Race the Sun

Race the Sun

For Action Medical

Yesterday I was out for 13 hours for Action Medical. Action Medical is a great charity who do a lot of top medical research for children. Looking at their previous medical successes page it's plain that they have made a great contribution. All the way back in 1962 they funded research which helped protect children from polio, they funded research into the ultrasound used to scan developing babies and (more recently) they have funded research into the Oxford Foot Model, a model to help understand the underlying causes which can lead to foot abnormalities (such as in Cerebral Palsy). They are a really great charity who do a lot of work and are well worth supporting. But enough about them, onto me!

I raced the sun and won (barely)

Race the Sun is a charity exercise challenge thing. It involves a 45 mile cycle, a hike up the Brecon Beacons and a 2 mile canoe. It sounds hard but gosh-darn it was hard. We were out for 13 hours. 13 hours of constant physical exertion. It was pretty hellish. The cycle was through the Brecon Beacons, which in theory is a stunning ride around a hilly and green National park. In reality it turned out to be quite difficult because the Brecon Beacons is a mountain range and mountains have lots of inclines. That wasn't the worst of it though, the worst bits were the off road sections...on my road bike. My poor road bike, I have promised not to use it again until I get it serviced, the poor dear.

I've put that bike through some pretty tough times. It has been dropped on the M4, ridden along the d-day beaches, ridden through French lanes at night and now ridden along the rocky, muddy Brecon trails. Despite all the off road sections the tyres never burst which I'm s very pleased about. The bike did get its revenge though, I drove it over a rocky ramp and I fell off! Touche bike.

The hike was also hard. We thought it would be a gentle stroll through the hills but it was steep. So steep...and then it rained. Really hard. Of course it did, its Wales and Summer and heavy downpours should be expected. The rain could have ruined the day but we just powered through, made some jokes and sang a bit. It was fun.

The canoe section was uneventful. It wasn't actually that long and it was a much needed rest for our legs. One thing to note is that I have more upper body strength than Nick and Anna combined apparently since they couldn't stabilise the boat against my mighty paddling!

It really was quite a lot of fun. It was hard and afterwards I was extremely tired but it was lovely to have that experience again, of being in a group trying to push yourselves in some stupid task...I won't be doing that for a while through! It reminded me of the Duke of Edinburgh award. It was raining then too and everyone was tired and cold but because we were a group we weren't demotivated. It was like that and I think I'd like to do something like that every now and again :).

Imran Khan - 29/06/2014

Honourable mention to Luca who dropped out. To be fair to him he only joined a month before the event because Anna's husband dropped out due to a shoulder surgery. So he didn't really have time to train (not that he did any training any way :p). Thanks Luca for dropping out though so that you wouldn't slow us down and in doing so taking away the crappiest bike ever which was a massive hindrance (I have to service that bike too actually).