In 2014 I turned 40 and to mark the occasion I thought it might be an idea to get a bit fitter and maybe raise some money for charity while I was at it. Things somewhat snowballed and I found myself undertaking a year of mostly running challenges, culminating in the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2015. As a consultant oncologist at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, I decided to raise money both for the fledgling Beatson Cancer Charity, and Cancer Research UK, who fund much of the work we do there. With an initial fundraising target of £1000 in mind, I eventually raised over £10 000 and subsequently undertook a cycle challenge, ‘Aim for the Skye’ where a group of us cycled from the Beatson in Glasgow to the Isle of Skye over three very wet and windy days in September 2015.
This blog came about for a number of reasons. We had been updating friends and family with our progress with the challenges mainly through Facebook (I had roped in my friend Lindsay to join me in many of my pursuits), but many of patients had taken a keen interest in my endeavours and were having more difficulty following what we were doing. And I suppose I was keen to keep a wee record of what we were doing for prosperity’s sake. It was also a way of giving an, albeit small, amount of publicity to the challenge and the charities, and explain my motivation for doing it.
When the challenge was finished I was surprised how much I actually missed the blog itself, as well as the goal of having something to work towards. And so having had the winter off, in 2016 I took the bull by the horns as it were and signed up for my first ever open water triathlon, the ‘Wee Beastie’ on Loch Lomond in July. I also signed up for the Etape Caledonia (an 81 mile cycle around the Highlands of Scotland) in May and so my training began again in earnest – and so did the blog! Since then the events have kept coming, the training has increased and the legs have got more tired, but there has been a lot of fun on the way, mostly detailed somewhere here.
So welcome (or welcome back) and happy reading……