Things to do before I’m 30

The last time I committed to stuff on here I got on and did it… so here’s an attempt of getting some things done in the next 12 months. I’m not entirely sure how realistic they are, but the MdS wasn’t realistic 2 years ago. So here they are. Some chosen by me, some by Lucy and some we picked together. I’ve grouped them, but I’m pretty sure you’d have guessed without my help!


Chosen by me (feel rather optimistic):

  • 19min 5k
  • 40min 10k
  • Sub-3:20 Marathon
  • Learn to front crawl properly
  • Complete my first Triathlon


Chosen with Lucy:

  • Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant (I’m thinking Tom Kerridge’s Pub!)
  • Take Lucy for skiing lessons (in the UK… ready for the Alps)
  • Babysit my niece/nephew
  • Weekend away in a random Eastern European country
  • Go to a local comedy night


Chosen by Lucy (can you tell?!)

  • Learn to play the guitar or the drums
  • Tell Lucy how beautiful she is every day (even when she has a cold and a red nose)….
  • To stay in a cosy cabin in the middle of nowhere
  • Husky ride in the snow
  • Sort the photos from the Isles of Scilly (the holiday we went on in 2013)


Hmm… I had best get cracking….

MdS 2014; Day 6

I did it! Today was the marathon stage and after dropping out of the top 200, I was determined to smash this one. With a few shot bloks saved & my favourite flavour carb drink, I took to the start line. The first leg went well; the speed demons shot off and i hung out just behind…waiting for them to blow up. Through CP1 I jumped about 20runners and decided it was time to press on. I got some music on an opened up the taps…. edging past a runner every km or so. CP2 I was in such a hurry I declined half my water ration to save weight. Looking at the empty bottle bin I was well placed (for me)…so pushed harder. In the 3rd section there was an EPIC singletrack…. after all my trail running and descent work I made good time here. Into CP3 I was gagging for water. Restocked I was ready to smash the last 10km….I think I did-I was ruined as i finished; couldn’t have given more today. Felt amazing to finish and the collect medal (2mo is the charity 8km(not timed)). THANK YOU EVERYONE!x

MdS 2014; Day 4-5

That was a tough days running! I think my first 3days of running have caught up with me. I set off well to make the most of the cooler part of the day. Felt great up to CP3; ran enitre first sector and steady run/walk for the next 2. From CP3->CP4 I had the biggest low of the week. 3.5km from the CP I hit the wall- people streaming past me. If you run, you’ll know the feeling… add to that 40degrees, a headache, feeling sick, no energy gel and climbing 2 jebels that felt like PenYFan. Oh and down to my last 200ml of water for 4.5km. Boardline tears. As I plodded into CP I got myseld sorted:carb drink, scoffed some salty mini cheddars and 2 shot bloks… HEAVEN! I plodded on. Within 10 mins I was back to normal:) Got music for a big power walk-I ended up marching the last 3 sectors with Andy. Placing wasn’t as good today…now 201 overall. Pretty gutted as this year they are setting the top 200 off 1.5hr later for the final marathon 😦 missed by 30s…nevermind, still loving it! 😀 x

MdS 2014; Day 3

3 stages down, 3 to go. Today was a good one, I seem to have acclimated and can get moving reasonably well in the midday heat. I start steady and pick up the pace as the day goes by. Finished the last ~8km quite strongly- made up a handful of places. Even had a friendly race over the last K with a French guy running for team WAA. He splashed me with his water as I overtook :D. Not sure where I came – perhaps top 250, hard to say. Legs feel great. One blister on little toe – not an issue though. Some chaffing on my hips from the bag – all of the sweat/salt has mad the bag go hard and scratchy. Some big strips of tape will sort that ready for the 80km stage. Todays run was a corker – beautiful scenery, long flat river beds and some occasional dunes. A nice mixture to keep me entertained. Could have pushed harder today (maybe should have done?) but want to make sure I clear the 80km in a good time.

This is EPIC!

Right, time for freeze dried lasagne! 😀 miss u all (& my bed) lots!xxx

MdS 2014…here I come!

Here it is. The final pre-race update.

Tomorrow I will be flying to Errachidia, Morocco. From there I’ll be heading a few hours by coach into the Sahara desert to the first bivouac camp of the Marathon des Sables. The race doesn’t start until Sunday so I have Saturday to settle in to desert life and run through some admin checks before settling down for a nervous night’s sleep (and there have been plenty of those this week!). I will be self-sufficient from the moment I get up on the Sunday morning.

A few of you have been asking how to track my progress. Whilst I am away you can follow me here . When the race starts a link will become available to “track a competitor” – you can find me using my name or my race number, 626. The page should give you my timings as I cross each check point and my overall position. On that website you should also find a link to “write to a competitor”. This will enable you to send a message to me during the race (text only) – I will get a  print out of the messages each evening! Mildly offensive, motivational emails are just as welcome as the pleasant, emotional ones! SdW – no work emails!

I will also have the opportunity to send one email to one recipient per day which is limited in words/characters. I have arranged for Lucy to post it here.

Finally, a word on the fundraising . Earlier in the week I hit my £5,000 target and the donations continue to come in! Thank you so much!  I’m utterly amazed that I hit the target before leaving; great motivation for the inevitable low moments!

See you on the other side,


MdS 2014; Day 2


I haven’t heard from Rob since the completion of his first run…!

However, it is evident from the tracking system on the MdS website that Rob finished the second stage with another good time of 5hrs, 51mins.

I will hopefully hear from Rob regarding his 3rd stage later this evening…however, as a sneaky update…it looks like he’s already finished that stage as well, in 5 hrs and 27mins….

His general position at the moment is 182…out of just over 1000 competitors. He’s doing himself and others proud I think!

MdS 2014; Day 1

Bonjour!That was an interesting first day; amazing sand dunes, an active mine and a dried up river bed! The most amazing place to run. I found the conditions ok – heat didn’t seem too bad. The sand dunes (12km!) of Erg Chebbi were hard work on the quads but great fun to run down, then walk up! Spent some time running with Chris from our tent; great guy & good to have some company. Left  Chris at CP1; the middle sector was more runnable, so tried to get a run/walk/run combo going. Good sector. Approaching CP2 at the mine, a fellow brit took a tumble – looked painful, but he got up and pushed on! The next sector was also good to run on. Caught up with Andy from our tent, but pressed on. None of us were enjoying the heat at this point. Towards the end of this sector we had another 3km of dunes in Erg Znaigui, the heat was crazy – from the sun & the sand! At the crest of the final dune I could see camp – amazing! Not sure on place just yet-felt like top half.missing u!xxx loving this! 🙂