Friday 16th December
After taking a new job with Gloucestershire CCC in the Autumn they quickly caught wind of the fundraising that I was doing for the hospital. Immediately a group of the players jumped at the idea of finding a way to contribute to my efforts and run with me. There’s only one problem, 21.1km of pavement pounding is just not appropriate for professional athletes. The risk of injury is high and the fitness benefits (as I’ve found this year) are far from spectacular. We could work out the details later and we decided on doing something on the last day of training before Christmas. As the club’s media team got hold of it, the plan gained momentum. The club organised £500 worth of gifts and toys for the children of the hospital which the players would deliver after the run. Fantastic. The run even fell on the same day as the club Christmas party so afterwards we would all enjoy a Christmas dinner together before the holidays. The perfect plan. Just one problem for me… all of these fabulous plans were made for Friday 16th December, not Friday 23rd December as I’d assumed. Having built Week 50’s event at Bath University over many months I couldn’t move that and with so much generosity and enthusiasm for the run with Gloucestershire CC I wasn’t going to pass this opportunity for fundraising either. Sod it, week 50 I would run 2 half marathons less than 48 hours apart. And so I did.
We congregated at the hospital early on a crisp December morning. I felt the pressure to give the boys a good run out so had a good crack at each of the 4 x 5.25km loops. The interval nature of the efforts made for a good format and I felt strong throughout. It was a really nice way to get to know the players that I’d only met a few weeks previous or in some cases meeting them for the first time this morning. They kept me company all around the way and wanting to show good form along the way was certainly a healthy challenge. Arriving at the end I felt like I could have done another couple of reps and it was
lovely to finish one of these with something left in the tank physically! We gathered up the boxes of toys and headed into the hospital’s playroom at the very top of the building to deliver the gifts. Such a lovely way to finish a run and a truly fantastic week for the fundraising.