Update 815

I’m sitting awake at 1am listening to the soundtrack from Lost season 4. I would normally like to be asleep by now, but the combination of a late night last night, an early start this morning and a near 16 mile run shortly after rising has meant that I’ve been drifting in and out of consciousness all day and I’m not struggling to sleep.

It’s been a little while since I announced the run and wheels are starting to turn nicely behind the scenes. Training is going well and I’m spending a lot of time reaching out to various avenues in an effort to gain publicity for the run and Prostate Cancer UK.

Provisional running route. V1.0
Provisional running route. V1.0

Since March 1st, I’ve managed to clock up over 160 miles, which is great, but most importantly – I’ve remained injury free. After finishing the run to Sheffield last year, it’s been a huge challenge to try and keep injuries at bay. I’m favouring mileage over speed and I’m dedicating a large chunk of the preparation to work on home physio and foam rolling. It appears to be working and as each long run goes by, I’m feeling ever more confident.

I was lucky enough to be joined by my brother, Tom, for today’s run. The company is good (so long as he shuts up about Disney’s Frozen for a little while) and the conversation keeps my mind of the monotony of the route. Don’t get me wrong, I love my long runs along the Grantham Canal, but it gets boring when you’ve covered it week in, week out for the last few years! We also had a slight footrace against ‘Pigeon Man’. We nicknamed him that cos ran like a pigeon. Oh, and he was a man.

We won. It doesn’t matter that he must have been in his 60s at least.

The picturesque Grantham Canal

As for publicity, I’ve spent most of my time on this targeting the football clubs that I’m running to and the support from the majority of them has been both surprising and extremely motivating. I’ll go into more detail as we approach the start date, but there are some exciting things to talk about!

I’m very pleased with how the sponsorship and raising awareness is going. If you’ve raised money for charity in the past and you have a conscience, it’s very, very hard and, at times, very awkward to beg for money. That’s why I have opted to direct people to Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United campaign alongside the option to donate. I called in a lot of favours from people when I did the City Ground to Other Grounds campaign and then the Amsterdam Cycle, so I expected this one to be relatively quiet. However, I’ve already raised more money than I thought I would by this stage and I hope this will slowly build ahead of the run start at Wembley on May 21st.

With regards to people taking the Men United quiz, I hope that a small number of people taking part have done so because of me.


For now, I’m looking forward to a rest day tomorrow ahead of another hard week’s worth of training.

Be good.

Orientation: Part II

I’ve briefly outlined what I’m trying to do on my Virgin Money Giving page (http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RowanSZ), but I wanted to go into a little more detail here.

About Me
I am now rapidly approaching 30 years of age, and wanted to spend the final year in my twenties doing things a little bit differently and throwing myself into things I wouldn’t normally do. I’ve not done too badly so far – I’ve bought a house and I’ve jumped out of a plane from 18,000ft, but I also wanted to get another endurance run under my belt.

As some of you may know, I spent a lot of the 2012/13 Football Season chasing my team (Nottingham Forest) around the country. I managed to raise close to £4,000 running to 5 away fixtures from Nottingham, but this season I wanted to take things up a notch.

As a result, on May 21st, I’m going to set off from Wembley Stadium and run to every professional football stadium that resides within the M25. This is likely to clock up to around 110 miles across the four days that I’m allowing myself to complete it in. The 4 days should give me enough time to return to Wembley Stadium in time for kick off of the Championship Play Off Final – the biggest game in the Football League.

Not only is this further and more intense than my City Ground runs, but it also has the added challenge of navigating my way around London. Might be OK for me, but we’ll also need to get a support car round the route too – a massive challenge in itself!

How did this idea come about?
Apart from it ticking off one of my pre-30 bucket list ideas, I actually wanted to do this at the end of last season, but injury sustained during the previous endurance runs put the idea out of reach. It’s further, it’s probably going to be hotter and it’s generally more intense than anything I’ve done before. I’m also hoping to get people more involved in the run itself, as well as helping Prostate Cancer UK’s Men United grow even bigger. More about that later on…

What’s the route I’ll be taking?
Starting at Wembley Stadium, I’ll be taking in the following grounds in the following order: Loftus Road, Stamford Bridge, Craven Cottage, Griffin Park, Kingsmeadow, Selhurst Park, The Den, The Valley, Victoria Road, Upton Park, Brisbane Road, The Emirates, White Hart Lane, Vicarage Road and then back to Wembley Stadium. I’ll then be going to Shake Shack in Covent Garden.

Raising Money
Due to the nature of the entire run, I’ve chosen to raise awareness of Prostate Cancer UK, who are the Football League’s official charity partner. They have set up their own team to take on the disease and I thoroughly encourage you to take their short quiz and, by doing so, sign for Men United. You can find more out about the charity, Men United and how they help people associated with prostate cancer here –http://menunited.prostatecanceruk.org

Prostate Cancer UK

I also work with the Football League in my job, so choosing their official charity partner was an easy decision to make.

How you can help…
As well as signing for Men United, donations would be greatly appreciated. You can find out how to do so by visiting my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RowanSZ

You can also keep up to date with everything as I’ll be regularly updating my Twitter page over at http://twitter.com/rowansz

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions or would like any more information about what I plan to attempt to do. I’m confident I can do this, but my legs (and more specifically, my IT band) have been weakened by the huge miles I’ve put in over recent years.

It’s clobbering time!

Four marathons in four days around footballing London


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