Chasing David Walliams

Last week saw me clock up another 25km towards my 800km running challenge for Maggies Centres.  I started with a 15km on the Sunday choosing a different route; venturing out of Witney to Hailey and then back again.  I’m definitely feeling more comfortable with the longer distances and getting (marginally) more adventurous with the route planning as a result!

I had 2 days of work in Aberdeen straight after Bank Holiday Monday which meant a 04:30 start one day and not getting home until 22:00 the next so needless to say my running had to take a back seat for a couple of days.

It turns out that, despite the long and tiring work days, the few days of complete running rest seemed to have a good effect.  My running opportunity was limited on Thursday, having to dash home from work and hit the tarmac so that I could get back, showered and out to a family get together (my Aunt, cousins and Gran were up from Cornwall), but that didn’t matter.  I proved that a tired mind doesn’t necessarily mean a tired body as my first couple of kilometres  were surprisingly quick.  As a result I decided to turn the screw to see what I could achieve.  The splits continued to look good and I managed to beat my personal best by 30 seconds to record a time of 23:51 for 5km.

My 25 kilometres for the week were capped off in social style on Saturday with a special guest joining me for a 5 kilometre run on Saturday, whilst adding another pin to my map of places I have run.

The Wife and I were joining our good friends Gemma & Rich in Gemma’s home town of Alderholt, just to the West of the New Forest, for the weekend and Rich, normally a cyclist, dusted off his running shoes to show his support and join me on a run.  We took a very pleasant route around the village on Saturday morning and as we returned to our starting point at just over 4km, Rich peeled off to get a head start in the shower leaving me to cover the further kilometre I needed to clock up the 25kms for the week.

A lovely weekend followed with visits to Lulworth Cove (beautiful coastline), calling in to see Gemma’s brother and his wife in Bournemouth (beautiful house) and fruit foraging in the New Forest (beautiful fruit).  It was a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend with good food (fresh fish from Lulworth), good drink (a selection of beers from the Piddle Brewery) and good company.

What it did mean is that by the time we got back home I was certainly not feeling like getting my running gear on to go for a long run.  I therefore know that this week will be a tough week, being a log run short after day 1!

Inspiration to make up for no long run on Sunday arrived today in the form of David Walliams.

Sam, a friend who is working for Comic Relief,  had told us about Walliams’ swim from Lechlade in Gloucestershire into Central London in aid of Sport Relief which, I was reminded by the Chris Moyles Show, began today, with a first day finish not far from my hometown of Witney.  This gave me the inspiration for an alternative long run: I would run from Witney to Bablock Hythe, The Wife would drive out, we could both see Walliams complete the first day of his challenge and I would have added another 13 or so kilometres to my own fundraising challenge.

This was going to be a very different run for me, not least as it was one way.  It was also on a route that I knew had little to no footpaths and consists mainly of single track roads used by commuters as rat runs so I was a little apprehensive.  I had little need to be.  I was greeted by only a handful of vehicles, all of which provided me with courtesy, and more importantly space.

My pace was a little faster than I had wanted but I still felt relatively comfortable and I managed to cover the 12 and a bit kilometres at a pace of just over 5 and a half minutes per kilometre.

I managed to meet up with The Wife amongst the Morris Dancers and Walliams fans at Bablock Hythe with no problems, only to get a tip-off that Walliams’ first day hadn’t gone so smoothly – he was now going to finish his swim at Northmoor Lock, just a few miles down the river.  We set off down to Northmoor, not really knowing where the lock or the river in general was.  Unfortunately by the time we had worked out where to go it was too late and the super swimmer Walliams had been shipped up to Bablock Hythe to greet his supporters.

We’re hoping to catch up with Sam tomorrow and maybe be able to see David Walliams finish his second day in Abingdon.


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