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img_7109This is a challenge which I have set myself, the idea is very simple; to try to run 1 mile each day, everyday for 2017. I fully accept that some days may well be slow or ill and there will certainly be bad weather but it is also achievable. I’m going to try to blog and track it as much as possible, come along it should be fun🙂

In order to try to do some good along the way and to provide the incentive when times are tough, I have decided to do this for charity. If you feel like sponsoring me please do, and no worries if you don’t! If you do all the money will go to The Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

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*Total raised may not update in real-time.

***On a slightly serious note, some of the stuff I am doing (like running solo in the mountains, or along sandbanks at low tide etc.) is potentially hazardous. If you feel inspired to go and do this stuff, brilliant, but please make sure you tell someone where and when you’re going, have the right kit and above all, knowledge.***

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Day 352 Mile 352: On Running, Violins, Incremental Gains and Chicken Soup

20171217_190107-01.jpegDay 352 Mile 352: On Running, Violins, Incremental Gains and Chicken Soup. Apart from running around in ill defined ellipses one of my other passions is music and today gave me an usual chance to combine the two. I’ve played the violin since 1987 which makes it one of the corner stone activities of my life, something which I do, it may go in peaks and troughs of activity but it is something which is always there, whether actually in my hands or just rattling around inside my head.

Today marks the 280th anniversary of the death of the Italian Violin maker Antonio Stradivari, which given that no one knows when he was born is the next best thing. He is almost certainly the best known classical instrument maker and is almost a household name for people rummaging around in lofts convinced that they are going to find one of his ‘lost’ instruments!

Violin by Antonio Stradivari 1715
Violin by Antonio Stradivari 1715

Stradivari was a pupil of Nicolò Amati another astounding instrument builder and from him he learned not only the design and ratios of the violin as it was at the time but an aesthetic beauty to his execution and level of craftsmanship that far outstrip the functional needs of the instrument.

Stradivari’s reputation is founded on incremental improvements he made throughout the design of the instrument. To the uninitiated eye many of these would be almost imperceptible, millimeter differences here and there which none the less result in significant tonal improvements especially when combined. He made significant revisions to the relative length and depth of the instrument, the bridge, and varnish used; yielding a more powerful and penetrating tone than earlier violins.

Between 1700-1720 are the years commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Period’ of Stradivari’s work. He set the standard by which the skills of a luthier would be judged and provided the blueprint for the violin as we know it today. Possibly more importantly than that his approach to product design and improvement, a balance between innovation and accretion of incremental gains is utilized throughout the world today; computers to racing bicycles and everything in between owe something to Stradivari’s methods of development and improvement.

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Anyway, back to running… I don’t have a Stradivarius, for obvious reasons, and if I did I would certainly never run with it. I wouldn’t with my own violin either (in today’s cover photo) unless I was been swiftly followed by angry bears or something similar. However it would be nice to celebrate this anniversary somehow.

My way to work goes past a 1930’s housing estate, which like many of them was built with grand ideas for a better world. One of the driving ideals with this one seems to have been avoiding the regimentation and grid patterning so prevalent at the time. This makes for a set of sweeping curves and arcs which bear much more than a passing resemblance to a violin scroll when viewed from the air, with a route that covers just over one mile.

So I went and ran it. This morning it is cold, and I have a cold. I have been dispatched to work with a (coincidental) tub of chicken soup left over from yesterday and I hope it will do the job!

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1663.1 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Today’s earworm, a recording of one of the first pieces of music I remember hearing of solo classical violin. I still find in an amazing balance of simplicity and complexity, creating a dialogue and a convincing world of character and emotions, individual notes and multiples out of a single line. As ever don’t the the cover art sway you too much its actually quite good! Enjoy!

Day 351 Mile 351: 2 weeks to go, 1… 2… 3… Soggy Santa Dash!

20171217_111522-02.jpegDay 351 Mile 351: 2 weeks to go, 1… 2… 3… Soggy Santa Dash! Today we had the chance to do Llanfairfechan Santa Dash as a family. The weather is typical for North Wales in December in that it is grim! Amazingly everyone is still completely up for it and given the inclement climatic conditions we end up with race numbers 1 2 and 3. I can’t see that ever happening again!

It’s a gleeful soggy jaunt along the prom to the edge of the woods and back as 50 or so Santas in various states of attire and fitness battle with the wind, rain and puddles. There are cheerful shouts of encouragement from competitors and hardy spectators alike. It was one of those days where once the feet are wet they cannot get any wetter so there were exaggerated double footed jumps into the deeper puddles just for the sake of the splashing.

It says something about the wonderful spirit of the event that a pug was awarded a spot prize box of biscuits at the finish for being the ‘best dressed and cutest’ canine competitor!

Only two weeks of this challenge left to complete!!!!!! 😀

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I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 2029.0 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

A wonderful anti-carol for today’s earworm that got me as we came back past the swan pond in the rain!

P.S.

pug
Yep, its true, it was the Pug what won it! (courtesy of Karen Wyn)

Day 350 Mile 350: Super Saturday

Day 350 Mile 350: Super Saturday. Today we are super-heroes. Or at the very least, we are poorly disguised as such! Some friends are celebrating completing 50 x 5km runs, so the order of the day is fancy dress and cake.

Fortunately the weather remains cool which is just as well with the extra “decorative” layers we are wearing today and as my daughter put it she wasn’t sure if her nose was red because she was hot or if was due to the cold air.

Either way it was immense fun, and very tasty. It was not fast but it was great and very very silly. Congratulations all! 🙂

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 5004.5 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 349 Mile 349: Run for Dad

IMG_2863-01.jpegDay 349 Mile 349: Run for Dad. Today marks two months since my Dad took his life. While things are getting easier I still miss him. So today I thought I would do something positive to keep some of the memories of things we shared together.

On the west coast of the Isle of Anglesey lies a spot which fits this bill perfectly. The secluded bay of Porth Cwyfan is renowned as a coastal habitat for resident and migratory sea birds as well as chough, lapwing and skylark. It is a beautiful spot where the fields of Aberfraw crag into the sea. Some of the slacks contain a lot of creeping willow, along with a diverse range of flowering plants, which includes marsh orchids, pyramidal orchids and helleborines.

The waves are coming into the bay slowly, a gentle breath rather than the usual crash one usually expects to hear from the Irish Sea. The only other sounds are the gaggling sounds of a variety of waking sea birds and sheep on the fields. The coastal path below the sand cliff is more of a suggestion of a line through the landscape rather than a ‘path’ so progress across rock, river and sand is slow, but immense fun.

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Out in the sea there is the tiny island on Cribinau accessible only at low tide by a foot causeway on which there is the c11th church of St. Cwyfan known locally as ‘eglwys bach y mor’ or the ‘little church in the sea’ in English. Amazingly my pre-work run has landed me here at a time when the tide is low enough to make it out to the church and back again safely so the opportunity was taken. I set out across the rocky causeway through loose boulders, kelp and startling a flock of gulls.

The church is a beautiful place with an odd mix of the feel of the sacred and a naval gun emplacement. Sadly it was not a place to linger though as the tide was clearly shifting!

Dad loved nature and animals and exploring old buildings and on a morning like this it is easy to see why. Moving on around the bay my route takes me towards Trac Môn the Anglesey motor racing circuit for a brief nod to one of his main interests in life. The track is hidden from the coastal path by a thick hedge made of holly and gorse, there is something wonderfully mischievous about jogging along looking for a gap where it is possible to peer through, I know he would have approved of the low level scallywaggery. At this time of day the circuit is quiet and there is an oddly hallowed, almost ritualistic feel to the flow of the track through the landscape, following on from the quiet of the bay and the reverence of the church it is certainly not the jarring contrast I had expected.

It’s nice to be out and enjoy some of the things we shared and go over some old memories and on a morning like this it’s great to make some new ones too.

Take care 🙂

For Bryan Wright 10/7/45-15/10/17.

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 2111.0 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 348 Mile 348: Racing The Bus To The Moon

mooncrescDay 348 Mile 348: Racing The Bus To The Moon. On this day in 1972 Eugene Cernan of the Apollo 17 mission became the last person to walk on the moon. I found this out at about 6:30 this morning, it was still dark and the moon was out, a crescent cat-claw, milk-saucer-rim against the black of space and the buffeting clouds. It is almost due south above the starless black of the mountains having risen at around 4 am, traversing a late arc which is just to tempting not to go out and see.

In contrast to last night’s nocturnal run, this morning’s is wonderful. It is dry and the moon and stars are out and visible through the clouds for the majority of the time. Its quite amazing to run along, with the moon at your shoulder and be able to think that there was someone up there, possibly in line of site exactly 42 years ago.

Like many people I have my doubts about the moon landings, I sincerely hope that they did happen, but in a sense it almost doesn’t matter. If they did happen today marks the anniversary of the end of a phenomenal chapter in the history of engineering and exploration, and if they didn’t happen it is the culmination of one of the greatest pieces of story-telling and theatre ever created! Both are massive achievements in my opinion, I would just like it to be true though.

In the midst of all this astronomical introspection I seem to have ended up in sync with the number 5 bus to Llandudno.  I ran past it as it stopped by the park, and then it drove past a few moments later having picked up its early commuters. By the time it stopped near the recording studio I had caught up with it again only to be subsequently leap-frogged. By the time it stopped in the village next to Spar I had caught it again and only finally lost sight as I came to my 1/2 mile turn around point next to the second hand bookshop. I think that this says more about the speed of rural bus services in Wales than it does about my own pace! It was none the less great fun though.

Returning was a more sedate affair with a bit of a headwind. None the less the moon was still out and the jackdaws in the tree halfway along the road are starting to wake up with their noisy chatter among the leafs; preparing, like the rest of us to face the day.

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 2106.0 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 347 Mile 347: Head-torch Run After Work

20171213_185757-01.jpegDay 347 Mile 347: Head-torch Run After Work. Some days going out running seems idyllic, an opportunity to see amazing places often in glorious weather and other days are like this one! Having been at work all day, and far too lazy/disorganized to have gone out during lunch or first thing today’s run is crammed in, in the dark along the prom in borderline snow and sleet.

Bleugh! Don’t let the cheery photo fool you, I wish I had remembered my gloves, it was that horrid I even kept my jeans on to run!

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1636.4 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

Day 346 Mile 346: Exploring On Thin Ice

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Day 346 Mile 346: Exploring On Thin Ice. Every so often it is nice to go out exploring somewhere you have overlooked. The Sychnant Pass forms the eastern end of the village, where the mountains curtail the settlement. The road travels over the top to the next town but at the head of the pass there are a number of paths which fan out like a delta across the mountains. Over time I have been over quite a few of these routes and have a fairly good idea of the overall shapes of the hills around there but not all the fine details in between. Today I took one of the paths I have never been on before just to see where it went.

20171212_115249-01.jpegThere is still snow and ice on the ground which makes the going more tricky and significantly slower but it certainly adds to the sense of excitement and challenge. The thin flakes of frosted ice jangle underfoot falling away with a sound like flakes of acrylic as feet lift off the turf behind. The views are spectacular looking down into the village of Capelulo and across to the sea and the Isle of Anglesey. Out in the sun it is surprisingly warm, even though in many places the path is still icy but once the path dips into the shadow of the hill the cold begins to nibble at the fingers. Out in the light, the colours seem to be very vibrant and yet almost monochrome in the shade, held into even starker contrast by the laying snow and ice.

It is awkward running, and there are places where you really would not want to slip off the path so progress is not always as fast as it could be but the views the weather and the chance to see somewhere familiar from a fresh perspective more than make up for this.

I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.

Distance: 1716.4 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

View more on Strava

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thanks as ever for all the support!

Ed

With all the festive music around and the snow and I’ve it was impossible not to have this as today’s earworm!