Tag Archives: Charity

401 marathons

I’m mainly a swimmer nowadays, but I’ve done a couple of marathons back in the day. For a while my ambition was to do five marathons, I thought that that would put me in a fairly select club. Lots of people have done one or two, not many are dedicated enough to have done five. But that’s absolutely nothing compared to someone I’ve just been made aware of:

Screenshot 2016-01-07 19.41.20

Ben is running 401 marathons on 401 consecutive days.

Stop a minute and think about that – that is a marathon day for OVER A YEAR!

He’s doing to raise money for charity and would love your support in any way you can manage. I don’t know how much more I can write about it here – just go to his site and see more and cheer him on: http://www.the401challenge.co.uk/

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Four times across the Channel

Screenshot 2015-08-26 14.08.43The Aspire Channel Challenge officially ends today (if you’re still swimming your last few lengths, or raising your last few pounds, then keep going!). The challenge is to swim the same distance as an English Channel crossing (22 miles) in your local pool. The challenge started on 14th September and ran for 12 weeks, until today.

I decided that I’d set myself an additional challenge of doing the distance in 22 days, which I managed to do (I also swam in 20 different venues). I also managed to get a little bit of extra publicity for the challenge (here, here and here).

However, I didn’t stop once I’d done my 22 miles. I may not have counted them directly towards the challenge, but I kept on swimming, so I thought it would be interesting to see how much I swam throughout the twelve weeks of the challenge.

The first thing to note is that although I completed my part of the challenge as a mile a day over 22 days, I didn’t swim only a mile. Most days I swam a little bit more – I just didn’t count it towards my Aspire miles. In fact I swam an average of 2kms per day for those 22 days. After that, I went to Crete with SwimTrek. Then recently I’ve been getting a bit more serious with my training as I want to get a good base level of fitness ready for events in 2016.

The great SwimTrek group on the last night.

The great SwimTrek group on the last night.

So, the total amount of swimming I’ve done in the last twelve weeks is… drum roll please….

134.5kms, or just over 84 miles.

That’s nearly four crossings of the English Channel. Not bad I suppose.

And if that’s impressed you to sponsor me for Aspire, then please, please do so by going here: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/

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It’s not too late…

… to sponsor me for the Aspire Channel Swim.

Screenshot 2015-08-26 14.08.43The challenge, as established by Aspire, was to swim the English Channel (22 miles) in your own pool. To make it more ‘fun’ I decided to swim a mile a day for 22 days in as many different venues as possible. In the end I managed 20 different venues as I had to use my local pool three times due to my son being ill for a couple of days and not having the time to travel anywhere.

– Read about my first mile here.

However, not all of those venues were pools as I managed at least two different open water venues.

For most of the days of this challenge I swam a bit more than a mile, in fact I averaged 2kms per day over the 22 days, but I only counted a mile towards my target. And of course I’ve continued to swim – just not every day. In fact since the start of the challenge I’ve swum about 41 miles – so I’ve nearly completed my return crossing of the channel too.

The challenge isn’t over until December 7th and many people are still swimming and fundraising hard. If you know anyone swimming for Aspire, please support them in any way you can – whether it’s verbal encouragement, a piece of cake or financial support through sponsorship.

And it’s not too late to sponsor me – www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/

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Proper Pool

2015-10-02 08.33.26This morning’s mile for Aspire was wonderful. The fact it was mile 19 and the end is in sight helped. The fact that I swam well and smoothly and completed my lengths with no fuss also helped. But the main reason it was so wonderful was the fact that it was in a proper, old-fashioned pool.

It was the Portland Centre in Nottingham, run by Notts County’s Football in the Community scheme and reminded me of the old pools that my grandad would have taken me to. The changing rooms were cubicles on the side of the pool and there was no chrome or steel, just tiles and water and the chance to swim in a lovely 30m pool.

Post swim smiley face

Post swim smiley face

Mile 17 was also a great swim too. A friend joined me and as he said afterwards, the solitary aspect of swimming is great, but it’s also good to have company once in a while. We swam at the Victoria Leisure Centre pool and after a 1,000m warm-up we did 10 x 100m off 1:50m. It felt like we were pushing things, without killing ourselves and I was comfortably holding 1:40 for each 100m. To finish off we did a timed 100m sprint – Julian managed 1:19 and thrashed my 1:35. It just shows me that I clearly only have one gear / speed. I comfortably held 1:40 in ‘cruise’, but flat out sprint only gains me an extra 5 seconds!

We enjoyed it so much that we forgot to take a photo and instead rushed off for bacon sandwiches!

Yesterday’s mile – mile 18 – was swum in London as I was down there for meetings for the day. It was good, but a bit ‘London’ – you know, a bit too busy and a bit too expensive. But another mile ticked.

I nearly missed mile 16 earlier in the week. I got up later than I intended and so realised that I might not have time to get to the planned pool. So instead I looked for a closer pool and set off for that one – only to arrive and realise that I’d looked at the timetable for the wrong day and it wasn’t open for another hour. I drove back home in a sulk, but it did give me time to have a proper shower and breakfast, two things I’ve missed most mornings.

I went back to the same pool after work, only to act like a cross between a sulky teenager and a diva when I discovered that a) I’d misread the timetable and it wasn’t lane swimming, but ‘general swim’ and b) it was only an 18m pool. I went for it anyway and of course the swim itself was lovely. I did 120 lengths for a total of 2,160m (but only counted the first mile of it towards the Aspire total).

If things go to plan, I’ll finish on Monday in my local pool.

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You can still sponsor me here – www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire

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Aspire Swim in the Paper

As I’ve mentioned not only am I a swimmer for the Aspire Channel Challenge, but my PR agency Joshua PR is also doing a bit of work for them.

The two worlds collided yesterday as Patrick the PR person arrange for Patrick the swimmer to have his photo taken by the Nottingham Evening Post.

This is the photo:

Screenshot 2015-09-15 11.45.20

And here’s the full article: Good Deeds Notts: Patrick to ‘swim’ English Channel in aid of charity

And please don’t forget to sponsor me on JustGiving.

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Aspire Channel Challenge

I very rarely ask for your money. But I’m going to mention this right up front – this time I am: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/.

Screenshot 2015-08-26 14.08.43I’m going to be taking part in the Aspire Channel Challenge – it’s a great idea for a swimming challenge as it asks people to swim the equivalent distance of the English Channel in their local pool. By making it a channel crossing people have a clear target to aim for and it is both a real stretch target, yet an achievable goal.

The challenge officially starts on Sept 14th and lasts for 12 weeks (finishing on Dec 7th).

For me, the swimming shouldn’t be too difficult, so I’ve decided to spice it up a bit:

I’m aiming to do the 22 miles in 22 days in 22 different pools.

I’ll be honest, this extended challenge was inspired by two main sources:

  • The first was Sally Goble’s epic 50 miles in 50 days in London. I was lucky enough to join her for one of those swims and the idea of exploring new pools and therefore having new swimming experiences every day was very inspirational.
  • The second is the fact that my company is doing some work to help promote this challenge, so I wanted to do something a bit more exciting.

What this means though, is that the logistics of the challenge will become the hardest thing for me. I live in a rural location and am lucky enough to have one great pool nearby, but no others for miles. I will spend a lot of time driving into (and through the other side) of central Nottingham early in the morning to find a lane swimming slot to be able to do a mile in.

To do this, I’m going to have to set myself some rules. Obviously I want to complete the 22 in 22 in 22 and make them all local pools, but I also have a life to live and a business to run – for example I know I have to be in London for a couple of days during the challenge.

Rules

  • I will start on September 14th
  • I will allow myself up to 3 days off swimming – so it could take up to 25 days. However these days off will only be allowed because of logistics, not laziness or tiredness on my account
  • I will swim on my London days and so not all the pools will be local
  • I am allowed to use my local pool up to 3 times – so I may only swim in 20 different pools (trying to get a close to 22 days is more important to me that 22 different pools) – looking at it, weekends will be tough, but I know my local pool has sessions on both Saturdays and Sundays
  • I will pay for all entry fees personally and if any pool offers me free entry I will add it to the fundraising total

So please, do support me here – https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/

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Swimming the channel

Taken from my JustGiving page – https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire

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Thank you for taking the time to visit my page.

Starting in September I’ll be swimming 22 miles – the equivalent of swimming across the English Channel – to raise money for people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury.

Every eight hours someone is paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury. It can happen to anyone at any time, and there is currently no cure. Every pound that I raise means that Aspire can provide practical help to a spinal injured person, allowing them to live a more independent life, so please donate as much as you can and help make a difference.

Although I’m a swimmer, this is still a challenge, but to make it ever harder for myself I plan to swim 1 mile per day over 22 days in 22 different local pools. I suspect that this will be a logistics challenge as much as a swimming one.

I’m also working with Aspire to help raise the profile of this event, but will be doing the challenge and hoping to raise money as a regular participant.

I’d be grateful for your support.

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Aspire does great work, so I’d love your support.

But as I mentioned, I’m also working with them to raise the profile of this event to pools and leisure centres. If you want to persuade your local pool to get more involved in the challenge please let me know (you can do it without their direct involvement though – just swim!).

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Charity Options

Yesterday I posted about a giveaway for Primal Bars. It’s quite simple, if you promise to make a minimum £3 donation to charity then I’ll send you four of the bars (one of each flavour).

I even posted four possible charities that you could support:

Freekicks Foundation
Poppyfields
Gav Wild
The Headgear Challenge

Here are two more.

Cosmic is the charity that supports St Mary’s Children’s Intensive Care Unit in London. They basically save small lives. They’ve done a great little video about it, so even if you don’t support them financially, please do watch it:

Man v Miles is a challenge by Kieren Algar to run the Marathon des Sables, followed by the Boston marathon then the London marathon. So 208 miles across three continents in just three weeks. He’s doing it all to raise money for the Tumaini Project.

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Giveaway: Primal Bars

I can’t remember who pointed me in the direction of Primal Bars, but whoever it was, I’m very grateful. I’m currently on a gluten-free diet, or as I sometimes call it – Paleo-lite. What that means is that nearly all of the traditional protein or cereal bars are no longer allowed.

Primal Bars are allowed though as they are “free of any grains, dairy, refined sugars and vegetable oils and always made with 100% natural ingredients.” Perhaps more importantly than that, they’re delicious too.

The four flavours of Primal Bar

The four flavours of Primal Bar

I eat the bars after training, or as a snack during the day and so I eat quite a few of them. My personal favourites are the Almond & Cashew and the Brazil Nut & Cherry (I don’t like coconut at all and I find the cocoa ones a bit too ‘chocolatey’ for my tastes), of course you may well have your own favourites.

And now you can find out.

Unfortunately there was an admin error as I made my last order and I got sent two mixed boxes by mistake. The great customer services team at Primal have sent out the correct order, but let me keep the original boxes. So I’ve decided the share the love and give them away.

I have eight sets of four bars (one of each flavour) to give away to the first eight people to promise to make a donation to the charity of their choice of a minimum of £3 (the bars are worth about £6). I don’t want any proof that you’ve made the donation, I’ll trust you or let your conscience weigh heavily on you. I’ll pay for postage and packing (UK only).

The first eight people to get in touch get the bars.

Please comment below – and also tell me which charity you intend to donate to.

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If you don’t know which charity to donate to, here are some I can suggest:

Freekicks Foundation – I sometimes work with these guys who treat disadvantaged kids to a day out at football matches.
Poppyfields – a fellow member of TeamBear is raising money to Birmingham Children’s Hospital who treated his niece with her brain tumour.
Gav Wild – a man I met at many BLDSA swims last year who again is raising money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, this time because of the care they are giving his son who was born with a Lymphatic Malformation.
The Headgear Challenge – wear a hat, post a picture, donate to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre, in aid of Pat the BLDSA‘s President in 2014.

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2015-01-13 08.46.24By the way, there’s a new Apple & Pecan flavour of the Primal Bar that is being launched (but not available to buy yet). I got a couple with my order, but I’m afraid I’m keeping those 🙂

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Arch to Arc

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a friend taking on the immense challenge that is the Arch to Arc. As he describes it on his Just Giving page:

“I will attempt the world’s most difficult triathlon – The Arch to Arc.  I will run 87 miles from Marble Arch to Dover. Within 48 hours of beginning that run I will attempt to swim the English Channel solo. On completion of that I will then cycle the 180 miles to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.  It is a huge undertaking: You may think that an 87 mile run is a challenge but it pales into insignificance compared to the enormity of swimming the English Channel.  That is like climbing Everest with a fridge on your back! To date, only 13 people have completed the task –  one more than has stood on the moon. In September I will be the oldest person to attempt the Challenge at the grand old age of 49.”

It’s almost too much to even contemplate for us mere mortals.

Well, the challenge will start this weekend (weather dependent) and so this post is my way of wishing him good luck and pushing you to his Just Giving page – https://www.justgiving.com/PaulParrishArch2Arc/. There will also be a tracker that can be found on the Enduroman homepage and will be activated once Paul starts.

You can read about Paul’s training on his blog here.

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