Is it me or is this winter dragging on? I can’t remember the last time I went out running or cycling in the light so I can’t wait until the mornings and the evenings are lighter. Don’t get me wrong. I love dark and cold mornings. The world is a very peaceful place at 5:30 in the morning and I enjoy running to warm up. However, enough is enough and I am ready for some day light. So, if someone could organise that in the next few days I would appreciate it!
Since the turn of the year I have had a few work meetings and presentations to attend which have taken me out of the area. Most of them have involved very early mornings and late finishes which means I have lost a few days of training. Add to this the hamstring niggle that have and I haven’t had as active a start to the year as I would have liked. With regards to the injury I am so pleased that Anna Stokoe has pledged to support me through the challenge with sports massage and therapy. This kind of support is so important so that I can enter the challenge, in August, in peak condition, injury free and strong.
I have started to seek ‘Ambassadors’ for the challenge. Each ambassador will reside in or close to a stage of the challenge and will have a good knowledge of the area. Ideally they will also be a member of have links with sporting clubs and therefore be able to help promote the event in their local area. I hope that this will take some of the pressure off me and also raise the profile of #7days7irons throughout the country so that I can really push the fundraising effort. At the moment, I am way off the mark and the target of £50,000 seems a long shot to put it mildly. Hopefully the ambassador strategy will reap rewards. Click through if you are interested in the route that has been confirmed so far.
Talking of fundraising I have had some great boosts recently. Only this week I was presented with a cheque for £1260 an amount raised by a wonderful, friendly Facebook group, Floppsie Cullen’s Tynemouth from the sale of calendars and the proceeds of a Christmas Party. Outstanding. Friends have also been raising money in a variety of ways meaning that the total is currently at around £3,000. Good but nowhere near good enough. I know donations will gather pace nearer and during the challenge but I can’t rest on my laurels. If you would like to do something to fund raise I would be extremely grateful and would be delighted to talk to you about it.
I am still working closely with Barclays. Area Manager, Darran Blackshaw has been very helpful and is assisting me with an event which we are hoping to organise for June. Keep you eyes peeled for more information about this as you will not want t miss it. Together we are also talking about how to officially launch the event and targeting some local businesses for corporate funding and sponsorship. I am keen to get a main corporate sponsor on board so that we can organise logistics such as transport, food and accommodation.
As I announced on Facebook and Twitter at the end of last year I have been provided with a bike by M.Steel. This Trek Madone 4.0 is a custom built full carbon speed machine. I can’t thank M.Steel enough. This bike will make a massive difference over the course of the challenge and will certainly iron out some hills and shave time of each stage. Another huge boost to the cause from a great local, family business.
That’s about it for this update. Let me know if there is anything you specifically want to know or if you have any questions. I’d be delighted to hear from you. In the meantime, stay healthy!