Midas Marathon - Running for Help for Heroes

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Only Fools & Heroes - He who dares Rodney…

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Bonnet de douche,

It’s only a week till I reprise Del Boy’s Batman for a 300 mile trot to Lands End. As ever my preparation’s been meticulous. It’s important to ‘begin with the end in mind’, so practising drinking Cornish beer and eating pasties has played a major part in my recent training. Clearly I don’t wish to get lost so I’ve invested in the finest navigational guide money can buy. OK so it’s a laminated map - but it’s got pictures of pirates and smugglers, and I can see exactly where the treasure is! But most importantly I’ve been in the workshop developing my own Robin Reliant for the journey.

Vorsprung durch not very technique…

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I’m quite proud of my handiwork. I’d like to say she goes like a dream, but I haven’t actually got as far as a road test yet! With sound system, lights and sports suspension there are going to be some envious teenage boys out there. I’m still waiting for an invite to do a lap of the Top Gear test track. But failing that I’ve got my name down for the Mumsnet 100 metre challenge!

Robin was never quite the same after a chance encounter with Rolf Harris…

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I’m told a trip to Cornwall is like visiting a foreign country - a bit like going to Scotland (whatever the result of the referendum). Or indeed Luton. Anyway I thought it important to learn the lingo. Whilst I’m already fluent in 7 languages (assuming that knowing how to order a couple of beers counts as fluency) Cornish wasn’t one of them. My Cornish phrase book has got me up to speed (although ‘speed’ is probably the least appropriate word for that part of the country)! It’s a strange dialect, presumably comes from spending too much time talking to cows. Allycumpooster! As they say in Penzance.

The Cornish and ISIS seem to share a similar flag!? That’s where the similarities end. One’s a group of fanaticals with extreme views, demanding the creation of their own State. The other group is ISIS…

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I have also managed to squeeze in a bit of ‘proper’ training. I completed The Cheddar Gorge marathon last weekend – more assault course than running event. Certainly the toughest marathon I’ve ever undertaken. It took the best part of 5 hours to stagger and slide around the (admittedly stunning) Somerset countryside, which still gave me a top 25 finish. My race highlight was a swallow dive - after one of many stumbles - face down into a ‘bog’. When I say ‘bog’ I mean that in a quite literal sense - it was the slurry infused corner of a field. Still I was very grateful for a soft landing, even if it didn’t taste so great. Though no worse than the motorway services on the way home, and a good deal cheaper.

Disappointingly they didn’t stock Wotsits or Cheese Straws…

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So, just another 2 weeks till I depart from The Nags Head in Peckham. It really would be great to see some friendly faces along the way – my route summary is below (which may or may not make sense to you)!

Of course I’d equally welcome any donations to support my fundraising for Help for Heroes. Many of our wounded servicemen and women need life long assistance so your support can make a real difference. To help out please just click the bear below.

And please forward this e-mail to anyone else who may be happy to support – mange tout!

-To donate click here-

Bonjour,

Del

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Itinerary

Day 1 – Sunday 7th September

Peckham to Fleet (41 miles)

Peckham – Clapham – Wandsworth – Kingston – Weybridge – Addlestone – Chobham – Camberley Heath – Frimley – Cove – Fleet

Day 2 – Monday 8th September

Fleet to Salisbury (48 miles)

Fleet – Hartley Wintney – Hook – Basingstoke – Oakley – Overton – Laverstock – Whitchurch – Hurstbourne Priors – Andover Down – Andover – Middle Wallop – Salisbury

Day 3 – Tuesday 9th September

Salisbury to Yeovil (45 miles)

Salisbury – Wilton – Barford St Martin – Compton Chamberlayne – Fovant – Donhead St Andrew – Shaftesbury – East Stour – Henstridge – Milbourne Port – Oborne – Sherbourne – Yeovil

Day 4 - Wednesday 10th September

Yeovil to Exeter (45 miles)

Yeovil – East Chinnock – Crewkerne – Roundham – Cricket St Thomas – Lydmarsh – Chard – Stockland – Honiton – Fenny Bridges – Fairmile – Rockbeare – Broadclyst – Clyst Honiton – Exeter

Day 5 – Thursday 11th September

Exeter to Launceston (41 miles)

Exeter – Whitestone – Tedburn St Mary – Cheriton Bishop – Crockernwell – Whiddon Down – South Zeal – Okehampton – Lewdown – Portgate – Tinhay – Lifton – Lifton Down – Launceston

Day 6 – Friday 12th September

Launceston to Truro (48 miles)

Launceston – Daw’s House – South Petherwin – Bodmin – Whitemoor – Nanpean – St Stephen – Tresillian – Truro

Day 7 - Saturday 13th September

Truro to Lands End (34 miles)

Truro – Comford – Lanner – Praze – Leedstown – Townshend – Relubbus – St Hilary – Goldsithney – Marazion – Penzance – Buryas Bridge – Drift – Sennen – Lands End

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Batman taking Robin for a test run ahead of Only Fools and Heroes pt 2 - Peckham to Lands End

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Voila! #OnlyFoolsandHeroes Batman’s test run

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Only Fools & Heroes - Lies, Damned lies, and laminated maps

Au revoir mon amis,

What a sorrowful summer it’s been for British sport. The lions failed to roar in Brazil, Murray melted in the Wimbledon sunshine, and our rugby and cricket teams crumbled. Cavendish & Froome forgot their stabilisers. On a brighter note though it’s now only 1420 days until the next World Cup. I can barely contain my excitement.

More imminently it’s less than 2 months until my caped crusading running persona returns and I depart from The Nags Head in Peckham with 300 miles to cover as I run to Lands End. Running nearly a double marathon every day for a week across some pretty hilly terrain is going to be a real challenge - it’s quite possibly the furthest anyone’s ever run in a Batman costume. I’ll have to let Norris McWhirter know.

So my latest training run saw me take on the Saffron Trail Ultra – racing across 70 miles of Essex’s finest countryside on an overnight jaunt. I decided to leave Batman at home for this one. I at least wanted to make it out of Southend in one piece. 6 p.m. on a Saturday night seems a somewhat peculiar time to be starting an ultra-marathon. It’s about the time I’m normally tucking into something stronger than an energy drink, splashing aftershave rather than deep heat, and wearing something a touch more flattering than lycra. But at least the route took me past some of Essex’s finest nightspots - I just needed to hope that they wouldn’t enforce a no-trainers policy.

Southend – home to the World’s longest pier and Countdown’s Rachel Riley (no one wants to look at a picture of a pier)…

 

70 miles was the furthest I’d run for a couple of years so I was relishing putting my body to the test. I was confident that my stamina would see me through to the finish. And more hopeful than optimistic that my navigation ‘skills’ would get me to the end. Otherwise it was going to be a very long night. There were fewer than 30 competitors in total so there wasn’t even much chance that I could follow anyone else. Especially in the dark.

I set myself a target of a 07:00 finish and breakfast in Saffron Walden.

70 miles of night-time running armed with just a few laminated maps - what could possibly go wrong…?

From the off it was pretty slow going. There are more hills in Essex than you’d realise (& starting at sea level there had to be more ups than downs). I was carrying a heavy backpack of extra clothes and kit, food and water which all added to the challenge. And then there was the weather. A somewhat sultry 26 degrees at the start soon gave way to torrential rain with a spectacular lightening storm. Impressive to watch, less pleasant to run through. It was energy sapping stuff and I was starting to wilt. Not for the first time in my life I was on wobbly legs at midnight on a Saturday.

With a tired body and mind my navigational lapses were getting progressively worse. The laminated maps seemed somewhat inadequate for the task. I learned many years ago that you should never trust anything that’s laminated. Or indeed most other things that were popular in the 70s. Reading the map was like attempting to piece together an intricate jigsaw puzzle whilst blindfolded. I was making mistakes, compounded by bigger mistakes. Navigating across farmers’ fields in the dark was becoming hopeless. For the first half the race I’d hung onto the coat tails of the peloton, a couple of which had the route plugged into their GPS devices. Once they’d dropped me and I was left to fend for myself I knew I was in trouble.

But then what’s an extra mile or two when you’re running 70!?

I have been known to wander around aimlessly at 3 in the morning after a heavy night, but this wasn’t funny. I had covered 40 miles in a painfully slow 8.5 hours. And a few of those were off course so I knew I still had well over 30 left to go. I was in 6th position & injury free but my will power was broken. And I was lost. For the first and last time I decided enough was enough and I just quit the race. I could rationalise this in lots of ways, and try to justify my decision in a plausible manner. But ultimately - on that one night - I was just mentally weak and gave in.

I’m still annoyed and frustrated with myself a week later. I’ve learned some lessons though and will never let myself be so easily beaten again. Let’s hope the England football team have similarly learned.

The haunting look of failure – what a plonker…!

 

So only 7 weeks till I run 300 miles dressed as Batman. And Batman never let anyone down. Although technically I’m running as Del Boy dressed as Batman… & Del Boy was somewhat less reliable!

If anyone would like to join for a few miles (on foot, bike, or by car) it would be great to have some company. The route and itinerary is below.

Equally I would appreciate any donations to support the fantastic work that Help for Heroes does for our wounded servicemen and women - please just click the bear - cushty!

And please spread the word to anyone else who may be interested - many thanks!

 

 

-To donate click here- 

Bonjour,

Del
 

♪ To the tune of Only Fools & Horses theme ♪

Stick a 9Bar in me pocket
I’ll fetch my Asics from the van
Cause if you want the best runs
And you don’t mind tensions
Then brother I’m your man

Where it all comes from
Is a mystery
I’m running for the Heroes

Don’t you see

But here’s the one that’s driving me berserk

Why do I look a fool and such a jerk

La la lala - la la la la la (repeat to fade)

Richard Kell
Midas Marathon

Only Fools & Heroes – Paris – Peckham - New York

April 6th – Paris Marathon – COMPLETED

Sept 7th – 13th – Peckham to Lands End (280 miles)

Nov 2nd - New York Marathon

Dressed as Batman!

Donate: http://www.justgiving.com/MidasMarathon

OR TEXT KELL99 (£10, £5, £3, £2 OR £1) to 70070 – Your text is free!

 

Phone: 07901 000729 or 01462 670202

E-mail: Richard@Midasmarathon.com

Web: www.Midasmarathon.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/midasmarathon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/onlyfoolsandheroes

 Twitter: www.twitter.com/midasmarathon

Itinerary

Day 1 – Sunday 7th September

Peckham to Fleet (41 miles)

Peckham – Clapham – Wandsworth – Kingston – Weybridge – Addlestone – Chobham – Camberley Heath – Frimley – Cove – Fleet

Day 2 – Monday 8th September

Fleet to Salisbury (48 miles)

Fleet – Hartley Wintney – Hook – Basingstoke – Oakley – Overton – Laverstock – Whitchurch – Hurstbourne Priors – Andover Down – Andover – Middle Wallop – Salisbury

Day 3 – Tuesday 9th September

Salisbury to Yeovil (45 miles)

Salisbury – Wilton – Barford St Martin – Compton Chamberlayne – Fovant – Donhead St Andrew – Shaftesbury – East Stour – Henstridge – Milbourne Port – Oborne – Sherbourne – Yeovil

Day 4 - Wednesday 10th September

Yeovil to Exeter (45 miles)

Yeovil – East Chinnock – Crewkerne – Roundham – Cricket St Thomas – Lydmarsh – Chard – Stockland – Honiton – Fenny Bridges – Fairmile – Rockbeare – Broadclyst – Clyst Honiton – Exeter

Day 5 – Thursday 11th September

Exeter to Launceston (41 miles)

Exeter – Whitestone – Tedburn St Mary – Cheriton Bishop – Crockernwell – Whiddon Down – South Zeal – Okehampton – Lewdown – Portgate – Tinhay – Lifton – Lifton Down – Launceston

Day 6 – Friday 12th September

Launceston to Truro (48 miles)

Launceston – Daw’s House – South Petherwin – Bodmin – Whitemoor – Nanpean – St Stephen – Tresillian – Truro

Day 7 - Saturday 13th September

Truro to Lands End (34 miles)

Truro – Comford – Lanner – Praze – Leedstown – Townshend – Relubbus – St Hilary – Goldsithney – Marazion – Penzance – Buryas Bridge – Drift – Sennen – Lands End

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Only Fools & Heroes - Paris édition

Bonsoir moi petit pois,

I’m not long back from beautiful Paris so I thought I’d drop you a quick line to tell you all about it…

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It is situated on the Seine River, in the north of the country, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. Within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements), the city had 2,234,105 inhabitants in 2009 while its metropolitan area is one of the largest population centres in Europewith more than 12 million inhabitants!

So then to the Paris marathon. One of the world’s largest with some 40,000 runners taking to the streets (5,000 more than London).  No one bothered to mention that in France fancy dress is somewhat less de rigeur than elsewhere. So out of the entire field there were perhaps just half a dozen of us dressed for the occasion. There’s me in my Batman costume without so much as a Robin by my side looking a right dipstick! I felt like a clown at a funeral. But we trotters are made of tough stuff so I wasn’t going to let that put me off my stride… I could leave that to the searing heat and my foam-lined costume!

The race started under clear blue skies and a hot sun and within no time at all I was sweating like a Scouser at the job centre. Thankfully the water stations were plentiful and each time it was a case of a bottle to drink & a bottle to pour over my head – providing welcome relief for all of about 2 minutes. I’d become a one man portable sauna, leaving a vapour trail in my wake!

The queue for the toilets went on a bit…

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To be fair, the French crowd were truly amazing! An army of runners had invaded and occupied their stunning city and yet they made us all feel so welcome. It’s good to see some traditions still going strong!

The benefit of standing out from the crowd was that I got the most fantastic support all the way around. “Allez Batman” was ringing in my ears and the cheers and shouts really kept me going. The cidre ‘water-station’ at mile 23 was a nice touch too (though contributed to a slightly longer race time)! As I came around the penultimate bend I pulled my mask back over my face and accelerated to a sprint. The crowd went wild! It was an incredible reception – like I’d just scored a winning goal at Wembley (or Stade de France) - a truly unforgettable moment.

Sprinting to the finish - Bonnet de douche

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He who dares wins, or in my case comes 8,203rd (3:40) but I did manage to overtake a couple of thousand people in the second half of the race as I adjusted to my impediments! I was also the first Superhero to finish!

Seize souixante quatre – Lovely jubbly…

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I’ve since run a trio of marathons during Easter weekend and have a 52 mile run across the Malvern Hills next week (incorporating 8,000 feet of climb) as I step up training ahead of my 300 mile jaunt in September. Indeed just recceing the route from Peckham to Land’s End was exhausting enough and that was from the relative comfort of my batmobile! So I need to take my training seriously.

The Afghanistan conflict may be drawing to a close, but as we have once again been reminded this weekend our troops remain very much in harm’s way. Those who have returned with life-changing injuries face a life-time of battles ahead. Help for Heroes exists to provide that lifelong support.

♪ To the tune of Only Fools & Horses theme ♪

Stick a 9Bar in me pocket
I’ll fetch my Asics from the van
Cause if you want the best runs
And you don’t mind tensions
Then brother I’m your man

Where it all comes from
Is a mystery
I’m running for the Heroes

Don’t you see

But here’s the one that’s driving me berserk

Why do I look a fool and such a jerk

La la lala - la la la la la (repeat to fade)

If you would like to donate then please just click the bear - You know it makes sense!

And please share the word with your friends & contacts too – thanks!

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26.2 miles dressed as Batman, running for Help for Heroes - If you want to support….www.justgiving.com/midasmarathon Thanks!

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Only Fools & Heroes

Au revoir mons amis,

I thought it about time I penned another blog as my sabbatical seems to have coincided with the end of civilisation as we know it. Since I last wrote Man United have been transformed from champions into chumps, the England cricket team have been humiliated in Australia, and sadly Piers Morgan suffered only very minor injuries during his batting duel with Brett Lee. These are indeed dark days. It’s all given me the right hump!

Though seemingly we are quite good at curling. And in a major shock Brit Dr. Patrick Barrie defeated the American legend Larry Kahn in the final of the World Tiddlywinks championships!!

Anyway it’s about time I got off my jacksie and did some more running. So after 5 years covering almost every inch of this country I decided it was time to globalise things and go international…the world after all is my lobster!

I was keen to maintain a TV theme after the Gavin & Stacey and Soapathon runs so needed a new mini drama for 2014. Something relevant, contemporary, and fun. I wanted to find an inspirational character who was entrepreneurial, internationally minded and a pillar of society. Exacting standards indeed, but I think I found him - Del Boy!

Ménage a trois - Trotting through New York, Paris & Peckham…

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So this year I will run in two of the World’s greatest cities. And Paris. The nearest Del Boy actually got to New York or Paris was a Manhattan in The Nags Head and his mastery of the French language - bonnet de douche!

Marathons in Paris and New York may not sound too arduous, but au contraire! Because you see I’m going to be running wearing 20lbs of Batman kit! I really am going to look a right plonker. A hot and sweaty plonker at that. Let’s just hope I don’t get pushed from the finish line in a wheelchair. That was embarrassing enough for Mo Farrah, but stone me, I’d look a right wally!

I’m still searching for a sidekick who can be my Rodney / Robin. Ideally I want someone with at least a couple of GCSEs and a trusting character, who is not too much of a dipstick. That bar is set way too high for most of my friends, but if you know anyone…

Caped market traders…

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Of course Peckham doesn’t have its own marathon. And anyway a superhero should be capable of much more than a mere 26.2 miles. So in September ‘Batman’ / moi will leave The Nags Head in Peckham, destination Lands End running the best part of 300 miles in a week. At least for once I’ve not had to plot a route to avoid any motorways as you wouldn’t Adam and Eve it but it seems the department for transport has only gone and forgotten to build any in the South West of England! Pot pourri!

Mon dieu! Less caped crusader, more fathers for justice…

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So the first leg starts in a couple of weeks (April 6th) in springtime Paris. I’m not sure our cheese chomping near neighbours ‘get’ Batman. To be honest if Bruce Wayne had been French, Monsieur Hollande would have taxed him out of Paris by now! And the French police would probably have gone on strike as a non-unionised Batperson was stealing their work. Undoubtedly they’d have been supported by the air traffic controllers, dockers and farmers because that’s just what they do in France. It’s compulsory. They teach it in the schools (when the teachers themselves aren’t on strike of course)!

I’m hoping this proves a nice little earner for our heroes. The war in Afghanistan may be nearly over, but for those who have suffered life-changing injuries, their battles are just beginning. We must not let them fight these battles alone. Many may need our support for half a century or more. Help for Heroes exists to provide that lifelong assistance.

Please support my modest endeavours to offer a helping hand to those who have sacrificed so much on behalf of us all. Lovely jubbly!

♪ To the tune of Only Fools & Horses theme ♪

Stick a 9Bar in me pocket
I’ll fetch my Asics from the van
Cause if you want the best runs
And you don’t mind tensions
Then brother I’m your man

Where it all comes from
Is a mystery
I’m running for the Heroes

Don’t you see

But here’s the one that’s driving me berserk

Why do I look a fool and such a jerk

La la lala - la la la la la (repeat to fade)

If you would like to donate then please just click the bears - You know it makes sense!

And please don’t keep schtum about it, if you could forward this to your friends & contacts, then that would be just cushty too – thanks!

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-To donate click here-

Bonjour,

Del

Richard Kell
Midas Marathon

Only Fools & Heroes – Paris – Peckham - New York

April 6th – Paris Marathon

Sept 14th – 20th – Peckham to Lands End (280 miles)

Nov 2nd - New York Marathon

Dressed as Batman!

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Phone: 07901 000729 or 01462 670202

E-mail: Richard@Midasmarathon.com

Web: www.Midasmarathon.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/midasmarathon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/onlyfoolsandheroes

Twitter: www.twitter.com/midasmarathon

Donate: http://www.justgiving.com/MidasMarathon

OR TEXT KELL99 (£10, £5, £3, £2 OR £1) to 70070 – Your text is free!