Challenge Accepted


Why on earth would I want to run 10km? I am a self confessed couch potato. I enjoy TV, games, and settling down after a day at work to do both of those things. It all started a few weeks ago. My partner ran the Race For Life, which if you don’t know, is a 5km run in aid of Cancer Research UK. I went to cheer her on in the typical Scottish rain and was taken aback by the amount of people all running for the same cause. Competition was low, and everyone there just wanted to push themselves outside their comfort zone for the sake of raising money for this amazing cause.

A few years ago I ran the Run For Moore. This was also a 5km run in aid of Cancer Research UK. It was the answer to the many men who wanted to raise money but are excluded (even now) as the Race for Life is for women only. I know I am not the only person who finds this unfair, but Cancer Research have their reasons, and unfortunately they have their reasons for cancelling the Run for Moore. There are options available for men to support the Race for Life, marshalling, stewarding and general assistance, but there are many more men who want to run to push themselves in aid of this great cause.

Enough background…. Following watching the Race for Life, I decided that my last few years of idling on the sofa were enough, and it was time to make something of myself. I wanted to run, to take part in a race, but I wanted it to mean something. I hunted the internet for something relatively local to take part in… I found Mo-Running. Run in aid of Movember, who raise money for mens cancer charities, Mo-Running offers runners the chance to have fun with people of all ages and both sexes, while raising money for a spectacular cause. Movember itself is worth a look, especially if you don’t know it already, as there are some wacky things which are done in aid of this cause.

A slight aside, my reasons for wanting to raise these much needed funds are twofold. First of all, in 2008 I lost my dad to bowel cancer, which spread to the liver. His descent was rapid and drastic, and the man I grew up with who could do anything, anywhere, anyhow was a shadow of himself, wheelchair bound and weak, when eventually he died on 17th May 2008. Secondly, I became an orphan in November 2012. My mum went into hospital in October, strong and fighting fit, ready to battle her cancer. Over the next month she slowly deteriorated, when eventually on 16th November 2012 she died, leaving myself and two siblings as orphans and a little boy without a “nanny”. I would love to dedicate myself to researching myself how to defeat this horrendous disorder, this breaker of families and hearts, but I know that any money I raise will go to those who are much smarter than I, and eventually we will find a cure. Anyone reading this will know full well what The Big C can do to people and families, and will, I hope, feel inspired to do a little more to help out.

Some may call me crass or callous when discussing cancer so openly, and using the word “Dead” or any derivatives of. This I disagree wholeheartedly with. Unfortunately, I draw on Harry Potter and the Philosophers (Sorcerers) Stone for this:

fear of a name

And please, take a look at this advert for Cancer Research UK / Race for Life:

While perusing the Mo-Running site I found out that in November there was a 5km and 10km race available. I looked at the calendar. 18th May. I had 6 months to get to 5km standard. Simple. Or I had 6 months to get to 10km standard. Not so simple, but worth a go!

Anyone who knows me knows that this is a feat. I am unhealthy to the nth degree. I currently sport a BMI of 37.85, placing me comfortably in the “Obese” category (For information, 18.5-25 is “Healthy”). To reach the standard to run 10km would take a huge amount of work, as well as commitment and willpower. Exercise does not fit me, it is a chore to find the time and to make the time to do it. I swim, and am a pretty good swimmer, but unfortunately, as my legs are ridiculously strong from carrying me around all the time, it is quite easy for me. The only way to lose weight, improve fitness and get to the standard is to run.

So that is my plan. Work hard, get to a point where I think I can make it, and then do it. Its simple really!

For those who don’t believe exactly how much of a leap this is for me… here are a few photos of me to prove the work needed to get on.

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