So a lot of runners signed up for the Chichester Half 2015 might be feeling nervous this week. It's a challenging race, but if that's you, spare a thought for James, who'll be running in heavy boots, wearing army trousers and carrying a back pack weighing 35lb. The Chichester Half is one of a series of events that James is taking on this year to raise money for Children on the Edge.
Here's his feedback from his last challenge in Catterick;
Firstly I apologise for maintaining radio silence over the summer, unfortunately I was a bit poorly for 6 weeks so couldn’t train – however as “luck” would have it the Paras 10 event in Colchester was rescheduled till November. However, I unfortunately had to miss the Fan Dance this year but I will replace it with another event – although I do still have the Chi half and the Paras event to tab, plus a marathon to run in December!! As such I have started to get back into training again properly, although not yet back up to half marathon distance so Chi could well be mental as opposed to physical. Therefore, given all these disclaimers, this weekend’s report from the northern town of Richmond will not be full of derring-do feats testing the limit of human endurance, Instead it will be mild whinging about the traffic on the M1 and not being very fit. More Victor Meldew than Ranulph Fienns!
So for the second year in a row I dragged my wife and kids 300 miles north to Catterick Garrison in Yorkshire, where I prepared for the event with a health conscious steak and chips and a pint of Guinness - this being the night preceding the actual event as opposed to breakfast on the day! At breakfast itself I self-consciously trundled in wearing my second hand army surplus gear to find that the entire hotel was dressed the same, it would seem that almost everyone staying there was taking part in the event in one form or another.
I got to the barracks and got my bergen officially weighed by a gentleman from the Para Reg…39lbs inclusive of water….he sent me off to the registration tent with a knowing smile.
Knowing that I wasn’t fit enough to make it in the Paras selection time, combined with memories of last year’s vomit-inducing start, I chose not to skip off like a gazelle and used the recommended technique of jogging downhill and striding up, this plan paid off as I at least didn’t burn myself out in first few miles. All in all it took me 2hrs 20 mins, which in timing is pretty dreadful BUT I made it round and can tick it off the list now! It does however make it seem that Chi might take nearly 3 hours to tab....Although Hastings took 2 hours 30 so fingers crossed for the day now! That’s and a few more miles looking like an ageing squaddie around the street of Surrey."
You can sponsor James by going to his Just Giving page. If you're at the Chichester Half this Sunday, cheer him on!
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