15 signed up for the Half Marathon and 6 of the younger ones for the fun run, as well as me (and some friends!) Four had to drop out for health reasons, though one transferred to the fun run. Anyone left came to support! The list for the Half Marathon ended up as my brother Dave, who's also run 5 Marathons, plus my other brothers, John and Pete; sister in law, Rachel, brother in law, Paul, nephew, Marc; cousin Debbie; cousin-in-law, Charlie; step nephew-in-law, Adrian and Sandra's boyfriend, Cieran (technically not related but he counted!). In addition, I've enticed friend of the family, Ray Warren (at the age of 71) to sign up. Ray inspired me to run a Marathon in the first place after he ran London in 1996.
The Fun run saw my cousin Sandra, who's been a loyal supporter at 16 of my now 25 Marathons; join nieces and nephews Josh, Kaitlyn, Demelza, Joseph and Tegen plus my 2nd cousin, Cameron. Thanks to cousin Steve, Step nephew-in-law Steve, Uncle Derek and cosuin-in-law, Liam, for being prepared but injury/health/unforeseen circumstances preventing them.
Below is the full line up from the big day including their supported charities - full details on the Bath Half page
2011 marked ten years since my first Marathon and when this running "hobby" took early roots. However, as I crossed the finish line of the first London Marathon in April 2001, I would never have predicted or thought that 10 years later I'd have run 19 full Marathons, over 800 race miles and have raised over £20,000 for six charities.
Not content with this, I decided to mark the tenth anniversary with a range of different challenges in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust (as selected by a vote), with a target of £10,000 being donated by the end of them all. The links blow take you to more details about each one. In between all this I ran handicap races with Beverley AC as well as worked full time (contrary to what many thought!)
At the start of my first Marathon in London, April 2001
Ten or more of my family to run with me in the Bath Half Marathon on 6 March Full report
My aim was to get one member of my family per year I'd been running Marathons to join me to run the Bath Half Marathon, the nearest Half Marathon to my home town, Frome in Somerset. I was realistic in that I believed they’d rise to this challenge
Above - the 17 family who joined me and friend, Ray Warren - who inspired me to start this all!
Beverley AC Handicap Races
Other Races: Humber Bridge Half Marathon; Bristol Half Marathon; 10K’s; East Hull 20
Cieran (Cousin's boyfriend) Ochre
I deliberately decided to delay my 20th Marathon to tie in with the tenth year. One of my many hair brained ideas when out training one night in late 2009. As it worked out, I needed a rest period in autumn 2010 to settle my knee. The 20th Marathon was in Paris on 10 April 2011 - 12 days short of the 10th anniversary of London 2001.
The preceding 19 Marathons were:
London Marathon - April 2001 (First ever Marathon)
London Marathon - April 2002 (Year Paula Radcliffe broke women's world record)
London Marathon - April 2004(brother Dave runs his Marathon best)
New York Marathon - November 2005 (First Marathon outside UK)
Stockholm Marathon - June 2005 (First sub 4 hour Marathon)
London Marathon - April 2006 (Fastest London Marathon to date)
Belfast Marathon - May 2006 (8 days after London)
Edinburgh Marathon - June 2006 (hottest Marathon course to date)
Cardiff Marathon - October 2006 (Fastest Marathon to date)
London Marathon - April 2007 (slowest London Marathon to date)
Vienna Marathon - April 2007 (one week after London)
Neolithic Marathon - May 2007 (slowest Marathon to date)
Oslo Marathon - September 2007
Edinburgh Marathon - May 2008
Berlin Marathon - September 2008 (Haile Gebrselassie broke Men's Marathon world record)
Dublin Marathon - October 2008 (Fastest Marathon outside UK)
London Marathon - April 2009 (first Marathon in a club t-shirt)
Barcelona Marathon - March 2010 (coldest Marathon to date)
Lake Windermere Marathon - May 2010
Rachel (sister in law) RICE
I’d thought about doing this for a while and then threw it down as a kind of gauntlet suggestion to a colleague at work and said I'd be up for it if she was serious. Next thing I was being asked by others about it and told they'd sponsor me! The colleague dropped out but friend, Chris Britton (who's run several half marathons that I've done) signed up with me. We also gained various people to form a support crew on various days and offer accommodation and food.
As part of our preparation we cycled on the Spring bank holiday weekend and also cycled a chunk of the Trans Pennine Trail from Liverpool as far as Selby over two days - a good test as Chris's chain broke, we took wrong turns, I fell off my bike, we got delayed, we got soaked for 7 hours and so on! I finally finished the trail from Selby to Kingston upon Hull two weeks later on my own.
The full report of our amazing adventure can be found by Click here for the full "LEJOG Blog" - with pictures included and more on Facebook under lucaskeepsrunning.co.uk. The blog remains as it was written over the nine day experience.
Crossing the line for the 4th Marathon in Skopje
Cycle Lands End to John O'Groats (LEJOG) 2 to 10 July
Having received my medal after my first London Marathon in 2001
Run 4 Marathons over 4 weeks
It all began in London in 2001 so it was fitting that was one of the four for the celebration. I also had a very personal goal which was to beat my brother Dave's personal best time of 3:19:21 which he ran at the age of 35 in the London Marathon 2004. I always vowed my goal was to beat his time no later than the London Marathon when I'm 35! This was my last chance. Having never beaten it anywhere in fact.
I started the four Marathons with Paris on 10 April - travelling over by Eurostar with friend, Ian. London was the second of these four marathons on the 17th April, when several family and friends supported me. Due to the logistics of finding a route to run on Easter Sunday/weekend, I had a weekend off, before travelling to Ireland with my sister and her husband, Ange and Paul, nephew and wife, Marc and Loz and friend Lesley, to run the Limerick Marathon on 1 May. The final route was in Skopje, in Macedonia when one of my best friends, Clive, joined me for my "smallest" Marathon (100 runners!)
I picked four over four weeks to go one further have done 3 Marathons over 3 weekends in 2007. Click on the respective race for the reports and to se what happened to mean I still failed to get that elusive time of my brothers or indeed a PB.
Lake Windermere was picked for the Great North Swim because a work colleague, Aly McManus, was swimming it in 2010 (though it was cancelled) and that's where the idea germinated from plus open water was much more of a challenge than just a pool! So on Friday 17 June I headed to a Youth hostel near Lake Windermere ready for the big day!
Nerves kicked in big time on the morning of the 18th, watching the rain come down from the hostel. Rain wasn't really an issue - I was gonna be wet whatever! But it didn't help motivate me. Thankfully, it brightened up at lunchtime. Tracey called me early morning too to give me a final pep talk and encourage me. Sadly she couldn't join me due to personal circumstances, but her support and encouragement were a massive help in getting me through the training ready for the day.
Swim a mile in open water (Lake Windermere) 18 June
Anyone who knows me well knew this was going to be my, psychologically, toughest challenge of the year. I hadn't ever swam more than 50 metres nonstop until 1 month before the day and not only recently gained enough courage up to put my head under water with my eyes open! The last sponsored swim I'd been part of was when I was 17 and was part of six in a team relay to swim as many lengths as possible over about half an hour to raise funds for my youth club. I did 2 lots of 50 metres and they all thought I was going to drown on my return on the second 50 metres! I made it but couldn't talk for about ten minutes whilst I tried to get my breath back! Safe to say that was the end of my contribution to our teams tally.
With Jack, Paul, Ange and Lowenna on the fery to the start
So the good news was I learnt to swim properly thanks to swimming lessons compliments of Splish Splosh Swimming School , in particular Tracey Saunders, who went out of her way to help me sort my swimming, and Pro Dive in Kingston upon Hull, who leant me a complimentary wetsuit. I even swam a non stop mile in the pool a few times and had two sessions swimming in open water local to home - all in 4/5 weeks and to avoid any missing contact lenses I obtained prescription goggles thanks to Specsavers, Beverley.
Chris and Lucas at Land's End on 2 July, about to start the 905 miles to John O'Groats
Just outside Glossop on the Trans Pennine Trail before cycling up Woodhead Pass
The map used for LEJOG route navigation
On display at the charity balls
All geared up for the swim!
On the lake side looking at the course ahead of me!
I met my support team for lunch - Ange, Paul, Lowenna and Jack - once we'd determined that I was in Bowness and they were in Windermere! After an enjoyable meal, we took the park and sail ferry out to Ambleside to then walk the mile to the starting area. On the ferry, I was videoed for "Meagor TV" - see the link on my youtube page. The prospect of what lay ahead was made all the more real as we sailed past the area of the swim and could see just how far a mile looks in water! I prefer it when there's a pool end every 25 metres. On arrival I headed to the changing area and donned the wetsuit, hat and goggles - which caused much amusement. More so because I was walking around in my goggles pre swim so I could see!
With the support team before the dip!
We had to drop the summating for my birthday option as Paul's step son's wife (or my nephew's wife) was due to give birth around those dates so my sister had summoned Paul to be home! Aiden Marc Lapthorn arrived on 2nd October and, as a result, I' became a Great Uncle, Paul a Step Granddad and Elaine a Great Great Aunt.
Paul, Elaine & Lucas before Ben Nevis
Once past 300 metres I had space and started to swim a bit more properly - face in, breathing every third stroke etc. I managed this in sections with the odd respite of head out motion trying to regulate my breathing. This was a challenge with wash from boats and the general disturbed water from several swimmers all adding to the challenge - especially when I had to empty my goggles of water twice and try and tighten the strap and choking on a mouthful of lake water (not too tasty!). Despite all this, I made the half way marker and had finally got into some sort of rhythm. Shame the finish looked much more than half a mile away!
I'm off - somewhere in the sea of orange hats!
However, I had finally got into a stride, and, despite the fact my feet had gone numb, I pretty much swam the return leg properly (as I'd been learning in the pool!) - and therefore made my way in plenty of space towards the finish gantry. I was encouraged by those in the kayaks there to help any of us in a sticky situation (and sadly they had two very sad ones as one guy died and one went to hospital after being resuscitated). Thankfully, I was neither and as I got near the finish, could make out I was being announced over the tannoy! I finally made the finish - where I was aided out the water by two of the volunteers - both encouraging me to swim all the way to the end (I was a bit confused where my finish was!) Before I realised I needed to cross the timing mat out of the water!
I emerge from the Lake - smiling!
My first ever swimming medal!
The elation I'd actually swam an entire mile in Lake Windermere really didn't hit me, I was more aware I couldn't feel me feet (which were blue!) and was being interviewed by the tannoy man - giving some rather incoherent answers having watched the video of it since! But I'd finished and that was the main thing! In the space of 5 weeks I'd gone from being unable to swim a length breathing properly in the pool to swimming an entire mile in Lake Windermere without either stopping, have a near drowning session or panicking. Huge thanks to Ange, Paul, Lowenna and Jack for the support on the day in person, plus to the vast number of messages on Facebook and text etc. I've proven to myself that a fear can be overcome (but don't be expecting me to try and overcome the spiders one - the vacuum works great!) and shown that with determination you can achieve something even when it seems as possible. As Tracey had said to me in the pool one evening as I was having a little tantrum of "I can't" - "there is no such word as can't!" and she was right!
Climb Mt Kilimanjaro in October
My brother-in-law, Paul, asked me to climb Kilimanjaro with him and so I accepted the challenge and when dates were suggested felt it would be good to aim for the top on my 36th birthday.
You can read the full report about our trip here
And view a summary video on youtube
Paul did plenty of training, climbing Snowdon (June 2011) while I finally climbed Scafell Pike (May 2011) with friend, Qad, who climbed Kilimanjaro in Sept 2011. Additionally, my Aunt Elaine who agreed to join Paul and I and flew in from Switzerland. The three of us teamed up with two friends, Si and Ian, to summit Ben Nevis in August - with which we were afforded clear views from the summit. I also managed the entire range of the Malvern Hills in early September while Aunt Elaine was doing much better heights in the mountains of Switzerland.
As part of the prep, you got to go in and acclimatise to the water temperature. Safe to say it was colder than the two open water swim's I'd done in the preceding week. I also found Aly from work - both unsure it was the other due to the disguise of the wet suit! That, coupled with a start with a couple hundred other people in the last wave of the day, didn't help the nerves. After a safety briefing and some warm up exercises we were off! I waded in, as near the back as possible, and out into Lake Windermere I went! The first 300 metres were hard going as there were a few legs in the way, someone in flippers splashing a lot and I collided with a few other slow swimmers - whom I overtook! The proper crawl with head under wasn't in motion for fear I'd be kicked in the face properly!
Aiden, with father, Marc, born 2 October - the reason for the delayed Kilimanjaro dates
The extra Marathon was been confirmed as Lisbon on 4 December, but an extra extra one was added with Guernsey in August.
In November and December I held two charity balls, which served to both raise funds for CFT and to celebrate ten years of my first marathon and all that's followed, now known as Lucas Keeps Running. I held two to give the opportunity for as many friends and family to come along in support and based it round both my current and previous homes.
The evenings were successful; raising plenty more funds through not only the ticket sales, but also raffle tickets, auction and people's generous donations made if they couldn't attend. During both evenings I auctioned off the opportunity for someone to complete a challenge of their choice with me. Both balls brought in various suggestions, but the winners were:
Northern ball: Run the Beverley 10K backwards with Steve Hadley (will either be May 2012 or May 2013 subject to final agreement from Beverley AC)
Southern ball: Wing walking with Lowenna Brogan in 2013
The two balls brought in over £1,000 from the bar profits, auctions and raffles. Many thanks to all those who donated prizes, the two bands and DJ (Stampida , Faces for Radio and Magic Numbers) for performing without charge, the caterers and venues for their fantastic food and facilities - KP Club, Pocklington, Selwood School, Frome and Mrs B's Catering, Frome
Anniversary cake, thanks to Mary
Addressing the guests at the Pocklington ball
Charity Ball, Pocklington
During the Southern Ball I announced the plan going forward - see 2012 & Beyond, and the LucasKeepsRunning Fridge Magnet was unveiled, as were mugs. If you'd like either please contact me - £1 a magnet plus postage and £6.50 for a mug plus postage - all profits go to the charity of the year.
I was also presented with a specially written song by my family to honour what I've achieved and was much appreciated and can be viewed on YouTube, as can the various video's made especially for the evenings, which feature a summary of the last ten years, a summary of 2011; LEJOG; Kilimanjaro; Ange's out takes and all about Cystic Fibrosis starring Tess and Zac - the inspiration for 2011. The YouTube page also has many more video's from "Meagor TV" from throughout 2011
A flower display from the Frome ball, doubled up as raffle prizes
I didn't wish to risk being bored after Kilimanjaro, so had left the option that I could do a 5th Marathon in the October to finish the year. In fact, due to a lack of activity before Kilimanjaro, I added a trip to Guernsey for the Guernsey Marathon in August, with best friend Clive once again in tow. Lisbon suited perfectly albeit slightly later than original plans. And meant I ended the year running my 25th marathon to date. Click for full reports on Guernsey and Lisbon
At the end of the Lisbon Marathon with fellow runners, Alex, Debs, Andrew, Mandy, Mark and Julie
Display of items from 2011
The Marathon medals from 2001-2010
The Balls's also gave me the chance to thank friends and family for their help and support over the year and also the last decade, with a small token of my appreciation. The following were thanked:
Alan Busby for hosting and 2 days support on LEJOG including the return trip south
Alex McDonald for hosting and supporting on LEJOG and arranging the band for the Frome ball
Alison Hall for her support on LEJOG including cycling one of the sections of day 5
Ange Hayes for the support in Limerick, Lisbon and Bath & Bristol Half's and along LEJOG and Great North swim as well as sorting raffle tickets at the ball and her ongoing support throughout the decade
Chris Britton for his partnership over the 905 miles of the LEJOG cycle
Clive Tilbury for support along LEJOG, Guernsey & Skopje as well as friendship over the decade
David Meagor for his texts of support, getting me to run the second marathon in 2002 and giving me a constant challenge as well as running Bath & Bristol half Marathons this year
John (Syd) Meagor for running the Bath Half Marathon and support as one of my longest corporate sponsors (Syds landscapes) and brotherly support over the decade
Lesley Boyle for hosting on LEJOG and support in Limerick and Lisbon
Liz Dunning - support on LEJOG as well as support and friendship over the decade
Mike Atkins for support over two days of LEJOG
Mum & Dad (Roger and Frances Meagor) for support on LEJOG, support at the Bath Half Marathon, Mum for support in London as well as for their support over the whole ten years and more
Paul Hayes for support in Limerick, Lisbon & great North Swim, for running the Bath & Bristol half Marathons, for asking me to climb Kilimanjaro and his support and company during the climb and his fantastic video skills for everything on YouTube
Pete Meagor & Emma Holton for support and transportation on LEJOG, support and participating in bath half (Pete), photos (Em), Pete supporting in London and Pete's amazing help and support with the Lucaskeepsrunning website over the last 5 years, hosted by Morphed landscapes
Ray Warren - for his influence and inspiration in getting me to run the Marathon ad for coming out of retirement at 72 and running the Bath Half Marathon
Sandra Walker for doing the Bath half Fun Run, support in London this year and for travelling to no fewer than 14 of my 25 marathons
(Aunt) Val Walker for producing all the ball invites and etickets, support in London and Bath Half as well as numerous years hosting me and friends/family for the London Marathon since 2001
Others to acknowledge as well:
John & Mary Bennetts (accom for LEJOG); Steve Britton (support on LEJOG); Sandra & Keith Robinson (accom for LEJOG); this year's sponsors; Debbie Wright, Charlie pond, Josh Meagor, Kaitlyn Meagor, Cameron Walker, Adrian Andrews; Joseph Meagor, Tegen Meagor, Demelza Meagor, Cieran McQuade& Dan for running the Bath Half Marathon & Fun run; Beverley AC; Alex Cleeland (running his first Marathon in Lisbon); Steve Walker, Steve Ponting, (Uncle) Derek Walker and Liam Price for signing up to run the Bath Half Marathon (but unable to do so); Tracey Saunders, Total Fitness , SplishSplosh Swimming School ProDive Scuba Centre (swimming teacher and sponsors who meant I swam the mile!); Victoria & Mary (made cakes for the Charity Balls); to the many who came along to different races and LEJOG to cheer along the sidelines and for all the fantastic texts, emails and Facebook messages of support
Presenting Dad /Roger with a thank you gift
Raise £10,000 in doing all the above!
The whole purpose of the anniversary year was to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Trust. I decided that to make this worthwhile I would really push the boat out and set a target of £10,000 over the nine months during which it all happened. I did it all in my own time, worked full time (yes really!) and paid all my own entry fees, bought my own equipment and paid my own travel costs. Every penny donated has been directed to the charity. I make a point of not letting charities buy me equipment etc unless it is directly donated by a sponsor. (i.e. free rental of a wet suit by ProScuba Dive).
The total raised for the year was
This is fantastic! Huge thanks to everyone for their donations
Thanking sister, Ange, in Frome
Lucky winners during the raffle
The ball listens to Lucas' every word!
Lucas addresses the ball in Frome
Brother Dave is "Run Lucas Run" during the specially written song to honour Lucas
10 March 2011 - Hull Daily Mail
11 March 2011 - Plymouth Herald
1 April 2011 - Beverley Guardian
8 April 2011 - Hull Daily Mail
15 April - Beverley Guardian Front Page!
22 April Beverley Guardian
11 May Hull Daily Mail
13 May Beverley Guardian
June - The Villager, Bayston Hill
9 September - Hull Daily Mail
September - DVLA's Licence magazine
Saturday 3 December - featured on BBC Radio Somerset & in the Hull Daily Mail
3 December - Hull Daily Mail
8 December - Methodist Recorder