2017 - It's not me...it's you!

My main drive for 2017 is to encourage and support others to commence or improve their healthy lifestyles. This will be through both cycle promotion and run leading.

I shall still be fundraising a little bit this year as I was lucky enough to gain a London Marathon place upon first time trying. I shall be raising money for the Leeds Deaf Children's society and will focus this throughout April.

How about taking on the fun Sweat Pledge Advent Calendar this December? (on your own or as a team...)

As office / team / family, take on the Sweat Pledge Advent Calendar - each day will be a mini-challenge (don't worry, not too onerous!). Choose who goes first, then when they complete the day's challenge, nominate who will do the next day. A 'pass' means you need to bring treats for everyone else!

Better still, share your experiences on Sweat Pledge or Facebook!

January

Run Lead Course - 28th January

I have now qualified as an England Athletics Run Lead. This is the first basic step to properly ensure the safety of others.

February

My First Run Lead - 9th February

I've now started planning routes and leading group 2 for Farsley Flyers. Each Thursday we take out nearly 100 runners, with group 2 (of 5) being around 25 runners who have typically progressed from beginners group 1.

March

Work Cycle Storage

We identified and agreed additional cellar space for the storage of bikes to enable more people to ride in. It took a little bit of time and work to clear, then I fitted bike anchors for security (and to validate insurances!.

Once all the anchor spaces are taken, a view on bike racks can be taken in order to make even more use of the space.

April

Couch to 5K

I started helping each week with a couch to 5k group based on run-walking the Bramley Parkrun.

The group did fab and graduated with flying colours at the beginning of June.

London Marathon - 23rd April

For the 4th year running I am support the National Deaf Children's Society!

I was lucky enough to gain a ballot place for the London Marathon, which means as usual, I have funded all the costs involved so that every donation goes to the charity.

Additionally, 50% of the money raised will be directed to the Leeds Deaf Children's Society group to help support an event such as the annual Christmas pantomime trip!
Marathon complete - write-up coming soon but initial photos are here

May

Lets Ride! - 6th May

From May, the cycling's back! Oh yes, and this kicks off with a British Cycling Ride Leader course, which should help me in providing an all-round platform for supporting healthy lifestyles.

Etape Du Dales - 14th May

Even with all the cycling I've done, I'd never actually entered a sportive before. I was genuinely worried about my gear ratio, but on the day the Etape Du Dales hills didn't pose any issue at all really (sort of!).

Really pleased I did it and another personal challenge completed, even if I kept this one low-key.

June

National Clean Air Day 2017

One thing I want to do is encourage more active commuting (bike/run etc.). I spotted #NationalCleanAirDay and thought that sounded like a perfect time, so advertised on facebook in local community to support anyone wanting to ride the 6 miles to Leeds (and back later).

Several responded but only Bex could make that day (I'd never met her before and she'd never ridden in). Which was great as I saw what is really needed is a 'Bike Buddy' a I was able to navigate town centre to get to her destination safely. Returning home later, Bex explained how so many people at work were now really interested - but just need that little bit of extra support...

So I hope to regularly do Bike Buddy days locally to help trigger a snowball effect.

Farsley Festival - 24th June

Once again I helped in the team organising the Farsley Festival and the other various fundraising events leading up to it. We were looking to build and improve upon last year's Farsley Weekend picnic in the park and achieved a brilliant afternoon of play and entertainment for families!

- My Facebook album here

- My summary video here

July

Sweat Pledge Ambassador

We saw the launch of a platform by Guinness World Record holder Kajsa Tylen to inspire, encourage and pledge support to help people achieve their goals. I was deeply honoured to be able to support this initiative by being an ambassador.

The concept is simple, but you can find a lovely video here.

Walking - West Leeds Walks

After meeting West Leeds Walks on Clean Air Day, I've been doing more walking myself as well as meeting up again with them. When I turned 40 I bought a pair of good walking boots but nhave never properly used them(!) and I think the time is right now to start wearing them in and you never know, I might feel a challenge coming on that involves walking!

- The alternative Kirkstall Road here

- Farnley Hall Park pictures here

Christie Manchester to Blackpool - 9th July

A good friend wanted to challenge himself at cycling. I'd encouraged him to start riding in to work just over a year ago for health reasons and after a few months build up, ended up riding daily!

He's enjoying the activity so much, he even started running with us and has even recently sold his motorbike. Wow.

He wanted to get a long ride in, so I encouraged him to sign up to a charity ride and pledged to go along and support ride with him to make sure he completes without incident. This was his longest ride ever (~60 miles) but he completed it in fine form and started to get the bug to want to push further!

- Facebook album here

- Strava here

Springbank School to Filey - 14th July

At the end of each school year my sonís school, Farsley Springbank Primary School, have a day trip out to Filey beach. This year I had the time available to be able to go along. Obviously, me being me, I like to stretch convention and figured the bus journey was a little mainstream...read more

August

Holiday Time!!

Though things are different these days. A family holiday in Tenerife for a week still ended up with 45 miles of running!

It's a good job I love heat and I love hills...

My First Bike Lead - 12th August

August sees the start of the British Cycling guided rides.

I'm an ambassador for a nice short 10 mile canal route, which is fantastic for kids. As an ambassador, it means I lead the route each time it is run - approximately each month.

I may lead other rides and may also become an ambassador for a new route being set up nearby.

September

Be a Hero! Organ Donor cycle challenge - 5th September

Leeds Teaching Hospitals are holding a 24hr challenge to keep a 7ft inflatable heart going by pedal power alone! This is to highlight the start of Organ Donor week.

I took the red-eye shift pedalling from midnight through to breakfast - please sign up and help out.

See the picture album here!

Cycle Leeds to Scarborough with Jason and Peter - 16th September

In order to support Leeds' Children's Heart Surgery Fund I helped Jason and Peter make the 75 miles cycle journey one way to Scarborough. A great big thank you for all the donations, raising a whopping £772 at the last count!

Neither of them had cycled this distance before and this is a self-organised event - so I had to get them there safely!

I've written up a blog about the ride on the SweatPledge site here.

Bike Lead continues

Ambassador for two British Cycling Lets Ride routes now, so that's a ride per month on each route. One of the routes has been designed and accepted by yours truly, so working hard to make that a success.

Farsley Festival 2018..lets get cracking

The holiday period is over and we're back together. Busily reforming the constitution so we can become a charity for improved structure and benefits. Also cracking on with funding options - both grants and mini-events to raise money to make another great festival in 2018.

We were also invited to Co-op Academy Priesthorpe for their community day, so I busily prepped, built and manned our stall. I also made a simple beer-pong type game which turned out to be really popular...so much, few people went to read the marketing info I pulled together!

Couch to 5k @ Parkrun is Back!!

This time the group is bigger - we've started with 25 new runners supported by 4 or 5 Run Leads and Ambassadors.

Genuinely great to see so many people challenging themselves to get active and keep coming week after week. As usual, everyone at Bramley ParkRun is hugely supportive of each other, whether running or walking.

Hola, me llamo Richard!

Part of my grand plan is to learn new skills, particularly languages - ironically much more important now with Brexit looming. I've just started a Spanish course with the fab Learning Curve.

I'm on the lookout for a BSL course now as I'd love to feel more involved with the Leeds Deaf Youth Club that Daniel is enjoying.

October

Light Night Leeds - Bike Parade

Had a spot of fun pimping bikes for the Light Night Leeds bike ride and parade.

Read how it all came together here on SweatPledge.

School Drop Run

Sometimes joining a running club can be a barrier both due to time and confidence. Therefore I wanted to help with the time aspect by encouraging parents who wouldn;t normally run go straight after dropping children off at school in a morning.

Each session is exactly as you'd find at a social running club (compared to an athletic club) and it's proving very popular.

Read a little more here on SweatPledge.

November

The November Challenge!

Join me and pledge a challenge for November.

Think of an activity and increase it each day. See how many days in November you can hit the target.

Use my scorecard to help, plus compare with friends: here

December

The Sweat Pledge Advent Calendar

How about taking on the fun Sweat Pledge Advent Calendar this December? (either on your own or as a team...)

As office / team / family, take on the Sweat Pledge Advent Calendar - each day will be a mini-challenge (don't worry, not too onerous!). Choose who goes first, then when they complete the day's challenge, nominate who will do the next day. A 'pass' means you need to bring treats for everyone else!

Better still, share your experiences on Sweat Pledge or Facebook!

Couch to 5k #2 Graduation!

Started back in September, the Couch-to-5k group graduated!!

See a vlog for the graduation day here.