Running marathon from 4.45 today


Hello.

As you may have gathered i’m running a marathon today at the Women for Women gala, in Banqueting House. I’ll start running from 4.45pm today and will do my best to stream it live via Twitter and Facebook. No marathon is every easy, i’m i think this will be tough tonight, so if you can send your support in any form possible that would  really be appreciated. If you do tune in you’ll see how a marathon slowly strips back the layers and basically see my body crumple up as the minutes tick by.

Remember if you can guess my finishing time then i’ll give you a free copy of a new book that is being released by Women for Women called: Share.

Thanks,

Chrs

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Treadmill #marafun tomorrow night


Ok. Here it goes. You’ll have seen last week that I’m heading back to the Congo this summer.

Asics treadmill marathon (2010)

Now I know I said, this isn’t just about more running…well I lied a little as there will be a touch more running as I attempt to run a treadmill marathon at the Women for Women Gala on Thursday evening and stream it live over Twitter and Facebook. I’ll be running from about 4.30 on Thursday (15th May)

Women for Women invited me along and I kind of felt guilty just attending and wanted to do what I could to try and help them fundraise on the night. On the evening there will be a silent auction where lots of lovely stuff gets auctioned off. Now sadly I don’t own a villa in France or have access to a day spa to offer up for auction. However, what I do have is that mundane ability to run.

So I thought what better way to try and raise a bit more of money for Women for Women by running a sweepstake on my finishing time for running a marathon on the night to try and raise some more money. I’m aiming to raise over £1000 on the evening for Women for Women.

Tomorrow I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to stream the whole run live via my iPhone and I’ll be running a live Twitter Q&A while running.

So if you’ve ever wondered what it is like to run a marathon then please tweet questions at me using the hashtag #maratweet or via Facebook. As you might imagine running on a treadmill could get a bit tedious so if you can tweet at me questions, comments or anything else then please do and please do share it with you friends via Facebook and Twitter please.

I’ve never tried anything like this before and I have no idea what it’ll be like streaming it, but I thought it’d be fun.

I also appreciate that most of you reading this probably won’t be at the gala on Thursday. However, I wanted to run a similar competition, so if you can donate just £2 on www.justgiving.com/runforcongo then I’ll give the person who gets the closest time a copy of the new cook book that Women for Women are launching tomorrow called Share.

Thanking you.

Chris

This means a lot to me..


Comments from a great friend about the coming weeks ahead…

‘I’ve known Chris since we were teenagers and to be honest with you I
have always been a little bit worried about him. He has a great deal
of energy and clearly has a need to find outlets for that which have
luckily become more and more focused over the years.

I’m immensely proud of what Chris has set out to achieve and always do
my best to spread the word. When he went to the Congo last year a few
of us questioned his sanity, after all it is one of the biggest areas
of lawlessness on the planet. I work in a political environment and
was keenly aware of the attitude taken by the Foreign Office and
regional experts on travel to the Congo which was quite simpy ‘ don’t
do it’. The problem with Chris is that once you suggest he couldn’t,
or he shouldn’t do something then it hardens his resolve to do it.

He returned from last years trip a visibly changed man. Although we
didn’t discuss it at length there was an occassion after a few beers
when he was able to tell us about some of the things he had seen on
his trip. I noticed then that it had instilled a steely resolve which
has become more and more evident as 12×12 has grown from an already
amibitious undertaking to the challenge of not one, but a hundred
lifetimes.

I guess now the trip gets nearer it’s hard not think about the time he
had a gun held to his head after a midnight militia raid on his hotel.
His travelling partner Dominic Goggins is also a good friend and of
course I worry about them both. In a country where 6 million people
have died in a decade you know the lives of two foolhardy young Brits
are probably pretty cheap.

The reality though is that I am not that worried, Chris went last time
off his own back. This time he has organisational support and a cause
which will resonate with those whose lives have been shattered by the
ongoing conflict. I guess we have all grown used to the idea and tend
to think of Chris as invincible but the funny thing about what he has
done is that if the worst came to the worst I know that all of us
around him who have watched this incredible journey would probably
want to carry on campaigning to raise awareness of the situation in
the Congo. That is the beauty of it; by putting his own life on the
line he is changing the prospects of thousands of others.”


‘I’ve known Chris since we were teenagers and to be honest with you I
have always been a little bit worried about him. He has a great deal
of energy and clearly has a need to find outlets for that which have
luckily become more and more focused over the years.

I’m immensely proud of what Chris has set out to achieve and always do
my best to spread the word. When he went to the Congo last year a few
of us questioned his sanity, after all it is one of the biggest areas
of lawlessness on the planet. I work in a political environment and
was keenly aware of the attitude taken by the Foreign Office and
regional experts on travel to the Congo which was quite simpy ‘ don’t
do it’. The problem with Chris is that once you suggest he couldn’t,
or he shouldn’t do something then it hardens his resolve to do it.

He returned from last years trip a visibly changed man. Although we
didn’t discuss it at length there was an occassion after a few beers
when he was able to tell us about some of the things he had seen on
his trip. I noticed then that it had instilled a steely resolve which
has become more and more evident as 12×12 has grown from an already
amibitious undertaking to the challenge of not one, but a hundred
lifetimes.

I guess now the trip gets nearer it’s hard not think about the time he
had a gun held to his head after a midnight militia raid on his hotel.
His travelling partner Dominic Goggins is also a good friend and of
course I worry about them both. In a country where 6 million people
have died in a decade you know the lives of two foolhardy young Brits
are probably pretty cheap.

The reality though is that I am not that worried, Chris went last time
off his own back. This time he has organisational support and a cause
which will resonate with those whose lives have been shattered by the
ongoing conflict. I guess we have all grown used to the idea and tend
to think of Chris as invincible but the funny thing about what he has
done is that if the worst came to the worst I know that all of us
around him who have watched this incredible journey would probably
want to carry on campaigning to raise awareness of the situation in
the Congo. That is the beauty of it; by putting his own life on the
line he is changing the prospects of thousands of others.”

Spice girls and Iron man…


Sat in an empty Italian restaurant in Wigan, thinking of the day that had been hanging over me for months and that had got steadily heavier as the iron man drew closer. 12hrs before the start of the race I came so close to cancelling my dinner in that restaurant and catching a taxi to Dom’s house near Salford than doing the race.

Everyone had told me I didn’t have to do the iron man and they wouldn’t have thought anything less of me “chris you’ve got a lot coming up, you should rest”. Ironically, all those people who said I should probably pull out were the ones who changed my mind and made me do it.

You don’t know until you try. How hard could it be?

I will be very frank with you at every stage of the race I was mulling over ways that I could pull out of the race and save some face. Why? Because Sunday hurt.

In the swim my face went numb from the cold of the water, the cuts on my neck from the wetsuit and the four or five punches I received in the swim as some ironmen lost the plot and started lashing out. In the swim there was no reason for me to drop out so I carried on splashing away.

The cycle was awful. My ass was killing by the finish. Knees in agony. Wrist frail. Back in real pain.

Eating the most disgusting power bars through the race was a real low point. Knowing you had to eat these energy bars so you had fuel in you but not being able to swallow them because they were so rank was like torture. I just wanted some melon or maybe a bit of pineapple.

It was commented by a fellow ironman person in the cycle that I must have OCD. As she noted that I pissed in the same spots round the 3 lap course- a bit like a cat? It does seem weird thinking about it now, it just felt safer than other places.

After about 6hrs 50mins I’d finished the bike leg, it was ace seeing my mates as I headed into transition. Although I got so excited when I saw Dom, Hardy, Sim, and Coop to the point where I nearly fell off my bike..

The run, my strong point.
The nurofen that I had slip down my cycling shorts probably did more damage than it did good. The sharp plastic had managed to cut into my leg and it was stinging pretty badly. But the 4 or so tablets sorted the back and knees out.

Surprisingly my legs felt so strong along the run section and I found I was flying past a lot of people. From checking the results my marathon time was the 98th best on the day out of over 1000 people!

You could tell I was feeling good because I could even sing a few versus from “two become one” by the spice girls to the lads when I ran past them. Don’t know why I did that.

“I need some love like I never needed love before wanna….”

Got some odd looks by other runners and bolton folk when my friends carried on the singing!

“Make love to you baby, I had little love now I’m back for more…”

On the home straight it was dawning on me, about what I was about to achieve. I’d always wondered about the iron man since me and my friend andrew had a timex iron man watches at the age of about 10. I never could have dreamed to have believed that I could finish one, let alone under 12hrs and finishing 263rd!! It was a amazing. Running down the carpet I was overtaken by emotion, seeing Dom, Coop, (Sim) and everyone else cheering me on over the line. It was pretty cool hearing the “Chris Jackson is an Ironman” over the tanoy.

Rather than sap my energy sunday showed what you can do if you just stay strong, focused and have supported. I’ll be drawing on all these things when I head out to the DRC on Sunday.

Should probably stop blogging and get some sleep. I’m writing this at 6am and my eyes are burning.

It is with great regret that…..


i’ll be taking part in the Iron Man on Sunday morning at 6am.

So. The Iron Man. This has been playing on my mind for months, but the time has arrived. After a lot of thinking and taking advice from friends I’ve decided to do it. My mind is flooded with a mixture of doubts and excitement and loads of other words which I’m not sure what they are.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. How the hell do you prepare for this type of thing? This probably is a question I should have thought about months ago. But given I signed up to the race not knowing how far it was, I’ll just have to stay positive. I’ll be honest I don’t know if I’ll finish the race (well that’s hardly positive), I hope I can and will give it everything I can to cover all 140 miles of the course. What gives me confidence is that I run marathons with the best of them. Come sunday I’ll be putting all the experience of the 7 marathons I’ve done so far and use this to keep me going, slowly creeping past others (well that’s the plan).

People have been so kind with words of support so far and I’ve printed them all off and will take them with me and put them in my bag and read them quickly while I change from wetsuit to bike and from bike to trainers. You don’t know how much these have spurred me on. Thank you.

This iron man isn’t about me though (this seems likely contradictory give everything I’ve written above) it is all about getting people like you to be aware about the conflict, war, unrest in the DR Congo. Please take a look at (https://runforcongo.wordpress.com/about/) and read this to be aware of the conflict in the Congo. Once you’ve looked at that you’ll know what is driving me on even when every part of my body tells me to stop.

Hopefully be in one piece come Monday to let you all know how I got on…..

I want this medal.

Tough times.


 

Quite a tough day today. Spent 5 hours training on my bike and came home to find my knees had swollen up significantly from the cycling. I had been giving it some thought recently to pull out the Iron Man but today’s event has confirmed it. It is with real regret that I have to do this, but for my sanity and health I thought it was best. I’m fully committed to all 12 marathons, but I think competing in the Iron Man maybe one step to far. I would hate to jeopardise the attempt to run 12 marathons and also my preparations for the run in the Congo by putting my body through one of the toughest races you can do. I’m only 26 and have plenty of time to do an Iron Man – I’m sure I’ll do one soon enough and I want to give it all my energy, but for the time being this will have to wait.. I apologise if I’m letting anyone down, but training for the Iron Man and the race itself has put my body under extreme stress and strain. 

Interesting couple of days news-wise. 

I have to say I’m extremely worried about the comments that Andrew Mitchell, the UK Minister for Development, is set to make tomorrow. Essentially it looks like he will outline a strategy to send greater levels of DFID funding to countries where the UK has a direct military engagement – Afghanistan. I’m a massive supporter of the UK troops in Afghanistan. However, I am upset to see the Government commitment to ‘ring fence’ international development essentially mean that DFID money is ploughed into Afghanistan, to make up for cuts in Defence spending. Mitchell will try and justify this policy tomorrow by saying that the Government will reduce aid to countries that don’t need it – China, India and South America countries. But at present DFID spending in these regions is extremely small compared to the amounts spent in Africa. Realistically the axe is likely to fall in places like the DRC – the UK is the second largest bi-lateral donor and spends an estimated £250,000 per day in the DRC on aid. Because the UK public aren’t aware of the atrocities in the DRC and the ongoing conflict this makes it extremely easy for UK Government to slash funding at a time when the DRC needs it. If Mitchell wants to cut spending, then at least ensure that he introduces a coherent response on how he will make up for the lack of funding and give real direction to UK policy in the DRC. 

There has also been increasing tensions within Rwanda in the run up to the election after a series of opposition politicians and supporters have been murdered in recent weeks – placing considerable pressure on Paul Kagame, current president of Rwanda. With the elections set to take place next month, it does leave me feeling slightly concerned about any escalation of violence or stress in the weeks leading up to the election.

Photos, PR Week and treadmill marathon…


Preparations and developments are gathering a pace for the run in the Congo. Some great photos from Tuesday night with Christine Karumba and Judith Wanga now on Flicker and comments from Anne Lennox about it on her blog.

Bit of coverage today in the national magazine PR week as well!

Currently gearing myself up for running a marathon on a treadmill in central London on Saturday morning – who knows what this will be like: boring or interesting?? If you are around come to 29 Argyll Street, London, W1F 7EB – seconds away from Oxford Circus tube station!

Annie Lennox’s comments:

There’s an unquestionable zeitgeist in the air, with a big capital “W” at the fore of it..
July 6th 2010

Just came back from a special event at Amnesty International, focusing on the plight of women in Congo. Had an earlier meet with various folks..The White Ribbon Alliance/ Women 4 Women, and Oxfam..trying to work out how we can create a broader and more effective profile and platform for the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day here in the UK.
There’s an unquestionable zeitgeist in the air, with a big capital “W” at the fore of it..Many western women are complacent..We inherited the benefits of an emancipation that we didn’t have to struggle for, therefore we took it for granted, and the message became skewed… even ridiculed, for all kinds of reasons.
The term “Feminism” is slightly abashed and cowering in a cupboard somewhere, engulfed by the heady aroma of the dying embers of burned bras, and unshaved armpits. Feminists don’t need to be “strident”, or” ball breakers”, or even “female” to qualify.  And here’s the deal.. ”Feminism“ has been alive and working for decades in every part of the globe, and at all kinds of levels all along. It’s just that the dots haven’t always been joined up… the separate manifestations haven’t always been connected as a whole.
We’re at a point where the light needs to shine on it again, so that we can acknowledge the force and power that we are “collectively” in order to become redefined and recognised for who we all are.. Now.
Watch this space.