Category Archives: End of Year Events

End of 2016

No challenge is just about “the challenge”, it’s about the journey to completing that challenge no matter how long or short that challenge is.  For me the journey to complete each marathon continually passes moments of enlightenment: spiritually; physically and mentally. This year I completed 7 fantastically different marathons.

#58: The Green Ultra Challenge

#59: Rome Marathon

#60: Crainleigh Boundary Trail Challenge

#61: Richmond Park Marathon

#62: Cheltenham Challenge

#63: Chanthaburi Marathon

#64: Pisa Marathon

But really they were similar, in that they began to uphold the ideology of sustainable living. There appears to be a stronger environmental awakening with plenty of participants wanting to feast on sustainable ideas.

Many more groups of people in different societies are running towards sustainable living, with the notion of leading a zero waste life. These #ZeroWasteLife groups may seem idealistic, but then the choice is in everyone’s hands: Environment vs Convenience. By shunning convenience you learn to readapt your life style and facilitate new sustainable habits.

Our Environment: Plastic vs Personal Best

Unfortunately plastic cups are still the number 1 choice to provide liquid to participants.  It is cheap thus keeps costs down, however they are a bane as they are mostly unrecycleable, and tend to end up in landfills or in the sea somewhere. France is looking to ban the nasty things. They are environmentally an eye sore.

Leading up to any marathon, I try to encourage runners at that event to bring their own bottles to reduce the ugly amounts of plastic cups and bottles that are tossed on the road and sometimes in front of runners who have tripped up on a bottle under foot. A lot of water is wasted and volunteers have to sometimes go quite far to pick up plastic runners’ debris including those disgusting gel packs. I have volunteered in events and picked up those discarded chemi-gel packs, that are just full enough to ooze their foul liquid onto your hands or shoes.


As for bringing your own sports bottle to refill at check points, it was interesting to read how participants are scared to carry a “for ever reusable” bottle in case:


  1. They found the bottle too heavy…..even though am sure many of them carry a bottle in training and those bottles probably weigh less than 1% of their body weight!
  2. Refilling the bottle slowed them down and they would not get a precious PB.

A break can actually re-energise the body and could improve performance. I have spoken to a couple of sub-3 runners who have told me about times they have stopped at marathon check points and still been able to break sub 3! One of them carries a reusable sports bottle with him all the time.

Performance vs Visualisation and Belief

We humans are capable of incredible things, it is only our belief in ourselves that hinders what we can do. That is why training is so important to remove our mind obstacles. Failing to train, means our mind tends to be chained to the limits of what others think.

Further performance improvements can be made with a clear mind and visualisation. On my 59th marathon, Rome: good, solid visualisation certainly helped provide a sound performance and was replicated in Richmond Park Marathon. Our minds affect our bodies and being able to perceive and feel your mental and physical beings can bring unimaginable strength on the day. I have found this is best achieved when the mind is clear of negative stress. Because negative thoughts will continually distract and deflect positive thoughts.

However Pisa showed me how being with positive people can help to push out deep negative dark holes in one’s psyche. I have learned a lot by being with myself, but Pisa reminded me that the synergy of people united in one thought can embrace individuals within the group with uplifting energy. I was floating on a cloud into the finish point!

With Brexit & Trump coming into power, it sounds like “CHANGE” is the word for 2017. For me it will be “mindfulness”, to engage with positive beings, to deflect negative fruitless concerns……and maybe try to write a book as have foolishly said I would to my soul sister!

So a reminder to myself: learn more on “mindfulness” so that I can effectively practise visualisation….as well as sleep better 🙂


Seasons Greetings

Drue and the gang wish you all an excellent Christmas and Happy New Year.

Buon Natale e Felice Anno nuovo



Spot the “stuff” in the picture that represents Christmas

A-D’s snowman has a final word.



All I Want For Christmas…

….is peace and goodwill for the planet.  I mean when we sing “Joy to the World” are we only just meaning joy to humans and screw the rest? So when Christmas comes along, I find myself in turmoil as I watch the endless mountains of trash generated being thrown out by each household without a second thought of the death it brings to other beings that share our planet.  (At the bottom of this post I have shared some thoughts about using our presence to bring christmas cheer)

The children go in a mad frenzy to unwrap stuff. The only fun part is unwrapping the stuff. For the very young, the best part of the present is the packaging, but they are led away from playing with the boxing and taught that the “stuff” inside is supposed to magically keep them occupied.

And then the packaging, mainly plastic and paper is tossed out. Every society is so poor at recycling plastic. Many of our “developed” countries either give it to another country to sort out for them or burn it.

And some of those countries that the developed nations have sent their trash to, simply dump that trash in some illegal landfill that falls into the ocean.  Our marine life is being harmed and indirectly we harm ourselves:

…yet despite knowing these facts, we can still simply pretend it does not exist and feel it is our right to screw the planet. Unfortunately I can no longer celebrate Christmas the way “everyone” likes to because it is a way of life I have now left. We are surrounded by things. We surround our children with useless things that they play with for awhile, only to throw out a year later.

And as Christmas ends and the New Year comes, we finally dump the Christmas Tree. This was once a life, cut down to be an ornament in someone’s house and then tossed out when Christmas ended.

I have lost the understanding of why we “have” to do something because that is tradition. In this case Christmas seems to be absorbed into another commercial venture of being able to sell stuff to people and us playing the “let’s consume for the sake of it”.

Perhaps I am a kill joy or perhaps we should evaluate our impact more closely. So if you want to give presents this Christmas, please think about the trash that you generate.

Tips to reduce Christmas trash:
– For wrapping paper – reuse magazines, newspapers, old clothes.
– If you really want to “give the children something”, give them time by making things with them and learn with the children to make something – it really is so much more fun and so much more creative.
– Perhaps you can make a Christmas Tree out of something.

Love this site + lots more on YouTube.

And if you do have Christmas Trash, there are lots of craft ideas. Here is a starter site for you: