Thanks for visiting my fundraising page.
One last effort before this page closes!!!
I DID IT!! 12 times up and down Pen y Fan - South Wales' highest mountain - in 23 hrs 50 minutes.
I was supported by some wonderful people - Helen (my lovely wife), Linley Jenkins, Karen Griffin, Lesley Newcombe and her son Jack, John Jones (the amputee who successfully summited with his lovely son Rhys) and lastly Steve the ice-cream salesman who has his pitch at the car park on a daily basis! Also the hoards of public and some forces guys who happened to be on the mountain too.
I will write a blog with all the facts and figures about the event and post a link here soon.
Thank you all on behalf of John, BLESMA and myself - you're generosity is overwhelming!
Due to my failed attempts detailed below, from 6pm on Friday 27-08-10, I will be spending 24hrs walking on Pen y Fan -the highest mountain in South Wales. Richard Parks recently set a record of 7 summits from Storey Arms (lower car park) in 24hrs. My aim is to summit 12 times in 24hrs from the same spot. 12 times up including once up to Corn Du is the equivalent of climbing Mont Blanc from sea level at 15,780ft (according to mapmyrun.com).
I really appreciate all the donations so far, so this is to say thank you to all those who have supported me despite my failure to finish due to the injuries I've picked up. Please feel free to read the previous plans 'greyed out' below - its been a long time coming this!!
Well it's all over folks. I had to end the ride prematurely after just 300 miles due to ITB friction syndrome. It meant I couldn't walk let alone ride my bike. I've just had the first of potentially 8 weeks of physio but I'll be back.
Thank you all so much for the support you've given me and BLESMA through your comments and donations. Sorry to have failed in the overall attempt.
CHANGE OF EVENT 16-03-10
Due to a knee injury I have had to change my event from the Gobi March to a long distance mountain bike ride.
On July 25th I will be (weather permitting) paragliding from the upper slopes of Mont Blanc (from around 12,700ft) down into Chamonix where I'll jump onto my bike and start the 14 day cycle back to the Black Mountain in the Brecon Beacons. I'll be entirely self supported with no back up van or gear drops, and will be wild camping for the entire route.
The route will take me over the Alps into Switzerland, around lake Geneva then across central France to the Loire Valley. I intend to track the Loire to Tours then head North to St Malo where I'll catch the ferry to Portsmouth. I'll then cycle around the coast to Ilfracombe where I hope to catch the new Severn Link fast cat to Swansea (assuming it's operational by then - if not its a 180 miles extra around the coast). The finish is to be the view point on the A4068 above Brynamman on the Black Mountain on or around the 8th August.
Currently the route totals 900 miles but that might change as I go along but it won't be any less than that. I intend to pick off-road routes where ever possible too.
19-07-10 Another huge thank you, this time to Tim Lewis for his support through a £500 donation! Cheers Tim :-)
June '10 I'd like to say a big thank you to Paul and Mark Jones for their generous donation of £100 and to the lovely Lisa Hills- Wilson for her similarly generous donation of £50 - I really am very grateful for all of your donations, thank you! :-)
An extra 200 miles to my route: The Severn Link ferry launch has been postponed until 2011 so I have to ride around the Bristol channel as well now :-)
Well I've tried out my sleeping system, which went well and I've tried cycling with my panniers with about 60% of my kit onboard over one ride of about 47miles. That also went really well too, taking just over 3.5hrs (4.5 if you include my stops for tea and talking to random strangers in the middle of nowhere!).
All in all preparation is going really well so far, I just need to get some shorts with a little more padding in, a new pump and a solar charger for my phone and I'll be ready for the off. Please let the wind be blowing North so that the volcano doesn't affect my flight out on the 23rd!!!
Previous site info:
Why am I doing it?
The long answer is that it has become a personal ambition due, in no small part, to the inspiration gained from witnessing the extreme determination and courage of my friend John Jones. The stories I've been told by Phil Adams, 4 Deserts racer and lunatic ultra marathon runner have played a significant part and last but not least, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his autobiography Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know inspired me to get out there and do something!
The 4 deserts has just been rated 2nd in the Top Ten Endurance Events of the World by Time Magazine (http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1869820_1869688_1869686,00.html) so its certainly a challenge!
Its been over a year since I really decided I have to achieve something remarkable. Originally and unsurprisingly to most of you, I wanted to do something on a mountain bike but I accidentally happened upon running as a sport in September 2008 having taken part in the Trans Cymru Challenge.
I have decided to raise money for BLESMA who have made such a difference to the lives of so many ex-service personnel. Some of you visiting this page will have already heard about a friend of mine, John Jones, who lost his right leg above the knee in a motorcycle accident. Through his and his family's plight I learnt about the work of BLESMA. They have been so supportive of John, Rhian and young Rhys by providing not just John's prosthetic limb but also a host of additional support since his accident. I'm sure John will agree that they have helped in his amazing progress - how many people lose a leg, suffer horrendous additional injuries yet bounce back and pass their driving test 7 months later?? . Whenever I feel pain in training I think of what John's been through and know that my pain is a mere ache. I, like John, have the absolute determination and will to succeed or I'll die trying (joke Helen!).
My target of £10,000 does not include the cost of entry, flights and accommodation needed for me to take part in the event (approx £5k) - I'm funding that myself. So importantly all the money you sponsor me goes to BLESMA.
Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It’s also the most efficient way to sponsor me: British Limbless Ex-Service Men's Association (Blesma) gets your money faster and, if you’re a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
So please sponsor me now!
Sir Ranulph Fiennes personally lends me his support!! 18-02-09
Special thanks to my 80 yr old grandad, Andy Goldup, who just sponsored me £50! We all wish him well as he's made an amazing recovery from a heart attack he suffered just last Monday.
A big thank you also goes to Dai Williams for the largest individual donation to date of £500!!
It gives me great pleasure to say thank you to Mike and John Cuddy of Cuddy Group (www.cuddy-group.com) for agreeing to become my main sponsor!
Mike Cuddy, Managing Director has known John Jones since his school days. John had arranged a business meeting with Mike just days before his accident, despite his best efforts John couldn't make it from Germany to honour the meeting in time (given the fact he was still in a coma!). Cuddy Group have not only made the largest corporate donation to date of £1000, but will continue to help me to raise as much money as possible for BLESMA up to the event in June 2010!
John's latest idea 11-03-09 Right - get this!! John text me today, he's been talking about doing the 3 Peaks challenge before I do the Gobi but today he's come up with a new idea. He wants us to cycle John O'Groats to Landsend, stopping off at each of his old army barracks and incorporate the 3 peaks (Ben Nevis, Scafel Pike and Snowdon) along the way. HELP!!!! Nothing set in stone yet but if the seed is sewn it won't be long before its being planned for real. If we do we'll edit this page to include both events and increase the target significantly. John's doing this summer 2010.
Your comments are very important to me, keep them coming. Could you please just bare in mind that your comments are in the public domain so I'd appreciate it if you would keep them clean Thanks all.
DONE !! Tough guy - The Original Tough Guys January 31st 2010 (what was I thinking of???!!) www.toughguy.co.uk
Training News Update 05-10-09 Men's Health Survival of the Fittest (Cardiff) DONE! What a laugh!! We didn't enter it to win but just for the fun of taking part. Matthew Jenkins and I did it as a pair with his dad Colin as a solo entrant. We enjoyed every minute of it, it was like being 12yr old again!! Matt and I finished in 1hr 31mins but it was more about having fun than clocking a good time. I can't wait until next years event.
Update 20-03-09 Welsh 3 Peaks DONE !! Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen Y Fan in 5hrs 20mins (accumualted time on foot). Yesterday I was joined initially by my good friend, mad Lisa Millard then later Shaun, Lisa's husband, to complete the Welsh 3 peaks. I left home at 04.30 and was stood with Lisa on the summit of Snowdon by 09.10. We then descended via the same route (Pyg Track) and drove to Cadair Idris after a bit of a coffee break in Capel Curig. We summited Cadair at 13.15 via the Pony Track. On the way down we collected Shaun who was half way up. We returned to the cars and more or less drove straight to Pen y Fan which we summited at 17.38, just 36 mins after leaving the car at the lower Storey Arms car park. I then returned home at exactly 19.00 meaning the whole trip for me took 14hrs 30 minutes including 325 miles of driving. Absolutely fantastic day!! We really, really did not stop smiling all day, in fact I haven't stopped yet! The photos will be on my Flickr page shortly, which you can access by clicking any of the photos on the left of this page.
Update 08-03-09 Llanelli Half Marathon DONE !!! Easy peesy as my daughter would have me say! Well actually not that easy, the weather was awful, 50mph+ gusts, rain & hail. It really did feel like it was uphill all the way. Official time was 1hr 35m 50s, race position 180th which puts me in the top 12%!!! (http://www.halfmarathon.org.uk/2_Event_Information/lhm_results_2009.pdf )I'm very happy. No injuries thats the main thing. Brilliant day thanks to Tim Gasser (race organiser) and all the other competitors I met along the way. Special hello to Leonie and Sam who did extremely well - I'm looking forward to running with you guys soon. Also congratulations to Wayne Holmes from Vale Inco, Clydach - impressive time Wayne.(I let you beat me really, haha)
Update 25-08-09 Cor has it really been 5 months since I updated my page!?! Sorry folks!
Its been a naff summer training wise with exams taking priority for the first half and I've been suffering from a knee injury - my fault, I was warned not to do too much too quickly. Thankfully I seem to be over it and am out running, mountain biking and circuit training regularly again. I've applied to join the TA so if I get in then I'll be getting more training with the help from 108 (Welsh) Field Squadron, Royal Monmouthsire Royal Engineers (Militia). With Snowdon Marathon fast approaching I'm starting to follow a tried and tested marathon training programme with my new running partner Sasha, my 10 month old Welsh cross Austrailian collie.
General John, Dylan and I walked up Pen Y Fan and Corn Du on the 21-02-09, the highest peaks in South Wales. I ran to the summit and back down to meet them then we all walked to the summit of Pen y Fan through snowy patches, at -3'c (with wind chill) in shorts :-) Then John decided he wanted to do Corn Du so we did (despite protests from Dylan and I). The guy is truely amazing! He was in agony but never once complained, he just battled on for a mammoth 7 hours. I'm aching so he must be in some serious pain. How many people lose a leg then less than 8 months later climb South Wales' highest mountains?! (Click the thumbnail to enlarge)
Well my first event was boxing day 2008, the Glynneath 5 mile road race which I completed in 33 minutes 49 seconds - the first ever footrace I've entered! Apparently this is a respecable time for a non-runner. Since then I've struggled through shin splints and calf problems but have now been running up to 40miles in a week. I have covered a half marathon distance in 1hr 28 mins.
I'm running as much as I can while avoiding doing too much and causing injury. I've entered 3 further events (so far) this year the Llanelli 10k 21st June and my biggie is the Snowdon Marathon on October 24th (entry confirmation here http://test.tdl.ltd.uk/entries/snowdonia.htm ). I've also entered the Glynnneath 5 on boxing day to beat last years time hopefully. I'll let you know how I get on with them Sadly, my cartiladge put pay to the Snowdon marathon and the Glyneath 5