Tuesday, 27 January 2009

half way to John O'Groats ...

As we draw to the close of Month 5 of my 365challenge year, today I hit the half way point on my Lands End to John O'Groat's ride, woo-hoo!! 800 Km down, just 800 Km to go!

So that's the channel swum, the 3 Peaks climbed, half way to Scotland, and more than a third of the way down the Thames ... in 5 months ... you know what, I think I've been doing pretty well with this 365challenge-thingy, even I do say so myself! If I keep this up, I think I'll finish ahead of schedule, so now I'm beginning to wonder what else I might add to my personal challenge ... early days for this additional planning, so I'm open to suggestions ... though one possibility is that I might actually tackle the 3 Peaks in reality - but one at a time, maybe one a month from May to July. What do you think, dear reader? Suggestions welcome.

Anyone fancy joining me - I could do with someone who knows the way! I'll outline my plans for this over the coming weeks.

more press coming up for 365 ...

Remember Debbie's press coverage recently (see January 12th blog entry)?

Well, her "Doing it daily for Duncan" local press story got picked up by a magazine called Full House (think Take a Break-style), and the artice is to appear in Issue 7, due on the newstands on February 5th ... so grab your copy and see what she's been up to ... and then, 365'ers, why not get out there and make your own news headlines!

C'mon, let's get the 365challenge more publicity and draw more people in to take their own challenges for Cancer Research UK. What could YOU do to get in the papers - within the law, please :-) - suggestions welcome via the "comments" button below!

Monday, 26 January 2009

sorry, been busy at work ...

Been a busy week at work (and will be this week too), so I've been quiet on the blogging front. Hope you've all(!) coped.

Some good news from Total Fitness after nearly six months of chasing: they are willing to put up posters about the 365challenge in each of their gyms around the country - that's around 22 branches, I think, and if we signed up just a couple of people from each, that would be a great boost to the numbers, and the fund-raising total. Thanks Neil.

Also with Total Fitness, I've finally got a result of another sort, and managed to speak to their PR guy on Friday ... who loved my story and the plans I have for developing the 365challenge, and today, he sent me a draft of the press release he's written for approval. He hopes he can get some national press coverage, which would be fabulous! Watch this space ...

By the way, did I mention I was busy at work this last week?

Sunday, 18 January 2009

it's not a competition, but this IS great ...

I always knew that bringing other 365'ers on board to develop their own ideas and challenges would substantially increase the amount that the 365challenge ultimately raises for Cancer Research UK, over and above what I could raise myself ... so it is really rewarding to see that two of my "early adopters" have been gathering pace with their sponsorship recently.

As I say in the title of this post, it's not a competition ... but it has been great to drop by Audrey (in Scotland) and (Chester-based) Anouska's sites and their Just Giving pages to see the amounts mounting up, generally, but totally independently, keeping pace with each other. And this week, Audrey cracked the £1000 mark with her sponsorship, with Anouska very close behind, at £952 just now. How great is that .. so, A & A, thank you so much for your efforts ... your challenges are going so well ... I hope you're enjoying it too! And don't go getting competitive about it all either!

Given that so far, there are between 15 and 20 365'ers out there, started or about to, with more sure to follow ... if they can do as well as Audrey and Anouska, our joint efforts are going to add healthily to the coffers of Cancer Research UK indeed.

Anyone else want to join the party?

say it loud and say it PROUD ... "I'm a 365'er!"

Well, I've managed to get in to the gym a few times this week, despite Susie (or work, which is getting busy again!), so I've stayed on track so far. AND got a few extra miles in with walking her every day too, so maybe I should find a way to include these miles in my efforts!

Also ran into Peter, one of the 365'ers who hadn't yet started his challenge. The good news is that he just about has, though he wants to get a month under his belt while he settles on his challenges (triathlons, but still deciding which distances), before he "announces his challenge to the world". C'mon, Peter, go for it - say it loud and say it PROUD: "I'm a 365'er!"

And I've had some more contact from TEAM 365challenge, who are also closing in on their challenges, so hopefully I can announce them here soon. I'm meeting with my logo designer this week, so I hope to have the TEAM 365challenge logo available shortly - along with the 365challenge Australia AND Ireland ... you know who you are! So we continue to move this thing forward ...

Monday, 12 January 2009

this has got to be the headline of the year ...

I've just had a look at the 365challenge website for Debbie, one of the 365'ers, down in the Peterborough area. She has included a "Words from the Deb" blog section on her site that is worth a look to see how she's finding her challenge. Today, she's highlighted the fact that she's managed to get some local press coverage for her 365challenge from the Peterborough Evening Telegraph - and this has to be the best headline so far: "Determined Debbie's doing it daily for Duncan"!

How great is that! Have a read and see what Debbie's up to (!!) for her 365challenge, and if you want to be the subject of some journo's alliteration exercise, get signed up NOW for your very own 365challenge!

Thanks for sharing, Debs, and good luck with your efforts ... good to see you are back in the saddle.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

a challenge to my 365challenge ...?

You may not be aware of this, but I'm one of those annoying people who wake early (most of the time around 6.30 a.m.) without any problem (or alarm clock!), and then I'm awake, so I'm ready to get doing things. That's meant that a good proportion of my 365challenge miles have been knocked off in the early hours, before work.

The routine has often been: get up, shave, go to gym, shower, come home for breakfast, read/check emails, then bring my wife a cup of tea in bed as her wake-up call (she having been blissfully unaware of my absence and exertions in the gym), then off to work, still usually managing to get in well before 9 a.m.

Just how annoying is that?

And of course those early starts meant that my challenge has kept well on track, if not ahead of schedule, and the rest of the day has been mine to do with as I please (or as much as work demands allow me to). But all of that may be about to change ... as my morning routines are about to be unceremoniously hijacked by THIS creature:

Meet Susie. She's a 4 year old Lab, who we adopted on Friday, courtesy of the North West Labrador Rescue.

We've been looking for a a new dog for a little while, after we lost our old guy, Podge, in October 2007, at the grand old age of 16 years. It's taken a little time to be ready to replace the old guy, as he was such a wonderful dog, but (and I'll whisper this for now), I think we may have lucked out with Susie ... she's fantastic!

She was a family dog who was put in the Rescue as the family's economic circumstances had changed, and both adults had to go to work full-time and long hours, so they didn't think it was fair to leave Susie for so long each day. She is well-trained, and knows most of the key commands, and even, on that first night in her new home, accepted the instruction "Stay" when we went upstairs to bed ... off she went to her new bed and we didn't her a peep out of her until I got up in the morning and went down to her. She is so lovely, with a beautiful temperament, and already she is great off the lead, chasing balls and playing with other dogs ... and most importantly, coming back to us on command. What have we done to deserve such a beautiful dog?!!

But ... and here's the complication for my 365challenge ... my mornings will never be "mine" again, as I've got this beauty to take for a good long walk in the mornings now.

Of course Donna (Mrs C) will still have her cuppa at around 8 a.m., and know nothing of the goings-on in the world before this,
but clearly, I'm going to have to adjust my schedule significantly to allow me to find time to get to the gym at another time in the day!

Work will have to be curtailed earlier than ideally it should (but hey, I
work hard enough anyway ... surely I deserve a little (more) me-time!).

I'm sure the 365challenge will continue to be met, but there may be a little adjusting to be done.

Susie ... you are a complication, but you're worth it! Welcome to the household.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Is Team 365challenge about to take off?

Do you remember when I presented to the CRUK Events team back in November? The entry back then - "a VERY exciting day ..." - went partly like this ... "just as I was about to finish, a hand went up right at the back, and a voice called out to me that that particular table represented the North West Events Team, and they had decided right there and then that THEY were going to take on the 365challenge themselves, as a team".

Well, yesterday one of that crew, Jayne, emailed me to say that they are following through on their promise! She and her team have roped in some partners now too, and now, as they put the elements of their challenge together, their team stands at NINE! That's NINE new 365'ers in one fell swoop! That's fantastic, all you guys in the North West Run for Life Events Logistics team, thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm. Now ... where are the rest of those Events teams from that conference ... I seem to remember some competitive "us too!" calls from around that room!

But let's not overshadow the importance of this first TEAM 365 team! It's great to have them on board. Watch this space as the TEAM 35challenge grows ...

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

365challenge is appealing ...

I thought I’d just let you have a quick update on this … Cancer Research UK have informed me that the 365challenge has now been allocated a dedicated appeal code by the charity, which means that anyone who registers with them now and informs them that they are taking the 365challenge will have all the money they raise through sponsorship recognised as having been raised through the 365challenge rather than a more general event, like a fun run.

This is great news, as it means that, over time, they will be able to track how successful this programme is being for them in raising funds ... and it should help support the case, in time, for CRUK to adopt the 365challenge as a national campaign! So ... if you're going to take this on, firstly, a great big THANK YOU from me, but secondly, DO PLEASE TELL CRUK that you are taking the 365challenge, and then they can record your efforts under this appeal code. I hope in time, too, that I'll get some updates on the overall pot as it grows, and then I can let you all know how much our combined efforts are raising for this important charity and its work.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

600 Km cycling and 100 Km rowing down ... so

... just 1000 Km on my bike and 246 Km on the rowing machine to go in my 365challenge for Cancer Research UK!

Well ... just 4 days off in hitting my distance targets for my Lands End to John O'Groats cycle and Thames row, so I'm not too disappointed with that. And as I've got 8 months still to go in my 365challenge year ... I reckon I'm still well on track.

I've had some great supportive emails over the New Year (
thank you) from people who reckon that swimming part of the Thames challenge is a good amendment to my plan, given my on-going numb-hands issue, so I'll look to see what I can do about that over the coming month or so ... but in the meantime, it's back to work tomorrow, so that means back to juggling time to make sure that I keep up my momentum. It's been a really enjoyable Christmas break this year, more restful than I've managed for a long time ... I've even been sleeping in to around 8 a.m, which is unheard of! How am I going to cope with getting up for work again?

Watch this space!