Monday, 21 March 2016

For the Honour Of Grayskull!

The Bath Half Marathon was on Sunday 13th March and I lived to tell the tale! Thanks to a friend who runs a fancy dress business (Dressing Up Box) I ran in costume as She-Ra, which got a lot more attention than I was expecting! I was photographed pre-race by BBC Radio Bristol, Top Bath Guide and I was filmed for the Bath Half website - catch at glimpse of me at 28 seconds in! I even made the front page of the Bath Chronicle article. So a BIG thank you to Dressing Up Box for my costume!
Princess of Power!
The atmosphere on the day was really uplifting and the cheers and support of the crowds was fantastic, even if very few people knew I was She-Ra – I was cheered as Wonder Woman, a Greek Goddess and a Roman Gladiator.
For the record, She-Ra is on the left, Wonder Woman on the right.
For the first several miles I would wave and call back “I’m She-Ra!” but by the last 4 miles I was so focused on getting through it that I didn’t even look up anymore! Being clapped and shouted for really helped me keep going and the encouragement of the other runners helped me stumble into a sprint finish. My chip time was 2 hours 39 minutes, a personal best that I am very proud of!

Stumbling towards death.

I will definitely be doing the Bath Half again next year, the support was incredible and it was the most friendly sporting event I have ever been to. I was chatting with several people before and during the race, including an incredible cancer survivor who was in her 50s and on her second half marathon in the last year, and a brilliant guy who was acting as a personal trainer to basically everyone around him in the last mile, cheering us all on and encouraging us to keep running!

Me waving in a moment of desperate joy.
The first 4 miles of the race felt great, even if I was overtaken by a man dressed in a full Darth Vader costume, but at about mile 5 the angle of the road started playing merry hell with my right ankle. I managed to run up to mile 6, after which I had to start doing walk intervals to ease the pain in my right leg. By mile 10 I was mostly limping with the occasional brief interval of jogging, and at mile 12 my mum snapped a photo of me looking like I’m stumbling towards death (see above). I still managed a cheery wave once I heard her call my name, though (see right)! My personal low point was being overtaken by two men dressed as a camel and then, in the final mile, I was overtaken by Ali G, someone dressed as a gorilla and someone dressed as Tully from Monsters Inc. Watching people in very hot, awkward costumes run past me was a real blow to my pride, but I kept slogging on and kept moving the whole way. 

Over a week later and I’m still limping, but I gave the race everything I had and did myself proud! Thanks to the incredible generosity of my sponsors, we’ve also raised an amazing £570 for Mind – and as my work match funds up to £500 that means Mind will be getting at least £1,070! There’s still time to sponsor if you can -
The very talented Kate aka Grumpy Jogger has immortalised me with a Paper Grump on her Cross Training Blog - which is hilarious and you should follow her! 
A HUGE thank you to everyone who has sponsored me and supported me through my training and on the day. It really made a huge difference and helped keep me going, and I’m honestly overwhelmed by how generous everyone has been! Now, for my next trick - getting a better time for the Bristol Half Marathon..!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Princess of Power

The Bath Half Marathon is just a few days away and I'm in my final taper training stages. Thanks to the amazing and wonderful support I've received, I've also beaten my fundraising target! I'd love to raise even more for Mind, so if you can please donate here - you can also donate by texting KWIN90 £3 to 70070 to sponsor me.

The fantastic folks at Dressing Up Box have also shown their support and donated the subtle, understated outfit I shall be wearing this Sunday:

I'll be hard to spot and won't really stand out from the crowd dressed like this, but if you do see me slogging my way around the course please give me a wave! I know from personal experience that applause and cheers from supporters watching the race makes a huge difference to runners and really gives everyone a boost, so whilst I may look like I'm dying and/or in my own, zoned-out world, believe me I will be very appreciative! 

I may or may not be swishing my cape as I run.
It's easier to swish your cape without an enthusiastic dog around.
Thanks to Dressing Up Box turning me into a superhero for Sunday, I'm really hoping everyone can dig deep and sponsor what they can. I will certainly be giving it my all and hoping to do myself proud! This will be my last post before the half marathon so fingers crossed my training pays off and it all goes to plan on race day.

In summary: I am running 13.1 miles in fancy dress.



If that doesn't encourage you to sponsor me, I don't know what will.
Donate online here or text KWIN90 £3 to 70070.

For the honour of Grayskull!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016


I’m in the final month of training for the Bath Half and I’m laid up with another chest infection. Brilliant. Illness has been my major setback in my training – but despite ‘flu over the Christmas holidays and having a cough since October (yay) I’ve clocked up an impressive* 119 miles in 22.54 hours across 30 workouts. All this sickness does mean my hopes of running the entire 13.1 miles of the half-marathon course are pretty much scuppered, but hey, I’m not letting that defeat me. Even if I have to walk intervals of the Bath Half I am still going to get out there and give it my all, and it’s for a great cause too! You can learn more about Mind and sponsor me here.

Style by West Country Weather...
I haven’t been letting the weather stop me, either. I’ve been out in frost and freezing temperatures; braved gale force winds; and ran through torrential rain. Even when I was training for the Manchester 10k a few years back, I stayed in the dry of the gym rather than run in inclement weather, so I am very proud of myself for sticking to my training plan regardless of how bad it is outside. My training partner, Ripley, has also been keeping me motivated, although the frequent pouring rain has been a drag for both of us.

Yay wet weather runs 0_o
Bristol has also psychologically broken me and I now actually like running hills – the painful inclines are definitely worth it for the recovery of downhill! I have explored huge areas of the city, too, and found new routes and roads and gorgeous views. I am also up to running a continuous 6.5 miles, which is the longest I have ever run non-stop, and I managed to get my average mile pace down to 10.04 minutes across that distance. I even went to the gym on a Saturday and have my long runs on a Sunday and if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.

The Rock has *nothing* on me
Hopefully I’ll be back pounding pavement later this week and I will be giving it my all at the Bath Half! You can show your support by donating to me and Mind: text KWIN90 £3 to 70070 to sponsor by text message, or go to to donate online. My employers are also match-funding up to £500 so please give as generously as you can!

*Impressive for me. I’m so painfully British I feel the need to play this down and try to diminish my own accomplishments, but I have worked hard for this and I’m proud of myself, dammit. So there.