Saturday, 12 September 2009

Delivering the message

It has been a weekend of walking. Last Saturday we had another campaign day to prepare the next major direct mail operation and to deliver our latest piece of literature – a newspaper. We managed to make a big impact in the first week, especially in Hayle, but there is more to do.

On Thursday I spent time in St Day, on Friday I joined the team in Stithians and the surrounding hamlets where we made very good progress before making a start in Mount Hawke in the afternoon. I finished today by joining the Illogan campaign team and helping them make inroads into Pool.

It left me enough time to pop in to Camborne town square to meet Sue Winter and the other volunteers from the Trevu campaign. They have worked tirelessly to keep the children’s centre going and were collecting signatures today.

I have been closely following this case. Last November, the previous Lib Dem council decided to shut down the centre at Trevu without any consultation. Time is very tight, but the new administration at Cornwall Council has re-opened the decision and started a genuine consultation process. There has been a lot of media speculation about what might or might not happen. Conservative councillors have been working very hard on the case. In the next few weeks we will see whether they have managed to reverse the decision of the old regime at the 11th hour.

I have also been trying to keep up the training. It is now just three weeks until my marathon. Last Sunday I ran 18 miles which went surprisingly well and I managed to get around in 2 hours 25 minutes and felt that I could have done further. This week has not been so good. I have been suffering from a cold since Wednesday and when I tried to get another 16 miles under the belt on Thursday, the combination of a bad cold and the heat of an unusually fine day took its toll.

But tomorrow I have my first race - a dry run. A 10k race along the banks of the Thames back in Kew in aid of the local church. I am hoping the cold will have eased enough for me to get around in a half reasonable time. But we will see.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Devoran to Portreath...in the rain

The weather forecast was so bad for today that we had a call from John, our instructor at the HRCST, last night to say that there would be no sailing today. It was breezy enough yesterday. We made a start and got to grips with the basics but it was not really beginners weather!

So today I decided to get in a long run instead as part of my marathon training. There have been a lot of ups and downs to my training in the last few months. The local elections campaign limited the time that I had to train. In June I twisted my right ankle and then in August I twisted my left ankle for good measure.

But I have made steady progress. I am now in the middle of the hardest phase of my training - for the last four weeks I have been increasing the length of my longest runs. On Saturday I ran 16 miles. Today I needed to run 14 miles.

Bike Barn is a relatively new but successful business founded by Roger Knight and his wife at Cambrose near Portreath. They hire bikes but also put a lot of energy into promoting the mineral tramway cycle route that runs coast to coast from Portreath to Devoran, down near Mylor through some stunning scenery including the Bissoe valley nature reserve. It is relatively flat and runs for twelve miles in total.

When I visted Roger a month or two ago he was in the middle of preparations for a fundraising event that takes place this month to raise money for a project to make cycling more accessible to people with disabilities. It is a great idea and the mineral tramway is a fantastic route to run such a project from. David Cameron had signed a bottle of Whisky for me which I dropped down to him as an auction prize.

I also told him I would come back to run the full length of it when I was fit enough and today was the day. I was dropped off at Devoran. It seemed a long way there by car and there was heavy rain as I started - which continued throughout the whole run. But it helped keep me cool.

In the end I went all the way to Portreath and then the two miles extra back up to Bike Barn which made a total of 14.3 miles...in a time of 1 hour 56 minutes which was ok given the weather. But I need to do 18 miles this weekend which I am not looking forward to.