Off The Pace

I began writing this long overdue article on July 8th which shows how slow things have seemingly gone this last few weeks. The great news is the official draw for the Rugby League World Cup was released last month, our original plan running west to east across Australia from Perth to Sydney was no longer an option with neither a semi final or the final held in the New South Wales capital.

The chosen city by the RLWC committee, Brisbane, was now the end point and with the first game held in Melbourne on October 27th, the route becomes a south to north challenge along a safer route for us all as it passes through Canberra and Sydney, both cities host 2 games each. We can maximise media interest and visit people and places of interest along the way and in turn this will have a positive effect on raising as much money as possible without spending days in very remote areas.

It's still a dream of mine to run the Nullarbor Plain, this time though, it will have to wait.

We will now look to complete the whole event within 42 days, starting from AAMI Park in Melbourne, to Canberra Stadium, up to Sydney Olympic Park then finishing at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium in time for the semi final, averaging 50 kilometres / 30 miles a day with one rest day a week for 6 weeks of running, giving us 36 days in which to complete a journey covering mostly Australia's 'Great Dividing Range'. A significant difference from the original west to east, Perth to Sydney 3,700km challenge but the terrain and undulation in this new route poses a harder, technical run.

On the subject of running, it seems I've hit my first snag in the lead up to The Longest Try. I've had a stinging, aching pain in both my heels/soles over the past few weeks and as such haven't hit the trails since mid July. I'm hoping this small case of Plantar Fasciitis only requires rest and stretching. Martin (coach) has changed things up in the gym accordingly, my training involves sets of 3 - 5 with repetitions of 15 - 50, exhausting muscle groups coupled with explosive movements (squats/jumps/crawls etc). This means I am not lifting heavy but I am doing things I've never done for a long time or done before. Rest is always a good answer, it's just tough to do it.

Canterbury sports clothing have expressed interest in sponsorship with intention of kit design, emails about route change will go out to corresponding partners including charities and RLWC. The University of Bedfordshire have offered a VO2 max test probably towards the end of August now, 4 days away in the Lake District celebrating my Dad's 60th birthday have added another 3 kilos to my already overweight frame.

Our next race is September 17th The Hardmoors 60, a race I completed in 2013 which taught me a few lessons. Great excuse for Whitby fish and chips.