A rainbow
A rainbow

Day 161 has seen a tennis match won, 2 x 5 miles run, 36 miles cycled with 3522 feet ascended and 4.5 kms walked.
A super short post you will be pleased to hear. It has been a wonderful last few days in which I was hosted in St Andrews to watch the wonderful British success at Wimbledon with friends before then hunkering down to some deep research and planning an outline structure for the book. It is going to take a very long time but if I don’t start now I would probably never really start. But while in deep planning I didn’t stop trying to beat the beast so ate good homemade food such as one of my favourites, Pasta Marinara, while also doing some walking and while feeling particularly energetic some running and am pleased to confirm that while no records were broken the runs themselves are starting to feel more comfortable and the organ tune that I was struggling with cognitively is also starting to make more sense to me too now.
Today however has proved to be a most wonderful day. I had the children for the day to join me on some challenge activity so I picked a challenging day, that would challenge them but should they believe in themselves they could easily achieve. An 18 mile cycle with the 8 miles from Doune over the Braes then down into Callander. They took the bike ride with some challenging uphills in their stride and were all smiles at the bottom of the rewarding downhill. So to celebrate we stopped for a hug and a Mocha or hot chocolate from Julie and Amie in the Deli Ecosse while the wonderful Peter in the wheelology bike shop in Callander effected some running repairs on Heather and James’ bikes. I made a good show of it last night but they were still not quite right and needed some expert attention. Peter was more than happy to squeeze the bikes in for a quick bit of work and in return for a Café latte I had returned 3 bikes (mine got tweaked too!) in perfect working order by the time we finished our hot drinks. It was lovely to see the girls in the deli but equally wonderful to be spoilt by Peter in the bike shop. Thank you all, so with happy children and working bikes and more importantly working brakes we set off on the remaining 10 miles from Callander to the Loch Achray Car Park. Once at the Car Park and the bikes were secured we had lunch of the good old tuna mayonnaise sandwich with spinach, rocket and watercress salad followed by a veggie pick and mix bag and a flapjack before setting off, saving the flapjack for after the walk. Walk done and flapjack eaten with not a breath of a whimper all day I decided to reward the children. Once finished the next 10 miles and back in Callander I offered them a Fish Supper before tackling the final 8 miles over the Braes to Doune. This received a big thimbs up from Heather and James who were now feeling a little tired. So we did. 10 miles cycled. Fish Suppers eaten by the River in Callander and then the final 8 miles to Doune. This was always going to be the toughest bit with the longest uphill but was rewarded with an awesome and by far the best downhill. They found it tough but when the going gets tough? They made it to the top with little drama and the whoops of excitement in the downhill brought a smile to my face as well as the rainbow given to us as a mark of encouragement for the children. A brilliant day and I have the children tomorrow. They want to go sailing so I thought that we could all cycle back to Loch Venachar with our wetsuits in our rucksacks tomorrow morning. The resounding answer from the children as they staggered off of their bikes like John Wayne. NO WAY DAD!! So that’s the chauffer driven No.59 bus followed by a short taxi ride from Callander to the Loch. All booked and ready to go.

So until next time……
The challenge in numbers:

Heather, James and I on our bike ride
Heather, James and I on our bike ride

Days completed: 161
Total Miles Cycled: 844.44
Total Miles Walked: 888.33
Total Miles Run: 152.23
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Run and Rowed in the gym: 53.53
Total Distance Swum: 4,580 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.1,950.03
Total Height Gained under own steam: 76,149.7 feet
Mountains Climbed: 7
Hills Climbed: 28
Days of Voluntary Activity: 8.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Bats Found:0!
Curling Matches played in: 8
Curling stones placed on the button (the centre of the target): 3
Weight Training Sessions: 14
Weight shifted: 10kgs lifted over 558metres or 11,160kgs moved over ½ a metre,
Aerobic Circuit Sessions: 9
Press Ups: 739
Pull Ups: 22
Sit Ups: 1204
People Met and Hands Shaken: 509
Pots of tea shared: 31
Prayers joined on the top of a hill: 3
Prayers joined in the street!: 4
Prayers joined in a Train Station: 1
Prayers joined in a Café: 2
Pills popped: 976
Days until Driving Licence (lost to epilepsy) possibly Returned: 723
And most importantly – Money Raised as at Week 44 – £8,771

Considering I started this challenge 11 months ago very quietly with no target beyond a fiver, thanks to the brilliant advice from a friend of mine, I am absolutely thrilled and again thank you all. That is £54.48 for each and every day that I have managed to find the will and energy to do something worthwhile and my goodness it has been worth it for my peace of mind, for my healing and for the five wonderful charities you are supporting through your generosity. Long may it continue. May I also ask however that if you are not sponsoring me to please consider it for as much or as little as you can afford.
Thank you all for your incredible comments and support. Please continue to spread the word.

If you see me around do please give a cheery hello and shake my hand or toot your horn and give a cheery wave to show your support and encourage me on.
Thank you
Yours aye


Thank you for joining me on my own personal journey and encouraging me to walk, cycle, climb, paddle, sport and do good deeds each day to ‘Beat the Beast’ while helping to improve the lives and life chances of so many more people through sponsorship. The Five Charities that I have selected to support are:

  1. Cancer Research UK – My Father Succumbed to Lung Cancer; a couple of friends are currently fighting cancer and I am fighting a brain tumour. Let’s Help to Beat Cancer Sooner.
  2. The Prince’s Trust – Inspiring and preparing disadvantaged Young Lives for success.
  3. British Red Cross – helping those in need around the UK and the world whoever and wherever they are.
  4. World Wide Fund for Nature – For a Living Planet and a Future Where People and Nature Thrive.
  5. Help for Heroes – Support for our Wounded and their Families. To learn more about my story that brought me to this point, how I plan to ‘Beat the Beast’, what activities I plan to do within the challenge and why, please see my welcome video on this page.

How to Sponsor Me

The Beat the Beast Challenge is self funding through my own contribution while keeping costs to a minimum with voluntary support and corporate sponsorship in kind. Therefore the entirety of every penny donated will go directly to the 5 charities listed above.

Please sponsor me by completing a standing order form either through your own personal internet banking or by completing a hard copy standing order form in your branch of your bank and then handing it in to the teller.

It is entirely up to you how much you would like to and are able to sponsor me for so do please give as much or as little as you can. Every penny will be very gratefully received.

While I hope you will encourage me to keep going by sponsoring me for every day I survive and am able to find the cognitive and physical capability to complete a day’s task designed to improve my chances of ‘Beating the Beast’ or improving the lives of others, 5 days a week, four weeks a month, for as long as ever I can. Any One off Cash contributions will be most gratefully received and distributed in exactly the same manner to the five charities as the sponsorship. Any one off donations can be made by BACS or cheque.

Thank you for having enough faith in me to sponsor me.

Yours aye