Category Archives: Marathon

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#75 Nice-Cannes Marathon: Part 2: The Observational Run

Merci beaucoup tous le monde pour votre aide. Désolé pour seulement écrire l’anglais. J’utiliserais Google pour traduire.

Two days of campaigning, running around with participants leashed to a tyre and now run day. The thought of waking up at 4:45am to get to the start point meant a restless night. Ah well, if I can complete a 135 miles in 59 hours without any sleep (Arrowhead 135), running a marathon distance (26.2miles) with zero sleep should be simple.

Article on the day: https://www.20minutes.fr/planete/2365107-20181104-nice-pourquoi-singapourienne-bouclera-marathon-nice-cannes-tractant-pneu-10kg

Chasing the Rabbit

bunny dogs

The organisers agreed to start me off at 06:30am (1.5 hours before the official start time) as long as I remained on the pavement until the elite runners had over taken. Uncle would accompany me on bicycle for as much as the route as he could.

Instructions: “Stay on the bicycle path (Promenade des Anglais) until the lead runners have over taken you”

A pre-start is like the rabbit on the track. How much distance could we (me and Teera-Wates) make before the runners caught us? Place your bets.

Route Map

It was expected that the lead runners would overtake at about 10km. My competitive streak kicked in, to see if we could make it to 15km before being caught. Storming along the course, we completed 7km/hr. We were sooo fast, we ran right past the turn off (highlighted in the above route map).

The signs changed from 11km to a 16km mark on the bend. Maybe there was a loop back? Uncle tried to call me back, instead I went over to the check point that was about 50m from the 16km sign. They were directing me towards Cannes…..ahhh the temptation…..

Uncle showed me the map…. We needed to retrace our steps and return to the turn off point just after the 11km mark. Gutted and losing 15-20 minutes, we fought as hard as we could and got to 13km before being caught.

LEad pack

C’est tant pis. Une autre temps.

nephew daughter

JJ’s nephew caught me at about 22km and JJ’s daughter at about 25km

After that so many people thanked me for the planet and for their children and grand-children….so many people motivated me on to continue the fight.

“Bon Courage!”

“Allez allez allez!”

Constant waves of cheers pushed us along especially when the pacer groups overtook.

running1

Collaboration

But one person can only go so fast. Many hands make light work….and on the first steep hill, one man helped to pull Teera-Wates up.

Between 30-35 km, there were more hills. Natalie (a fellow participant) came to pull the rope as did another runner when she was tiring to help me along. Another fellow runner carried Teera-Wates for 1 km.

Collaboration makes light work of the burden of waste.

It was great to have help. Great that so many people want to see change. Great that so many people want to be involved.

The only other time when runners have actively helped me pull my tyre, was in my first marathon in Singapore 2006.

Did the Runners Bin It to keep the course safe and clean?

There were many awesome runners who diverted to put their rubbish in the bins, but as the number of runners ahead of me progressively increased, more litter appeared: tubes of creams, empty gel packets, paper cups and plastic cups, banana skins, oranges, sponges. When the majority of runners had been through the check points, there were times when there was a carpet of litter on the floor (especially sponges), one had to tread carefully to ensure you didn’t trip up.

Along the coast, the wind howled and an angry spirit went through the check point, throwing plates of food and cups on the floor. Cups that had been dropped on the floor were sucked into mini vortexes to be tossed into the bushes or on the beach.

RUNNERS YOU CAN BIN IT! …Les coureurs mettent toujours vos déchets à la poubelle!

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The Finale

Running End

Completed in 7 hours and 27 seconds and collected medal and t-shirt without packaging + a small food bag with a bottle of water…..well I skipped the food bag and bottle.

And finally a quick look to see if participants understood what the bin colours meant….

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Now to write a list of recommendations to the organisation and then onwards to the Singapore Marathon to ensure participants Bin It right!

Articles after the marathon: https://www.nicematin.com/course-pedestre/elle-court-le-marathon-nice-cannes-en-tractant-un-pneu-de-10kg-et-le-boucle-en-7h-274479?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1541339007

http://www.leparisien.fr/environnement/elle-court-le-marathon-de-nice-en-tractant-un-pneu-04-11-2018-7934673.php

https://fr.news.yahoo.com/nice-pourquoi-singapourienne-bouclera-t-103102615.html

Mentioned in the 6pm news that night.

Have I inspired a nation to focus on the burden of society’s waste?

It’s already on the cards. In 2018, action started when China banned imports of recyclables. The EU has now agreed on regulations that will come into force over the coming years. France will be taxing single-use plastic in 2019, which will most likely be passed onto the consumers. It is up to the consumers to push back to ask for discounts if they BYOR (Bring Your Own Reusable) to places such as take away and shopping. Many coffee shops already provide a discount when you BYOR cup.

Keep It Away From Landfill

Manufacturers need to place a value on disposable resources so that they can reuse packaging to reduce landfill. This can be easily done by providing a small money back incentive to shoppers such as 5cts. There are already furniture & clothing manufacturers who will already take back your items when you no longer want them to refurbish/repurpose/repair and provide a money back incentive.

It is up to our societies to make the norm:

  • Reuse – by supporting organisations such as Freecycle , charity shops or hosting/attending a Really Really Free Market
  • Repair – by hosting/attending Repair Cafes (singapore call’s theirs Repair Kopitiam)
  • Repurpose – allow your DIY creative imagination make use of junk to create something unique. I have reused a bedside table in a bathroom as a sink pedestal, or door handles as coat hooks.

All stakeholders (the organisation, sponsors, and the participants) can be part of the action to reduce the environmental impact of our disposable convenience.

Let’s do it with as many Green Nudges as possible with as much collaboration as possible.

Do let me know if you would be interested in helping Nice-Cannes marathon move towards a zero waste event. Either send me a DM via Twitter or Facebook the Tyrelady

 

 

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Marathons #73 and #74: Plym Trail Marathon

Plym Trail Marathon.JPG

Tyre: Freeus-Blod
Event Type:
 Tarmac path that goes along the Plym Trail cycle path. This is a small friendly event and options for a 1/2 marathon or full marathon distances.
Sustainability: The RDs have said the events will be cupless next year 🙂
Start Time: 09:30
Weather: @18 degs C by mid-day
During: Checkpoints every 3-3.5 miles stocked with jelly babies + gels + crisps + peanuts + water to refill
At the End: Medal + small goody bag with food, water
Website: https://www.firstandlastrunning.com/

After a restless night car camping and waiting to take off, we were greeted by a couple of wild horses in the village. Had not expected the FirstAndLastRunning’s website pictures would be real! It is real and something to ease off the urgh of sleep deprivation + prowling pervs.

Davey pulled up and greeted us with an early morning welcome sending out more mega-watts of positive energy to the world.

Both Davey and Lesley are 100 marathon clubbers , so they know how to ensure all runners needs are satisfied.

Whilst in the “waiting lounge” (the Village Hall) captain Davey announced that next year the FirstAndLastRunning events will be cupless! Hooray was the response from participants who were there and was pleasantly surprised no one quipped about it.

Time for me to get on the run way and control tower Davey directing that everything was clear for take off. With a final description of the flight path, was soon taking off from Clearbrook Village, up past that dodgy car park, cruising along a high path for a couple of hundred metres. We then flew back past the village, and onwards down towards Plymouth for 6 miles to a turn around point at the end of a path and the entrance to a furniture making factory on one side and a railway track that a steam train uses on the other side. The flight path then returns back up to Clearbrook village and is repeated along this 6 mile track. It is in Dartmoor, so you can expect to view beautiful scenery at a good altitude above flat ground.

Here is a tour with Free-us Blod for part of that route.

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Despite the small numbers, still met folk from a previous marathon and a fellow Fetchie. Other memories of this run was the man who put his hands on his hips and asked with indignation “what do you think you are doing?”, the lady who exclaimed “goodness gracious me…what?” My response “Sorry lah, am foreign. Please be forgiving me.”

Thought I would only be doing day 1 due to a lack of training beforehand, but Uncle persuaded me to do day 2 as it had taken us 6 hours to reach Clearbrook and as he says we should make the most of it. I just needed to be able to move my legs.

The route was pretty clear of runners’ trash. Of course did my duty as last runner and picked up trash – 6 gel tabs and 2 gel packets picked up for an estimated 60 runners.

At the end, there was a final education time to a group of cyclists to teach them about disposable plastic and why thinking zero waste really is the way forward. Loved the line by a Nigerian guy

“Why are you pulling the tyre with a plastic bucket? Is it a metaphor to show us that we are going backwards with disposable plastic?”

Day 1 landed in 7:43:51.

Marathon Recovery tip: If you find you’re stiff when you get up, this might be due to dehydration. Ensure you drink lots of water (for me at least 2 litres) after the marathon and more the day after. It’ll ensure you can get off your seat!

Day 1 Night

Airplane seats suck when they are on a slant. Just seem to constantly slide down and the legs / body can never be comfortable. Yes – we stuck to car camping that night and again pretended we were in business class. We were joined by a fellow runner who simply pulled up and went to sleep. Think I might have had perhaps half an hour of sleep at 6am. Oh well I’ve trained for zero sleep running.

Day 2: 

This morning, water poured from the skies, thoroughly soaking the ground and continued to pour down for hours after. Today’s animal greetings were from a bunch of sheep that had gathered round the cars. The awesome Davey gave another energised send off. Despite the lack of sleep, zero breakfast, and a miserable day, one could only smile being in the country.

It was wet but warm with waterproofs on. Puddles had formed and in parts water was streaming on the ground which tends to slow down the tyre. Free-us Blod happily scooped up the water. But it was just great to be in the open, breathing clean air and fantastic to be active than sitting on my butt for days programming on “trivial” important company stuff to improve their processes.

Day 2’s route is the same as Day 1.

It would only be after about 3-4 hours when the rain eased off and besides the hard core runners out there, saw very few people unlike day 1 when the sunshine and warm day had lots of bystanders out and about.

As the last runner back, again did my duty to spot & pick up any runners’ litter. Perhaps due to the wet day, I did not see any gel tabs or gel packets this time on the return journey to the village. Great job runners!

Overall really enjoyed this run despite the lack of sleep. It’s always fun to see the same runners multiple times as well as to have the space to enjoy the views.

Day 2 landed in 7:40:00, 3 minutes faster than the previous day!

Thank you to:

  • Davey and Lesley for letting me participate in this event. I enjoyed the route despite the ups and downs
  • Uncle for marshaling the turn around point and Richard for the mid-point.
  • To all the other runners for their encouragement

Also thank you Davey for pledging to go cupless next year, and to reduce the single-use packaging.

Some final animals whilst crossing Dartmoor

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Preamble to Marathons #73 to #74 – Creep Alert

LookDownOnVillage

Looking Down at Clearbrook Village and Dartmoor

At times, am not the most organised person and tried to find accommodation close to the Plym Trail Marathon. There was no room at any inn, and was repeatedly told “it’s bank holiday weekend”. Easy decision – camp out – which have done before. There was a car park at the top of Clearbrook Village that had a scenic view of Dartmoor and a gorgeous full moon was floating in the clear sky, lighting up Dartmoor. It was really spectacular and reminded me of Arrowhead 135. Being in a remote location on the edge of wilderness is always magically. I was to be slapped out of Alice in Wonderland mode.

CarParkAboveVillage

With a Full Moon on a clear night, this car park has a spectacular view

There were 3 other cars in the car park. One car had moved to be closer to another car and then the other car left. I went out to survey the area for a good camping spot. The other car re-parked closer to where we were parked. Thinking it might be another runner, I went to speak to driver in the car. He was a white male in the driving seat, maybe in his early 20s, alone. From here on, I refer to him as “Perv”.

Me: “Hi – you camping here to run tomorrow?”

Perv: “Oh is there a run?”

Me:  “Yeah.”

Perv: “Are you camping”

Me: “Yeah – thought we’d camp here in this awesome place. You camping too?”

Perv: “No. Am going to be in my car. Out here for the night.”

Me: Confused – “It is a perfect night to watch the moon…”

Perv: “Yes it is”

My spidey senses were tingling and I returned to the car slightly unnerved by the tone of his voice and told Uncle (aka Mr RF) who was in the driving seat. Uncle asked me for my thoughts and I brushed them aside wanting to believe the best. I put warmer clothes on as there was a chill in the air, which made me think about nature’s call. I got out of the car again and this time so did the Perv, who walked in the same direction I was going. He was just a couple of metres ahead of me and turned round to ask “Are you camping?”

Me: “Oh yes” I responded a little confused.

Perv continued to walk towards the bushes and I u-turned to return to the car. As I began to tell Uncle my concerns, the man also returned to his car. At this point we noted that cars were coming into the car park, pausing for a moment where we were and then leaving.

As we were parked right in front of the view of the full moon, I asked Uncle to move the car to the right hand side. Perv also relocated his car next to ours.

Me to Uncle: “Nature is calling, but I need you to watch me as I head for that bush and watch that guy because I think he will get out of his car as well.”

As I headed towards the bushes, the man also got out of his car and walked this time towards my track in my direction. Uncle jumped out of the car and demanded “Where are you going?”. The man was caught off guard and fumbled over his words. Perhaps he thought we were 2 females in the car and thought I was the second female when I had put on warmer clothes. Although I was now hidden behind the bush, I could only hear Uncle’s voice. Perv seemed to mumble.

Uncle asserted again “What is in your hand?”

Perv mumbled something and then returned to his car and drove away. Uncle later on told me he went to look at the man’s licence plate, and the man quickly drove off away from the car park. Who knows what would have happened if Uncle had not intervened.

Feeling unsettled, we decided to relocate ourselves in the village parked up next to the village hall and car camped with the doors locked…..urgh…..was just like being in an airline seat. We told ourselves it was like being in the Premium option, but all the same. Somehow had to rest for the marathon the next day……

I later heard that the car park is a popular “dogging” site (new slang term for me)

Dogging Definition

Gratitude: There are nasty sex predators in this world and have encountered them whilst growing up in this world from molesters, potential rapists and stalkers. This incident reminded me of all of them from 8 years old until now…..now I needed to let those memories pass on by so that I could rest. Tomorrow was a new day.

Am thankful to my mother who made me learn a martial art when I was 11 years old. Am thankful to the police I have spoken to in the past who taught me to be observant in all surroundings. Am thankful to Uncle for confronting the man. Am thankful to God for always keeping me safe.

Next post: Plym Trail Marathon

 

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#72 – Ladybower Trail Marathon: The Gamble

Title with cards

Tyre: Freeus-Blod
Event Type:
 Multi-terrain marathon that goes along around the Ladybower reservoir with parts that can be quite exposed to the sun. This is a small friendly event with a couple of hundred doing 1/2 marathon or full marathon distances.
Sustainability: It is a cupless event in a beautiful area around a part of the peak district so BYOB.
Start Time: 09:30
Weather: @25-28 degs C by mid-day
During: Checkpoints every 5 miles stocked with fruit, jelly babies + gels + water + isotonic to refill
At the End: Medal + t-shirt + water
Website: http://www.peakrunners.co.uk/ladybower-trail-marathon.html

The Gamble

When oi was a wee lass, me mother taught us how to play card games & then as a family used to play contract bridge. I used to play with my father & at times we’d take a gamble on contracts. My father likes to recall the time when we played together in the Pesta Sukan bridge competition in Singapore against one of the top Singaporean pairs. We somehow found ourselves in a risky 7NT contract and got lucky. This event reminded me of that game. With a relatively good hand, I started the bidding conservatively with 1NT (One No Trump playing Standard American). David (RD) responded positively and helped make the cards “look nice”. So I booked the accommodation, organised how to get to the destination, the calf was feeling great…..and parked ourselves in a safe 3NT contract. But as things go, sometimes the opposition will interfere to snatch a contract away.

A key family member (affectionately known as “Pa”) passed on to his “next journey” on the Wednesday on the week of the event. His funeral was scheduled on the Tuesday after the weekend of the marthon…..in New Zealand. From the UK, this would be a 30 hour journey and Kenny Rogers has started to sing a song.

I counted my cards and contemplated my next actions. This marathon was on the Saturday, in the Peak District, about 3-4 hours away from Heathrow. A 30 hour journey plus the time travel would see me 2 days into the future. The latest I could leave would be the Saturday evening of the event, for a Monday evening arrival.

…and Kenny sings: “If you’re gonna play the game, girl
You gotta learn to play it right”….

Ahh the choices:

A. Let the opposition steal the contract: that is let the organiser know that I cannot attend and focus on organising myself to leave with plenty of time or,

B. Check for Aces: that is see if the RD would allow an early marathon start, book an evening flight  for the Saturday evening and then the rest would be up to me + a bit of luck.

Organiser checked, flight checked…..though a top card was questionable, the calculation was possible if everything aligned correctly. I put myself in 7NT (the best contract possible with the highest amount of points to collect).

Yes a flight was booked for 9:30pm on Saturday evening, RD kindly gave me the green light to start the event two hours early at 07:30am. It would be down to me to play the cards well.

Here’s the algorithm:

Completion times at the last 2 events were Sundown 7 hours 58 minutes one month ago and Glorious Gargrave 8 hours 7 minutes one week ago. David was allowing me a special 07:30am start.

Airport at 7:30pm latest = 4 hour journey time to airport + 30 minutes shower/change + 20 minutes faff after the marathon + x unknown time to complete marathon.

Thus x = 7 hours 30 minutes worst case roughly knocking off at least half an hour from the last 2 events.

Of course Freeus-Blod would be coming along – am still trying to complete 100 marathons / ultras with a tyre! Just needed to focus on the event instead of stopping to yabber to passer-bys, and reach 13.5 miles at least by 11:00am.

And Kenny sings…..”You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold them”…

The course is in the Peak District….nice undulations and somewhere along, there is a steep hill to climb to admire the views.

Route

Route is undulating with a hill to climb at about mile 14-15

At 07:30am RD flagged me off.

At about 10:00am the cards were unfolding nicely and the 10 mile check point had been reached. The volunteers were lovely and encouraging. By 10:30am a tall runner loped along, his t-shirt thoroughly soaked. He was the lead runner and had overtaken me at what I thought was about 11.5 miles.

…and the song continues – “Know when to walk away, know when to run”

I needed to push on… that’s what Salt N Pepa tell me…

Coming round at the bottom of the lake, a couple of cyclists held a gate open for me to pass through, and stopped me to ask what Freeus-Blod was doing. We chatted for a couple of minutes, they gave me some money for EarthWatch, we talked some more, took some photos and then I hurried on (thank you to the man and woman cyclist) towards a road, which was a 2 mile entrance towards the Lady Bower car park where I had registered earlier on.

Another lady stopped me to have a chat. Had a quick conversation to find out she was walking to a pub to meet her daughter to later cheer her son who was in the event. Of course she asked for a ride….Freeus was in no mood to entertain the thought. Time was ticking on and the tricks were being taken, but it didn’t seem enough. Arrowhead 135 had shown me how the mind can distort time and distance, so the confidence was a little low.

Back to Kenny…
“You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done”

Mind Torture

Having not reviewed the route prior to the event, had thought this was a double loop, hence the mid-point (13 miles) should be from whence we started. The clock struck 11am, the sun was beating down and the mind told me “how about adding another 15 minutes more?”. 15 minutes went by and the mind told me “it would be sensible to quit when you get to the next check point to ensure time to get to the airport”.

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser

By 11:35am a check point appeared diverting us away from heading onwards to the “Start” point. Am ready to throw in the towel except the marshal tells me “It is mile 14 and you’re doing really well”. Am confused but a voice in my head dares me to continue reminding me the RD had earlier told me that at mile 15 there is a steep hill to the edge….and at this check point there is a steep hill! A triple check with everyone and the head said “get on that hill”.

Freeus jumped on me shoulder, for a ride. In fact she stayed on for most of that section as she clung on to so many rocks and roots sticking out of the ground. There are some glorious panoramic views of the Peaks at the top but there is no time to take pretty pictures.

As we leave that section and returned to a couple of miles into the route of the first lap, another group of runners stopped to have a chat, estimating that we are at mile 17 at 12:15pm

I wanted to believe the possibility, but didn’t want to disappoint myself, so the demon voice told me “you’re a foolish idiot, Uncle will be mad at you and it’s probably only mile 16 you need to quit”.

Ahh yes Queen…..

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that brings a building down
Splits a family in two

…and then Pa popped into my head cheerily smiling, telling me “You nutter but you’ll do good. Go for it.”

The point about a bridge contract is you create a plan of play at the start and adapt as the cards unveil themselves.

Another cyclist stopped to have a chat. He and family were heading to the lakes for a swim. With the clear blue sky and strong sun, that sounded a dream. But “allons-y”, I had to go and the cyclist pressed a 5 pound note in my hand for my cause (EarthWatch).  A feeling of guilt rushed over me for moving on so quickly but I couldn’t let Pa down.

Some distance on, a runner is limping and stretching at the side of the road. I stopped to check he is okay and if he needed any water. This is his first marathon and he is now at the furthest distance, thinking it is mile 18-19. I get him going for a short while, but the ticking clock in my head urged me to keep moving. We get to the next check point at mile 20. Yummy melon and oranges were being served up – perfect for the hot day but no time to chat.

I assumed the next check point would be at mile 23. Again the demon brain told me “You’re so selfish jeopardising family for your own selfish ego….”. Yes I am imperfect and embrace my imperfections.

There aren’t many cards left and with the heat bearing down, am starting to believe have played the wrong card. My mind reflects on Arrowhead135 when the space, time and distance were all out of sync…. my demon brain tells me “You’ll never make it. You probably have 3 more miles and you won’t make it to the airport”. It is nearly 14:30 and having to cover 3 more miles would mean about another hour.

As another runner passes, I panickingly ask “Do you know how many more miles it is to the end?”

Runner: “About one!”

We turned a corner to a downhill slope all the way to the end.

The finish line is crossed in 7:07. Made it back home to have a shower and caught flight. Contract completed.

Many thank yous to Dave and Amanda (RDs) for your very kind generosity. Always to the volunteers to where very encouraging all the way and to the various cyclists who kindly pressed money into my hand £14.30 to EarthWatch.

Well stocked check points, loved the reusing of bottles to make up isotonic and appreciated the fruit offerings. Way better than jelly babies.

Would definitely recommend this marathon event.

Next write up: Plym Trail Marathon

 

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#71 – Glorious Gargrave: Lost and Found

Glorious GargraveTyre: Freeus-Blod
Event Type:
 Multi-terrain marathon that goes along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal that can be quite exposed to the sun. This is a small friendly event with a couple of hundred doing 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon and Ultra distances. It is a beautiful area and you can watch the way the amazing locks work.

Start Time: 10:15am
Weather: @25-28 degs C by mid-day
During: Checkpoints every 3.5 miles stocked with fruit, jelly babies + water + squash to refill
At the End: Medal + water + food to eat
Website: http://www.itsgrimupnorthrunning.co.uk/grim-up-north-running-events/event/glorious-gargrave-2018/id/14/do/details

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Gargrave Start Point

Earlier on this year, I contemplated only supporting events that were cupless and using zero single-use plastic like the LWDA events and the many ultra events. However, with Cheltenham Challenge going cupless and using zero single use bottles (I grinned the whole day), that event indicated that every event needs a voice to redirect how they (and participants) manage their waste. So decided to be that voice to observe events and provide feedback about how they can enrich their event with waste reduction measures.

Thursday 21 June: Calf Strain

Calf StrainThere I was racing round the field in a game of rounders as a fun social with my local running club, reveling the freedom of the sprint. Two of us were left batting on the team, sprinting round the field like lunatics and then it happened. Just as it happened last year as I sprinted in a touch rugby match, the calf muscle sprung its spring. Pain slowed me down, but I continued to limp to the last base and make a final round as Paul blasted the ball into space.

Last year when I tried to continue with the Touch Rugby match, it was nearly 2 months before I could run again. Lesson learned, I played back stop instead….no running.

NoticeDoctor Me

The leg refused to support me properly and the calf was in pain. Iced the area then the next day used a heating pack, followed by another ice pack +  Gentle Massage therapy + Arnica + whatever heat cream I could find. I wanted to be able to do the marathon on Sunday.  Saturday, the calf still felt tight but I could do a poodle run (small steps).

So compression tight + poles came along for extra insurance on Sunday so that I could restart my mission to encourage events to go cupless and plastic free, and find out how good runners were at disposing their rubbish.

After all if a lady pulling a tyre, can carry her own bottle and refill at hydration points, am sure everyone else can as well. Cheltenham Challenge has shown that a 1/2 marathon distance can actually improve the overall running times if participants would be willing to take on the challenge of BYOB and/or BYOC (cup).

In this event I did notice an obvious good number of runners had their own bottles & hydration back packs, so this event should be able to commit to being cupless with very little grumblings.

Lost and Found

This event used plastic cups, had reusable water dispensers + provided sweets, crisps and fruit. Thankfully those runners that did use cups respectfully threw them in the bins at the checkpoinnts (so no grouse there).

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Scenes of Skipton by the Canal

Being the last runner, meant I could do a final review of the course and runners’ litter behaviour. Thankfully very little runners’ litter was found, however there was a noticeable consistent dropping of gel tabs found: 4 tabs on the 10 miles out and 4 tabs on the 10 miles back to Gargrave; on the second loop 3 tabs on the 6 miles out and back. Some sweetie wrappers + Eat Natural bar wrapper were also picked up over the 10 mile out and back. Though this could be general public litter as well as the canal tow path is a public path.

If you recognise any of the tabs that you could have lost from your packets of gels, or if you dropped any gel packets on the path + sweetie wrappers, grateful if you can gift your cleaning fee here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/tyrelady Your monies will be used to help EarthWatch continue their research on impact reduction measures we can take to work with our environment.

Lost and found 2

To runners who use “sucky gels”, those annoying plastic tabs are missed out by even the professional cleaners. Please pay extra attention to ensuring they are put in your litter bag as am sure there are a lot of them in our waterways as many marathon routes run close to waterways.

Personally I find the gel “prescriptions” are really a load of marketing BS. I’ll write a post on this later.

As for the calf, with careful poodle running steps and taking note of proprio-perception, the calf held up throughout. Now proceeding with calf raises on the step to improve the calf resilience.

Thank Yous

  • The event organiser for letting me join the event, who trusted that I would carry my tyre when the path was narrow
  • Naomi’s place is in a great location in Skipton. The marathon passes her house! Stayed with her via AirBnB. https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13834105
  • To the Leeds twins – you are awesome and thank you Twin 2 for your donation. Get well soon.
  • Biscuit Man – Craig – lovely 20 minute chat to you along the canal (towards mile 10) and thank you for your donation.
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Sundown Marathon: On the Road to Zero Waste & 70th Marathon

Group Photo

Grateful for the adaptability of the Green Ambassadors who created a change in a mass event with respect to waste management at events. Awesome work! (youngest volunteer is 6 years old)

Charging Up Events to be Truly Clean & Green

After the Standard Charted Singapore Marathon 2017 (SCSM) awareness happened! Awareness that events can be responsible towards the waste generated in their events which can lead to cost savings.

After, small events of a couple of hundred, like the King of the Trails, went cup free; larger events like the Income Eco Run (about 5,000 runners) repurposed a lot of the waste generated and did a pretty good job of separating all the waste.

March 2018: The Public Hygiene Council reactivated the Green Ambassadors to get involved with the Sundown Marathon organisers, HiVelocity. Last year HiVelocity showed an eco-consciousness with plantable medals & tried to go cupless with their 5km event. This year, with less than 4 weeks to go, we would help HiVelocity & 25,000 runners onto Level 1 on their journey to designing a zero waste event. And HiVelocity would show they are an event company that would fearlessly go where other running events fear to tread.

Level 1: Understand the potential possibility that a large mass running event can be clean & can have a framework developed to become zero waste by simply adopting a circular economy vision.

A Circular Economy Vision

In simple terms a circular economy is ensuring waste from one company is a resource for another. By thinking in this manner, waste can be diverted from the landfill and events can define the type of waste they want to generate to ensure an onward purpose other than being dead waste (landfill waste).

In Singapore, general waste is burned and sent to a landfill island called Semakau which is rapidly filling up. Domestic recycling is low in Singapore due to much of the recycled waste being contaminated with food and hence good recyclables are sent to the incinerator and then to the landfill. In 2017, 7% of plastic generated in Singapore was recycled (source NEA)

For a list of what can be recycled in Singapore, see here: http://www.nea.gov.sg/docs/default-source/energy-waste/recycling/list-of-items-that-are-recyclable-and-not.xlsx

Sundown Marathon: How to Reduce Landfill Waste

Sundown will have an estimated 25,000 participants. This will generate enough waste to fill three to four x 40 cubic yard skips. A 40 cubic yard skip = 30.58m3 (Height = 2.6m; Length = 6.1m; Width = 2.4m)

Skip Size of rubbish

A 40 cubic yard skip, with a volunteer is standing next to one as she points at rubbish. In the background another 40 cubic yard skip can be seen beside the typical 240 litre bins

In Singapore, people will place their rubbish in a bin, regardless of the colour.

With Banana Marshals, Trash Directors & Trash Patrol green ambassador volunteers, the aim was to educate the public that the bin colour matters. Out on the run, we just wanted runners to simply bin their rubbish to keep the route clean and safe for all (including our animals). Photo journal dedicated to the Green Ambassadors.

The “Bin It Right” green ambassadors did an excellent job to keep much recyclables separated from food waste and to also remind participants to bin their trash and hence the event village was left amazingly with only some small pockets of litter. Here’s an estimate of what was salvaged at the event village.

Infographic

Note Banana Skins and Food waste are normally sent to the energy recovery incinerators

Of the estimated 900 kg clean recyclables:

  • 10,000 Plastic bottles went to City Development Limited and to Playeum for art and play
  • @25 large bags of cans were recycled (to be sold)

Spyder, the cleaning company, also set aside all the cardboard boxes for recycling. This meant that at least one 40 cubic yard skip of waste was repurposed.

Below is a representation of approximately 1/5 of the waste generated that was placed at the side of the full 40 cubic yard skip.

SomeTrash

Picture shows about a fifth of the rubbish generated by the event

Was the Marathon Route Clean?

Both Sundown and the Green Ambassadors did a little pre-campaigning to encourage runners to put their waste in the bin. See previous post.

YoRunnersWe also had Bin It Runners on the route and Bin It Fans (volunteers) to remind runners as they entered the Pens to bin their litter during their run.

Marathon #70 Tyre Run Report

4 days leading up to the event, I’d been coughing and phlegm was in the lungs. Everyone was warning me of the dangers of running with a chest infection. Exertion would have to be easy and thankfully Adrian (event organiser) let me start at the back of the 1/2 marathoners. This meant a one hour head start in front of the full marathoners, giving me 9 hours to complete the 42 km. Being a lady pulling a tyre, runners would hopefully also notice the “Bin It During Run” sign. I finished in 7 hrs 58 minutes at an easy pace. (Last long run was the 135 miler in January)

If a lady can drag a tyre, what is the effort to put your trash in the bin?

Overall, except for the mid-way hydration point, the course was kept relatively clear of cups, gels and bananas with litter at the side of the course after the hydration points from possibly 1,000 tossers amongst the 10,000 runners. At the half way hydration point, I had taken a banana and found a lack of bins after the hydration point. Sooo I held a banana skin + tyre + sign + my own bottle until I could put it in a bin which was about 1 km away.

Hydration Point - CUps

The last 3 hydration points (30.9km, 32.6km and 38.5km) were pretty similar – most cups in the bin and virtually no cups strewn across the path nor tossed to the side upstream. Could it have been the cleaners or more responsible runners?

 

There were definitely more people making an effort to put their litter in the bin. Certainly all the 5-8 hour runners that I saw, were putting their trash in the bin. Was it my sign? I theorised any litter tossed on the floor could only be from the 3-5 hour runners who felt their PB was more important than the environment.

In the East Coast Park, a squirrel has been observed eating a gel packet and in Machritchie Park a monkey was seen chewing on a plastic confectionery wrapper with perhaps chocolate melted inside.

Litter Kills

It is important to note that the gel packets are hard for the cleaners to see and pick up especially when they are in the grass or, worst, in the drains.

The Green Ambassadors at the end of the Singapore Marathon 2017 picked up 3.5kg of runners’ litter along a 5km stretch of the route after the professional cleaners had cleaned the route. The litter consisted mostly of gel packets and was in the grass or drains up to 2 m either side of the running path.

The event village was relatively clean. Single use containers and cups were left on the tables near the food stalls and some bottles and cans were left at the baggage locations. The biggest shock and disappointment was the volunteers’ ladies toilet….

Ladies Trash

There were plenty of bins outside the toilets. Pure laziness! (Photo by Lisa Jones)

A Champion Arises

It is always a dream to have someone take over what you are doing. Li Seng will continue the work of the Green Ambassadors under the social enterprise Green Nudge, to nudge events towards zero waste and we will be giving him as much support as possible.

Li Seng

Go Green Nudge – Make It Happen

 

Thank you to:

  • WasteMaster for their generous support throughout the event
  • Syntech Chemicals for their BYOB gift vouchers
  • Green Nudge for their support with high vis vests and tongs
  • HiVelocity for their enthusiastic support & creating the signs used around the event village
  • Public Hygiene Council for their support
  • Wanderlust for keeping the media focus on what we were trying to achieve
  • Spyder for their collaboration to help organise the waste
  • Special thanks to Chun Yeow and Li Seng for being my right and left hand collaborators & to MJ Mohammed for all the photo journalling the event.

Logo - WasteMaster   Logo - SynTech

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Achieving Beyond a Best Time

A personal record or personal best (frequently abbreviated to PR or PB) is an individual’s best performance in a given sporting discipline. It is most commonly found in athletic sports, such as track and field, other forms of running, swimming and weightlifting.

Source: Wiki Definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_record

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the majority of runners who enter a marathon or ½ marathon or 10 km run are doing it for the personal challenge. Less than 1% will actually put in the time and effort of an elite runner: that is training twice a day, doing 100-160 miles a week.

For professional athletes, a best time is nice to achieve but it is not the total measurement of how the athlete performed.

Yet if you talk to many non-professional runners, you would think the time element of a PB is the only component that defines a PB. Runners’ can be upset for days recounting the story of how they could have beaten their PB if they just ran that bit faster, or runners’ depression sets in when they haven’t seen sight of a best time for days, weeks or months.

Parkrun (a worldwide free 5K event that happens every Saturday) sets out some performance elements:

  • Personal best time
  • Personal Parkruns you’ve completed
  • Number of times you have volunteered to help the Parkrun community

Defining a Personal Best in a Run

If a PB = Best Performance, then a PB can relate to a culmination of many aspects, that can be treated like milestones. In addition to time, you can have a PB in your preparation, conduct and effort.

Preparation

This means you can have multiple PBs in an event:

  • How much preparation did you really put in?
  • Were you able to put in more than your effort on the day?
  • Have you PBed in your conduct? ….”Hmmmm” I hear you say…

Conduct

Your preparation should have included reading up on the rules of conduct for the event. Follow the guidelines below and you can say you PBed in your conduct. These are some typical rules of conduct:

  • For road events, keep on the inside close to the curb unless you’re over taking. In places like the UK & Singapore, keep on the left, unless overtaking on the right.
  • Drop all trash into a bin to keep the course clear and safe for other users and to prevent “run-away” trash.
    RunnerPutInBin

    • Dropping your trash on the floor can cause other runners to slip/skid/trip causing them injury

BananaSkin Slip.JPG

    • Dropping your trash on the floor can create “run-away” trash:

Run-AwayTrash

  • If you run past the bins, then hold onto your trash until you come to a checkpoint. There are several bins there to deposit your rubbish.
    • TyreLadyBelieve me, you have the strength to carry a couple of grams to the next checkpoint….I drag a 10kg tyre! It just takes a little more effort and 1km is short compared to the distance you will achieve! In the Singapore Marathon there are bins about every 20 metres in the ECP area.
    • If it is a gel packet, then put it into your short’s pocket/underwear or for women put it into your bra top. For the “euwwers” out there, you are smelly and sticky anyway, or carry a small bag for your trash.SuperHeroVolunteer
  • Thank the volunteers for their time and help. They’ve been out longer than you, setting up and then waiting to help & encourage you. At the Singapore Marathon, many will have been setting up checkpoints since midnight, and then waiting for runners from 04:30 onwards. Give them energy and they will give you energy back.

 

  • Look out for each other. You are an immediate hero when you help someone.

Effort

The effort you can expand will depend on both your physical and mental preparation.  On the saying “90% mental, 10% physical” Ross, a sports scientist, says:

An athlete who lacks talent is exposed, as a junior in many cases, and never reaches the Olympic Games.  An athlete who has abundant talent, but lacks the mental edge, may fade into obscurity because they don’t have the drive or discipline to train, or because they don’t compete well.

The athlete who lacks confidence or self-belief stands out among the crowd eventually – they reach the “highest level of insecurity”, if you will, before being exposed, often spectacularly.  On the other hand, the athlete who lacks talent often disappears into the middle of the pack and obscurity.  Perhaps this is why we have identified mental aspects as so crucial, the source of the 90-10 principle?

Source: http://sportsscientists.com/2010/02/the-mental-edge-thoughts-and-opinions/

And finally an element that very few seem to spend time on is visualization. This can be done in bed some days before an event. This can help you go so much further than you expected as it can keep you positive throughout the event.

So next time you talk about your PB, remember you can PB in other areas other than time.

 

Tips for Runners at the Singapore Marathon

 

NB The Green Ambassadors are part of Green Nudge

 

 

 

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#67 Richmond Park Marathon: A Lady’s Campaign + Psychical vs Physical

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Event Type: A trail marathon that does loops in and around the perimeter of Richmond Park. Expect to cross roads that enter/exit the park.
Start Time: 9:30am
Weather: @ 25 degs C by mid-day
During: 3 checkpoints in total stocked with fruit, jelly babies + water to refill
At the End: Medal + t-shirt + water + food to eat
Website: http://www.1m2go.co.uk/

Have completed this event 5 times, feels like catching up with old friends from the RDs to the volunteers to the runners who I regularly meet on this run and others. Missed the gorilla lead cyclist this year!

With the Manchester bombing last week, I thought about skipping this post. However why should we let some a***holes try to replace peace, joy and love in our lives with emptiness, despair, terror and hate? Those who wholly blame one religion should remember one bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch. Extremists and hypocrites exist in all religions, in all walks of life.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96HqPpjI3UY

Additionally with the rapid changes in technology, we have to be more discerning and teach our children to be more vigilant and discerning. I pray those affected by terrorists and s*** happening in their lives will be able to focus on peace to find joy and love once again.

And so La Blog Post: Preamble Event Thoughts

RPMShowMeYourBottleWith the French elections over, a sigh of relief came out of Europe and focused moved back to the hum drum of the UK elections to be held on the 8th June 2017. As it is the season for campaigns, I launched my own Show Me Your Bottle campaign for “Grow Your Own” seeds.

Not sure how successful it really was, but I have had a number of runners at my local Parkrun showing me their bottle.

Note to self: Hand out seeds at my local Parkrun to reward all those with a bottle.

For this event, tried to encourage runners to BYOB and write to London Marathon to ditch the single use plastic bottles. In 2017, 900,000 bottles for runners and volunteers were made available (Source: The Mirror); In 2016, VLM organisers had stated 40,000 bottles were recycled (Source: ITV news).

Am happy to report there were a good number of runners with their own bottles, with some slowing down to have a chat and ate the seeds I handed to them! Hope others were able to pick up packets of seeds from the second and third checkpoints.

Hello Sisters

Moving on to other normalaities…..and maybe I’ll embarrass my sisters out there!

Women are super strong just before their menstruation/period/girly thing. Our energy is amazing, and we have a heightened awareness of stuff going on around us at all times, meaning our octopus like ability enables us to seemingly handle all things at the same time.

Then a day or two before it happens, we can transform into evil malicious beings. I’ve certainly ripped off my partner’s head, chewed him up, and spat him out for doing something trivial.  Have had to do so many apologies!

And those days before and during ovulation, I, like many of my sisters out there, have those sleepless nights.  I have tried bedtime yoga & meditation to allow the universe to let me sleep with a little success. My best medication is sunshine, large doses of those glorious rays let me sleep far better & keep me happy.

For women who would like to be more eco-conscious in their choice of sanitary products and be more comfortable think about reusable pads if you use sanitary pads, or menstrual cups instead of tampons. Here is a nice article about it: https://www.hongkongfp.com/2017/05/28/flowing-pride-two-women-fighting-menstrual-taboo-hong-kong/

Sleep Deprivation

Dolly and BonnieAs you might have guessed, I was in “period mode” when the Richmond Park Marathon came along. As the heavens blessed the UK soil in the days leading up to the marathon, sleep was a struggle with an inability to stop thinking at night…..it just happens.

Pre-race night: struggling to sleep for the second night, I was counting from 20 to zero. On the third replication of 20 to zero, I thought counting sheep might help.

I wondered if there was such thing as a Welsh “baa”? Would Aussie sheep say “G’day Dolly” to their English cousins?……drifted off to sleep as dawn broke & then the alarm’s lullaby tunes pulled me back into consciousness. Oh baa! I awoke with my brain hanging outside its head.

Does Eating Breakfast Really Give Us Energy For A Marathon?

Currently am trying to holistically sort out an auto-immune disorder with an intermittent fasting period of around 14 – 16 hours. Thus have got into the habit of skipping breakfast and eating any time after 12pm. So I forgot to eat breakfast prior to the marathon, only remembering I should have done so once I had started. Should it really matter? Especially if we have eaten well in the days leading up to a marathon. Is it really a psychological booster.

As it was only a marathon distance, I thought I’d see if it really was a psychological booster. With being fed vitamin D by the sunshine, the hot day took the hunger away. I forced myself to eat part of a flapjack at 11:00am. By 12pm, I began to slow down, hot & tired and forced the rest of the flapjack down. Between 12pm and 3pm, I consumed an additional carob bar, banana and two Quorn cocktail sausages. Other folk along the route had also slowed due to the heat. Observing my own body functions, everything pointed to heat + lack of sleep, envying the many others enjoying the sunshine on their backs.

In conclusion, with me being the test subject, the important days of marathon nutrition happens days before the marathon and not the day before or even at breakfast. I’ll try the no breakfast test again in the ultra next month and observe how that affects performance.

With regards, to sleep deprivation and my performance, one night of no sleep has a minor effect, two days of no sleep has some effect, three days of no sleep and the mind has to work really hard to banish the tired head. Four-five days of no sleep, means just enjoy the day and get off the course (DNF).

WebFinishPhoto

Happy running.

Thank you to the organisation for introducing biodegradeable compostable cups, volunteers, runners and those who donated to EarthWatch. £21 was raised on the day.

Completed this event in 7:05 (@ 20 minutes off the last year’s time)

#64 Pisa Marathon Part 2: Beating the Blues

a-d-tower-on-backv2

If the elephants can do it so can A-D

Event Type: A road marathon
Route: Starts at 9am. Roads are closed but sometimes drivers will attempt a closed section!
Weather: Started at 0 degs C at 8am. Increased to to 10 degs C by about 11am
During: Water + energy drink; bananas, apples, wafers @ every 5km; some sponge points as well. Too cold for sponges
At the End: A lovely colourful medal
Website: http://www.maratonadipisa.com/?lang=en

17th Dec: Fighting Negative Energy

The plan was to spend some time at the expo, leave the expo at 5pm, eat dinner and be in bed by 9pm.

My buddy had gone off to the Dali museum whilst I tried to convince people to be proactive in their approach to our planet, even in a marathon.

  • The clock struck 5pm and my buddy was no where to be seen.
  • 6pm: stress quickly settled in. Nadia (organiser) kept a positive cool presence and tried her best to help phone my buddy. Unfortunately none of his phones were on.
  • 6:30pm: the internal stress is burning away.
  • 7:05pm: my buddy appears.

When you’re already partly negative beforehand, it is easy to push the whole being back into the negativity cloud.

As I get older, I seem to become more OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) about stupid things. Here was a great example. My buddy had got lost in thought and was out enjoying the Pisa landscape, had made a mistake on timing and all I could be was annoyed at his timing. Lost was the positive energy that exuded from the organisation, and the stressed pre-Pisa emotional brain had returned which affected everything else that night.

Thankfully I have learned that one sleepless night before an event only degrades performance a little. However taking negative energy into an event can screw your want to move forward and has a much higher degradation on performance and mental thinking.

To fight your own demons, first recognise you’re negative. You’ll feel it from that draining fuzziness in your head to the language that you use. Negative language continues negative feelings. For example: using “Not” frequently in sentences such as “I am not being negative” vs “I am positive”. It is easier to say the latter with a smile.

Our language and feelings are all interconnected. Keep your language and gestures positive and I promise you, that negative fuzziness will quickly go away. (reference NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming).

So “Allons-y”

18th Dec: Marathon Day’s Positive Triumph

Some demons are easy to remove by being around positive people.

I had to be positive as teachers and students from Pacinotti High School started with me at 08:30am. I enjoyed listening to their excited chatter for the first 5-10km.

school-supportersstart4

Teachers and Students from Pacinotti High School made “Run with Tyre Lady” t-shirts

I had to be positive as runners passed from the 7km until the 12km mark were constantly providing positive feedback.

Some demons require space, time and nature to remove

When the teachers left me at the 10km mark, I could focus on slaying those last remaining demons in my head once and for all. At points I wanted to weaken, but passing runners in the opposite direction reminded me to keep moving.

At 25km, the tail runners picked me up.

Their positive energy blasted me through. At the last 4km the students and teachers from Pacinotti High School rejoined the happy group. I now had a full entourage to take me home.

full-entourage-thru-pisa

As they yelled “Go Lady” there was a song we all sang …..”Laaaayyyyy di…..laaaayaa…go….Lady now you gonna go home…..” Surrounded by so much light destroyed any final embers of darkness…..And for the rest of you, the banana boat song…..to enter into town with us with a joyous sound.

Thank you to Pacinotti High School, the Pisa organisers and the amazing volunteers for their support and to Fabrizio for the use of his photos.

Thank you Pisa Marathon for the positive energy that you exude.

The world is now great and it will take a lot more now to rock my boat!

Time =6:52:22

Total stoppage time on course for photos estimated at 15 minutes

#64 Pisa Marathon: Introducing A-D

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16th Dec 2016: Opening Scenes

Signore e Signora, la Signora Pneumatico will be arriving today perhaps a little anxious but let us make sure she knows all is well.

Reflections: Meanwhile back in England, a week before leaving, Tyre Lady aka La Signora Pneumatico  (TL) is feeling stressed. Her alter ego has been sorting out all those mundane normal things: tax, work, not sleeping, screwing up a contract, discovering a leaking roof…..she is not in a happy place….especially with the roof and the builders being elusive!

It is so easy to get into bad moods especially when sleep is lacking. The negative energy particles whizz around exciting other negative particles, and when one becomes hormonal at the same time, a woman can go a little mad! Negativity had settled in TL’s brain.

The day before leaving, TL received a tweet from 1063AD that a tyre had been prepared.

a-d

A thrilling red tyre called A-D called out. TL let out a small sigh of relief: Drue and the large suitcase could now be left behind…..and a bit of positivity chipped off some negativity.

Back to 16th Dec: So the plan was to register, find A-D, speak a little and then leave.

TL peeped into the large tent that had a small expo and registration. And there was A-D …..placed on the floor in the middle of a Ricola inflatable arch.

TL coyly says to one of the registration volunteers (RV): “Errr, I think that tyre is for me…”

RV: “Ahh you are the Tyre Lady…..Everyone the Tyre Lady is here”

TL: “Ahh yes I am a Tired Lady……” think the joke was lost as everyone looked at TL as if some major super star had entered. Really she wanted to grab the tyre and run, but the cameras came out and people talked to TL.

introducing-a-d

Introducing A-D

As she placed her hands round A-D, she was happy it was a smaller tyre than Drue. Knowing that TL wanted a little more work done on A-D, Sergio (organiser) brought out the drill.

a-d-work

Sergio preparing A-D for the Pisa Marathon

What more could a Tyre Lady ask for.

A quick chat with vendors and then time to place some final touches on A-D with a message and for A-D to become a pledge tyre for participants to become aware of what is happening to their plastic trash.

a-d-revamped

  • A snowman looking for snow with a polysytrene cup on its head, drinking from a plastic bottle.
  • A sea cow (dudong), presented to TL by Sitang from Chanthaburi Marathon, with a plastic bag over its head! Plastic is killing our sea life.

Single-use disposable plastic should be banned!

Hope to see all those who signed A-D at the very least using their own bottles in their next event if they stop for refreshments at checkpoints. After all what are the choices….The Environment or a Personal Best (PB)? Hmmm.

Think reusable and not disposable

Am looking forward to organisers using biodegradeable compostible cups in their next event for those runners too lazy to carry a bottle that is less than 1% of their body weight!

Next write up is A-D’s tour around Pisa.