After a great deal of thought and prayer, at the end of 2016, I decided to leave Kingdom Faith Church. I had joined in March 1997 and, over the years, made some very good friends there.
Sadly many of the people I had known were leaving and moving on to new churches or leaving the district so I decided to look for another church, one that would be accessible by bus so not having to rely on lifts as in the past.
I had heard about the Jubilee Community Church in East Grinstead from friends and discovered that there were several families in Copthorne where I live that ere members there.
So, after 12 months, I am enjoying being part of this vibrant church and making new friends. There is a ‘house group’ in Copthorne too so I meet with them on Wednesday evenings.
I have also been studying ‘Way of the Spirit’ courses with another couple on Tuesday evenings which has been most enjoyable.
I haven’t run a Marathon since June (number 197) although I did walk 6 Marathons in 6 days in Monaco in November. This can only be counted as one event so that took me to a total of 198.
In April I will run the Brighton Marathon followed, in June, by my 200th Marathon in Reculver, Kent. This will be just 3 days after my 70th birthday for which I am having a party at the Copthorne Social Club. The Reculver event is called The Dambusters Challenge, a 6 hour race where you can run or walk as far as you like in 6 hours. I will, of course, complete the Marathon distance. It will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Dambusters raid which took place in Germany. My favourite aircraft, The Lancaster Bomber will be incorporated in the medal!
Having recently been diagnosed with mild asthma this is just a challenge that I will have to overcome so it remains to be seen what the future will hold beyond June.
As many of you know, in addition to running Marathons (26.2 miles) I also run Ultra Marathons which is any distance longer than a Marathon. My main love has been the 24 hour track race around a 400 metre athletic track. I have in fact taken part on fifteen of these races and, up to 2017, organised two such events.
Following the continued success of the Crawley A.I.M. charity 6 and 12 hour race I decided to incorporate a 24 hour race for 2017 so renamed the event the Freedom Leisure British Ultrafest.
It took place on the 1st and 2nd of April and was a great success with 10 runners completing over 100 miles in the inaugural 24 hour race.
As in previous years I was able, thanks to the generosity of the sponsors, to donate £1000 to Advance International Ministries.
I had a very enjoyable time in Uganda in September 2016 but, sadly, it was to be my last visit. The main reasons being the cost and the length of time it now takes since British Airways no longer do direct flights to Entebbe. We used Emirates who were excellent but we had to change flights at Dubai and my journey door to door was 27 hours!
Whilst we were there one of our mission team, Simon Shaylor, married his sweetheart Jo, a local lady, who he had met on mission 4 years earlier. He is still living in Crawley but is hoping to be reunited with her soon.
I am still fundraising as best I can, the main source of income on my part is the Crawley track race which has been in operation since 2006 and is going from strength to strength.
More about the race on a separate post.
Another successful race took place on Saturday 2nd of April. Once again £1000 was raised for Advance International Ministries.
Check the website for results. www.crawley6and12hourraces.com
It is possible that a 24 hour race might be incorporated in the 2017 event which will take place on Saturday 1st of April.
I have recently returned from an enjoyable 2 week visit to Kiyindi the village we are supporting in Uganda.
We now have 440 children at the Back To Eden School that we have built but much more work needs to be done and so I am still busy fundraising.
Here are a few photos.
Next years race will take place as usual at K2 Leisure Centre, Crawley on Saturday 2nd of April 2016.
The entry form is downloadable from the website www.crawley6and12hourraces.com
Well after the success of last years race I was hoping to make this years race another successful one. Unfortunately due to the London Marathon deciding to use my usual date I decided to bring my race forward by one week therefore being one week after Brighton and one week before London.
As I write this entries have been slow coming in especially for the 6 hour race but I am hopeful that, now the expense of Christmas is out of the way, people will start sending in their entry forms.
A.I.M.the charity that benefits from this race are desperately in need of money to support our community in Uganda and, as all race entry fees go directly to the charity, it is important to get a ‘full house’.
In the meantime there is a small matter of a British Ultrafest 2015 to organise!
The race took place as planned on the track at Blackbridge, Gloucester on Saturday 14th of June 2014 and it was a resounding success. We have kept the website going so that you can see how the event went with a super race report written by my great friend and P.R. man Phil Howells. The members of Gloucester A.C. that helped both before and during the race were superb.
It is not envisaged that we will be holding another race at this venue but who knows, one day…..
Well, considering before Christmas I was worried that I would not get enough entries, all was well when I was advised that the UKA ultra distance (24 hour) squad had chosen my event for their ‘Squad weekend’ and some of the team would be taking part in the 6 or 12 hour races.
What an honour to think that they chose my event and that some of the best past and present ultra distance stars would be coming.
The event turned out to be the best ever since the first race in 2006.
Thanks to everyone involved, competitors, UKA team officials, Ian Champion (Race Referee) Ian and Carol Murdoch, Sharon Herbert and all the lap recorders and other helpers. Without you all this event could not take place. Over £1000 was raised for Advance International Ministries to go to the work being done in Uganda.
A race report and results can be found on www.crawley6and12hourraces.com
Next years race will be on Saturday 18th of April.
Online entries are now available via the race website www.gloucester24hourtrackrace.com
The race is taking place on Saturday 14th June 2014.