of Scotland’s top clothing brand to design the Wobbly/Parkinson’s tartan. Gavin Hastings has become the first patron of Wobbly Williams (neither of us are terribly sure what that means, but he assures me he feels very honoured). There is a general buzz about us and what it is that we are trying to achieve.
At one o’clock this morning I was in a very dark place. The local train station car park to be precise. I was surrounded by nutters. 184 of them to be precise. They were dressed like ordinary runners but they all had a wild glint in their eyes, were incredibly fit, and had head torches. The absence of any fun runners was apparent. These were serious folk, these were the West Highland Way runners. They set off at 1 AM and will complete the entire 93 mile route in less than 24 hours (video of the start can be seen here). The winner will be in Fort William by 5 o’clock this evening. Mark Cooper was there at the start line representing the TryAthletes. It is his first attempt at the race and he looked pretty nervous. I was utterly terrified and the all I was doing was seeing him off. An amazing fellow and a very decent bloke. I will be transmitting positive vibes in his direction all day long.
I have missed exercise over the last six weeks with a groin strain. I ran part of the Bearsden 10k last Saturday to celebrate Gayle’s hen night (Gayle’s Hen Ten). I had to chuck it after about half a mile as I pulled my groin again. This has put me out of the Men’s 10k tomorrow and the drums marathon next Saturday. It is very depressing. I can feel the effect of this reduction in my exercise and I need to get back to it. I have started swimming in preparation for the Great Scottish Swim but I am in a bit of a lethargy at the minute which I need to shake.
I have been invited to a Sportsman’s Dinner and awareness raising day in Whitehaven on August 26. As luck would have it the chap that invited me is a former county captain darts player and has lined up Peter One Dart Manley as one of the speakers. The other will be Captain of the TryAthletes, Gavin Hastings, and the compere will be a Sky Sports darts commentator, John Gwynne. It should be a great night, and raise a five figure sum towards our targets. It will be very exciting. If anybody out there fancies going, a table of ten is £300.
Tomorrow, after the 10k, another hog meet its maker in our backyard. Yes it is the annual hog roast at the Williams’ house. We were still eating last year’s hog in January this year (worry not, we had put it in the freezer) so the theme this year is Drink Less – Eat More. We are expecting about 60 people and they had better be hungry. It is also my first wife’s 38th birthday and I shall be spending today finding her a present. Some might say I have left it to the last minute, implying that I am in unthoughtful. This is not true. It means her present will be fresh. It will not be stale from having sat in a drawer for six weeks wrapped in a wolly jumper to hide it from prying eyes. And believe me there are more prying eyes in this house than there was in KGB headquarters at the height of the Cold War. Fresh presents are best.
Finally, a very very happy 40th birthday to Voluptuous Vicki. You are a superstar.