Friday, 25 July 2014

Riding 4 Maternal Health in Rwanda

That's bike riding, not horse riding! And not quite the 48 miles planned, but still my longest bike ride since ... well, ever. And not content with making it a long ride, it was also a hard ride, at the hottest time of the hottest day of the year.

Just a fortnight after my running exploits, I set off from just outside Keswick heading towards Grasmere, then through Ambleside. Turning towards Troutbeck is the notoriously steep Holbeck Lane - not as bad as some of the Lakeland passes, but probably the steepest climb I've ever ridden. Then the long slow drag up Kirkstone Pass to the Kirkstone Inn, and a welcome break for lunch. Tempting as it was to spend the afternoon there, the route then goes down the other side towards Glennridding. If climbing up was hard work, then hurtling down was scary.

Along Ullswater, then a sharp left, and another long slow drag to Dockray, then heading towards the other Troutbeck. A couple of diversions to avoid the busy A66, then Threlkeld and the stone circle at Castlerigg. I had intended to go into the centre of Keswick to the Saddleback cafe for coffee and cake, but as time was getting on I went straight back to base at Low Nest Farm, and had coffee and cake there instead.

Just over 46 miles in the saddle, so 73 miles towards my RunWalkRide4Rwanda supporting Safe Motherhood and Maternal Health in Rwanda

Monday, 14 July 2014

Running 27 miles 4 Maternal Health in Rwanda

Well that's the running legs out of the way - more than half of the BTR Liverpool Tour of Merseyside done. It was hard work, but good fun in a painful sort of way.

Tuesday's 10 mile run took place along the Sustrans cycle trail from Walton Hall Park. Heading South along the disused railway line, the route reached Broadgreen before returning to the start. A further mile or so North, then turning again to return to the start point. I'm not sure of the accuracy of the course, but a time of 1hr 14min was my fastest 10 miler of the year, and my best for a long time. 49th overall, 42nd male, so not too bad

Thursday's 5 mile race around Hale seemed harder - probably because I was still feeling the effects from Tuesday. I last ran this race about 15 years ago, and it hasn't got any easier! Slower than hoped for, but 37min put me in 69th position, 62nd male.

Saturday is usually my chance to have a lie-in - not this week! I needed an early start to get to New Brighton for this 12 mile run to Hoylake and back. I really struggled between 3 and 5 miles, but recovered and finished strongly, passing people for most of the return. A time of 1hr 34min place me 41st overall and 36th male, my best of the week.

Overall, a good chance to get some decent running done, and also a chance to show the Running4Rwanda vest to a wider audience. Who knows? Next year I may do the whole Tour of Merseyside and run the full 52 miles in aid of Safe Motherhood and Maternal Health in Rwanda.

Until then, there's still the little matter of a walk and a bike ride to get done:

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Running, Walking and Riding 4 Rwanda

It's taken a while, but I've finally decided what to do to celebrate 30 years of running. In fact, it's taken me so long to decide, that it's actually just about to start.

I had thought about running 30 miles, but on medical advice I can no longer do 'endurance' events - i.e. I can't run a Marathon, or anything over about a half-marathon

Then I thought about walking 30 miles, but that would probably take too long.

Or cycling 30 miles - probably not enough of a challenge.

So why not somehow combine all three? So that's the plan - run about 30 miles, but split over three events; walk a similar distance; then ride my bike, but over double the distance. The final details of the walk and the bike ride still need a bit of working out, but here's the running leg(s):

Tour of Merseyside Race 3 - 10-mile Sustrans cycle trail from Walton Hall Park
Tour of Merseyside Race 4 - 5-mile Halton Road Race around Hale
Tour of Merseyside Race 6 - 12-mile Wirral Coastal Run from New Brighton

The walking leg will possibly be the 'High Street' walk, from the Roman fort at Penrith to the Roman fort in Ambleside.

Then the cycling leg will probably be the first section of the Fred Whitton Challenge route, from Grasmere to Keswick via Ambleside, Troutbeck, Kirkstone Pass, Glenridding and Castlerigg stone circle, but with the addition of about 12 miles to get to the start at Grasmere, then another couple of miles to get back to my starting point.

The walk will probably be about 24 miles, and the cycle route will be about double that. So all-in-all, about 100 miles. Admittedly it is spread over a number of stages over three weeks, but then so is the Tour de France, and if it's good enough for them, then it's good enough for me.

Of course, I'm not doing it for fun or entertainment, but as a challenge. And as a challenge, I'm going to need some encouragement along the way. So if you think you'd like to give me some encouragement, you can - by making it all worthwhile and sponsoring me to complete the challenge. Any money raised will go towards supporting maternal health, safe motherhood, and midwifery projects in Shyira, Rwanda.

You don't have to run 27 miles, or walk 24, or ride 48 miles to make a difference to the lives of women and children in Rwanda. In fact, you don't even have to move away from the computer!

Just go direct to my website at and make a donation, big or small.

Every penny raised by Shyira Trust, plus Gift Aid, goes direct to the project in Rwanda - no wages, no rents, no overheads, just 100% commitment to support Safe Motherhood and Maternal Health projects in Rwanda.

Wish me luck. I may need it