First of all, thank you for even opening whatever link you have (maybe accidentally) pressed to end up where you are! Hopefully, by the time you read this, there will be so much information, photography, links to various blogs from friends, twitter feeds, links to Garmin and Strava training data etc. that you will be happily occupied for hours. (At least if you genuinely have nothing better to do with your life, which surely cannot be the case!)
However, as I have only just learned how to open a blog at all, these wild flights of fantasy feel a long way away. So let me simply introduce myself.
My name is Mark Morgan-Hillam, a 42-year-old primary school teacher, happily married (to the best of my knowledge) to a very understanding wife of nearly 10 years, also a full-time primary school teacher. We are proud parents of two beautiful daughters approaching their 8th and 4th birthdays.
The reason for this blog? I suppose, to chart my ‘rise’ from bit-part, part-time, do-a-bit-when-I-feel-like-it road runner to a fully fledged 100km in 24 hours ultra-trail runner.
The deadline for this miraculous transformation: Saturday 27th June, 2015.
The event: The Lakeland Trails Ultimate Trails 110km Race, start (and finish – hopefully) in Ambleside. 24 hour deadline.
I had intended to open this blog at the beginning of the year, when my training schedule began in earnest. However, as mentioned above I am a full-time teacher, so spare time for writing is not a commodity I have in abundance. Especially when you throw in the work commitments of my aforementioned wonder-wife, who also tries to run a bit, and the demands of our two delightful, but much ignored, daughters. So unfortunately the blog is already 2 months behind schedule.
Fortunately, the same is not the case for the training which, to date, has passed very satisfactorily.
All the above will be elaborated on in later posts, (once I have worked out how to publish this one, more-to-the-point.) I hope to tell you a bit about my running ‘career’ (!), training tips and strategies, (especially for anybody out there who has ever uttered the phrase “I haven’t got time to go out running” to which my immediate, knee jerk reaction will always be a polite, yet slightly forceful “Bollocks.”) I will also try to review any races and events I attend either as competitor or supporter of loved ones, tell you more about the Ultimate Trails 110k race I have selected and, perhaps most importantly, tell you a bit about my chosen charity and the life of a wonderful teenage girl who, tragically, is the reason for that chosen charity.
I will try to work out how to add links to my blog homepage as I go, but for now please manually find me on;
Twitter: @GBSticks11 (#110kforAlisha)
Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/GBSticks11
Garmin Connect: sticks11
Strava: Mark Morgan-Hillam
Alternatively go and look at the blogs of two of my friends who I would like to blog like when I grow up:
A must read, especially for anyone requiring motivation to get out there and do ‘stuff’, whatever that ‘stuff’ may be! Laraine has already tried, or is intending to try, most of that ‘stuff’. It doesn’t always go to plan. Sometimes it’s idyllic, sometimes it’s heroic, sometimes it’s calamitous, but it’s always an enjoyable read. (Thanks to Laraine for giving me some of the hints/tips required to get my blogging underway – a future post will inevitably be the story of how Laraine and I came to be friends in the first place!)
I hope Jonny doesn’t mind me saying this, but he’s my secret man crush. (A bit of a bombshell for my first post, I know.) He runs better than me (better than most, actually!), he writes better than me (proper books too, about proper adventures, like I’d like to do in my dream life!), and he’s a great guy to boot. As with Laraine, a future blog will tell of how we met, but Jonny was kind enough to hand me my blogging debut when he published a piece of mine on his own page – an honour indeed as he is a proper writer wiv proper books and everyfink (Have I already mentioned that?) So go and check out his brilliant work on the above link (or just go there to read my piece!!!)
Right, I’m off now, I’ve got school tomorrow…
4th March 2015 (my 42nd birthday – presents by way of sports store vouchers please, I have an ultra kit bag to pack.)