Day 365 Mile 365: Fun At The End “I’m not good at many things in life but I am a fair hand at drinking tea” (It’s Not Tea)

20171231_110656-01.jpegDay 365 Mile 365: Fun At The End “I’m not good at many things in life but I am a fair hand at drinking tea” (It’s Not Tea). Well! today is the last day of the year and brings this challenge to an end. I can now say that I have run at least a mile everyday this year, for me, and to raise money for the Cleft Lip and Palate Association. Between everyone over  £1.5k has been raised, so far beyond the £100 I was hoping to get that I cant articulate my feeling properly. I woke up this morning to a wonderful tweeted thanks from CLAPA which was a terrific suprise and is watchable here. CLAPA link

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This year’s running finished as it started, a mile along Penmaenmawr Prom but this time it was a little different 🙂
I went for a run along the prom,  or rather we went for a run along the prom.

‘Start line’ photo courtesy of Sue Meredith and Jayelle Neal.

I was joined by family and friends for a cheerful run; from the slipway out to the gate that marks the start of the cycle path at the end of the skatepark and back. It wasn’t fast but it was glorious, and there was bubbly in plastic glasses secreted by the sailing club to finish.

In the the middle of all of this wonderfulness it has given me cause to look back over the year. I have met some astounding people and learned a lot about myself and the world around me. What amazes me most is the level of support which has been forthcoming from family, friends and strangers alike. This includes all the emotional shouldering, the cake, the financial sponsorship, the press coverage, the tea making, the motorbike and car servicing, the counselling over a pint in The Full Moon, and the race home for chocolate. Oh yes, by the way the quote in the title is from Guy Martin, but that isn’t important at this juncture. What is important is….

THANK YOU ALL!

It’s hard to wrap my head around all the stuff; good and bad. There has been sublime, outstanding, heart-rending beauty, and the downright gut wrenching fucked up shit which has happened this year. I apologise for the language but it is appropriate, (that, and I’ve been reading a lot of Alan Moore and Chaucer!). It is hard not to conflate this year’s life with its running. So, a few thoughts spring to mind in bullet points to save writing a book:

  • Firstly I feel better physically and mentally than I could possibly have hoped to have been had I not done this.
  • While running clears the head I’m not altogether sure if has done my mind good it can make everything a bit faster and more urgent.
  • It is hard to figure out where the line is between doing something to do good for yourself and others and where that turns into being a bit needy.
  • Simply sticking at something can make you better at it, due to consistency, you end up more physically and psychologically adapted and more aware of how to do something.
  • There are corners and history to be found in places you so often ignore.
  • It is fascinating physically engaging with the history, geology, culture and legends of a landscape. I’ve gained a completely different understanding, where events and people’s move on trajectories in an evolving theatre of glacial slowness and inexorability. At times it is as if everything and nothing is happening concurrently with different layers of narrative and motion flowing through the space.
  • People make a lot of assumptions based on appearance and smile and wave if you are not wearing sunglasses.
  • I will never be a super-fast runner but then again neither are 99.9% of the population of the world!
  • The internet is a weird thing. As far as doing something you care about it is really odd, at times the web can provide massive publicity and feedback, at others it can be a heart breaker as something you care about doesn’t even scratch the surface but tweeting about seeing sweetcorn in your poo seems to get a billion likes.
  • Do stuff because you want to do it, but sometimes you need to build infrastructure around it to legitimize the effort and the diversion of resources into it.
    Running is hard, but writing is harderer.
  • Swapping trousers for running shorts while sat in the car behind the wheel will always leave me slightly suspecting I’m about to be arrested for public indecency at any moment.

Here are a few numbers from the year for those who like that sort of thing:

  • 365 days later
  • Roughly 505 miles down the road and 55500 ft. of elevation climbed. Alternatively that could be approximately 4750 calories burned, 700000 paces or 350000 breaths!
  • In that time I have engaged with…. two canine companions, three twisted ankles, numerous pairs of socks, four races, 33 Parkruns… and a partridge in a pear tree.

There are a few people who I should mention especially for the help and inspiration that they have been, folk who I have run alongside (or behind) during this year, apologies for anyone I may have left out.

Alena Grace ‘Rabbit’ Wright
Blippy Emma
Humphrey the bungee dog
Pete ‘Duck’ Jones
Chris Williams and little Tom
Linda Knight
Laura the Purple Plodder
Han Prosser
Dan T
Fran Psychology
Phil the Vet
Diane SENRGy and her woofage
Charles with the surnames
Mum

Thanks to celebrities (actual celebrities! in chronological order) who have helped promote this ridiculous adventure too, its a bit of a list of people!

Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne (motorcycle road racer, the only person in history to win the British Superbike Championship 5 times)
Dafydd Elis-Thomas (Welsh Assembly Member and politician, officially ‘Baron Elis-Thomas of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council’)
Niel Gaiman (author and researcher)
Alan Hinkes (mountaineer, 1st Briton to have climbed all 14 8,000 metre peaks)
Cerys Matthews  (musician and broadcaster)
Kate Rusby (English folk singer)

I ran 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: 1655.5 meters recorded

(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)

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All that remains to say is: thank you, it was fun 🙂

Today’s earworm, not quite the version most people are used to, but somehow feels right 🙂

In memoriam Bryan Wright and Tegwyn Jones

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