Friday, 25 January 2013


I’ll be honest with you. When Mrs B and myself thought up Poppyfields January Challenge and unleashed it on the world all I really hoped for was a few people to get involved, add a bit more to my attempt to raise £10,000 for Birmingham Children's Hospital and make people aware of the cause. I certainly didn’t think it would capture people’s imagination the way it has, raise £1000 in just a few weeks and create a community of support and encouragement for all of us hoping to get a bit fitter. From hardened triathletes to lunchtime walkers, from John O’Groats – Lands End cyclists to home exercise bike newbies, from multi class body pump zumba spinning gym nuts to living room Davina’s you’ve all blown my mind. Sharing exercises, support, a few birthdays, buns in the oven, injuries, advice, personal bests, personal worsts and the list goes on.

So, as we near the end of January we have all come through the odd blip here and there. For me personally the challenge and, more importantly, you lot doing the challenge have kicked my arse out the door for a run when I didn’t want to go on a few occasions and got me through the blips. It seems, reading the comments, that many of you have been motivated, helped and encouraged too.

Within a couple of days of starting this Leekey messaged me to say we should extend this to the end of the year. A few comments from you also hinted that this would be a good thing to carry on after January. We suggested it after about 10 days and there seemed to be an awful lot of support so that’s what we are going to do. As from February 1st you are all cordially invited to continue to kick ass. Not just January but we are going to blitz the whole of 2013!
Rules stay the same. Exercise everyday and pay a £1 fine when you don’t. It’s that simple. There will be a one off £5 registration fee to take on 2013 payable at the start of February with a text of RUNS99 £5 to 70070. After that its fines only (RUNS99 £1 to 70070), if you have to. Online it can be done at  The challenge is open to ANYONE to join at ANYTIME. It will be self policed so if YOU feel you’ve fallen short on a day then you pay the fine. If YOU feel a walk on a rest day is OK then no fine. YOU know your level, your goals, your exercise so we’ll leave it up to you. Rest days are important so build them into your weeks.

It is open to anyone and the more the merrier. The more awareness raised for the cause, the more kids we can help battle brain tumours and more of us getting off our backsides and doing something to help ourselves. As a continual challenge within the challenge I want us to add 50 people a month to the challenge. We’re currently 153 (incl 2 dogs) so if we all re-register and find another 50 we could be 200 strong heading into March!

The Group Outlaw Ironmorph for Poppyfields 2013 on Facebook is open to all and at the end of Jan the Twitter hashtag will change to #Poppyfields2013Challenge. Please help spread the word.

I appreciate many people have lots on their plate in 2013. People will be committed to other challenges at other times and this may not fit in or you may not want to continue. Obviously that’s entirely understandable so I will take this opportunity to thank you for taking on the Poppyfields January Challenge and being such a huge help! Thank you!
Who’s with me?

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Morphswim Morphride Morphrun!

I was gonna blog New Years Eve and give a big thanks to all the people who helped me in 2012. There was simply too many of you though so I didnt. Its fair to say that if you have read this, or I follow you on Twitter, we've done the same event, we're mates on Facebook or we are actual in the person mates then you have been a great source of help with my challenges and fundraising! So thank you very much!
2012 ended with the birth of the Poppyfields January Challenge (see previous post and its not too late to join in!). Purely by word of mouth and social networks a project that I thought might catch the attention of 20 or 30 people is, as I type, nearly 150 strong with over £800 raised in 3 weeks! What has amazed me more is the impact the challenge has had. A community of support has built up, it's brought families together as they exercise together to maintain the challenge, people who dont normally exercise are reporting the benefit of getting up and moving after just one week and we've gone international with challengers from Australia, USA, Belgium, Denmark and Dubai! To say that I'm overwhelmed is an understatement. I tip my hat to you all!
2013 has one goal for me. Outlaw! Not a wussy last man home Outlaw. Not this time. This time I am going for it. You already know I am going to attempt the whole challenge in a Morphsuit. I dont think its been done before (probably for very good reason) so it would be nice to be the first. I dont want to just finish either. Given the Morphsuit limitations and my own lack of speed I am going for sub 15 hours in a Morphsuit. My training plan has been cooked up, tweaked, re tweaked and super tweaked and if I can hit my training target of 20 hours per day I should be fine! In reality if I can stay injury free (no lurgy, no chair lifts and no ankle twists this year) sub 15 should be the minimum improvement I expect. I honestly cannot wait to immerse myself in that event and community again. I have no other triathlons planned so Outlaw will be my second triathlon.
Training has started. November and December kicked along nicely with no injuries so I just kept my eye in with the running and cycling. I've stuck to my plan so far in 2013 with swimming being reintroduced this week having not swum since Outlaw. My main focus will be learning to Morphswim, any improvement on last years 1:35 will be a bonus, and Morphcycling or blindcycling as I like to call it! My cycle let me down badly last year. Or I should say that I let myself down badly with poor preparation for the cycle leg last year. That wont happen again.
After Outlaw I have one eye on the Ripon Ultra and JWUltra and I am hoping that either (or both) could be a springboard to WHW 2014!?
Thanks again and if you havent already get on the Poppyfields January Challenge!
As with 2012 it could all get a bit bumpy but it would be great to have you all on board for the ride!