Publishing this blog was, from a personal point of view, a brave decision to take. Not because training for an Ironman is a particularly courageous thing to do, or because sharing your highs and lows with the whole of the internet requires a level of self-belief in the journey that you have undertaken. No, the reason why I see this whole blogging adventure as a bold undertaking is down to the fact that almost to a man (and woman) my friends are, essentially, a pack of utter bastards. I don’t know what it says about me, but as far as I can tell, almost every lasting friendship that I have made over the last 34 years on this planet has been with people who all fit the same description – barely functioning social reprobates, with a unique ability to hone in on perceived personal weaknesses and a fine line in merciless piss taking.
Writing about myself for a whole year, leaving myself open for unlimited amounts of abuse from any one of these misfits seemed like a gamble. Luckily, it seems to have paid off. Responses have been fairly positive and I even got a nod of approval from my mate’s brother, Ross. Previous winner of an athletic achievement award for winning his weight in Finnish crisps, Ross is a sarcastic sod and for him to describe my blog as ‘not bad’ was as good a review as I was going to get. However, he went on to mention that, no matter how ‘not bad’ the fatdan files were, he was never going to sponsor me should I ever get round to asking for cash. I was slightly taken aback – to presume that chronicling my year of fun was a prelude to asking for sponsorship highlighted a very cynical outlook on life. Shame on you Ross. However, 11 months later, it turns out he was right. I want your cash.
Being relatively new to this sponsorship game (I genuinely don’t recall ever having done a sponsored anything before) I must admit to being unsure how to go about it. Essentially, I want to use my self-indulgent 2.4mile swim, 112mile bike ride, and full marathon to try and raise some money for a very worthy cause. I’m not sure of the exact justification for asking for money, but I figure that if I can get around the Frankfurt course a) without dying and b) in under 12 hours, then I think that you should give me some. Makes sense to me.
The charity I’m attempting to raise money for is the excellent Parkinson’s UK (http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/). It’s a charity that offers tremendous support to the thousands of people who have the disease in the UK. Not many people know a lot about Parkinson’s disease beyond Ali’s appearance with the Atlanta Olympic flame, but in a nutshell, it causes nerve cells in the brain to die. This leads to people developing a range of symptoms including tremors and a slowness of movement. Accompanying this is a number of day to day issues such as pain, depression and tiredness. Parkinson’s is a disease that is degenerative, it gets worse over time and there is no known cure. It affects one in every 500 people, including my wonderful stepmum and two other very close family friends.
The charity exists to fund research into a cure for the disease, to offer a support network for those who have it, and to fight an on-going campaign to ensure that people living with Parkinson’s are treated fairly. I think they are brilliant and deserve all the support they can get, which is where you come in. To donate, visit my justgiving page – http://www.justgiving.com/fatdanironman – and let your bank account pour forth. I set myself the target of raising 1,000 pounds in little over four weeks. This wildly optimistic amount is based on the fact that this blog gets around 100 hits per new post. If every one of those hits contributes a tenner (though I’ll happily accept more), then that’s a grand raised. Easy. Over to you…http://www.justgiving.com/fatdanironman. That’s http://www.justgiving.com/fatdanironman in case you missed it.
Swim – Plan 3 hours Actual 3 hours
Bike – Plan 8hrs30 Actual 9hrs
Run – Plan 6hrs 30 Actual 6hrs
Swim – Plan 3 hours Actual 2 hours
Bike – Plan 9hrs30 Actual 8hrs
Run – Plan 6hrs30 Actual 5hrs (including a ridiculous 2 and half hour effort on the gym treadmill. Stupid.)
Fatdan award for athletic endevour – week ending 2nd June 2013
I was tempted to give this one to Damo for his twin achievements of swimming 16 lengths of freestyle without stopping and also winning the league with his netball team. However, as netball is a girls sport and Damo is a boy, then I’m unable to recognise it as a sporting success. The award goes instead to the lovely George (and her imaginatively named husband George). George has managed to stoically overcome 9 months of increasing girth and temporary diabetes to safely deliver baby Arlo into the world. Good job the Georges.