The morning after:
I think I have a pair of legs but I am not so sure ... the pain, the satisfaction, the crowds, the support and of course the tiger.
Full report to come; thank you to the whole tiger massiv that supported all week and again turned up in vociferous numbers in a sun-baked London yesterday.
...One to GoToday Cardiff was pained in 6.33. This was an easier course than Manchester but easy is a very relative term.
It was also brilliantly policed by Louisa, making sure her charges took no wrong turns.The three musketeers forming the support peloton today were the fleet-footed Simon, who could have run two more circuits, the supposedly unfit Alun, and of course the stalwart Terry.
Among the other supporters were Sandi and Hazel who cropped up at a dozen spots over the course with seemingly endless gastronomic care packages.We're in a world of pain right now. I don't quite know how Alun managed it on his limited training but manage it he did, and I take my hat off to him.
Terry and I have the small matter of London to monster on Sunday.Hopefully the emotion of it all and half a million supporters will be enough to see us through.
I speak for everybody involved in this campaign by saying that we are overwhelmed by the generosity of donations on the Just Giving site.The Cardiff presentation was no different last night. It still matters. They're still very much worth more alive.
Two down ....
Was complete agony for most of yesterday although if it had been a few hours later it would have been one hobbling predator amongst 70,00 blue and red fans. I posed in front of the holy trinity of Best, Law and Charlton in the shadow of the field of dreams yesterday. The holy recovery trinity is physio, ice and rest, the last of this convalescing triumvirate is in short supply. However, I'm still mobile ...... think I might take Monday off.
11th AprilThank you to all those supporters at the Brighton Marathon and those who came to the do the night before, it makes SUCH a difference. Too hot and too heave, but two ice baths and one session on the slab later I feel as though this still might happen.
It's funny how things come around so quickly. In three days this whole idiotic caper starts. I have three H's to concern me - hamstring, heat and hernia. Tigers have a lot more to concern them. A huge thank you to the support team who is cajoling me through this and also to all those who have contributed so generously at a time where there are so many worthy causes...............................................................................................................
This is going to hurt, but it matters, last week I spent a week at Bandhavgarh, I saw tigers, this park is still a stronghold. Just. It has to stay that way ...... see you on race dayLast year kind supporters of my marathon bid were staggeringly generous in donating £22,000 to the Exodus charity project in Bandhavgarh. This sort of money makes a huge difference to local people and of course, by default tigers. This year I plan to go four better. Training has started in earnest and in April I plan to run just over 100 miles in a week. That will involve four marathons - in Brighton, Manchester, Cardiff and then finishing with London. Brighton and London are official marathons and the other two will be on my own (although already people have come forward saying they will join me.)
Needless to say it will be in the tiger costume. I have said this before but it is worth re-iterating ' this will hurt, but it is nothing to what these brutally striped predators are going through'.Tigers matter to me as they do to millions of others. Big, fancy tiger forums, held (absurdly) in casinos and smart hotels do not achieve anything. There are more tigers today in deep freezes in Chinese 'holding facilities' than there are alive in the wild. They do still live in certain areas of Asia although the idea of tiger corridors between Bhutan and Nepal is fanciful nonsense. They can survive. Their plight needs publicity, the perpetrators of this hideous cull need shaming and most of all the consumers who buy illegal tiger bodily parts for medicine need to understand that the cures do not work.
03 February 2011:Just back from Sri Lanka where some marvellous leopards and simply staggering Blue Whales got completely in the way of some warm weather training. However I did put in a few hard miles barefoot on the sand which ws great. Stomach muscle strain, calf rumbling and hamstring mumbling, but still just about above the infirm level. Nine weeks to go, other runners seem in good shape too, the shirts have arrived the numbers are filling for the lectures; it is beginning to feel a bit more real now.
A friend of mine digging deep in his pocket for the campaign said a few words, they will stay with me: 'This is madness Paul, you know it is, but it is magnificent madness'. You will hear that phrase a lot. Thanks to all people who have donated, it will be a long battle this one but with an end, the war for the tigers goes on.I will keep you informed of all developments, thank you for reading, thank you for supporting. The tiger candle can still be ........................... burning bright.
For more information, visit the Exodus Worth More Alive II page.
Quick link here to a few thoughts on the back of the BBC's Broken Tail documentary...
22 March 2011:
It’s close - frighteningly close. In a month's time this mammoth marathon madness will be over. There's a little bit of graft to do between now and then.Training has been good and international – most recently in Antarctica. Excitement levels are building; the spirit is strong, the flesh not yet weak. I fly to India this week and plan on doing some more hot weather running as well as hopefully meeting the striped reasons for this campaign. A lot of people have been asking where the money is going and I can tell them that it will provide a ten-year compensation war chest for those poor farmers who lose cattle to tigers. It will also help towards some chain-link fencing to protect the most vulnerable villages. These may not be sexy targets but they are effective.
Perhaps it may attract more PR if we roped in some halfwit C-lister and got him or her to cry about the tiger's demise then spent thousands on sending them to Bandhavgarh where they could patronise and dumb down everything they touch or see. They could then peddle some romantic notions between crocodile tears on how to save them. However, in the long run practical solutions have much longer legs than cloying disingenuous celeb-based nonsense.
A huge thank you to all those who have donated in tough times for any charity. Another thank you in anticipation for those yet to do so via Just Giving and also a mention of the updated Youtube video (out of office hours!) to watch and show to anyone you know. I very much look forward to meeting those of you coming to the lectures or to watch the marathon madness in progress:
Brighton evening presentation – 09 April
Brighton marathon – 10 April
London evening presentation – 11 April
Manchester marathon – 12 April
Manchester evening presentation – 13 April
Cardiff evening presentation – 14 April
Cardiff marathon – 15 April
London marathon – 17 April
Whilst I'm in the thanking mood, a huge nod of respect to the support cub runners: Terry (all four!), Ben (Manchester and Cardiff), Andrew (London), Alun (Cardiff), Simon (Cardiff) - this would not be happening without this sort of support. Also Louisa and the team here at the office have had the unenviable task of organising this campaign with an increasingly irascible Paul!
Let me finish with some simple facts:
Age – 48; hamstring - shabby; calf - much scar tissue; shoulder - 20-year-old niggling injury; hernia - small. Miles to run 109. Put against this an animal that is poached for every part of its anatomy, a magnificent predator that treads a precipitous tightrope between eradication and survival. An animal that, despite those loathsome pirates that accelerate its slaughter, is ... worth more alive.
See you on race days...
25 March 2011:
Am off to India tonight, training going well, hope to get a few glimpses of this remarkable predator. Click here for latest update.