What a year 2017 was.
It started with a run in the pouring rain on January 1st, somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of attempting the Everest Marathon on May 29th. En route to that date with destiny we both had some significant challenges. In my case I was running the London Marathon. Just to makes things more interesting I was attempting to beat my personal best. I trained religiously. Prior to the event, a sweepstake had been opened within the RunMND facebook group to guess my finish time. Each guess was raising money for the cause and in total it raised over £200 pounds. In the end I took 9 minutes of my PB and dipped under four hours for the first time. Without a doubt it was the most satisfying moment of my life, an incredible moment.
May arrived and following our last run, the Star Wars half marathon, we headed to Kathmandu. We've blogged a lot on the event so I'll gloss over it. Suffice to say it was an incredible experience, so difficult but in ways I hadn't thought of. It sounds silly but I didn't think it would be so difficult to run at extreme altitude. However, getting to the start and then finishing was an achievement. Several people we spent the 3 weeks with did not get to start the marathon due to altitude related illness. Sadly, one competitor died on the way to the start. That was shocking but we were doing the event to raise funds to hopefully prevent people dying from MND or Alzheimer's in the future. I'm quite proud to have completed the world's highest and hardest marathon, even though my time was quite slow.
In the autumn we enjoyed some great half marathon experiences, the great north run with many friends from RunMND, and several events assisting friends who are living with MND. While I've run most of my events for charity, I've always run them for myself - aiming for the best time I could given my relative fitness. Helping push Joanna and Dave was hugely satisfying, it gave me a real buzz to give both the chance to compete in these sorts of events again. Northampton and Birmingham half marathons were amazing, and that was followed by the Great South Run. Massively proud to have been part of #TeamJo and #TeamDave.
My selfish moment came in the St Neots half marathon. After training hard all autumn I thought I was in the shape to have a crack at my PB which was set 8 years ago. On a perfect day for running, all the hard training sessions paid off as I smashed by PB by almost 4 minutes and clocked 1:38:23
To top it all off we hit our fundraising total of £3,800 on New Year's Eve. Thank you everyone who supported us in our challenges, they would be pointless without your generosity.