If my slightly bad maths is anything to go by (i didn’t have enough fingers and toes to count accurately), then it is just over 4 weeks until I leave as part of the convoy of support vehicles to drive out to Istanbul ready for the start of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal’s latest madcap challenge, the Istanbul to Leeds bike ride (www.istanbultoleeds.co.uk).
I’m having my final innoculation this evening (this one for tick-born encephilitis – which sounds pretty horrible) and then I’m pretty much good to go. My job will start on the evening of 21st July when I’ll meet up with the other drivers (there are 6 of us driving the vehicles out there) and the vehicles – an RV, a car and a transit van – to drive down to Folkestone and then across the whole of mainland Europe to Istanbul. It’s just shy of 2,500 miles and we hope to make it in about 3 days. Each vehicle will have 2 drivers and we’ll take turns driving, then sleeping. I think we’re hoping to be in Istanbul on Saturday 24th with the ride starting on Monday 26th July – the riders will have flown out on the Friday evening.
I’m not sure how prepared the riders are, I know the Miller family (Mike Tomlinson’s sister’s family) have been training pretty well since early this year and I have, on more than one occasion seen John (Mike’s brother-in-law) riding a tandem on his own – which must take a certain level of dedication! Mike has been cycling to work and back (a journey of about 10 miles each way) so will probably be in much better shape than he was on the last challenge (2008’s end-to-end ride), the Hinde family all seem to be fairly fit and I’m sure Stuart has been getting them out and about and Becca Tomlinson is mega fit anyways and has been subjecting herself to spinning classes at the gym. So I’m sure everyone will be more-or-less ready…a bit.
4 weeks to go…it’s going to be an adventure.
I’ll be blogging about it all quite regularly here and also on the ride’s site. You can sponsor the riders here http://www.justgiving.com/Istanbul-to-Leeds-2010. It’s an incredible challenge they’re all taking on and your support would be hugely appreciated. If you can’t afford to donate then the riders will be (hopefully!) arriving back in Leeds on Bank Holiday Monday 30th of August – it’d be great if there were some people out to welcome them home!
On Friday I was at the launch of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal’s latest challenge, the Istanbul to Leeds bike ride. Mike, Steven and Becca Tomlinson along with several other family members and friends will be riding the 2,500 miles from Istanbul, Turkey to Leeds, England over the course of 5 weeks. They’ll average about 80 miles a day and travel through 12 countries.
I will be reprising the role I played on the last ride (John O’Groats to Lands End) in 2008, which mainly consists of driving a van filled with bikes and gatorade and taking lots of photos and video footage.
As well as driving support I also put together the ride’s website www.istanbultoleeds.co.uk which I’ll be updating throughout the build up to the ride and then (hopefully) every day of the ride.
The ride is taking place to raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal (full info here www.janetomlinsonappeal.com) and you can sponsor the riders here, www.justgiving.com/Istanbul-to-Leeds-2010.
It really is a pretty mega undertaking and any support you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
It seems that all I’ve really blogged about lately is running, and I’m going to continue that trend.
Yesterday I ran the inaugural Jane Tomlinson Hull 10k. We got a lift over with Maggie (Run For All’s head of press), which was great…the only problem being that Maggie needed to be in Hull very early and as a result we were picked up at 5am…5am! This is the second Sunday in a row that I’ve been up before 6.30am (last Sunday Becca and I went on an early morning bike ride) – it’s suprising how light it is at 4am (and how loud the birds are). The drive over to Hull is pretty boring, lots of motorway, so I carried on ready The Man Who Cycled The World (by Mark Beaumont) – which is excellent and I thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in cycling, travel or slightly mad and ambitious adventures. We arrive at the Guild Hall in Hull shortly after 6 and made ourselves useful fetching and carrying things to help with a few last minute things (as one of the designated Run For All IT bods I immediately got sat at a computer on arrival).
Even at that time it was getting warm, by 8.30 as we made our way to the start line it was absolutely roasting. Luckily the course was fairly flat and part of it goes down to the river-front so there was a nice breeze coming in off the Humber. This was the first Hull 10K and the support along the course was absolutely great, comparable to the awesome crowds at last year’s York 10K. It makes such a difference to have loads of people having a great time and cheering you on and it always makes me smile to see the brilliant hand-made signs held up by kids with ‘good luck mum/dad/etc’ messages on. Despite the heat I finished in a PB of 45mins 57seconds, once again managing to convince my body that a sprint finish was a good idea – if only I could’ve kept my pace up between 6k-8k then I would’ve comfortably got below 45 minutes – need to do a fair amount of speed training over the next month if i want to stand any chance of getting close to (or hopefully under) 40 minutes at the Leeds 10K in July.
In other web-news, I’m on the finishing leg for the Pickles & Potter and Northern Dales Farmers Markets sites – hopefully have a bit more news about them in the next week or so.