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2013 Great South Run Finishers MedalSo today I finished my second Great South Run and it was a very different experience from last year.

My recollection of my 2012 GSR debut is of an easy paced run, in cool weather with a little light rain. A race where the crowd support was simply awesome and where I spend much of the race giving kids a high five as I ran past them. I also started near the back, which meant I spend most of my race passing slower runners, something that always give a little morale boost. This despite the fact that I am never really, racing. That is I know I will not be up with the elites and so I am only really interested in my own race, not how I compare with other runners.

Today was a little different. Firstly, I started in the first wave to follow the elites. This meant I could actually see the start line when the race started. I think last year it took about 45 after the official start before I crossed the line. The weather was quite different too. At points in the race the sun came out and it got hot. At other points there was rain, but above all it was windy as hell.

I had one of those mental challenges runners sometimes get during this race too. It wasn’t “the wall” but it was enough to take the smile from my face and even slow me to a walk for 100 yards or so. No logical reason for it. No cramps like I had in the Great North Run or the Isle of Wight half marathon, just my mind playing a trick on me and me having to tell it politely to go away and let me finish my race.

Actually, not getting those cramps was a huge relief. I was hoping that upping my salt intake in the lead up to the race would resolve the issue and it looks like that strategy (something I discovered whilst researching runners cramp problems) may have worked.

The last 2 miles coming along the sea front were a killer. The wind was so strong that I could almost feel it pushing me backwards each time I lifted my feet. The start of my race was strong and I looked like I would comfortably beat the time set on my debut (1 hour, 23 minutes and 45 seconds). My mental blip and the wind tried hard to beat me and stop me beating me previous time, but I pushed hard in that wind as finished in an official time 14 seconds better than last year, 1 hour, 23 minutes and 31 seconds. I was hoping for better, but having already heard the race described as the “windiest race on 2013” I’m happy to accept the result.

Cystic Fibrosis A Race We Must WinWhy Am I Doing 2013 Miles in 2013?

This year I am trying to complete 2013 miles self-powered miles. It is has been 10 years since my cousin’s son Adam lost his fight with Cystic Fibrosis. Adam was just 18 years old when when he lost his lifelong battle with CF, the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. Despite spending large parts of his short life in hospital Adam never once complained, not even of a headache and was determined to make the most of everyday.

My 2013 miles in 2013 challenge is in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles, in April I completed 192.1 miles, in May I completed 168 miles, in June I completed 145 miles, in July I completed 210.1 miles, in August I completed 130.7 miles and in September I completed 170.8 miles. If you can please spare £16.09 (my mileage so far) to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.

The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page:

2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules

The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.