2015 brought about more firsts whilst also bringing about a few fortieths, a pone thosuandth and over £3,500 raised for two charities. Click on the links for full details of each event I supported Macmillan Cancer Support and St Luke's Hospice Plymouth in memory of my late Uncle Alan Walker, who we lost in the autumn of 2014 to cancer. Both charities had been invaluable in the final year of his life and it felt right to support them. In doing so, I realised how many others had been supported by Macmillan Nurses. The year included a visit to the hospice, where I had last seen Uncle Alan 6 weeks before he passed away. Aside from Marathons, I completed my first Kayak challenge, when Si Clarke, Chris Britton and I kayaked 60 miles along the Great Glen Challenge from Fort William to Inverness - effectively across Scotland. A battle between waves, midges and camping - it made for a different four days.
The week after saw my first cycling outside the UK when a team of seven of us cycled from London to Paris over four days. An enjoyable affair which challenged many of the team as they exceeded their biggest ever distance on a bike in the main, more wrong turns were taken outside the two big cities than within - in the process raising over £5,000 for four charities. To say farewell to my thirties I completed in the Brownlee Triathlon at Harewood House near Leeds - a challenging occasion but a fond conclusion to a sport based decade. Two weeks earlier I'd had my first marathon experience on the volunteer side as I oversaw the volunteer team at the first RB Hull Marathon. On the Marathon front I ran my hottest in Cyprus, cheered from the sidelines in London before running my 1,000th marathon race mile in Luxembourg - my first night marathon at the same time. I returned to my home town for the Frome Half Marathon and interspersed the year with local Beverley AC handicap races and the Sleaford Half Marathonand a PB at the Lincoln 10K when I finally broke the 40 minute mark.
The big marathon was my 40th, timed 4 days after I turned 40 and joined by 40 friends and family - dubbed the" 40-40-40", we landed in Chester and between the team raised in excess of £15,000 for over 20 charities.
The year ended with three more marathons - the first Bristol-Bath Marathon (and my fifth fastest to date) and then Athensand Istanbul a week apart - the former following the route of the origins of the marathon and finishing in the original modern Olympic Stadium - the Panathenaic; the latter crossing from Asia to Europe. The course of the year resulted in £3,564.12 being donated to Macmillan Cancer Support and St Luke's Hospice and couldn't have happened without so many friends, family and other's I've ended up becoming friends with in the process.