Day 171 has seen 4.72 miles run while climbing 534 feet but has mostly been punctuated throughout by kindness.

Firstly I need to apologise to Sharon at the Willow Dell in Doune for not having said thank you for your kindness and generosity over the last few months for the challenge. Thank you for the free Mochas and hugs and even a can of juice for Heather for the Lemur weekend last week. Thank you also for the tenner donated by the American customer last week. That will go with another twenty pounds in cash donated recently so I will have great pleasure in writing a cheque for £30.00 tomorrow to send to the challenge account which edges ever closer to the £10,000 raised mark.

Secondly I need to say thank you to Charlie at Computer Division in Stirling who did such an amazing job repairing and improving Heather’s laptop after she downloaded a virus onto it but doing it a price that I could afford to pay with a little help from her Mum. Thank you to Azam and Peter and the rest of the team for your generosity towards the challenge. For replacing the keyboard on the challenge laptop absolutely free of charge. Thank you also for your smiles and desire to see me succeed in beating the beast. You guys are awesome!!

Once I got back to Doune it was time for a run. It was a great run taking in the two boundaries of the parish boundaries as I shuttled between the old Kilmadock cemetery and the castle bounded by the River Teith. With mud, small hills and absolutely no traffic it was a glorious run of 4.72 miles while climbing 534 feet. Taking 48 minutes and 28 seconds it wasn’t done at a blistering pace but it felt really good while I was running so I really wasn’t too worried about breaking back over the 10 minute mile barrier to do the run at 10minutes and 15 seconds per mile. It felt good and as I ran alongside the river Teith my mind cast back to the plight of the vultures across the world and how we were going to encourage the populations dependant on vultures to help in their conservation to reduce the spread of disease from decaying carcasses that the vultures clean up. As I did so a few short lines of a song popped into my head. Think of the Ghostbusters tune:

‘When something dies in your neighbourhood, Who yah going to call? Griffin Vultures!!’

I know it needs some work but it made me smile. Then back home it was 4 over arm pull ups, 21 press ups and 21 situps before a good stretch and a very late tea of Potato and lentil bagel burgers. Marvellous!

I had a times felt a little cognitively challenged today as I slurred my words and struggled with the niceties and dynamics of basic social norms in conversation so if I appeared short in any way at any time today please forgive me. I wasn’t in any way intending to be. I was just a little distracted by a slow brain. So after tea I knew that I had to get to church for evening prayer and some organ practice. To force the brain to function as it should and I am so jolly glad that I did. Firstly, it took some time but I managed to get the fingers to do what the mind was asking of it and even more importantly I managed to get the mind to ask the right things of the fingers. And then, even, even better I read this prayer:

‘God of pilgrims, strengthen my faith I pray. Guide me through the uncertainties of my journey, and hold before me the vision of your eternal kingdom, made known to me in Jesus Christ my Lord.’

As I finished praying my Rector Alison Peden walked into church to drop off her vestments. It was lovely to see her as I hadn’t made it to church for some weeks as I had been away or engaged in the awareness weekends at the Safari Park. We had a good chat and she provided some wonderful encouragement on certain ideas that I had while I also asked her to say a big hello to the congregation who had sent word to me through friends and family to say hello and check that I was okay. I am very much okay and missing the whole congregation of St Modoc’s. I will be back soon.

So the challenge in numbers as a total since the start of the challenge:

Days completed: 171
Total Miles Cycled: 953.11
Total Miles Walked: 947.31
Total Miles Run: 167.03
Total Miles Paddled: 7
Total Distance Cycled, Skied, Run and Rowed in the gym: 53.53 miles
Total Distance Swum: 5,020 metres
Total Miles covered under own steam.2,131.11
Total Height Gained under own steam: 90,241.27 feet
Mountains Climbed: 8
Hills Climbed: 33
Days of Voluntary Activity: 11.5
Organ tunes learnt and performed: 5
Salmon Caught: 0!
Bats Found:4!
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: 804
Pull Ups: 34
Sit Ups: 1269
People Met and Hands Shaken: 588
Pots of tea shared: 35
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: 1088
Days until Driving Licence (lost to epilepsy) possibly Returned: 693
And most importantly – Money Raised as at Week 49 – £9,230

Considering I started this challenge 12 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 £53.97 for each and every day that I have managed to find the will and energy to take on an activity designed to help me Beat the Beast 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 give me 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