A Beautiful, Incredible Donation just came through and I had to share this

I had to share this as right now I have the biggest smile and warmest humbleness (is that a word…. spellcheck hasn’t underlined it so I’m having it).

This morning on my Facebook, the The Chris Evans Breakfast Show popped up with:

Morning you lot.

Time to submit your applications for the #GOODMORNINGCHRISCLUB.

Why do you deserve entry this morning?

So I thought I’d go for it and post about the C2C2C challenge:

Good morning Chris and the Gang…… Please can I be in the club as this weekend I start a gruelling 8 day intense endurance event cycling up and down the mountains of Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors. Then I’m going to run back through them. All for a fantastic charity!


Then the reply to this wasn’t from Chris or the team… in fact that now seems irrelevant, after the reply I DID receive:

ChrisEvansFBPageCommentsIt was me who briefly spoke to a lovely gentleman in a reading room at the grand and beautiful Parkhouse B&B. Parkhouse was one of the B&Bs we stopped at to drop off supplies for when we arrived at each location (read here). I was in such a rush to get home to a family BBQ my chat to him (Stephen) was very brief. Stephen was very keen on finding out more about the challenge so I am now so glad that I’ve had the chance to link with him via the internet and this fantastic chance of luck.

Finally, what happened next was truly wonderful. I received an email from JustGiving notifying me that £120 had just been donated by an anonymous person but thankfully their donation comment allowed me to realise that it was Stephen who made the donation:



Thanks to Stephen, my donations total is now £500, half of my target which is absolutely fantastic and considering I started pushing for donations only 2 days ago.

Truly emotional about this – some incredible amazing people around : )


C2C2C B&B Visit Preparations

Aidy and I went on a little road trip. We visited three of the the B&B’s (two we’re staying in twice) and dropped off nutritional supplies (or Haribo and Twixs for Aidy) so that we will have these waiting for us rather than having to carry everything with us the whole challenge.

When Aidy arrived at 10:30am ready to go, only then did I realise I had to split the 5 x 1.5kg energy supplements bags in individual 150g bags and calculate how much I would need for each day and drop off at each B&B.

Aidy was like Sébastien Loeb (world rally driver) up and around the Yorkshire Moors. The Fat Lamb, our first stop in Kirkby Stephen looked like a restaurant/pub and B&B – it looked really grand and really nice. We dropped off our supplies with a barman and carried on in the car towards the beautiful Bridgedown House in Richmond. I was already notified by the owner of Bridgedown House that she wouldn’t be in so to drop the supplies in the back garden pink Wendy house. We then continued towards Parkhouse Country Guesthouse in Ingleby Cross. As we approached, we thought we got lost when our GPS took us up a steep, gravel path through some woods until we realised it was a private road and drive into the guesthouse. Absolutely fantastic, grand place and Beverley, the owner, offered us drinks and was really interested in our trip.

We then got home in time for a famlly BBQ at my mum and dad’s which Aidy joined and played some frisbee in the hot evening summer sun – probably not the weather we’ll be getting next week!

RoadTrip_C2C2C_PrepRoad Trip

Reeth Wilderness

Coast 2 Coast 2 Coast route planning – complete

So Aidy and I got together tonight at his to do the route planning for the Coast 2 Coast 2 Coast challenge. I took the Beast PC and we hooked it up to his TV and brought out a few beers and pizza etc as energy doing this demanding activity.

So, our strategy for each of the four days was as follows:- Plot the Google Maps directions from each A to B and get a feel whereabouts our path would lead us. We obviously wasn’t going to just use the Google Maps directions as that would just be in roads going through towns etc and it would be boring (or less challenging so help us God). So we started exploring mountainous areas nearby our Google route and discussed if we should take a more challenging and scenic route.

During the planning of the first few day routes we created a Fast Route and a Pro Route so that each morning we’d be able to decide what route we should take depending on how we felt that morning, the weather that day and most importantly how we can look after ourselves for the continuing days.

However, as the beers flowed our camaraderie grew and towards the end I think we just chose the Pro Route each time. My god when we come to the latter days of our challenge we’ll be saying “For God’s sake we’re on a path here we planned whilst we were drunk.”

If you would like to view the routes, you can do so by clicking this link. This download contains the 8 day routes including the alternative routes. Each file is a KML file and can be opened in Google Earth which can be downloaded for free here (PC & Mac only) .

Just need to plot the water stops and bike shops along the route and we’re all done

C2C2C Elevation Profiles and Official Wainrights OS Route

So I obtained the following elevation profiles for the C2C2C challenge Aidy and I are doing. How hard does day 2 look (the middle section)? Scaling what looks like around 800 feet in around 3 miles?

ElevationProfile-St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay - Cycle

Elevation Profile – St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay – 3 Day Cycle

Below is the elevation profile of the 5 day run back to St Bees – the route was automatically created by Google as the quickest route back by foot. Me and Aidy will have to get together and work out the best route which will be a fine line between total distance vs scenery. The last thing we want is to run down roads…….

ElevationProfile-Robin Hoods Bay to St Bees - Walk Quickest Route

Elevation Profile – Robin Hood’s Bay to St Bees – 5 Day Run

……but we could always do the official 13 day walk Wainrights route in 5 days…. Look at those elevations on days 1 and 2 (actually crying inside).

ElevationProfile-Robin Hoods Bay to St Bees - Walk Official Route

Elevation Profile – Robin Hood’s Bay to St Bees – 5 Day Run (Official Walk Route – Brutal Option)

I also pieced together the OS map snippets I found online on an amateur website from someone who completed it as a walk. I have overlayed this over a Google map to hopefully make better sense… but appreciate it’s a bit messy.


Aidy (Ben Fogle) is a legend. C2C2C bike return and stop over sorted!


After Aidy took the mick out of me for booking off rest days etc for my events he’s just come back with some amazing news. His parents will collect us at the finish line at Robin Hoods Bay, take us to Filey where they are staying at the time, stay with them, they’ll take us back to Robin Hoods Bay the day after and they’ll take the bikes back home for us. Massive saving of about £120 there!  BRILLIANT!!!

Week 4 Insanity & Aidy is fast!

On week 4 of Insanity… I think I’m feeling fitter although I still can’t do some workouts without stopping as my huge leg muscles let me down. I’ll get there!

I’m eating so much food now and much more awake in the day but my weight remains the same which is incredible. I was exhausted on Friday for my Insanity workout so I took one of my energy gels – couldn’t feel any effects but I did complete the workout so it must have helped?

Aidy is a beast – the last time I spoke to him about running he was doing 2/3 mile runs and I thought ah OK he’ll have to keep pushing until he starts running regular 10Ks…. until I saw him post this time and pace!!! 10K in around 45 mins.. I can’t do that… well I couldn’t before I started Insanity and started getting fit but still doubt I could run an average 7.5 min/mile for 45 mins. I’ll just tie myself to him during the Coast to Coast.


Training Schedule Done!

So I’ve done a first attempt or draft at my training schedule which can be viewed from here: Google ICAL Calendar Link

OMG so much to do! I’m going to be so busy all the way up to September. A MASSIVE sacrifice meaning I’m going to miss out on most of the summer relaxing, too many beers etc etc. I can at least look forward to St Bees in July.

With the planning, the biggest thing I have tried to do is fit it around Angela and Seb, although it might not look like it. Most of the evening training is after 7pm so I will be seeing Seb before he goes to bed. There are a lot of weekend commitments that sometimes take up half a day but this was expected training for some of the killer endurance challenges.

It IS SO difficult trying to justify this to Angela as they are both no.1 and my world, They come first but with pool opening times, work and voluntary commitments I have had to put a little bit of family time to the side so I can get the right training done.

Then the question remains Why am I doing these things if they are not as important as family? That’s a tough question to ask. Firstly, my overall lifestyle has changed anyway with fitness and healthy eating which takes up so much time and I cannot have this AND the free time I used to have cuddling on the sofa on a Wednesday watching Emmerdale. The challenges are important to me because things like these were so far away from my grasp a couple of years ago and I feel that now is the right time to attack it whilst I am still young and the time before we start having sprog number 2 and 3.

Angela is so supportive and understands what this means to me. I’ll go through this training schedule again with her and I’ll move things around to ensure that we can have maximum family time whilst keeping this strict training program.

Charity Donation Pages Set Up!!! What’s next?

OK so the five charity donation pages have been setup.

I have setup a joint event donation page for both the 1,000 length swim challenge and Great North Swim which can be found here – http://www.gofundme.com/FantasticFive-Swimming

The Coast to Coast to Coast Challenge charity donation page can be found here – http://www.justgiving.com/PaulCarruthers-FantasticFive-CoastToCoastAndBackAgain

The Tough Mudder Challenge charity donation page can be found here – http://www.gofundme.com/FantasticFive-ToughMudder

The Great North Run charity donation page can be found here – http://www.justgiving.com/PaulCarruthers-FantasticFive-GreatNorthRun

The next things I need to do are:

  • Setup training plans for all five events
  • Work out cost of equipment hire, nutrition, B&Bs etc
  • Contact the local media for promotion
  • Contact big local companies for sponsorship possibilities

Still lots to do – this is becoming relentless and almost too big to manage on my own before I’ve done any actual training!!!

Swimming a Thousand Lengths??? What am I thinking?

I really should be doing some work but my mind wandered at doing this 1,000 lengths challenge. I started looking around at pools which could allow me to do 1,000 x 25m uninterrupted. Only Horwich and Farnworth Leisure Centres have 25m pools so if I’m doing it locally then I shall do it here. Maybe I could arrange a lane to myself if I contact them directly.

THEN, I started Googling around to see if anyone has attempted/conquered such a challenge and I found one guy who is also attempting it in April. God he looks the nuts and he’s in his 50s and did 500 lengths in a previous attempt and he said it killed him. I’ve Facebook messaged him to see if he can offer any advice.

I’ve also asked my good mate Tim Cromarty who’s an amazing swimmer if he can offer any good advice.

Something I need to look at is the idea of arranging media publicity which isn’t something I’m keen on as these were originally challenges just for me to see if I could do them, but they guy who did 500 last time raised over £1,000 and he did some work on his publicity which looks like what got the funds up. I might email Bolton News to see what they say closer to the time .

I might approach them as a guy who’s doing 5 events and they might publicise some of them such as the 1,000 length swim in May and the C2C2C in August.

There is so much to do and today I’ve started to get worried that I might not be able to do the actual 1,000. I could actually ask people that I’m doing a three tier sponsorship where if I do 500 lengths they pay half the sponsorship, 750 lengths and it’s 75% and 1,000 = 100%. I’ll ask my mates to see what they think is right.

Also been speaking to Aidy about the C2C2C and we’re going to try to be tight and get the 7 nights of B&Bs really cheap by saying it’s for charity and we need to save as much money as we can get.