A little while ago, I had my arm twisted by two good friends into doing the Royal Parks Half Marathon to raise money for The Teenage Cancer Trust who looked after my best friend while he had Leukaemia. Basically, they plucked my heartstrings until I couldn’t say no…The 5 pints in me may also have helped.
Now, I’ve played football and rugby since I was 5 but this was a new challenge. Also, taking into account I hadn’t really been playing that much of anything for a few years while I concentrated on drinking, going to gigs and generally having as good a time as possible, all added up to me not being in great shape. Somewhere along the way I caught the bug for endurance events and the training that goes along with them.
For 2012 I’ve taken up a new challenge. This year I will be taking part in the Manchester 10k, the York 10k and, fingers crossed the Great North Run. To top this all off, I am doing the London to Paris bike ride.
With doing all of this I am raising money for The Huntington’s Disease Association. Huntington’s disease, or HD, is a hereditary disorder of the central nervous system. HD affects both men and women and usually develops in adulthood. Each person who’s parent has HD has a 50/50 chance of inheriting the faulty gene which causes Huntington’s Disease. There’s currently no cure for HD. I’ve chosen to support the HDA as my wife’s farther died of HD in the late 90′s, so it directly affects those closest to me.
I’m very lucky to have a small group of people around me to help me train. Many of which will crop up on here with alarming regularity. They are an ever growing group with a few key players.
Shakey: Ex rugby player, now Ironman, Triathlon, Ultra Marathon runner and general source of motivation and experience. I pick his brains at every opportunity for training and racing tips.
Chicken: Not his real name, you’ll be pleased to hear. Veteran of the Great North Run, owner of motivational quotes, bad puns and a Newcastle United fan (you can’t have it all). He also likes a pint.
Tom: Aussie and bike fanatic. Engineer by trade, demon on a bike and another one who patiently explains things in the simplest terms so I can understand them. He has the patience of a saint as he has to explain gears to me at least three times on every ride.
There are other characters knocking around who I will cover as we train.
I train in York, where I live with my wife and cat, mclusky… More about the Cat another time.
This blog will cover my training, general musings, thoughts on music and film and random utterings.
For sponsorship: www.virginmoneygiving.com/joerichardson