Running Britain

Hello there.

Thought I would check in as it has been awhile since I’ve given an account of my goings on. Truthfully I have not been up to much so far in 2016. Nothing worth sharing that is. Unless you are all interested in the mundane details of my existence. Like this week I did a mediocre job opening up a bag of granola so it spills every time I take it out. If it just gets on the counter its no big deal but sometimes some of it falls on the floor and I have to get out the broom and sweep it up. I am tempted to just toss the whole bag and try again. Pretty boring stuff right? Actually I just made that up. None of that happened. I only wish my life had that type of action in it.

All joking aside, in spite of the quiet (or likely because of it) I am doing well. Really well actually. I can attest to the fact that there can be a lot of value in changing the scenery in life. Switching the setting. Changing the context. Shaking the dust.

With all this downtime I have been putting a lot of thought into what I want to do with my year. I have lots of ideas swirling around but I thought it would be nice to share with you what I already have lined up. This entry can suitably be read as a Table of Contents for things I will be writing about over the next 6 months!

You may notice that every thing I am about to tell you involves running (hence the entry title). I’ve always enjoyed running but I’ll admit that I have started to drift into the obsessed category since I moved here. It helps that there is apparently no such thing as winter in the UK. The abundance of spare time doesn’t hurt either.

Here is a peek at my race calendar for the first half of 2016.

Coastal Trail Series

As an island Britain has an abundance of beautiful coast line. Living close to the coast my whole life I knew that it was something that I wanted to see a lot of when I moved here. Fortunately the good folks at Endurancelife ( put on a series of races that run along the coast.  The absolute perfect way to see them in my opinion. The distances range from 10K to ultra marathon and there are about 10 throughout the year. I have two coming up over the next several weeks: one in Northumberland at the end of this month and another in Sussex in mid March. Both half marathons.  Excellent opportunities for a weekend getaway to the coast. My trip to Northumberland will be my first time driving in Britain. I am sure that will generate a fair number of “Travelling with Matt” stories. Prepare yourself for an account of how a 5 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive half of which was spent on the wrong side of the road.

Cardiff Half Marathon

I am making the Cardiff Half Marathon the centerpiece of a long weekend in Wales. The race takes place over Easter weekend (which is a 4 day weekend here). Pretty excited about this one because Mo Farah is running it as well! Don’t know who Mo Farah is? Yeah, I didn’t know who he was 3 weeks ago either. Now he is my favourite person on Earth. He is one of the best runners in the World right now (and British). Defending Olympic and World Champion in the 5000 and 10,000. An absolute machine! I am looking forward to “competing against” him… Probably punch out a couple of beers with him after the race as well. Maybe help him chat up some babes and give him some pointers for Rio.We’ll see. I don’t want to commit to anything.

London Marathon

After running the Bluenose in Halifax 6 years ago I told myself that I was one and done with marathons. Well it turns out I am a fucking liar. At the start of the year I registered to run the Edinburgh marathon at the end of May. A couple weeks later the opportunity to run this came along. How could I decline!? Want to run a race in one of Earth’s greatest and most historic cities? Fuck yes.This came my way through work after someone had to drop out. Fortunately I was the first one to put their hand up as a replacement! An extra cool thing about this is that the 1 millionth finisher is going to cross the line this year.

This is a charity entry which means I have to fund raise for a specific charity as part of my participation. Like most people I don’t really like asking for money but I am hoping you guys can chuck me a few bucks to help out the good folks at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. They support research and provide assistance to patients with lung cancer. If you want to help out you can donate here:

Classic Quarter

Now this is where I really start to wade into the “biting off more than I can chew” territory. This is another race through the Coastal Trail Series which runs along the South West Coast Path from Lizard Point to Land’s End (the western most point in England). Definitely a site worth seeing and a nice way to make it happen. The daunting thing about this race is that it is an ultra marathon (70ish K). The race is June 11th which is about 6 weeks after London so I am thinking I’ll be fresh for it. I actually cancelled my Edinburgh entry so that I would be ready for this. I should be fine but it is possible that my legs will give out and I’ll tumble into the Atlantic. Wouldn’t be the worst way to go… I would ensure my Mother that I am joking but that isn’t necessary because she doesn’t know what “an internet” is.

JLL Property Triathlon

Pretty excited about this one as well! This will be my first triathlon. It is a Sprint so the distances are somewhat reasonable (0.75K swim / 20K bike/ 5K run). This is another opportunity that came about through work so I figured I’d take part. It’s in London and  on Canada Day! A pretty stellar way to celebrate the occasion. This won’t actually be my first Canada Day in London as I was there in 2011 when I went to the British Combinatorial Conference. I came across a public festival for Canada Day complete with Sleemans! Hopefully I can stumble upon that again.

A few other things I have on tap include a trip over to Munich to visit Rory and Nadine in March and a trip to the Netherlands/Belgium for a holiday at the end April. Plus my friends Jen, Darin, and Natalie are all due to make a visit at some point in the summer.

That’s it for now. The key takeaways here are that I am doing well and that I’ll have more to write about very soon!

Shake the dust.



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