21 Duathlons over 21 Days

21 Duathlons over 21 Days

Wow, where on earth has 3 weeks gone? When we entered into the last block of lockdown I wanted to do something to encourage Mark to stay active and earn him some bling. I came up with the idea of doing 21 days of Duathlon.  I thought I would run 19kms and he could cycle for 19 mins. It would give us both a goal and keep us motivated.  The first week seems such a long time ago now.  I was also taking part in a challenge with my running club to see how far we could go in 19 mins for 7 days as part of a team.

I was aiming to do most of my miles in the morning then Mark could bike and I would finish off in the afternoon.  As I’ve been closed since lockdown began my days aren’t exactly busy now so this made it easy to fit 2 runs in. On Friday the 24th we had our first guest runner.  I wanted to include some runners who had previously supported Mark and inspired others with their running. Susan runs Virtual Runner UK and is a wonderful friend and runner.  She did her leg with her cute running buddy Bailey


Then we had Kirstie who’s own running journey has inspired many to take up and not give up running.  She loves a challenge and although is know to grumble about ‘said’ challenges she smashes each one with determination and the usual support from her hubby Daz.  She also completed her leg for us with her running buddy Riley

Next were Sarah and Leon.  I met Leon at a Hobo Ultra run one year and since then our paths have crossed at the most random of places.  His wife Sarah joined us as one of our teammates at an event call the Lightning Run.  It was the 12 hour equivalent of Thunder Run.  They are both super keen runners and lead the Rebel Runners over in Beeston.  Their enthusiasm is boundless and Leon also makes dam good bread and cakes.

Rob Wilkes took a leg on day 14 up in Scotland.  Rob runs Highland Trekker and takes out walkers/runners on guided days out.  He’s relatively new to running but has absolutely got the bug and some of the places he gets to run around in Scotland are sensational. He is also married to my bestest friend in the world.


Claire finished off day 15 with a 5k.  I asked her to do a leg as she always writes a beautifully, wise post after her runs and I think her words often strike a cord.  This is what she wrote after her run

“I’d seen Kerstine’s photo earlier which incorporated steps and thought I’d also include steps in to my run. It made me think about breaking everything down in to steps. As I was running through the woods I didn’t consider tackling the whole run at once. I was simply thinking about my balance, my technique, my speed, the route I needed to take at that moment. Once I’d dealt with a moment, I moved on to the next. I was only ever thinking about the moment. I didn’t need to think of anything else really. I was moving, I was on my journey and I was ticking along nicely. That’s all I needed to be, ticking over.

Just trust your instinct and do what is right for you. They say that practice makes perfect, though I take a different view. Practice makes progress, just think about your own progress. Don’t compare yourself to others. I love running through nature and it always intrigues me that the wildlife I see never really pay much attention to what other wildlife are doing. All of the plants, trees, wild rabbit, birds, squirrels I see regularly in the woods just focus on their bit. They just concentrate on where they fit it in to the ecosystem, they don’t compare their contribution or position to that of other species, they all simply do what they set out to do.

Such is life, just do your bit. Do what you set out to do. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t judge what others do. Be the calming influence in a world of turmoil. Just enjoy making your contribution to the world around you, whatever that may be and however you may do it. There’s room for us all to bloom, like the woods are right now. Just take that next small step, always.

My personal best for today was enjoying being a smaller part of something bigger.”

Next up was Andy.  He was due to set off on an epic run to France to raise money for Diabetes UK after his young daughter was recently diagnosed.  Sometimes when you have something so epic to tackle it can leave you feeling lost if things are cancelled.  I thought it would be nice for Andy to be involved and it was great to hear his story.  Hopefully he can still tackle his challenge next year.  He wrote me a little piece about his planned adventure and why he was doing it.

“My name is Andy Granville and I am a primary school teacher in Nuthall. I participate in various challenges to raise money for charity and use my challenges to inspire the children and set an example of what can be achieved with the right mindset.

My daughter Esmé was just 4 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April last year. Esmé has to endure daily blood glucose tests, which are done through a finger prick blood test. She also has pump cannula changes every 48 hours, and another injection to change her blood glucose sensor weekly. It really is a gruelling regime, but Esmé has taken it all in her stride. Because of the strength and resilience Esmé has shown, I decided I wanted to raise money for Diabetes UK and the research they do in trying to find a cure for this awful disease.

People with type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and about 8% of people with diabetes have type 1. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it’s not to do with being overweight and it isn’t currently preventable. It’s the most common type of diabetes in children and young adults, starting suddenly and getting worse quickly.

The challenge I was due to do over the Easter holidays was to run from Bramcote, Nottingham to France. I was to run to Dover, board the ferry, then run to Dunkirk beach in Northern France. In total it is 272 miles, completing an ultra marathon a day for 7 days in a row. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 it had to be postponed. I am now looking at 2021 for this challenge as I have money donated, planning in place and I don’t like to turn my back on a challenge.

I am really happy to be a part of Mark and Kerstine’s virtual duathlon challenge as it is an amazing feat and I have full admiration to Mark and the things he has done”.

We had a burst of guest runners then and day 17 Kath took up the challenge.  I’ve also met Kath through running and was shocked to find out she has a chronic lung condition.  Kath is super fit and active though and continues to inspire others to keep healthy and active.

All through this Mark was ticking off his days and when I finally managed to sort my GoPro out I gave it to him so he could say a few words.

My fabulous fella did a guest run for me.  He has fallen out of love with running at the moment so I didn’t want to pressure him to do anything but he laced up his trainers and headed out.  He’s the one who puts up with my crazy ideas and is always there to support me and wipe away the tears (thankfully there’s not many).  He’s been working really hard setting up the Kimberley Covid 19 support group that is now doing great things helping residents who are struggling in these difficult times.

Day 19 and my running buddie and ladies captain for KADS stepped up.  We partnered up for Equinox last year and had an awesome 24 hours.  We were due to do this years event but its not looking likely.  Rachelle is a key member of our running club and her enthusiasm is catching.

Day 21 and the final guest runner was my best friend of nearly 40 years, Ginty.  We’ve been running together over the last few weeks via the power of Bluetooth headphones so she’s been with me along the way.  Ginty has MS but has never let that define her.  Her and Rob never sit still and their enthusiasm for life keeps inspiring me.

So we made it through the 21 day challenge.  I presented Mark with his medals kindly donated by Virtual Runner.  He has had a few aches and pains along the way but never gave up and I think he’s super proud of himself.  We raised £400 for the NHS so I would say that’s not a bad effort.  Thank you so much to everyone who supported, donated and offered Mark words of encouragement.  He’s already got his next challenge lined up and another medal in his sights.  Stay safe folks xx

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