Where To Start? New Events! BIG MONEY. Wow!

x3Okay, so I don’t really know where to start with this…  SO much has been happening since I updated last week.  I REALLY need to learn to update this blog more often instead of just using social media channels!

So let’s go with the fundraising news first.  The Christmas Card Auction is FLYING.  I always worry every year about the cards doing well, and not doing justice to the effort that goes into getting them both by myself and my wonderful helpers. This year, I really need to stop worrying.  It’s the midway point in November and over £3000 is in the pot this month alone.  It’s not all Xmas Cards, but a LARGE part is.  Standouts like £190 for a John Le Carre signed card, £90 for one of those Peter Capaldi’s from last week, £50 for a Susan Boyle.  It’s amazing.  You can find the items currently up for auction BY CLICKING HERE and there will be more cool new ones going on tonight from some BIG BIG NAMES! As you can see, the main man Grado says you should get bidding, and I wouldn’t want to mess with him!

So onto other news…

I have signed up for THREE NEW EVENTS in 2018, and wow are they amazing!  New to the calendar are two international events that I am extremely excited about:

  • Manchester Marathon – Sunday 8th April 2018
  • La Course Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau –  Sunday 27th May 2018
  • Chicago Marathon – Sunday 7th October 2018

To say I am excited is a understatement.  Chicago will mark the third Abbott World Major Marathon I am running next year, and is the fourth in the sixth race series for me overall.  Just Tokyo and Boston to go after this!  I cannot wait to get back and run in America for the first time since 2010!  Manchester falls a fortnight before London, and one I decided to do partly because of the number of people I know running it.  I figured it’s something new, and adds a new challenge into the year.  My target for Manchester is simple.  Sub 4 hour!

The third race there La Course Eiffage du Viaduc de Millau is a bit different.  Run in France, as you might have surmised, it comes in at 23.7km and a shade over a half marathon. The selling point on this one (apart from getting to run it with the man, the legend, the machine that is Rey Smart) is that it takes in the world’s biggest bridge, the Millau Viaduct on the route.  It just looks breathtaking.  I am pretty sure I will be taking some time at the top to take some photos, to hell with the race time when you’ve got a sight like that to take in!

millau

Just take a look at that!

With regards to my entries for these events, Children with Cancer UK have very kindly arranged my place in Manchester while I have secured my own place in Millau.  For Chicago I will be running for a new charity, Team for Kids. TFK are the major charity for New York Road Runners, the organisation who gave me my first ever marathon place!  I’ve committed to raising $1000 for them as part of running the race, and I am hoping this will open up new and exciting opportunities for me in running, while not detracting for my fundraising with CWCUK.  TFK tie in rather well with my belief that kids should get every chance in life, and is key in the ethos of my own employers.  They encourage children to get into running, and exercise where they might not have the chance to otherwise.  I’m thrilled to be a part of the team.

I’ll be sharing the journey through this blog and my social media channels, but for now …

please click here and check out the charity auctions – xmas cards, doodles and loads more up for grabs!

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Time Travelling All Around…

capaldiI am pretty sure it’s going to take a LOT to top this photo.  Doctor Who himself, #12, The Twelfth Doctor.  Peter Capaldi.  I cannot tell you how chuffed I am with this.  After being stuck in my flat for four days after having that pesky ingrown toenail removed, I ventured out on Sunday afternoon to see if there was any hope of adding some cool i

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tems to my Christmas Card Auction.  It turned out pretty well, even if my toe was a bit tender by the end of the day.

Early successes included Armando Iannuci (creator of The Thick of It and Alan Partridge among others), JB Gill of JLS fame and Game of Thrones legend James Cosmo.  The main interest was the red carpet arrivals of Capaldi, and the two main Outlander Cast – Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

It’s not the busiest I have seen in Glasgow, but with some hardcore fans around, it was a bit mental at times.  Peter was awesome, I think mine were the only items signed without dedication once I explained what I was doing, it was great to be able to thank him in person for the artworks he has done in the past for my caitsamfundraising as well.  Sam and Caitriona arrived together, and it got a little bit crazy, but I mbalfe2anaged to snag several Xmas Cards from both of them including one double signed one which is up for auction already.

All in all, considering the day before I wasn’t even thinking about leaving the flat, a pretty good day out.  Thanks to everyone who signed for me, and the ace people who have sent me pics and videos of the stars signing for me since.

The Xmas Card auctions are going well so far (CHECK THEM OUT HERE!!!) with an opening bid in on the Capaldi card straight away.  You can find over 400 items up for auction by clicking on the link there and helping me raise even more money for Children with Cancer UK.  Thanks.

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Le Carre Leading The Way…

lecarreThere is always one Xmas Card that suprises me, and right now it’s this one… author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Night Manager John Le Carre contributed very early this year as you can see from the date on the card.  It’s an awesome item, with a self portrait added, and I woke this morning to find it past the £100 mark within 12 hours of going online!

It’s always nice when the auctions take a wee jump like that, so I am thrilled to bits.  I wonder how high it’s going to go…

You can check out the Le Carre auction and over 500 other items by clicking…

ON THIS BIG SHINY LINK HERE!

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CHRISTMAS CARDS & MORE!!

a1The Xmas Card Auction is flying, with over 400 items up for auction right now and more coming tonight!  Included in the auction are loads of Xmas Cards (obviously!) and many other cool items which will make awesome presents, for yourself or someone else!  Included are all of the people pictured on this page, including the legendary Andy Garcia!

Also on board are Martin Compston (ex Morton footballer, Sweet Sixteen, The Wee Man etc), Wrestling superstar and actor Grado and Torchwood and Dr Who star Gareth David Lloyd!

You can find the auctions by clicking on this shiny link here…

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London Volunteering & More

lon1So in the past few weeks I have kick started my plans to move forward working in thedormer charity sector, and am delighted to have been able to volunteer with two charities very close to my heart.  I recently started doing a weekly slot with Maggie’s Centres, which will be alternating between their Supporter Care Team and being involved in the centre.  Equally awesome, Children with Cancer UK were kind enough to let me join them for schofieldthree days in their London office which was a truly brilliant experience.  I can’t thank both charities enough for their generosity and time.

While I was down in London Town, I took the time to get some goodies sign and add to the Xmas Card Auction Pot.  I got within a metre of some of the biggest names in football: Maradonna, Messi, Ronaldo …. but none would sign.  I did clock a few from the likes of Antonio Conte, and randomly coming out of a football award show was Philip Schofield!  I worked hard across the nights, barely slept and caught up with friends.  I did a run round Hyde Park and a then a crazy wee fitness session with the legendary Rey Smart #BeSmartGetFit in the studio above Asics Flagship Store on Oxford Street.  I met up with Jason, aka The Artist Formerly Known As Jesus, and hungcoyle out with the awesome James Rhodes!  I watched an amazingly bizarre interaction between Alex Zane and a homeless guy at the Groucho.  I forgot what sleep was.

In between times I fanboyed a bit over meeting Richard Coyle. Let’s be honest, he was Jeff Murdock, the funniest non Welsh guy with a Welsh accent ever.  I met Freema Agyeman, Natalie Dormer and Stockard Channing in the space of about 20 minutes, and then clocked Guy Garvey hanging around waiting for his Mrs outside the theatre.

All in all, an amazing few days in the Big Smoke.  It told me more than ever that what I want to do is work in the charity sector, time to drive forward!

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Chernobyl Experience

ch2I mentioned in a previous post that I had been off travelling a bit during #The4RaceChallenge and part of that including visiting one of the most historic and amazing places in the world… Chernobyl!  The most disastrous nuclear accident in history, it’s known the world over for the ghost town of Pripyat, the haunting sights of the empty streets and buildings, the reactor covered with the curved sarcophagus, the fairground, and the sheer magnitude of a disaster that could have destroyed much of Europe.

I would expect most of us have our preconceptions of what it would be like.  Apocalyptic wasteland was what I heard most before my trip, along with “are you mental?!?”  I went ch4into it with my own love of desolate corners, history and the joy of seeing what not that many get to see.

From the early stages arriving in Chernobyl town for lunch, and touring the outer edges of the 30km exclusion zone to arriving to see the five reactors (including the half built no5) and getting to within 100 yards of Reactor 4 which was the site of the disaster.   There are very strict rules around the reactors, where you can take photos etc, and this is one of only two places on the actual site you can.  Surreal is the word that follows you around this tour, but let’s be honest… standing that close to that site is spine tingling. It’s strange… there are wild dogs roaming around looking for attention, flurries of workers around, and there’s us just looking atch5 the site of such disaster and devastation.  When you make your way into Pripyat itself, where the workers of Chernobyl and their families lived, from where the reactors dominate the skyline, the eeriness really kicks in.  I wandered through the hospital, through schools, through the cultural centre with it’s theatre space and portrait of Gorbachev and hidden indoor football pitch upstairs.  And to the fairground, one of the ch1most iconic views, the ferris wheel rising out of the trees, sitting waiting for the next child to board.

For me, I think the swimming pool is one of the most poignant points of the visit was the swimming pool.  Despite being used up until 1998 by the liquidators of Chernobyl, and being considered to be one of the cleanest places in the city, it’s in total disarray.  The photo to the left is taken through the support of the diving board, and shows the view from the deep end of the pool (and it is deep!)  There’s a basketball court indoors in the room next door, with the floorboard rising, cracked, and buckled.

I’d put on record now, SoloEast, the fabulous company that took me on my tour were fabulous.  Nazar, our guide and driver, was excellent, taking the time to explain to us, and set the scene, to ensure we got the maximum out of every minute.

I could rattle on for months on end, page after page, the whole experience was one of the best in my life.  I will return one day, the temptation of spending a night inside the exclusion zone is one that is too tempting.  Plus Kiev itself is mindblowing!

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Xmas Cards AGOGO!

So, after an enforced break due to my holidays and #The4RaceChallenge, the 2017 dornan2Celebrity Xmas Card Auction is back baby!  And back in style!  You can bid on Signed Xmas Cards BY CLICKING HERE!  Included are cards from Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, Niall Horan of One Direction fame and loads loads more.  There are also Non Xmassy Items, with chances to nab some really amazing signed goodies.

All funds raised are backing the magnificent people at Children with Cancer UK as part of my 2017/18 fundraising venture OneHundredNotOut!

CLICK HERE TO BID NOW!

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