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4/80 Vale of York Half Marathon. Week One Complete!

I had a fantastic time running Vale of York Half Marathon on Sunday. I ran with Anna who is completing her 12 half marathons in 12 months challenge — a great achievement having ran past 10km for the first time in April this year!

It was brilliant that Anna managed to achieve her PB in just over 2hr40mins, and I hope to catch up with her later in both of our challenges!

Vale of York Half -- Sean McGibney

This marks four runs completed in the first eight days of the challenge. For the other two solo runs, my times and routes can be found on Strava.

Next weekend marks a double-header with my first trail half marathon (Kent) and an event the next day (Gloucester). Lots of hours of driving upcoming, but very excited to explore and run in two new places.

A couple more rest days for my legs and then will be back to making it 6/80 by the end of week two!

Thank you all so much for the kind donations so far, and check back early next week for the next update on this week’s events.

 

One Down… 79 to Go… Kenilworth Half Marathon

The challenge started today at Kenilworth Half Marathon. I was like a kid waiting for Santa trying to get to sleep last night, which showed as I set off far too fast. My third kilometre was under four minutes! Something to work on during event excitement…

Kenilworth Half Marathon Sean McGibney

I completed the course in just over one hour 56 minutes, with my first half splits significantly faster than the second. I felt strong throughout, but I am just coming off a torn MCL, so I am happy that my knee felt comfortable.

The course was beautiful; through the castle grounds and out into the country, with good support along the way. A great medal and technical t-shirt (and some other goodies) at the end – I donated the Mars Bar, though!

Feeling really positive about the coming weeks as I get the first runs under my belt. During September I’ll be running in Kenilworth (today), York, Kent, Gloucester, Mayo (Ireland) and Glasgow (Scotland). Three countries in a month, with some really exciting plans for the coming months, too!

I was also really happy to receive my first donation from somebody who had seen my challenge t-shirt on route – a man called David who ran behind me for a section and later visited the website. Thank you to David, if he reads this!

I have followed as many runners from today who did the same route on Strava in the hope that it will encourage more people to get in touch about running alongside me during the challenge. If you would like to run (or walk!) with me for a section, or a full half marathon, please get in touch.

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Photo courtesy of yourraceday.co.uk

I am going to keep track of stats throughout the challenge wherever possible, and will find a way to formalise these. However, for now, some metrics:

Kenilworth Half Marathon Finish: 1 hour 56 minutes.

Average Splits: 5:27/km — 8:47/mile.

Weight: 78.5kg — 12.4 stone.

Resting Heart Rate: 53.

You can learn more about the 80in8 journey and my reason for starting it here.

Mind’s Virtual Seven x Seven, with It’s Grim Up North

To celebrate the positive impact of running on mental health, the wonderful people at It’s Grim Up North are hosting a virtual Seven x Seven, with all proceeds going to national charity Mind.

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Mind is a mental health charity established with the aim of ensuring that nobody has to tackle a mental health problem alone.

What is Seven x Seven?

Through the Seven x Seven event, you select a distance to complete each day within a seven day period. The available distances for entry are:

  • 1 Mile
  • 5K
  • 8K
  • 5 Mile
  • 10 Mile
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon

Once completed, email the It’s Grim Up North Team and you will receive a bespoke medal in the post.

My aim with the 80in8 challenge is to raise awareness and funds for dementia research, and also to promote the positive impact of running on mental health, so I was delighted to learn of such a wonderful initiative.

How Do I Enter?

The challenge is only open until the end of August, so there’s not long left to enter and get behind a wonderful charity! Entries are just £10 and all proceeds go to Mind.

Click here to sign up today!

The Inspiration for the Challenge

My Grandma, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, turned 80 on 14th July this year and I have been thinking of ways in which I can raise money for dementia research and increase awareness. This inspired me to complete 80 half marathons in eight months, building up to the 2019 London Marathon.

Sean McGibney
Me and my Grandma in late 2016

I love running and recognise the positive impact it has on my own mental health, so I was also delighted to learn of stories such as Sue’s which show that exercise can also be used to stay positive and manage symptoms of dementia.

I want to use the challenge as a method to improve my own understanding of dementia, the impact it has on relatives and friends, as well as to share the stories of people I meet along the way.

Expectations

  • I hope to meet lots of interesting people, as well as to increase awareness of dementia and raise money for some much-needed (and currently under-funded) research. I will be running all through winter, so I am expecting some cold runs, but as the saying goes… “winter miles lead to summer smiles!”.
  • Half way into my training, I will be building in longer runs to work up to marathon distance ahead of the final event. I competed in my first marathon in 2017, so am already confident in my ability to complete the distance.
  • I am not setting any time goals for the distances initially, but may do so as I get further into the challenge. I am also happy to slow my pace, even to a walk if necessary, for anybody who joins me on the runs.

Worries

  • Injury prevention is going to be key, as two long running distances in a week – actually a little more – is going to take a toll on my body. I hope to team up with a physio/sports therapist to help prevent injury, and will take all the precautions I can to mitigate any risk. My Mum is also an acupuncturist, which will no doubt come in handy to alleviate any aches and pains.
  • Winter ice, if winter 2017-18 is anything to go by! I am a member of a gym that is located country-wide, so if the ice is too bad – again thinking of injury prevention – I will be able to complete the miles on the treadmill, and my running watch can still track these runs.
  • When feeling stronger I will complete more, on the understanding that at times it will be best to throw in an extra day’s rest.

Training is already well underway, and I’m now just three weeks away from the first run. I look forward to updating you all along the way and please get in touch if you’d like to join me on an upcoming run – I’m willing to travel wherever possible.

I hope you’ll all help me smash the target of £5,000! Better start getting the miles in…


Sean