Skip to main content

Keep On Running

In March and April of this year respectively, I ran the Sheffield Varsity 10K and the Sheffield Half Marathon to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. Below is the email I scribbled, after months of hard training and completing both events, to those friends, family and acquaintances who were kind enough to dig deep and sponsor me. If, after reading, you're able to do the same, or just want to make a donation to Mind, you can check out the link to the charity's website here, or else visit my JustGiving page. Cheers.

Hi all,

This'll be the last of these mail-outs - just wanted to let you all know how I got on in both the Sheffield Varsity 10K (23 March) and the Sheffield Half Marathon (6 April), all to raise money for the excellent charity Mind.
The Varsity 10K was a great little event - 352 runners took part on a sunny Sunday morning, the whole thing organised by a great team of University and Hallam students. Three laps of an undulating course (this is Sheffield after all) around two of the city's leafy parks. I finished in #37 with a not-too-shabby time of 41:37, which I was more than happy with (not least since I was recovering from a bout of man flu). That's me setting off from the start line, No. 373.

Inline images 1

 As you'll doubtless have seen from the news reports that went national, the Sheffield Half was a very different affair. Viva la People's Republic of South Yorkshire! And what a race. Proud to say myself and Helen Mort were among the "rebel runners" near the front who decided to kick on anyway, darting through police roadblocks. No way I wasn't going to do it after all the training I'd put in, and for Mind and all the people like your good selves who've already sponsored me. Out of a field of 4,172 runners I finished #164 with a time of 1:32:11, which under the circumstances I was totally chuffed with. Massive thanks should go to the people of Sheffield, who managed in half-an-hour what the race organisers couldn't with weeks of preparation. Amazing scenes.

But the real point of my writing is to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you who've dug deep and given generously. You kept me resolved to finish both races, and encouraged me to push my running to the limit.

If you haven't given yet and you'd like to, don't worry - there's still time! The link to my JustGiving page is right here. You don't need a PayPal account or anything, just a credit or debit card to make a totally secure payment.
I'll leave the last words to Bill Bowerman, running coach to the legendary Steve Prefontaine, which seem particularly apt:

"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running you do, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd pastime - Life."

all good wishes, and thank you again,



Popular posts from this blog

Way More Than Luck: 27.2.18 - the launch

Some tips on putting your pamphlet together — winner of the 2013/14 International Book & Pamphlet Competition

There's only this weekend left to submit your pamphlet of poems to the most prestigious pamphlet competition in the land: The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition 2020

This year's judges are the hugely celebrated writers Imtiaz Dharker and Ian McMillan. Find out more, and enter online, here. You've got until midnight this Sunday 1st March.

Here are some tips I've put together, as winner of the 2013/14 competition for my short collection For Real. Good luck!

• First off, I should mention it took me a good few years to get the pamphlet into shape, and like almost every winner, I entered the competition more than once before winning. Treat the experience as a learning curve: the positive pressure of a deadline and of your work being judged carefully and seriously will help you to improve whatever the outcome.

• Front-load your pamphlet. Every editor in the land knows that you put the very best poems at the front of a book. The first three poems in your pamphlet s…

Poetry in Motion

Why one Reds supporter is committing his love for Liverpool FC to verse

Liverpool FC and poetry have a lot of previous – from John Toshack’s Gosh It’s Tosh collection in the late 70s, to the verse of Dave Kirby and Peter Etherington in the fanzine Red All Over the Land, to the lines written by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, a University of Liverpool graduate, in the aftermath of 2012’s Hillsborough findings. Now there’s Ben Wilkinson, Reds fan and book critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, who’s compiling a series of poems commemorating the club’s legends. “Football is part of the fabric of life, and anything that’s important to people finds its way into poetry,” he says. “Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Disabled' describes a soldier who loses the use of his legs, meaning he can never play football again. Philip Larkin’s 'MCMXIV' compares boys queuing to join the army to fans outside Villa Park. These poems have stood the test of time because t…