Friday, 15 June 2012

My near Trip(oli)

The taxi picked me up at 3.30a.m. so I could get to Heathrow in time for my 6a.m. flight to Tripoli (Libya) via Vienna, all went very smoothly and I arrived in Vienna in time to transfer to the onward flight. Just before boarding the official asked if I had my visa, I gave him the "official" letter that I had been given by the race organiser. Unfortunately it turned out to be not very official and the Libyan Immigration had never heard of me! So I was stuck in Vienna!! Luckily after a bit of sweet talking the female official at the Austrian Airline desk rearranged a flight back to the UK for later that day. This gave me the rest of the day to explore Vienna, at least something positive came out of the mess!

Exploring Vienna
After a good walk around the city I found a nice restaurant to enjoy a beer and schnitzel. I then made my way back to the airport for my flight back to the UK.

One of the many impressive buildings in Vienna
The good news is one of the athletes we had competing in the Libya 10km won the women's race.

Next week it's back to Torquay for the Torbay Half Marathon.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Where to Begin......

I've been back to full time work for about two months now and so far I'm having a great time. For those of you that don't know I'm working for a sports management company called Run-Fast primarily on the sports management side of the business but also helping out in our recently opened retail shop which at the moment is based on Leadenhall Street right in the heart of London City.

Since my last blog post just before the London Marathon (where I predicted both winners!!) life has been very hectic. As well as settling into a new job and a new place to live, most weekends I am now away at races either in the UK or abroad but if I do have a free weekend I try and make the most of it by exploring new places in London or catching up with old friends I haven't seen in years.

The main part of my job is to organise marathon races for the Run-Fast marathon athletes. Due to this I got the chance to travel to Ottawa in Canada for the Ottawa race weekend. Run-Fast had a group of athletes competing and pace making so it was important I made sure they arrived on time and didn't get lost or miss the race for some reason, it was also good to meet the elite race organiser face to face as we hope to send athletes to the race for years to come. Ottawa was a really nice city and we were blessed with terrific weather so I enjoyed some great runs along the river and canal that runs through the city. A number of races make up the Ottawa race weekend with top elite fields in both a 10km and the marathon. One of the athletes in the 10km was in my opinion probably the best distance runner on the planet last year winning both the Boston and New York marathons both in course records, none other than Geoffrey Mutai. Geoffrey absolutely destroyed the field in the 10km as most people guessed he would and made himself some decent money in the process!

Not the best picture but it's me with Geoffrey Mutai shortly after him winning the Ottawa 10km

After the races all the Kenyans (and me for some reason) were invited to the Kenyan High Commissioners house for a party to celebrate the Kenyan athletes competing in Canada. It was just like being back in Kenya as they had put on a real Kenyan feast including loads of ugali, chapati, ndengu, nyama choma etc. They also had the obligatory speeches followed by a disco full of the best Kenyan classics.

Enjoying a Canadian beer at the Kenyan High Commissioners house in Ottawa
As well as working hard, travelling around a lot and getting in some socialising I have been running maybe four or five times a week to keep a decent level of fitness. For some strange reason the other weekend I decided to try and run from my flat in the Barbican back to my parents house in Essex, bearing in mind over the last two months or so my weekly mileage has probably been 40 at best I managed to make 40 miles in one run!! I made it to Chelmsford in 5 hours and although I "only" had 15miles to go until I made it back to my parents house the train was just too tempting! It was still 12 miles further than I have ever run before in one run and maybe the start of a new career as an ultra distance runner!!

This may well be my final blog as tomorrow morning I will be flying off to Tripoli in Libya for a 10km that we have some athletes competing in!! If I make it back in one piece I will carry on blogging and let you know what I thought of Tripoli!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Back Soon

Since moving to London and starting my new job life has been very hectic, so I have neglected updating my blog, I will update it over the next few days I promise!

In the meantime my dad has just started a blog talking about his recent fight with cancer, check it out: