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Run Mother Run…. Well Done!!

 

Now that Mom has finished the challenges she set herself I have taken over her blog to post a congratulatory message to her.

When Mom started running and then was finding it difficult to keep going during the dark and wet winter months, I brought her the gym membership for Christmas, so she didn’t have the excuse to stop the exercising… I don’t think I needed to worry!

She has been a beast from the moment she set her mind to it, initially everyone thought she was a little bonkers, as the list of events went from one, the Birmingham 10k, to three including a triathlon and finishing with a 10 mile run and all in the space of 5 months!

I do not actually ever remember volunteering to do the events with her, but have ended up doing them all. Each challenge has been undertaken with an enthusiasm and commitment that has been amazing and I have been very proud to run next to her and do what I could to encourage her on her way round. I found myself going from someone who thought he better run with his phone in case we needed an ambulance, to a personal trainer pushing her to go a little faster or to keep going for that extra kilometer to beat her PB!!

I has been a great summer and we have enjoyed great weather on every leg of the challenge.

Maybe next year we can meet up for a coffee rather than a massive run, after all we have a combined age of 116!!

Mom is passionate about supporting the ACT and is delighted with everyone’s’ generous support that has seen her raise nearly £2000 with Gift Aid. Thank you all and she would be delighted if you continued to check in on their website to she the work they continue to do.

Cheers Paul

 

 

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20 years of the African Child Trust

ACT

As I come close to finishing my challenge I just wanted to remind everyone of the Charity I have been under taking all of this madness for. The African Child Trust is now in its 20th year and has do some incredible work in a number of African countries to relieve poverty and advance development by educating disadvantaged children and orphans so that they achieve their full potential and empowering needy widows through training to generate income to sustain their families.

The community in Africa is central to our approach. ACT therefore works with partners who are well established Christian churches and community based organisations that share the same vision of supporting people in need and have the capacity to operate well managed and comprehensively monitored projects.

There are lots of great articles on the website blog about the progress of specific projects and the work the volunteers are doing, as well as some inspiring contributions from the people ACT have helped and supported. It really is worth a visit.

http://www.africanchildtrust.org.uk/blog/

ACT have lots of wonderful volunteers and fundraisers who takes up a variety roles and events to help raise awareness of the work they do and to help drive the fundraising efforts needed to continue the work they do on all of their projects.

  • You can sponsor a child for just £15 a month which will change the life of a disadvantaged child or orphan in Africa for good
  • You can become an ambassador raising awareness of the work ACT do and encouraging people to support it, whether in your local community, via social media or in your church
  • You can host an event there are lots of events that take place, from golf days to larger charity events that ACT supporters take part in, such as the Great South Run. Every event that is put on however small raises awareness and support so they all mean the world, to those they help
  • You can also volunteer for the ACT, helping with the administration of events and assisting the supporters in theirs efforts. There are offices in Croydon and Birmingham

If anyone would like some further information on helping out with the ACT please let me know or visit the website http://www.africanchildtrust.org.uk

ACT team in the midlands have recently welcomed the second group of young people from the NCS Community Partnership. The National Citizen Service, is a very positive scheme that aims to help young people better understand their communities, tackle important issues and meaningfully help to meet local needs. We have had the pleasure of two visits and we have more planned. It has been wonderful to see how engaged and enthusiastic the young people are and how keen they are to do what they can to contribute.

There are a couple of upcoming events:

The ACT 20th Anniversary Celebration is a morning event commemorating the 20 years of the charity’s operations and will showcase the work ACT is currently doing across Africa.

I am really looking forward to the event and if you can join us on Saturday 6th October at 10:00am you will enjoy musical performances led by the Portsmouth Gospel Choir (BBC Pitch Battle 2017 finalist) and get to meet some of our beneficiary children and ACT partners who will be travelling from Africa to take part in the celebration event. To register please visit the website: 20 years event tickets

There is also the Annual dinner that will be on the 1st December this year and anyone would like some further details about this, please let me know.

Thank you for reading

Love Jenny x

 

 

Only three weeks to go..

Wow it is October in 2 days and only three weeks tomorrow until the final of my three challenges on this magical adventure.

As I look out of the window at the rain and wind from the sitting room with the radiators on, it would seem that we are guaranteed a cooler temperature for the Great South Run on 21st October, than we were blessed with on the first two.

It has been a busy but fun filled summer since the triathlon in Ashby, in July.

During the week after the Triathlon Nat was seen frequently in the garden watering my wild flowers which were suffering as a result of the heat wave. On the Saturday I understood the unusual concern she had shown for my garden when the family arrived to celebrate my 70th birthday with a fantastic French theme. What an amazing treat and a surprise for Nat when it  rained  all day, this didn’t dampen our spirit in the least. It was a delight to share the occasion with all the family including my brother and sister-in-law and my oldest grandson Alfie and his girlfriend Kelsey, and all the other grandchildren.

John and I then enjoyed some time away in Cornwall and North Devon where we joined Paul ,Sarah and the children for some of their summer holiday. North Devon is a favourite place for John and me and has provided us with lots of happy memories over the years, so is always nice to return.

I also had some excellent support from Sanctuary Housing who featured me in their residents magazine which is circulated all over the country with a link to my blog. Here is a link to the electronic copy of the magazine featuring my story.

The Voice Residents Magazine story

I am continuing to train at the gym and run with both The this Girl runs group and the Park Runs in Solihull. I have now completed the 5k park runs six times, but with all of the excitement over the summer it has proved a challenge to fit in all of the training, but everyone’s encouragement, support and sponsorship for the wonderful African Child Trust, has given me the drive to get up early for the gym, or do that practice run in the rain. Thank you to every one for getting behind me and helping me through it and amazingly the I have raised over £1200 on my BTDonate page and

If you haven’t yet got round to sponsoring me, it’ is not too late and the page will remain open for while after the last challenge if you are waiting to see if I manage them all first!

I am already thinking about a new challenge for next year.. iron man granny, or Lands End to John o Graots maybe!!

Lots of Love

Jenny x

 

 

 

 

My First Triathlon….Tick..

I have completed what I was thinking would be the hardest of the three challenges and I really enjoyed it.

I was very proud to discover that I had come first in my age group in the Ashby Novice Triathlon on Sunday, in the 70-75 age group (taken as age on 31st Dec 2018), however it turns out I was the only one in my age group! I am still thrilled to have completed the event and enjoyed the whole experience.

There was more prep than in the other challenges with setting your transition area up, racking the bike and laying out kit to make the changes between disciplines as smooth as possible. This all builds up the nerves, tension and excitement, as you see the racks fill up with bikes. There were lots of first time triathletes there like myself so it was great to share the excitement with them and it did help settle the nerves.

Thankfully the tropical summer took a couple of hours off, so my 7:45am start happened in relatively cool temperatures, which was a real blessing.

The swim was 12 lengths in the pool and it took me around 20 minutes, in the excitement of it all I am not sure I followed all of the instruction from my recent swimming lessons, but I got it done and was out of the pool and running towards the transition area to collect the bike and set off on the 20k ride. Despite there being some rather large hills and still not really getting to grips with the gears, the ride wasn’t complicated with any of the feared issues with punctures or chains and it was strangely enjoyable!

At the end of that it was back through transition and on to the run, I was pleased the route was fairly flat and I was delighted to complete it just outside my 5K personal best.

To each and everyone of you a huge thank you for all the support and good wishes, before during and after the first two challenges. I am so grateful.

It is just 11 weeks until the celebrations to mark 20 years of the work of the African Child Trust on October 6th in Croydon and then 2 weeks later it will be the last part of my challenge with the Great South Run, where i will be running the 10 mile route in Portsmouth.

Oh and its my 70th Birthday at the end of this month!

What an exciting year it has been so far.

Lots of Love

Jenny

 

 

One week until the Ashby Triathlon..

Well it is only a week tomorrow until the next challenge and the most challenging, the Ashby Triathlon. 400m swim, 20k bike ride and then to finish a 5k run!

Screenshot_20180714-220653Two weeks ago I was delighted to reach my target weight at Slimmimg World, having lost 6st 1.5lbs since September 2016.  Thank you to all my family and friends who have supported and encouraged me, but special thanks to my marvellous SW consultant, Nova and the other SW members.

Well as the country watches the World Cup I have taken to the streets to take advantage of the empty roads.  I’m not sure I’m yet ready for the ‘Tour de France’ but I am happy to have progressed this far after so many years without any cycling.  Screenshot_20180714-220756

An afternoon joining Paul Sarah and their little family at Sutton Park, on the bikes, helped me gain more confidence with the gears and also gave me chance to conquer the balance issues. I have been practicing lots and  as France celebrated their success in the semi final I was jumping for joy having completed a 20k cycle ride.

I have been enjoying regular swimming at Sparkhill Pool and Leisure centre, I have figured out when to visit to have the pool practically to myself but also at other times where I get to meet up with old friends and spend time making new ones.  I am very grateful to Amy, my swimming instructor, who has been incredibly patient with this old lady, working on increasing my speed and losing the ‘can’t get my hair wet stroke’!!

The 5k Park Runs are much easier and more fun on cooler days like today. Great support, as always, this morning from This Girl Runs members at Brueton Park.  Thank You ladies. A PB for me too… Yeah!  So here’s hoping weather next Sunday will slightly less challenging than it was on the day of the Great Birmingham 10k.

I have recently had the privilege of sharing with a group of delightful 15-17 year old young people, who were part of the NCS Challenge project, about the work of African Child Trust. They really engaged with us to hear about the work of ACT  do. They produced some amazing art work which will be sold to raise funds for the charity.

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Please take a moment to check the link about Yacine, who was orphaned at a very young age and had no prospect of continuing her education.  With the help of ACT she was able to go to university and get a Batchelor’s degree and Masters in Law.  She now wants to give back to ACT and volunteers in the ACT office once a week.

http://www.africanchildtrust.org.uk/transforming-lives-yacine-elodie/

Thank you to your amazing support and generosity your donations of almost £1500 is sufficient to pay for two children to spend two years in school.

Thank you again for your support and donations.  Please share with your family and friends about ACT and also my challenge so far. It would be great is we could manage to raise enough to put another child through school or even better two more by the end my Tri 70 Challenge in October and give them the life changing opportunity we all take for granted.

Lots of Love

Jenny

5 Weeks to go until the Next Challenge!

Apologies it has been a while since my last update.

Following the successful completion of the Birmingham 10K I have been continuing to train and the time has flown by. I must be enjoying all that hard work.IMG-20180613-WA0003

Since my last update, my Facebook Friends may have seen I finally managed after 20 months to get over the 6 stone weight loss mark, which was very satisfying and a great personal milestone, which made me realise what a great impact it has had on my life since I started the journey almost by accident nearly two years ago.

I am currently in the Peak District with John and my Brother and Sister-in-Law. I am managing to combine relaxing with and enjoying the glorious weather with some exercise, the lovely place we are stopping at has its own pool, which takes all the effort out of going for a swim.

 

The lovely countryside we are in the middle of means we are surrounded by great little towns and villages to explore by bike or on foot. Thankfully Derek, my brothers’ map reading skills have been very useful whilst out walking, and fairly lengthy walks would have been a lot longer without him.

I have been making steady progress at the ladies cycling club at the Gym, which gave me enough confidence to hire some bikes with Sue my Sister-in-Law and we had a great outdoor cardio session cycling along the Tissington Trail, the scenery was glorious and will be sadly missed when cycling round the roads in Shirley next week.

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After a great week away, I am looking forward to getting my focus back and continuing to do the Park Runs on Saturdays, the next 4-5K Social fun run with This Girl Runs and my swimming lessons, where I am getting some tips on speeding up my ‘can’t get my hair wet’ stroke to something a little more competitive. With just over 5 weeks to go until The Ashby Triathlon on the 22nd July, I need to get match fit ahead of the 70th Birthday celebrations the week after.

Thank you again for all of your support and kind messages

Lots of love

Jenny

One down..

The Great Birmingham 10k .. Check.

In the hottest bank holiday weekend for quite a while I have completed the first of my three challenges and strangely even though it was very hot and quite a struggle at times, I really enjoyed it.

Myself and Paul were joined on the train into Birmingham by many other runners and my other son Richard and his children Evie and Lucas, who surprised us by coming to cheer us on.

As we arrived at the start line I was remarkably calm and excited to get started.

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I managed to keep running for the first 8kms before I started to flag, in a large part down to the children armed with water pistols on route. They were all very polite and only soaked you when they had asked and you had agreed!

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With only 2km to go I needed some motivating to keep going, but had some on hand and manged to cross the line with some wonderful cheering from the roadside in 1 hour 27 and 51 seconds which I was very pleased with.

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The support all the round was wonderful and really helped through the difficult bits. The messages of support and congratulations have also meant a great deal, so thank you to everyone. THREE MONTHS UNTIL THE NEXT ONE.. the Ashby Triathlon…