I may be some time…

Next Wednesday I set off in a van on a 5,000 mile round trip to Istanbul to support the Istanbul to Leeds cycle challenge which aims to raise funds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. As a result I will be more-or-less out of action from 21st July through until 31st August – I will have some access to emails but will only be able to check and respond on an irregular basis.

Hopefully before then I will finish off sites for Will Soden (plumber), Pickles and Potter (Deli/Cafe) and the Northern Dales Farmers Markets (farmers markets) as well as getting on as much as possible with the new site for Run For All (mass-participation runs). Diverse to say the least!

Oh and as a slight aside I also found something else that results in WordPress’ wonderful white screen of death – messing around too much with the chmod settings of the wp-content folder.

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Run run run/web web web

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.

Right, that’s quite enough babbling about running, onto other things. I’ve been playing around with some ideas to enhance the Jane Tomlinson Appeal website, I’ve found a couple of nice jQuery twitter plugins and also this excellent (and very simple/easy to use) javascript flickr plugin – Flickrshow (http://api.flickrshow.com/v7/). I had a bit of a look at the YouTube API but it seems to be fairly stubborn and not hugely useful for the relatively simple things I’ve got in mind – I’m sure I can work something out.

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.

Running, Raining, Writing

Nimes was bloody ace, a very pretty (in a kind of crumbly way) town. Lots of roman architecture and amazing cafés, we just mooched around, went to see Avignon and the Pont Du Gard, repeatedly braved public transport (and didn’t get lost once, although I almost managed to make us miss a bus by waiting on the wrong side of the road) and ate lots of bread and cheese, drank loads of wine and chilled out. In exciting cheese-related news, did you know that in France they have FULL SIZED BABYBELS! I kid you not, try to contain yourselves, and they’re fooking massive. Ace.

Spent a good chunk of yesterday down in Sheffield at the English Institute of Sport where Becca was taking part in a charity heptathlon for Sport Relief along with some celebrities and professional sports people. It was a really fun day, everyone was so nice, had a good chat to olympic diver Nick Robinson-Baker who was a very nice bloke and also spoke briefly to the very nice Jess Ennis (a special mention must also go to, now retired, ice hockey player Ron Shudra – an incredibly lovely man). It was such a rewarding event to be at, everyone had loads of fun, noone took themselves too seriously and were really generous with their time. Becca found it a bit weird that people were asking for her autograph though! I think there will be some highlights of it on Look North tonight, there were lots of cameras around and the whole thing was organised by the Beeb so you’d imagine it was recorded one way or another.

This week I will be cracking on with some structural changes to the Run For All site, finishing off things for Ben Cotton and Aisling Swindells, continuing work on the Pickles and Potter site and also starting work in earnest on the Northern Dales Farmers Markets site – for which I spent a very rainy Saturday in Richmond taking photos.

Marathon training continues, we went to Decathlon in Sheffield yesterday and I stocked up on new shorts – I haven’t run in shorts since I was at school. My oh my, running in shorts is brilliant!