Monday, 28 November 2011

Liverpool Santa Dash 2011

Almost there - less than a week to go to the Liverpool Santa Dash.

The numbers have arrived, the suits have been collected, now all that remains is some Santas to fill those suits!

We've had a few dropouts this year, so are struggling to make our full team of 12. If you are thinking of entering, but haven't quite got round to it, now's your chance. And you'll have a number to envy - there are only 9 one-digit numbers, and we've got 7 of them!

If you want one of them, contact me at and we can arrange something. I'll even deliver by hand, if possible.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

News just in - Fidele has qualified

E-mail just received from Rwanda:
The final results was published recently, I have finished the courses successfully and now I am a qualified midwife. I am very happy for that and I will always keep in my mind people that have led me to this achievement ( the first one is you). Now I am looking for school documents to present to Shyira so that I may start working as a midwife.

Who says you can't make a difference? Thanks to the support of people like you, Shyira now has 2 qualified midwives. We'll continue to support Fidele and Robinah, and safe motherhood projects in Shyira. When the time is right (when we've got enough money), we'll pay for the training of a third midwife.
To achieve these, we're running the Liverpool Santa Dash 2011, to raise much needed funds (see below). If you'd like to help us, please visit our fund-raising page and give whatever you can - it all goes to the projects supported. And it all makes a difference!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Liverpool Santa Dash 2011

Now that Running2Rwanda has finished, and the RunLiverpool Marathon has been and gone, the athletics world can focus on its next major event - the Liverpool Santa Dash 2011.

Some of the team at Liverpool Santa Dash 2009
Some of the team at
Liverpool Santa Dash 2009
Yes, it's back. The Liverpool Santa Dash is the biggest and best Fun Run in the UK, if not the world!

It may be a Fun Run to most people, but to us it's serious - it's another chance to raise much-needed funds for Shyira Trust to support their projects in Rwanda. I have run the Liverpool Santa Dash every year since it started - sometimes running it twice! This year we'll have a team of 12 running for our charity. As usual, we're fund-raising for Midwifery and Safe Motherhood projects in a country with one of the highest maternal and neo-natal death rates in the world.

But if you think you can't make a difference, think again - Robinah, our first sponsored midwife, qualified in 2009. There were no maternal deaths in Shyira in 2010 - the first time this had ever happened. And there have been none in 2011.

Fidele qualifies this year, and between them they have made a huge difference. Between us, WE can make a difference. Even a couple of pounds can save a life. So dig deep, and make a donation at our fundraising page.

We have no overheads, so every penny raised at the Liverpool Santa Dash 2011, and every other fund-raiser, goes to the project it was intended for – and if you are a UK taxpayer, giving Gift Aid consent will boost your donation.

On behalf of the team at the Liverpool Santa Dash, and the people of Shyira, Thank you for your support.

Friday, 30 September 2011

RunLiverpool Marathon

After the trials and tribulations of 'Running2Rwanda', running a marathon should be like a stroll in the park.

The RunLiverpool Marathon takes place on 9th October - the first time Merseyside has had its own marathon since the demise of the Mersey Marathon in the early 1990's. The Mersey Marathon was my first marathon when I started running in 1984, and this was to be my 3rd marathon in 3 years, after Windermere in 2009 and Chester in 2010.

However, it wasn't to be - the combination of injury and work commitments meant my training was seriously curtailed in August and September, leaving me no alternative but to change my plans.

But we do have someone running the event for us. Jane Wilson will be running her first-ever marathon, and has kindly volunteered to try to raise funds in aid of Shyira Trust.

If you would like to support Jane, and at the same time support Shyira Trust, please visit her fund-raising page. Every penny raised by Shyira Trust goes to the projects we support in Shyira, Rwanda, so please be generous and give Jane all the support she needs.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

R2R - Some Stats

As promised, some stats about our little jaunt:

Total Mileage (up to Sat 29th August) 4260.36
Days to complete 149 days
Average daily mileage 28.59
Running days logged 745
Average 5.72 miles per person per run.

Territories crossed: 10 - England, France, Italy (Sardinia and Pantelleria, a comune of Sicily), Libya, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan (the world's newest nation), Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda

Starters 12
Finishers 7
Max runners 11 (on April 5th)
Min runners 1 (June 10th, 27th, July 11th, Aug 1st)

No prizes, but worthy of mention:

Most miles Rebecca (737), Matt (688)
Highest monthly miles Pete (177, July), Matt (175, June), Rebecca (172, July)
Highest daily miles 26.2+ Matt (3 times), Rebecca (2), Nadhim (2), Sheri (1)
Most days running Pete (118 days)
To prove that we had quality, as well as quantity, an honourable mention goes to Lisa - Winner, Wirral 5k (6th April) & Southport Race for Life 5k (15th May) & probably some more that I'm not aware of.

And finally, thanks to Jane, who by her own admission is not a runner, but who still weighed in with a very helpful 236 miles. Without her passion and enthusiasm for the last 10 years, this whole thing would not have taken place.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

R2R - We're there

We've finally made it, so just a quick update to let everyone know, and to thank you all for your patience and your perseverance.

I'll do a final roundup with some stats, and some info about Shyira, our final destination. You might be interested in the stark contrast between where we started and where we finished up.

Everyone have a great weekend, and thanks again for everything. I'm going to miss this

Thursday, 25 August 2011

R2R - South of the Equator

Welcome to the Southern hemisphere!

We’ve made it beyond the Equator, so are very nearly there – less than 100 miles to the Rwandan border, then about another 20 miles to Shyira, our final destination.

By co-incidence, tomorrow we’ll have a visitor from Rwanda. Dr Caleb King is an American doctor, who has spent the last 7 or 8 years in Shyira with his family. Until recently, Caleb was the director of Shyira hospital, so was one of our points of contact in Rwanda. He and 2 of his daughters are visiting the UK to meet up with his parents who are visiting from the US. While here, they are paying a flying visit to Formby, so it will be a good chance to catch up, and to hear his plans for the future.

Good running everyone - soon time to put our feet up!

Friday, 19 August 2011

R2R - 4000 miles - only 240 to go

Another week, another landmark – we passed the 4000 mile mark on Thursday evening, and at the last reckoning, have reached 4011 miles. Thanks to everyone still logging their miles, we’ve only got a couple of landmarks to go, and we’ll finally be at our destination.

Next up is the equator, at 4120 miles; then it’s downhill to the Rwandan border, at 4225 miles; finally reaching Shyira at 4245 miles.

Actually it’s 4244.58 miles – 4245 would take us past our target, and down the precipitous hillside to the market at Vunga! We don’t want any more accidents at this late stage !

I’ve been struggling for the last 10 days, having strained my medial knee ligament – and I wasn’t even running. I had been planning a 20 mile training run last weekend, but that had to be postponed. Hopefully, I’ll be OK for this weekend, otherwise I think I can forget about an autumn marathon for this year.

Good luck to anyone racing this weekend, and if you're training, I hope your plans are on track – if you’ve been injured, take it easy, and if you’ve been ill, get well soon.
Thanks again – we’re almost there!!

Monday, 8 August 2011

R2R - Getting closer - only 2 more countries to cross

Since the last update, we've been making slow, but steady progress - and we're still going strong.

We've had a few problems with injuries, work commitments, and holidays, but we'll keep going, and get there eventually.

Our route has taken us across Sudan, and over the world's newest nation - South Sudan - and at the last count, we werre about 20 miles short of our next border crossing, which will take us into Central African Republic. After that, we cross DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) before finally crossing the Rwandan border.Then it's just a short hop to our final destination, Shyira.

Thanks for sticking with us, and even if you're no longer with us, thanks for your miles in the early days - without your help we wouldn't have got this far.

Friday, 15 July 2011

R2r - Almost 3000 miles done

The subject says it all - we've done nearly 3000 miles, and are just short of Sudan. According to the spreadsheet, we've got about 20 miles to go before leaving Chad and entering Sudan. Hopefully we'll do it today, but failing that, over the weekend.

If you want to join us or support us, there are links to the signup page ( and the support page ( Talking of which, we've got our first non-running supporter who donated in response to a Tweet last week. Good news, and something to encourage us on our way.

Monday, 27 June 2011

R2R - Briefest roundup yet

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that we're clear of Libya, and now over Chad, so well done everyone on getting us this far - a total of 2700 miles so far, with 'just' 1545 to go.

I can't claim much of the credit, as I haven't done much mileage in the last couple of weeks. Last week-end I was in the Lakes, doing plenty of walking, but no running, and this weekend just gone, I was working, so again, no running.

Thanks again - your support is much appreciated. If you're still thinking about joining us, do it here, do it now!

Monday, 13 June 2011

R2R - Almost clear of Libya

It's been a couple of weeks since my last update, so just a quick one - we're now well past half way, and well on the way to getting clear of Libya!
We've done at least 2375 miles, and have less than 1870 to go to our final destination. Alternatively, over 250 miles beyond the half-way point, and about 150 miles short of Chad.
Well done to anyone racing over the last couple of weeks. I know Rebecca has done a half-marathon, and Sheri got a 5k PB in Aberdeen, so well done to you, and anyone else who has raced recently. And good luck to anyone racing in the near future, or planning a mammoth training run - your miles will come in handy!.
As always, good running, thanks for your miles, and thanks for your support. If you haven't yet joined us, but you'd like to donate your miles to help us reach our destination, click here - the more the merrier!

Monday, 30 May 2011

R2R - Bank Holiday roundup

It's been a bit quiet of late - I've been away, with limited internet & email access.

It's been a busy time in my absence, so belated congratutions to Sheri on her PB at the Edinburgh marathon, and to BB and Nadhim on their season's bests at White Peak and Windermere respectively. Nadhim was agonisingly close to a PB, and I know the Windermere marathon course, so to get anywhere near a PB is quite an achivement. Maybe a 10k PB at the Race for Japan is some consolation. Also getting a 10k PB - Rebecca, at the London 10000 metres. Well done all of you, and anyone I may have missed.

We've left Europe far behind, and have crossed the Mediterranean, passing Malta, and crossing the coast of Libya in the last few days. We've currently logged over 1900 miles, with still some more to be logged. We're nearly half way to our target, so if I can get a couple more recruits, we'll soon be speeding clear of Libya, and across the rest of Africa to our destination.

As always, thanks, and good luck to everyone with us, and if you're reading this and want to join us, just click here , we'd be delighted to have you on board

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Round-up 12th May

Well done everyone on all those miles - a couple of 20-milers, an 18-miler, Lichfield Half-marathon, even a half marathon on a treadmill!
Congratulations to anyone who has got a new job, and well done to everyone  involved  with IDoM conference last week: report and video here

We have had 2 visitors from Rwanda with us for the last couple of weeks, so lots of running around, but not much running from your's truly. There were supposed to be 3 visitors, but the Border Agency in Nairobi and British High Commission in Kigali conspired against us, so we will get Robina over at a later date.

Almost 1400 miles done, passing between Tunisia and Sicily.

Good luck if you've got any races coming up, and as usual, thanks for staying with us.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Round-up - 27th April

I hope the running is going OK - we've had some quiet days, with hardly any miles recorded, and some really busy days. All these Bank Holidays seem to be playing havoc with people's schedules, and some of you are understandably treating yourselves to some post-marathon rest.

The good news this week is that we've passed our next milestone of 833 miles, which has taken us across the French Riviera at Juan-les-Pins / Cap d'Antibes and out over the Mediterranean - and appropriately enough, this occured over Easter weekend.

Why is this appropriate? Well, way back when, when I was a half-decent runner, I used to go to the South of France for some warm-weather training with club-mates, staying just outside Antibes, and most years we went at Easter. And every year, we included a training run which took us from Antibes, to Juan-les-Pins, round Cap d'Antibes, and back to the beach at Antibes for a cooling dip.

We are now 938 miles into our journey, so are somewhere off the west coast of Corsica, approaching Ajaccio. Next dry land - Sardinia.

Good luck to anyone racing this week - BB at Lichfield and Chantelle at Keswick (rather you than me!) and anyone else I may have missed. Enjoy yourselves, and I hope it's not too hot for you.

Well done to Sheri for managing her 20-miler in this weather, and congratulations to Lisa for winning the Wirral Seaside 5k - I'm sure there'll be more wins in the rest of the series.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Round-up - 19th April

Mixed news from the weekend, so let's get the bad news out of the way first.
On Saturday morning, my 13 day running streak came crashing to earth with a bang - literally - so I've had a couple of days of enforced rest.
Moral of the story (1): If you go out for an early morning run without breakfast, make sure you are properly hydrated, and use the right energy drink.
Moral of the story (2): If you bang the back of your head against the pavement, it won't be the pavement that gives way.

Right, on to the good news:
We had 3 runners in the London marathon - Rebecca with a PB of 4:17; Nadhim just outside his PB with 3:58; and doing his 3rd marathon in 3 week-ends, Matt in 3:57.
Well done, one and all.
And well done to everyone who is putting in high mileage in preparation for other upcoming marathons and half-marathons - your miles are getting us further and further across France. At the last count, we had accumulated over 700 miles, to take us beyond Grenoble.

Our next milestone is 833 miles, which will take us across the French Riviera at Juan-les-Pins / Cap d'Antibes and over the Mediterranean. I've run round Juan-les-Pins / Cap d'Antibes many times, so it will be like old times.

For those of us doing more modest mileage, well done - those miles are just as important, and will help us on our way. As I said before we started, it doesn't matter whether you're comfortable doing 10 miles a day, whether you do 10 miles a week, or if you struggle to do 10 miles a month - every mile counts, and gets us nearer to our goal.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Running 2 Rwanda - and we're off!

After months of planning (well, a couple of days, at least), our small group of runners took the first steps on the long road to Rwanda.

Starting on 1st April, we intend to cover the equivalent of running the distance from Formby in the North-West, to Shyira in North-West Rwanda - a total of 4245 miles, as the crow flies.

Along the route, we'll cross the English coast at Eastbourne, crossing into France near Dieppe, passing Paris en-route to Monaco and Corsica. Then, after crossing the Mediterranean, we'll traverse Libya, Chad, Sudan, Central Africa Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo, before entering Rwanda for the last few miles to Shyira.

Hopefully, we'll pick up a few more runners along the way - the more the merrier, and the quicker we'll reach our goal. If you'd like to join us, just sign up, and I'll get all the relevant details to you.
If you like what we're doing, but don't fancy doing the running, just click here to support us.

Whichever you choose, you'll be helping to train a Midwife in Rwanda, and other Safe Motherhood projects.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Running2Rwanda - under starter's orders

Almost time to get started, just need to get all the links together.

The idea is simple - make a donation and register for the event at R2RSignUp, then from 1st April, log all your running miles (spreadsheet coming soon). If we get enough people running enough miles, we'll soon run the 4245 miles from Formby to Shyira!

If you don't fancy the running part, but still want to support the team, please visit R2RSupport - all the money goes to help safe motherhood and midwifery training projects in Shyira, Rwanda.

Donating through these pages is simple, quick and secure (but beware the default donation amount!). And if you are a UK taxpayer and give Gift Aid consent the charity will receive an extra 28% at no cost to you.

Thank you for your support.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Coming soon - Running to Rwanda

First there was Running for Rwanda, then Running in Rwanda - next: Running TO Rwanda.

Not solo, and not physically, but a sort of virtual relay, so I'm looking for volunteers to help me run the distance between Formby and Shyira - 4245 miles as the crow flies.

It doesn't matter how far or how fast you can run - if you can put one foot in front of the other, every mile is a mile nearer to the target. So whether you run 10 miles a day, 10 miles a week, or even if you struggle to run 10 miles in a month, you can be part of the Rwandathon.

Of course, the whole idea is to raise funds for midwifery training and safe motherhood projects in Shyira, Rwanda, so I'm asking everyone who joins up to make a donation to Shyira Trust. I'm suggesting a minimum of £5 - where else can you take part in a 4625 mile run for a fiver?

I'm still putting the finishing touches together, so watch this space. If I can get enough people to volunteer, I plan to kick it off next week (April 1st) with an ambitious target of reaching our goal by 5th May - International Day of the Midwife.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Midwives make a difference

Great news from Shyira!
In 2010 there were no maternal deaths at the maternity hospital - the first time this has ever happened.

It's also the first full year that Robinah has been working as a qualified midwife. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Who says you can't make a difference?

Look out for new events in the near future - you can help make a difference

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Running In Rwanda

Yes - you read it right - we are currently in Rwanda. And I'm taking the opportunity to go running - a bit of altitude training!

We are visiting the various projects we are involved with, but mainly the maternity hospital. It's good to catch up with Robinah, whose midwifery training we sponsored, and Fidel who we are currently sponsoring.

Robinah qualified at the end of 2008, and had her graduation ceremony in Spring 2009. Since then, she has been working in Shyira, as the only qualified midwife. She is currently being assisted by Fidel who qualifies at the end of this year. Between them, they make a great team, and are making a great difference to the health and well-being of mothers in Shyira and the surrounding areas.