Picture
Reu is a multi-purpose tyre. She is a racing tyre and a pledge tyre.
PictureReu hanging out with the awards
Organisers: Dear TG, the Cheltenham Challenge would like to present an award to you. Please can you and your tyre (Reu) come to the ceremony? You can have tea and cake whilst Reu gets a rub down.

TG: Dear Cheltenham Organisers, that would be fantastic.

This was Reu's time to bask in appreciation. The worn treads were worth it as she sat with prestige in the chamber of commerce.


Reu tried to angle herself in on the photo shoot of all the event winners. See some of the photos below
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At the end of the day, Reu excitedly received her award from the mayor, supported by TG.

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The mayor pledges to reduce his single use plastic rubbish by consciously putting in effort to BYO (Bring Your Own) everything that is possible:
- BYO thermal cup for coffee/tea
- BYO reusable drinking bottle for walking events
- BYO reusable bags to the supermarket/shops
- BYO reusable take away containers for take away
- BYO plates/cutlery to events that might provide plastic plates/cutlery
- and anything else you can think of.

It is easier to just put "stuff" in the recycling, it takes effort to change our "disposable" mindset, but the mayor is going to move in that direction. Can you take up the challenge?

As Reu had to be taken away for another event, this means Reu pledges to come back to the Cheltenham Challenge event in the future.

 
 
Picture
Type of Race/Course: Trail & road with 5 rivers, 4 hills, 3 large country estates, 2 castles, and 1 cathedral. Sign posted all the way
Location: Salisbury
CPs: Regular CPs @ every 3 miles.  Water, squash + snacks + cake.
Weather: Raining for 1/2 the time! (my total time was 7:43)
Start Time: 08:15 for the runners; 08:30 for walkers/slow runners
Finish: Salisbury Fire Station
Post Runner Recovery: Certificate + medal
Water + supplies carried: 3 breakfast bars + cocktail sausages

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/salisburyfirestation/salisbury-5-4-3-2-1

Today the world ticked slowly. I tried to boot up, but my system was behaving like a Windows machine. I tried to give it a shock by drinking a cup of tea (caffeine has a long effect on me, well into the night) but the system felt like a file was missing. Girly time had snuck up on me and thus was behaving like a Windows 3.1 system. Only one system task at a time could be completed, all other tasks had to wait or be forgotten.
- I had left my keys in the door - thankfully a friend found them and put them safely away
- I had brought the wrong running gear - thankfully I can just about run in any shoes, even sandals on muddy trails
- I had forgotten my rain gear - thankfully Uncle had a spare jacket
- I had forgotten my water bottle - thankfully there were lots of water stations

My job today was to complete the 50K.

Initially had expected to do better than the last time I completed this event in 2010, but woke up with a headache and a fog had settled in my head. Though I might have drunk enough water at Jeremy's party the night before (the lovely Jeremy from Osmotherly), the first day of "girly time" can demand priority. With the rain pelting down, I would have loved to have stayed in bed. However Jeremy had ensured we were up and about with breakfast ready (thank you Jeremy for all your support). It was important to look for positive points about this event. I readjusted my expectations and simply looked forward to the long downhills.
PictureChamey is under the rain jacket
As we arrived at the fire station, the morning ablutions took over priority. Spying toilet facilities in front of the fire station, I rolled out of the car, pulled all my stuff out and waved good bye to Uncle. It was only after I had been relieved, I realised no water bottle. The mind went into a mild panic wondering how the body would cope. It then readjusted to the knowledge of regular water stops about every 3 miles. Next priority was to pick up numbers etc. and saw a lot of familiar faces. Somehow I had not been registered, thankfully Lido's (RD) daughter sorted me out.

Rain drops were flowing freely from the skies above, nevertheless it was time to soldier on for the 50K before the pack of runners left for their respective events. On leaving the registration, I was told the route had changed from the previous years and was handed a map. The start point swayed from side to side as the wind swirled. I headed for it head down and was sucked through. Within 100 metres, I hit a cross road. An arrow pointed to the left and an arrow pointed straight ahead. I took out the map, which was instantly pelted with rain drops to smear the ink. A foggy head made a quick map confirmation: the left arrow was for the 10K and the yellow arrow was for the 50K. With no one else to follow, I had to do as "Dorothy" (Wizard of Oz) did, I followed the yellow arrows.

PictureAmazing marshals - happy despite the rain
Normally I would run the first 10 miles before drinking anything. I was thirsty after the first 5 metres. I can only blame this "girly time". I needed to focus on breathing through my nose to reduce the water loss, concentrate on smelling the wet pine forest and the wet summer smells. Sometimes I licked the water falling onto my face.....but I knew I was playing a psychological game with myself. Despite the disgusting weather, the marshals were out smiling and applauding, cheerfully handing out water. I took a cup from the first station and kept it with me until the end. Again I was thankful for the plentiful water stations. I stopped at every single one of them and downed many cups of water, paranoid about being dehydrated.

(thank you Barry Light for your encouragement, use of your photos and donations to my cause)

PictureOn the road to the first estate
As I motored down the first downhill, my mind reflected on the event when all the marathon runners had overtaken me at this point. There was no one but walkers. It wasn't until I headed towards the first estate, that marathon runners would past me in a steady stream. More friendly faces passed me by. I was a little confused, but thought there would be a 50K diversion at the end to make up the distance.

Sure there was later a  very narrow passage, a muddy farmland and a barrier to get over that I had not remembered in the previous time I completed the event, however
I felt displaced. As the rain slowed to a piddle, at the back of my mind there was something amiss. For the final 7ish miles, I met James: a triathlete who thought he'd walk the marathon to recover from his last week's triathlete event (see I'm not the only crazy). I recapped with him on the entire route. As we chatted, the dawn arose in my head - my first cross road. 10K + marathon route = 50K.

When ever there is a decision about a direction, I hear Freddy (from Oliver and the Over World) "You can't go wrong if you just go right 'cos right's the proper way! That's what my dear ole grand-dad always used to say". It's a great song, but ain't always right!

I felt an overwhelming sense of failure - I had properly FAILED to complete 50K. Job incomplete. ....but as my friend Welsh Womble would query, what were the 3 Ps?
1. Falling short of the distance meant at least, I completed a marathon distance (42K) in 7:43 - an hour better than the last performance in the Yorkshire Dales and also could add this to my tally.
2. A swollen belly and iron depletion was happy it was only a marathon distance.
3. It was great to be out and about despite the initial weather and we ended in glorious weather...and thus the foggy head had cleared with the sunshine.

Next year is the 20th year of the Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 and I will be back to complete 50K properly!

 
 
Type of Race/Course: Trail with lots of steep hills in North Yorks. Made the "Hill of Despair" in the Cheltenham marathon (previous blog entry) seem a minor inconvenience! Worth ascending/climbing every mountain for the marvelous English countryside scenery .

The written route description from the site needs to be complimented with a map and some orienteering will be required (see image below)
On the left are the written instructions from the website. I decided to reformat to something I could more easily digest. After all we always have a choice as to how we want to read our situations.

Location: Osmotherly village, North Yorks national park
CPs: There are self CPs (clip yr own card + token into bucket) + regular CPs @ every 3-5 miles. Water, squash + snacks
Weather: @24 degs C; very sunny; very exposed.
Start Time: 09:00 for all runners
Finish: Ends at Osmotherly village
Post Runner Recovery: Certificate + badge + plenty of village pubs to down a pint or three.
Water + supplies carried: 2.5 litres of salty squash + 3 breakfast bars + 2 jam sandwiches + 2 sausages
Mandatory gear: Map, compass, waterproof trousers/jacket

Website: http://osmotherleyphoenix.wikidot.com/
PictureWith Linda (missing Gerry) - end of the event
TG: Dear Organisers, my tyre and I wish to join your marathon. We know not what we are getting ourselves into, but as this is the land for adventure, please can you entertain my tyre desire.

Organisers:
Hi TG – we think you are MAD! This qualifies you and your Tyre for a place in the Phoenix – no extra charge for the tyre!

...and like the merry dwarves..... "hi ho hi ho it's off to research I go...."


 

PictureThe Cleveland Way. Somewhere in the middle it says Cleveland Hills!
Osmotherley is a village, on the outskirts of the glorious North Yorks national park and the start of this crazy marathon. According to local folklore (well a chappy in the local museum) there was a Viking who presided over the area way before I was born. His name was Asmund or Osmund as the Saxons would say.  One day his mother had gone out and never returned. Her son Osmund became anxious  and went out to search for her. Sadly he found her dying in the snow. Unable to carry her back, he lay down in the snow and died next to her. Thus the place was called Osmund's Mother Lies, hence Osmotherley.

PictureKiwi Alert! Discovering Captain Cook's Schoolroom Museum in Great Ayton
This area is essential history for all the Aussies and Kiwis out there. This is the motherland, the start of where the New World would be mapped out by Captain Cook. So you can do a marathon, stay in some lovely B&Bs or campsites and explore the life of Captain Cook. There are 3 Captain Cook museums, one is free :). Of course, it would be rude not to visit a number of village pubs in this "ancient world" as well as to stuff yourself with fish and chips.

PictureNew Forest runners and the lovely Jeremy
We stayed in a B&B about 5 miles away from Osmotherley called the Swan House. This is an excellent B&B run by Christine and John who cannot do enough for you. Recommended to stay there if you are late booking into the village or cannot get in early enough to the camp site (gates close at 9pm).

Here we met the lovely Jeremy who needed a ride over to the village. Uncle would drop us at the village and be checking into the local Parkrun at Ripon.

Jeremy would accompany me for the first couple of miles, before leaving me in his trail of dust along an ascent up a steep hill.

Picture
Lots of hills, disappearing people and Wain Stones on the right
About 6-7 miles in, I lost everyone. I was pretty sure people were following me, but when I looked back there was a deserted trail. In the route description it read: "For the purist, keep ahead and climb Cringle Moor to view finder (GR534034) ...."

Later the route description referred to an alternate route:
"For those who prefer speed to the views, it is possible to contour round Cringle Moor to the North..."

Of course I am a purist, and was pretty sure there would be more purist. I mean what's a hill after having ascended 3 steep hills? A crow circled above and squawked out, "hills roll along this route".
In my head I heard Mohammed Ali say:

"If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain"

So Tyregirl must go up every mountain! The crow squawked "fool, fool" then drifted off over the moors.

I looked up and cried out: "Hills are fun, especially going down!"

...Not these ones! Most of them I had to carry Reu up due to kinks, ruts and rock protrusions along the route. Many of them I could not simply run down due to those same tyre grabbing rocks descending  the hill. And then there were the Wain Stones - a bunch of large boulders thrown up on the top of a hill. Tourist sat out on the canter levers admiring the views below. We had to climb it....as in there was a "high" step and a narrow passage meant I had to lob Reu onto a boulder, which would enable me to step up and shimmy through. Perhaps there was an easier route....oh yes that's where everyone disappeared to.
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So I was on my own, no one behind and obviously those who were in front had long disappeared into the horizon.

I had blindly followed the Cleveland Way, and 10 miles in, the signage was not altogether clear as the sun baked upon my head. Thankfully, the map reassured me I was going along the correct route, warning me of more hills along the way......great. My initial enthusiasm of hills had waned away. Without being able to hurl myself down a hill, Reu was a drag (sorry Reu), often being tipped over and bouncing on bucket instead. This caused the tension in the rope to change and fray and would soon become an issue as further beatings upon bucket meant the rope would snap and threaten to let bucket loose. Time would have to be spent stopping to do bucket checks, attempting to keep the rest of the thinning rope intact.

As we headed off the Cleveland Way, I would take a wrong path searching for a hidden gate that headed towards Bilsdale Hall. I should have remembered the song by Freddy and the Dreamers in Oliver and the OverWorld "Oh you can't go wrong if you just go right 'cos rights the proper way." Here is a clip of a childhood memory that my brothers and I used to sing along to in the car.

PictureThe smile is due to the applauding village finish
After a 20 minute delay, whilst retracing my steps, I was fortunate to see a group climb down behind a small mound to the gate towards Bilsdale Hall, and hence would help me find the next CP, Chop's Car Park in Seave Green.

Using the map to navigate the next part of the route, we ascended another steep hill. A passerby pitied me as I must have looked a tormented soul.

I might have felt lost momentarily, I meant have regretted going the hilly route, but the finish was fantastic. Made it within 10 hours to a heros welcome by the entire village and participants clapping every last person over the end line.

After 9 hours and 47 minutes playing with hills and open landscapes, my mind had to catch up, suddenly back in civility, soaking in images of kids playing in the street, people taking in laundry, pubs over flowing from walkers and participants, and people happy as the rain had held back and the sun had smiled throughout.

It was tough out there; apparently a number of people had to be pulled off the course with sunstroke!  I sat in a pile in front of the end desk. My legs had made it, my arms and back had a tyre work out from lifting and carrying 10 kilos, and I was happy I had climbed every mountain. The positive reception at the end made the event worth doing.

So I leave you with another oldie song. The original on the left or on the right if you want to hear a more modern take.

Thank you to the donations (6.50 raised) + photos from Jeremy.
 
 
PictureRD takes Reu for a run. Perhaps "tyre pulling" should be an official category
Type of Race/Course: Trail with a "Hill of Despair" (in photo background) that has to be done twice, 3 styles to leap over plus a number of kissing gates. Excellent views over the Cotswolds
Location: Cheltenham Race Course
CPs: @ every 2-3 miles. Water + snack
Weather: @24 degs C; very sunny
Start Time: 08:00 for marathon runners
Finish: Ends at Cheltenham Race Course
Post Runner Recovery: Small snack bag + water
Water + supplies carried: 2.5 litres of salty squash + 3 breakfast bars + 2 marmite/honey sandwiches

Website: http://www.cheltenhamcircularchallenge.org.uk/

TG: Dear Race Organisers, Please may I pull a tyre on your course. I promise to carry my tyre when the paths are narrow and could potentially damage flora & fauna, impede a runner, as well as could potentially damage farmers crops

Race Organisers: Dear TG,
you need to be fully aware that the course is predominantly off-road, following public footpaths, crossing stiles and kissing gates, over farm land, and passing through a registered AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty) and SSSI (site of special scientific interest). You may find that there are long stretches where you would need to carry the tyre rather than pull it. You also need to be aware that this is a fairly tough course with some significant climbs and rough tracks.

TG: Sounds like an excellent challenge for the day after the longest day of the year.
What could be worst than Rhonda Rollercoaster?
Picture2 lap marathon course
The route takes you through the race course on a gradual rise through some SSSI, and then there is this hill. We (Chamey, Reu and I) looked up this hill....South Downs marathon's "hill of dread" flashed back in my mind. They call this Agg's hill.....and that's what everyone would have to do to get up it....."agg agg argh agg".....Follow the rhyme with "agg agg argh" steps and that hill will  slowly be mastered.

Agg agg argh step, Chamey's head was down.....Agg agg argh step, TG's head was down....Aggie aggie aggie, Reu says keep on going!!!

Yeah - fine for a 10kg lump of rubber!


PictureSpots of purple to colour the grassy landscape
The top of the grassy slope, marks the beginning of the tarmac climb which tapers off for about 1/2 a mile to a gentler climb, entering a clay, rocky grooved path. the actual top is in an AONB where butterflies and dragon flies abound and your eyes can feast on a panoramic view of the Cotswold and the race course.

After that, the challenge turns into a slope teaser,. The route meanders down and then meanders up again, occurring several times to perplexing this tyre runner's hope of running down a gradual slope to the bottom.

Another gradual climb and the trail opens up into a wide field and later skirts around a golf course.....yeah yeah yeah bucket would be good target practice....."Bucket in one eh golfers...."

A sharp right angle turn marks a short steep descent followed by a gradual gnarly path down to the road and back towards the race course to repeat the route again.

In this marathon, I am learning to breathe through my nose! This reduces phlegm and the need to drink as much. Also teaching myself to allow my foot to relax onto the ground to spread the impact over my entire forefoot. I noticed I have been slightly pulling the toes back, causing the fore foot to arch on impact. Long term this becomes an "oucher" and should be avoided!

Thank you to the fantastic welcome and cheers from all the volunteers/organisation, the encouragement from fellow runners as well as the donations from you all that will go to EarthWatch......and runners/walkers, let's make next year a litter free course.  Leave all rubbish at checkpoints and BYOB - Bring Your Own Bottle to refill at checkpoints :-)

All is all this is a challenge, so do not expect a PB. Aim only to beat the person in front of you :-)
 
 
PictureSJI students pledging to reduce their trash
At @1.5 tonnes per head/year, the average resident in Singapore produces more trash per head than the average resident in the USA! A number of students at SJI were not surprised. Singapore has become an even more "disposable society" than the USA, with the  "if its old, chuck it" attitude. There are very few charity shops in Singapore as many residents are suspicious of other people's stuff and a number feel the cost of the items are only a little cheaper than the new items. Additionally few knew about freecycle or trashnothing. Perhaps schools in Singapore can look at freecycling school uniforms from fast growing kids!

It has been estimated that Singapore's only landfill site (Pulau
Semakau) will be completely full by 2035 and Singaporean residents do not appear to be slowing down their disposable attitude. Singapore currently manages its waste stream through recycling and incineration. Incineration reduces the trash to 10% of its volume and then the ash is landfilled. If incinerators do not burn at high enough temperature, dioxins and furans are formed from burning plastic and rubber waste (can cause cancer and respiratory problems).

Singapore also has a "haze" problem that residents indirectly support by purchasing products such as soaps, fast food, chocolate, biscuits, etc that contain palm oil. A number of these companies are not scrupulous about where they source their palm oil from and have been found to import palm oil through the destruction of Indonesian rain forests (Nestle is an example of a company that Greenpeace have urged to stop supporting the destruction of rainforests to palm oil). The very same destruction that is causing "the lung killing haze" continually encountered in Singapore,


It was fantastic to meet the change makers who want the "buck to stop here".

PictureHanding over the pledge tyre who is waiting to be named :-)
The vision is for Singapore to be a zero trash society:
- that reuses and repairs "stuff" at home
- and what cannot be reused or repaired is then upcycled or recycled and in turn is again reused

...Thus reducing the poisons we release back into our environment; our demand on resources and our impact on our precious rain forest resources. Some will go for the baby steps provided with the B.Y.O attitude, and others in the school will guide the way to help their home, school and society become totally sustainable.

The dream is possible with a bit of determined effort....just as a "gal" drags a tyre in a marathon.

Thank you to Martin, Frances and Clare, the brilliant teachers who have supported this cause and will continue to guide the change makers to be more sustainable.

 
 
My leg is nearly healed after 2.5 weeks of hobbling around. I am quietly amused by my whole antics of slow walking/hobbling in an effort to keep my leg working, in the hope that it is dynamically stretching the tightened muscles and unravelling the twisted tendons and ligaments that took place in the last 60 miles of the Ultrarace 100. Resting is not really my thing!

3 months ago, the Ultrarace 100, sparkled and enticed me to join even though Rory (RD) refused my tyre entry. This event started at mid-day and would be held on one of the longest days in the year, 28 June. This meant I would not have to get up early and the night part would be relatively short.  It was a perfect event to enter as a training run to kill a couple of demons in my head, if I was going to re-attempt the 135 miler (Arrowhead). However there are two parts to every event. First there is the training to get to the start line and second there is the completion of the event. So far I've failed only one event for the latter and none for the former....but there is always a first time for everything.

GETTING TO THE START LINE
After Ridgeway 40 (11 May), I completed a second 40 miler the following weekend in just under 8 hours sans tyre. Still feeling strong my target for the 100 miler was to finish the event within 24 hours. 

Four weeks before the event a past back strain came to haunt me as I dragged piles of rubble around (more building work!). Unable to run for 2 weeks due to chronic back pain, I considered cancelling the event.....after all everyone around was nagging me.........that is until I attended my local church.

With the church's vision for a church centre to be a cornerstone in the town and their appeal for funds, I got excited. Perhaps the vicar had put the thought in my head, perhaps God or perhaps I just needed a little more purpose. As I left the church, I did a u-ee (u-turn) and declared to the vicar that I would dedicate my next run to help them raise funds (see https://mydonate.bt.com/events/rimaultrarace100/100147). Errr.... no I did not tell him I had a bad back.

Two weeks before the event: Still unable to run, I downgraded my time estimation to completing the event within 30 hours and sheepishly announced to those around what I was planning to do.

"Roll the eyes and shaker the head."

Okay so I had 2 weeks to sort myself out and if God wanted me to do this event, my body would be ready on the day. I had a plan to continue with my daily pseudo-pilates and secondly get my buddy Sharon to attempt to clear my knotted back as well as the stiff neck that had been niggling me for a number of weeks. Her first attempt to ease the back had me giggling with pain as she discovered a very tender spot on my glutes, however after her manipulation, I managed a slow 10 mile run 2 days after. The weekend before the event, I slow jogged a 5K and then had Sharon attack my back and neck a second and final time to remove any further tension. The rest of the training plan was to simply eat to put on some weight and ask some church members to pray for me the week before the event! 

Four days before the event: Everything was coming together. Me back feeling was better, that girly thing came a week early...but sniff sniff. My nose was runny, had a slight headache and the throat was feeling a little discomfort. I was coming down with a cold. As long as it didn't affect the chest, I would be okay. My touch rugby buddy Kate reminded me to gargle with Listerine. I did for the next 2 days. I was adamant this cold would last 3 days.
 
Event day: Just a sniffle left of the cold and a slight tension in the lower back - no show stoppers. I had made it to the start line as fit as I could be: very little running in the last 4 weeks and lots of eating. ***lots of imaginary fanfare sound effects + yahoos*** The plan was to keep everything easy and enjoy the sunset and sunrise.

THE EVENT
The weather: The day was cloudy and cool at 18 degrees C. The early morning drizzle had died out by about 10am. Rain was forecasted to fall at about 6pm. The next day would be hot and sunny.

The Start: Having walked off in the wrong direction to the registration building/startline which was only 5 minutes away from the hotel I stayed overnight in,  I was anxious. I was anxious about getting lost and I was anxious about being itchy and clawing my skin apart in the slightly humid conditions (I suffer from eczema). To circumvent the latter, I had a whole anti-histamine before starting which was a bad idea. 

Two experienced ultra runners who had done this event assured me it would be hard to get lost on this route. As a newbie (well I've only completed a 40 mile event as my longest and failed the 135 mile event) I thought I'd pick their brains further and followed their advice to reduce my bag of surplus weight of extra water, food and clothes. After all each checkpoint is only a training run away (every 10 miles).

Final Kit: Small running backpack; spare long sleeve (parkrun jacket); a couple of cereal bars + one gel; one 750 litre bottle of water; pair of sandals; small towel (to wipe the sweat away and hopefully reduce the eczema itch); head torch; plasters; ankle brace; string (in case I needed to tie anything - like if my shoes fell apart!); small tube of sun cream; small tube of moisturising lotion; toothbrush with toothpaste, rain jacket, emergency blanket.

The last thing I needed to do was to flush out the system of negative thoughts, however I hadn't really thought to do so. I knew I could complete 100 miles, I already had the mental capability. The questionable part was in what state I would leave my physical being.

Anyhow it's late, I've got to go to bed, then work and do all the normal shenanigans normal people do.

In the meantime, I'd like to suggest that future running events have a pen, paper and bucket for you to write down any final negative thoughts as you wait because you arrived ridiculously early for registration. The bucket should be placed at the start line, so you can throw your negativity into the bucket to leave it at the start.

Good night and be with you all again next week for part 2 if I haven't bored you already :-)
 
 
Picture
Signing the New Holland East Coast Pledge
The New Holland pledge

1. To reduce consumption - reduce purchasing stuff
Think about reusing and repairing things before you decide to throw it away. Perhaps Freecycle/Freegle or some type of share organisation will have the item you are looking for.

2. To reduce trash
...By reducing trash that you bring home by applying the simple principle of "Bring Your Own" (BYO)
a) BYO take away containers to restaurants/take out shops
b) BYO thermal mug to the coffee shops (it also is so much nicer than polystyrene cups)
c) BYO bag to the shops

Also think about using Freecycle/Freegle or some type of share organisation to move on the items you no longer want. In the UK broken vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers go very quickly! Let someone else fix it and make some spare cash.

Recycle as a last resort and not as a first resort.

3. To stay active forever (minimum is 20 minutes a day) to combat stress, health issues, reduce dementia, and more. Activity creates a free happy drug - Endorphines! That's why active people are so happy :-)

Picture
The Expo had a village feel about it due to art and craft produced by the Garden Spot Villageres, foods from the Amish community, companies with clothing lines and companies from other marathons.

The Garden Spot Village marathon decided to try out the Hydro Pouch as a way to reduce the number of throw away cups on the course. I wonder what feedback has come back from its use. I decided to continue using my water bottle so that I could continue to carry a larger quantity of water on the course and by pass checkpoints/aid stations.

The pasta dinner was again excellent with a vegetarian option. Desserts came in the form of cheese cake, carrot cake, mousse and am sure there were some others. Just couldn't fit them all on my plate!!!

Picture
Where does your trash go? To a landfill site!
The Pasta Talk

Different messages were delivered that the audience could choose to go home with:
a) Dragging tyres is about putting life in perspective. b) Challenge yourself to keep your mind young.
c) We, as a technologically advanced society should be aiming towards zero waste! We, as a collective group can make a difference to our environmental impact to the world.

My challenge you is to reduce your outgoing household trash to one small bag a day or even zero trash and to move away from the "disposal society" we have become.

The amount of trash we produce is steadily increasing and the resources we have to supply our consumption is decreasing. As an alternative to oil, bio-diesel is being produced. However this means vast areas of rain forests are chopped down to make way for acres of crops like palm oil trees (in 2008 a Horizon report suggested 5 football fields a day were being slashed in Indonesia). Additionally our toxic plastic waste is making its way into the oceans creating vast plastic expanses (some estimate this to be the size of America), suffocating life and making its way back into our food cycle. Think Capt. Charles Moore explains this best.
Comparitive Figures of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)(Household waste) or when available SW (includes industrial waste) Produced

Currently it is estimated that the world produces 1.3 billion tonnes of solid waste per year and it will increase. A search on the web has produced these figures below. It should be noted that China is a big importer of many developed nations "recycled" trash, including USA and UK. What ever cannot be recycled is landfilled there! With the introduction of packaged goods in China, China's MSW will only rapidly increase with more "throw away" plastic.
USA:
MSW=@250 million tonnes/year *
GDP=$15.09 trillion**
Population=313,914,040 ***
MSW/person=@796 tonnes/year
Total MSW recycled=34%
Plastic waste=31 million tonnes/year
Plastic recycled=8%

Sources:
* epa.gov - 2010 figure for only household waste
** World Bank - 2011 figure
***U.S. Census Bureau - 2012 figure

UK:
SW=@140 million tonnes/year*
GDP=$2.43 trillion**
Population=62,641,000**
SW/person=2,234 tonnes/year
Total recycled=@40%
Plastic waste=5 million tonnes/year***
(2.4 million is plastic packaging)
Plastic recycled=24%

Sources:
* Environmental agency - 2010 figure for all waste
** World Bank - 2011 figure
*** British Plastic Federation

Note: To check how good your town is at recycling click here
China:
MSW=@250 million tonnes/year*
GDP=$7.3 trillion**
Population=1,344,130,000**
MSW/person=@185 tonnes/year
Total MSW recycled=23%
Plastic waste=Unknown since they are global importers of the world's plastic waste

Sources:
* Facts & Details - 2012 for only household waste
** World Bank - 2011 figure


Singapore:
SW=7.2 million tonnes/year*
GDP=$239.7 billion**
Population=5,183,700**
SW/person=1,400 tonnes/year
Total recycled=60%*
Plastic waste=0.7 million tonnes/year*
Plastic recycled=10%*

Sources:
* nea - 2012 figures for all waste
** world bank - 2011 figure

Note: Singapore incinerates its waste, converting it into energy. The ashes are used to reclaim land!
So do we care to work collectively to change our consumption habits? I know Modesto and New Holland care. Hope to find out if this has progressed forward for each marathon's 10th anniversary!
 
 
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Ecuder with some teachers and students at the end of class
Ecuder (new tyre) and TG had an opportunity to visit Modesto Gregori High School's Global Club. The global club's main goal is to help preserve their environment and educate people on how they can do this. 

Given 2 days to come up with a topic, Elvira, a senior who will be running her first marathon this Sunday, told TG she just had to talk about herself and what she is doing. Easy! Except Ecuder whispered something else to TG! 

We met a proactive group of teens and a few teachers with a mission "to change the habits of adults stuck in their ways of apathy and excess". 

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The Global Club's Commitment to Reduce
By the end of the talk, this group came up with 5 items they will be including in their movement. 

1. Turn Off Stuff: Their current movement is to "Be Energy Efficient" and encouraging teachers and colleagues to switch off the lights and their white goods before they leave the class.
2. BYO Bag: When going to the shops, they will commit to a policy of "Bring Your Own" bag.
3. More Sidewalks (walk/cycle): Currently there are no sideway access to the school which discourages students from either walking or using a bicycle to school. Perhaps more students would walk/cycle to school if sidewalks existed to the school. Currently there is a health and safety risk.
4. Reuse:
a) Water Bottles: To purchase less water bottles and instead use more robust water bottles
b) Clothes - e.g. Prom dress:  Apparently an awesome young lass came to the prom last year in a dress made from snickers wrappers. Will the young ladies in the class continue this tradition? Could part of the credentials to crowning a prom queen be her "frugal" qualities.
c) Art: To transform rubbish into art

This sounds like a case for integrating the Art, Home Economics and Industrial Technology departments together!

5. Reuse Food: There was an end of class discussion about how the school canteen's food waste could have been turned into fuel gas and compost. Unfortunately the proposal was over turned. However, TG was told there will be a movement towards worm compost bins. This sounds like the Agricultural department need to get involved. Additionally perhaps the Industrial Technology and Science departments can look at a project whereby students can create an anaerobic digester, after all there are so many resources on the web to discover how to do many things!

Go Modesto Gregori High School's Global Club! We will be watching you pioneer an innovative "sustainable living" program and hope you become an example for other schools to follow. You are a great example of "Being The Change".

The Global Club will be helping the marathoners on Sunday to recycle their waste. Let's hope marathoners show some responsibility!

 
 
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Tring: Protecting Our Animals
Protecting Our Animals:
Resort World - Let the dolphins Go

The Singapore Marathon fills me with dread. The energy sapping humidity and the almost unbearable heat will cause many to suffer from dehydration and heat exhaustion, including myself. Unless the marathon is completed under 4 hours, a number will fall by the wayside, having underestimated the heat intensity as time ticks on towards 10:00 

But I had promised to run with a message for Acres to Resort World to please let the dolphins go. I support their call as Singapore is a progressive nation, and keeping intelligent species enclosed in a pool is like putting a sane human being in a padded cell and bringing them out for one's own amusement. If you let the dolphins go, it will be a day that will be remembered, sending a message to the rest of the world that we need to change our attitude to other species on this world. Come on Resort World - the world needs you to lead by example. Let the dolphins go.

Acres actively rescue and protect our local indigenous species. If you care about preserving the local biodiversity of Singapore please volunteer or to support the cause click here..

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www.facebook.com/ahsiao69
Discovering a Son:
Running for Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP)


As the marathon time was approaching, I dicovered I had a long lost son who tracked me down through the inter-web. Like any mother who discovers she has a child - it was a surprise.  After all - would I like him? Would he like me? ....and all those other concerns that goes through a mother's head. His tyre draging proved that he was coming from the same family. I could not reject him.

He still has much to learn to train his tyre. Of course,  I disapprove of him tying a chain around his ahlianchanel69 and bumping her up and down. She is looking a little worn out. However he has done his mum proud, completing the marathon in a great time of 7:20 and at the same time raising awareness for the BMDP.

He carried a burden for the event, entertaining all around and striving to give hope to the leukemia, lymphoma patients and others who need stem cell technologies to get them back into health. To be a donor click here or to support the cause click here

 
 
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Avast me hearties, this is an event you all must try.  It throws at you moors and bogs with thigh deep mud crossings. I was just thankful I was not any shorter.

(To find the next time this event runs, click here)

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Our eyes were treated to scenes of delight despite the dreary misty start. Into the Yorkshire moors, our feet were treated to slick mud following where smugglers trod.

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As the sun broke through the clouds, a carnival of pirates and wenches abounded at CP2.

Behind the carnival scene, runners and walkers alike disappeared off towards a meandering river and a rocky path that would try to catch Red in their teeth.

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The path would follow a scenic sticky muddy rocky tour.  Historic walls and caves for smugglers to follow. Perhaps this was a place to hide one's bounty?

1799 - what a year!

We wandered further, climbing banks and crossing bridges to finally see views of Yorkshire's coastline. As we passed through the final village, the fish and chip shop had a queue so long it snaked into town. Had to pull TG away from the drooling outside the shop.

And then we climbed a "Cardiac Arrest" hill. It was so steep TG was nearly crawling on the ground. The town saw pity and threw money into bucket and we raised £61 for Earthwatch. A very generous bounty.

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Finally at the end, none of us escaped the muddy trails, not even Chamey who tried to stay well away from the ground.

Pies and chips were a welcome feast.
A certificate and badge to tell the end.
And a Smugglers Trod swag bag to take away our spoils.

This is a brilliant event and definitely worth doing even though it is about 1 and a bit miles shy of a marathon distance. Unfortunately can't count it as part of my 100, but this event is certainly one of my favourites and hope to be back in the area in the future.

Thank you George and your team of fantastic volunteers who really made the event so fun.

Thank you to everyone who donated.