Thank you for getting me to the start line

This is going to be a bit wordy and no pictures.

The last two and a bit years have been an adventure. Some good, some bad. I wouldn’t be here without the help of few key people, and before I line up on the start line for Marathon des Sables 2014 there are a few thank you’s needed.

Alongside all the supporters who have donated, who I thank for their donations and support there are a few people who need special recognition.

I guess it starts with Dave and Chris Bursnall, you made a good lad and without you two my motivation wouldn’t be as great as it has been. 

What Dave and Chris started Aila continued. Thanks. 

Pete Burnsall – in the nicest possible way it’s all your fault.

From here Harry Townsend secured me a place to run MdS with Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund. Encouragement and support from Harry, along with Michelle Baker working with supporters and publicity. A great little charity.

On the supporters front Matt Williams at The Sports Performance Clinic n Bristol, Chris Charlwood at Simple Intranet and Bounce Foods – you guys have made an enormous difference to the fund raising.

Along with The Sports Performance Clinic , Sam Whitley at Bodhi Movement and Zac Laraman at Snowdonia Sports Medicine have both had their part to play in keeping my body from falling apart whilst I punished it.

James Fell at sixpackabs for a great interview.

Meirionnydd Running Club, for keeping me motivated, Go the Goats! Sandra Williams for keeping the fire in my belly to go long and Ifs and Es Richards for all the advice, support, inspiration and a few miles together.

My very good friends Jeremy and Kim Brett, through their own tough road keeping me supported and accompanying me to events. I’m sure Jez and I will share a 15 year old single malt in the hills again this year. 

The guys and girls at TORQ and Freestak for all the introductions to great inspirational people in the trail running ultra world. Especially Stu Mills for his TOTAL preparation tips.

Martin Like for great equipment advice at Likeys, and putting on a really good ultra in the Brecon Beacons. Likewise Matt Ward for putting the very excellent Trail Marathon Wales on right next to my home – what more inspiration could I need.

Nigel Bulmer at the Bikers Retreat and Danny Crookes for their insight into previous events.

There are loads of people who give the occasional – “hows it going?”, through to some good solid banter who have kept me straight and true. Thanks to all of you and the parts you’ve played in keeping me inspired – Matty Brennan, Nikki Maclean, Jon Bauer, Katie Cole, Nick Moore, Robin Shapland, Bill Turner and Kerrie Langendoen to name the first into my head.

Other competitors have also been good sounding boards and experiencing a shared journey. I’ll thank you and the race organisers at the end 😉

Finally, a special thank you to Michaela, Ciara and Katie. Your tolerance of a creaky Dad on creaky floorboards as I crept out for the pre dawn sessions. Not batting an eyelid when I was out on long weekend runs or at events. For walking up and down my legs, or sitting on me for more weight on the foam roller, keeping things normal and a strong nose have made my life easier and that in turn has made getting to the start line so much more achievable.

Thanks all. Now got to just make it to the finish.

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