I'm always thinking about what I'd like to do next and I have come up with a bit of a plan for 2011.
Despite running marathons all around the world (well, USA and Europe) I have never done any of that charity fundraising that you see people doing often. To be honest I didnt see the point in asking folk to sponsor me to run a marathon - I'd already ran 26 miles in training before running my first so it wasn't as if completing the event was ever in question. However I am always keen to support Mountain Rescue and I've also become dismayed at the weekly (sometimes daily) reports of our troops being killed and injured in action. To be prepared to fight and risk death for the rest of us deserves that they are at least properly looked after once back home - there shouldn't neeed to be a charity at all but the fact that Help for Heroes exists at all is enough for me to want to do something to raise money for them too.
So what can I do? It has to be something really big, something that might prove too tough to manage and that I might struggle with. But also it needs to be based upon something I enjoy or there would be no compulsion to get on and arrange it.
Ive always wanted to ride my bike from Lands End to John O'groats, I was vaguely planning to do that this summer but then getting married became my focus for most of 2010. I also would like to climb Scafell, Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw in one outing, including cycling the road section inbetween. And just lately 'Ive met so many people walking the Hadrians Wall path (which goes through Rickerby Park where I run most days) that I've thought about running the 80 odd miles from Wallsend to Bowness.
So my plans for next year will involve one or more of those challenges in some way. Perhaps try to do them all within the month of May. I'm confident I will be able to raise a lot of cash for charity, mostly through people I do business with, as I would stress how I had never done the 'charity thing' previously and would not envisage doing so again.
The reason I have made public these plans at this very early stage is to put the idea out there, get my friends interested (as possible helpers) and just to ensure I don't forget about the whole thing and let it slip to the back burner for several more years.
What a view eh? Ok it's not the Langdale Pikes but nice to see Skiddaw standing tall and above the nearer fells of Caldbeck. Much as I love Blencathra it's sometimes nice to see Skiddaw without it's more striking neighbour stealing the show. (you kind of had to be there - the iPhone camera is pretty basic)