I choose the hard path for a reason………because on that hard path you find those that are willing to endure and stand shoulder to shoulder with you. This is how you find out who belongs with you!
On the weekend of 15/16th June we will be putting on the 2nd running of The Blacksheep Marathon Events.
The Blacksheep Marathon is inspired by 'The 100Peaks' ethos to get outside and push your boundaries.
After a modest but very successful debut, The Blacksheep Marathon is returning. The original concept is very much the baby of my incredibly selfless friend John Nicholson. Last year John created the event and off the back of it’s success, this year we decided that it should be the event used to celebrate Lloydy’s life and be run on the anniversary of his passing 8 years ago.
I can’t thank John enough for the commitment he has shown to this idea and his desire to continue to grow it and that is reflected in the numbers who have signed up, which I know means a lot to us both. This is a very humble event, with very humble origins put on for very humbling reasons.
Basic details of the event format are: -
3 mile walk/run to Jacobs Ladder at the Start of The Pennine Way in Edale, one rep (up and down) of Jacobs ladder is 1 mile with 500ft of elevation. The aim is 20 Reps to complete the Marathon + 3 miles back to the start point.
It's a marathon, but it's not a normal marathon, it's a Blacksheep Marathon.
We will also be doing an #8forLloydy as the event will be held on the weekend of 'Lloydy Day'.
You can sign up now via the form below! However, we would also ask you to register via the link.
As with all Blacksheep Events, there is no cost associated to participate unless we have to cover costs of using the route, but would ask you to consider making a donation to The 100 Peaks Fundraising Page.
The countdown is on….
The date is getting closer and the final preparations are going on in the background ready for the 2nd running of the "Black Sheep Marathon and Half" (BSM).
H•O•P•E Helping Other People Excel and P•R•I•D•E Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence.
......both mottos apply to the BSM, It exists as a challenge to everyone to get outside and help other people excel and we here at the BSM we do take a personal responsibility in delivering excellence and that's the reason the challenge was created.
Born from the request by Karl to help spread the word of the Be A Black Sheep page. It does take up a lot of my free time sat thinking up all the things we need to do to make this work and grow. Last year saw 15 people take the challenge on but this year it's up to around 30+ and growing, we're even thinking of putting on an Ultra to keep the momentum moving forwards and getting us closer to reaching the £100,000 target Karl set.
Anyone can imagine, create, set up and follow through on a good idea. If I can you can too! You weren't made to blend in so be a Blacksheep and help other people excel and whilst you're at it take pride in your personal responsibility in delivering excellence.
See you in Edale, all the best GB.
ROB PAINE [Full Marathon Loaded 35lb+ - 11:39:16]
PAUL HEATH [Full Marathon Clean Fatigue - 8:31:26]
The half marathon (including the 7 hill Reps) will be a timed event with 4 categories.
We will have both men's and women's loaded and clean fatigue categories.
The full (20 Rep) marathon race will be scheduled as a 24 Hour challenge, this will also have 4 categories.
Do you have the minerals? Are you ready?
A quick background to my fitness and exercise over the years…..it was always easy in the younger days as I was naturally well built and didn’t feel I needed exercise. I did start going to a gym run by Antony Davis, his first gym he owned and I’ve recently been reacquainted with him (always great to meet old friends).
I hit the gym a couple of days a week for a couple of years, fell for a girl and thought I had no one to impress anymore. That’s were my fitness stopped.
It wasn’t until my mid 40’s that upon noticing myself in the full length mirror I realised the pot bellied chunky midget was me. I’d been diagnosed with under active thyroid, my blood pressure was high and my cholesterol was through the roof. I took up cycling and joined a local club and although the people within the club were welcoming and cheerful, I rarely went on group rides because of my size and lack of speed.
Then last year a couple who I know mentioned parkrun to me, I cannot thank David and Nikki enough, I started out at my local parkrun taking my youngest and not only did we enjoy the run and the atmosphere but it was a great time for bonding.
From there my fitness and exercise as gone from next to nothing to trying to fit things in were I can. Doing the World coal carrying championships for a second year was a boost as I could physically see my improvements with the times. I met John ‘the machine’ Hunter while there who talked me into entering various other events and introduced me to John Nicholson.
I entered a few of the events to see what I was capable (and don’t think I did too shabby on any of them).
One event that did stand out was the Blacksheep Marathon, and were I met numerous new friends.
Becoming a Blacksheep has changed my perspective on so many things.
I found the inspiration oozing from the group amazing the whole ethos it’s something I personally needed. After meeting up with various members of the Blacksheep at various events whether I was taking part or just there to help out, there’s always been time for a chat and banter. I came to realise the flock is a family.
A bunch of misfits with one common passion, to push themselves and they’re physical ability while inspiring and motivating others.
I now run most days or do something that keeps me active and as an added bonus managed to get a couple of family members out in the fresh air running and watching them achieve their goals is an amazing feeling and gives me the motivation to carry on.
The biggest motivation I have now is my family, wanting to inspire my 2 boys to be active they love coming up into hills, my wife as amazed me running for her own health reasons the results so far have been amazing for not only her weight management but she is beating diabetes.
All in all life as changed and for all the right reasons, The whole family is staying active I enjoy inspiring others and hearing of their achievements, The inspiration from you guys as been phenomenal and can’t wait for what the Blacksheep as in store for the future.
Keep inspiring you’re all awesome doing what you do. Thank you for the welcome to the family and if nothing else DON’T BE SHIT........
It is 0650 on 06 Jan 2019, and I have finally crawled out from under the pile of cheese and chocolate wrappers that is the Christmas break, so I thought I had better write the New Year Blog entry that I had volunteered to do in a pre-Christmas moment of inspiration. Many of you are probably out training or around the Fan dance races at this very moment, and yes I am jealous, because I should be Sunday Marathon training, not writing but I have pulled a hamstring which effectively feels like an alligator is biting the back of my leg if I try to run, so on a week of rest and recovery and see where that leads.
“NEW YEAR, NEW YOU”, the slogans ring out, the newspapers are full of ways to change your life, TV adverts contain hints to try their products to become a new you, I have had 7 slimming world adverts through my letter box, various gym adverts etc (and the standard kebab shop one), but these all boast of the same thing, New Year New You. As Black Sheep we should know this is rubbish, a marketing gimmick, how do you become a New You, and why is the 1st of January so important.
Well it is impossible to become a new you, even in this world of fantastic medicine, no one has yet worked out how to transfer DNA, so you are always going to be the same you, but people can improve themselves, they can strive always to be a better version of themselves, whether that is fitter, kinder, harder working, spending more time with their love ones. We can all do this, that capability is routed deep within us, we evolved (on the whole) from being Cavemen, so why can’t we improve ourselves in this modern time. But you will still be the same person, just a better one. New year is just a line on a calendar and should have no influence on when we make changes in our lives, a marketing gimmick, a tradition passed down through New Years resolutions, make the changes when they need making, because if you wait for a specific date it may be too late.
What should we do as Black Sheep in 2019? We should be influencers, Celebrities and You - tubers are known as influencers, because of the hold they have on people, I saw a picture of a celebrity over Christmas holding her dog on Instagram, no words of wisdom, just her and the dog, 40,000 likes overnight. We have a message of positivity to give, to help people be better versions of themselves, not everyone needs to aim for the high intensity activity we are involved in, but they can draw from our message of constantly trying to better themselves and adapt that. When you go running, biking, dog walking, knitting club, cookery classes, whatever it is, offer to take someone that you think may benefit from going with you, be a mentor, be a shepherd, stand out, as an influencer in your community. Take people back to the outside world, our DNA still yearns to be the hunter gatherers we once were, there is a peace to be found in nature.
Personally, this year will bring change, my wife awaits hospital results, my son awaits an ASD diagnosis, we are moving to a new house and I have series of races lined up, which this year I will be ready for. During that, I will aim to be the best version of me, and help my family to be the best version of themselves. I am also in the privileged position of working in a large private school and I aim daily to have some positive influence on the teenagers in my care, and indeed before Christmas we had the immense pleasure of Karl talking to about 150 of them, about his journey since Lloyd’s death.
So no more “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU”, marketing spiel, go out there team, be Black Sheep, stand out, but bring people into the flock, and help people make the improvements they need to, whenever those changes are needed (now back to the ICE pack and Ibuprofen).
This post is penned by one of those awesome people you will always see giving more of themselves to help others. Anna is often on the frontline of AEE events welcoming you to the event with smile and is then generally found out on the hill after! Her post for me, sums up perfectly what this project is all about. It’s ‘ordinary’ people helping others and also doing all they can to improve themselves, which for me makes her and everyone who goes about life in the same way, well beyond ‘ordinary’!
On seeing the Facebook request from Karl for blog’s I thought ‘I can do that’ although it occurs to me that I often think that about all sorts of things. Which is probably how it happened, this strapping a pack on my back and heading off up a mountain, or through a bog, a forest or babies heads (you get the idea).
A few years ago I decided that as my kids were all pretty much self-sufficient it was about time I had an adventure… or maybe a few. Seems perfectly normal to me, get to my mid-forties, never been very fit, or run more than a couple of miles, or been up a mountain, or anywhere much really and needed a challenge, a Para’s 10 followed by a Fan Dance seemed well… normal. Which is what I am, just an ordinary middle aged lady, 3 kids, two ponies, one dog, a part time admin job and living in the flattest part of the country. I also decided this year that I would do a degree with the Open University in the hope that I can get out from behind a desk and in to the outdoors, which I love.
So far I have completed Para’s 10, a great event, and some of the Avalanche Endurance Events too, which is where I met some of the best people I have ever had the privilege of spending time with. These are the kind of events which you can’t explain what you get out of them to someone who has not completed one, and you don’t need to explain to those who have. I’m not sure that I have the words to explain just how much I enjoy these kind of events and days out. I’m not fast, in fact I’m often one of (if not the) last to finish. Progress is slow, but it is progress, although it can be hard not to compare myself with other, fitter and faster people. Sometimes I need to kick myself up the bum to get out and go train, but I think that is the same for everyone, and I struggle with my weight too, but no one said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it. I have, however, developed a deep appreciation for good company, dry socks and a hot brew! Getting to the end of an event or challenge can be a challenge in itself, but I am usually having so much fun that it is definitely worth the effort.
Having had a bit of a ‘life exerts itself’ couple of years, I have decided that as I will be fifty next year, this is an excellent reason to push myself out of my comfort zone once again and to have lots of fun! So 2019 for me is fifty fun things for fifty. Kicking off my year with a Fan Dance (of course) I have also entered a half marathon, which will be the furthest I have ever run in one go. The Black Sheep Marathon is on the calendar too, along with Para’s 10, but what else to do? If training goes well I am thinking a 50 mile cycle ride and maybe a 50 km run, I’m not a cyclist or a runner, but I will be 50 so it seems like a perfectly good idea, in fact ‘I think I can do that’ ah nuts there I go again!
Life hits hard……what do you do when that hit comes?
There are Marathons, then there’s the Black Sheep Marathon!
Someone once asked me why I insist on doing things the hard way, I seem to have replied with something like you mean to say there is another way?
I’ve always loved a challenge. My normal challenges usually include walking and climbing mountains. I’ve never really been a runner....
“You have free reign, as long as it fits in around the ethos of ‘be a Black Sheep’ buddy”. Words I did not want to hear from Karl after volunteering to write the first post for the Sheep Blog.