Where do I even begin? Sunday it was 8 years passed since we lost Lloydy. Saturday was spent in the company of 34 incredible humans on one of the toughest mental and physical challenges out there, paying tribute to a man they never knew. I let the words of those who took on the challenge do the talking!
WORDS BY ANDREW HELLER
Well what can I say about the Be A Black Sheep marathon? The sick brainchild of John Nicholson.
It was an awesome time with a gathering of like-minded nutters who's main aim on that day was to pay tribute to a man who has inspired so many people even though the majority of us never got to know him, Lloydy Newell, KIA. Brother to Karl Rushen, who, through him people have been inspired to get out of their comfort zones, get outside and do something different but above all be the best they can be. Everyone put themselves through the ringer that day either as CF runner or 35lbs + Tabber to complete the target they had set themselves be it 1 mile, 5 miles, half marathon, full marathon pushing on through the pain barrier, ignoring cramp and just placing one foot in front of the other.
Up and down that ladder I went + 43lbs including fluids for a total of 8 miles inc a 3 mile TAB to the start & then a 3 mile TAB back, 14 miles. The adrenaline buzz you get from pushing yourself is brilliant and a natural addiction. The reason I was there wasn't lost on me or anyone else and even though we were there individually everyone helped each other to reach their goal. Overall it was a team effort and that in itself maintained and pushed forward the ethos behind Be A Black Sheep. Met up with old friends and made new ones from Gone Tabbing who were out in force, friendships which last a lifetime.
At the end people were cursing Jacob and his ladder and John for his twisted mind but secretly we all loved it.
WORDS BY RICHARD MORRIS (20 REP HoF)
The Black Sheep Marathon.
Where to start. The challenge is to do 20 repetitions of Jacobs Ladder (Start of the Pennie Way, Edale) either CF or Loadbearing. The climb is 1/2 mile long and around 500ft of ascent, meaning each rep is 1mile. These 20 reps coupled with the 3 miles out and back to the hill make up the marathon distance of 26miles.
I chose to attempt the full distance with a weight of 35lbs. Some chose to attempt the full distance CF, while others go for 1/2 marathon distance or just to see how many reps they can manage.
I first got intrigued with ‘Be A Black Sheep’ through seeing some of the Flock post on Gone Tabbing. I looked into it and found that the group was made up of some truly inspirational people doing awesome things.
Then Seeing that the only person to complete the full marathon distance ‘loaded’ was Rob Paine i felt this could be the event that would test what i was really made off. I mean the guy is an absolute legend amongst the tabbing community - to get my name on the list with Rob would be awesome.
After completing AEE Woodhouse Trident in January the marathon quickly became my ‘A-Race’ for the remainder of the year. In the lead upto the event I kept my distance running to a minimum due to a few niggles and ramped up my strength work to try ensure the legs had what it took to take the 76,000 steps that it eventually took to complete.
For me Tabbing has always been about discovering where my physical and mental limits are - no doubt there are other ways of testing these but this was my chosen route. The Black Sheep Marathon pushed both perceived physical and mental limits to the absolute max. I mean, just think about it - doing 1 rep of a mountain is hard but to do it 20 times 😱.
The event takes you on a real journey of ups and downs (no pun intended) and took me to places in my head iv not been before. When your physically exhausted and are then faced with yet another rep it feels like groundhog day and the mind wanders into thoughts of negativity and self doubt - it is this that elevates this event from the rest.
The event is a solo event but quickly turns into a team effort as the comradely on the hill is superb. Everyone encourages each other and through true adversity lasting friendships are born.
If anyone is thinking they would like to give this event a go but think it may be a step too far then please do not hesitate - get signed up and give it a go. Everyone is celebrated and you will be well looked after by some great MST and your fellow competitors.
In the 1950’s everyone in the world apart from 1 man thought running a mile in under 4 minutes was impossible. Physicians even said it was scientifically impossible!
John Landy had come close but none had managed it. Landy himself was quoted saying he had given up trying to break the 4min barrier and it was simply not possible.
On the 6th May 1954 Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59:40.
Just 46 days later on the 21st June Landy broke Bannisters record and ran 1mile in 3:58:00
This is the most powerful example of what a difference a winning mindset can give you. The only thing that changed for Landy was a belief that the impossible was now possible!
Sign up and smash your 4min mile 👊🏼
WORDS BY MARIE HAMPSON (A FIRST TIMER)
A few months ago in the gym Callum Borders casually mentioned an event called Black Sheep and that I should give it a go. I said yes with not much of an idea of what I was letting myself in for. Do an event? That was a big step for me. But I’m so glad I did.
I’ve always loved getting outdoors and going for walks (“normal” walks that is!), but in an effort to prepare and get fitter without being stuck in the gym I started going out on a weekend with Borders Outdoor Fitness. Each week the walks got a bit more strenuous and I found the weight I was carrying was gradually getting heavier (Callum was packing my Bergen and sneaking more weight in each week). Nevertheless the bug had well and truly bitten and I’ve found myself itching to get out each week.
The day of the Black Sheep marathon dawned and my personal aim was 7 reps of Jacob’s Ladder (the half marathon) but in my head I still wasn’t convinced I could do it and would be happy with more than 3. I ditched the Bergen after one rep of Jacob’s Ladder and went clean fatigue but somehow found it in myself to do the full 7 reps.
It was a hard slog, mentally just as much as physically, but the encouragement of everyone around me, including the walkers who weren’t even part of the event, kept me going.
To anyone thinking about doing it, no matter what level you’re at, go for it! Everyone is there with their own personal goal but they’ll all encourage you to reach yours.
I’m proud to have been part of the Black Sheep with such an inspiring group of people and I’ll be wearing my cap with pride whenever I’m out on the hills.
FIRSTLY A MASSIVE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO TURNED UP MINERALS APLENTY TO TACKLE The Blacksheep Marathon AT THE WEEKEND.
With the incredible success of this years Blacksheep Marathons, based on feedback and the incredible support and requests to tackle, we have decided to put The Blacksheep Marathons on again next year. The date is 13th June 2020. CLICK the LINK to REGISTER your interest!
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