My Activity Tracking
Team C&C supporting Team Combat Stress
This year my running buddy and I will be taking on the London Marathon to raise vital funds for life-changing mental health treatment for veterans.
Combat Stress is the UK's leading charity for veterans' mental health. For over a century, they've helped former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Today, they provide support to veterans from every service and every conflict.
We’re taking vital steps towards ensuring veterans can get the support they need.
Thank you so much for your support.
Colin & Catriona
The London Marathon 2023Sunday 23rd Apr
Wow! Wow! What a day. We don’t know where to start with this one. So, the marathon was run, the crowds were awesome, the cheering was deafening, the organisation was phenomenal, the runners were great. We don’t want to gush too much but it was definitely a superb bucket list event. Miles have been run, a few tears have been had and we are full of pride.
We took plenty of pictures, videos, stopped loads to enjoy the sights, saw our Combat Stress cheer station and they were amazing! Thank you all Combat Stress Cheerers.
We don’t mind admitting that when we saw our families there were a few emotions that bubbled up! Other runners commented in favour of our/your Charity 👍. Lots of vets and still serving people gave a shout out to us as well as other military charity’s giving us a shout out. We are such a close family when it comes to the crunch (British Military, Be The Best).
We’ve met some great people along this journey, today was a chance to meet face to face, they are all fantastic people. We’ve loved supporting Combat Stress and have actually enjoyed training hard, in all manner of awful weather. Even having my face plucked (Colin), running the Manchester Marathon last week and now the icing on the cake, London 2023. Boom.
Thank you all so much for supporting us, keeping our spirits up, motivating us and of course donating to such an important cause and charity. The Combat Stress family appreciate it all. You have made a difference.
Colin and CatrionaShare
London Marathon 2023 - the Day beforeSaturday 22nd Apr
London Marathon 2023
It’s Saturday again, it’s pasta again, it’s another 26.2miles tomorrow.
Last weekend was best effort (Manchester). This weekend it’s London. It’s bucket list, it’s the event, it’s the atmosphere, it’s the people. We’ve collected our bibs, had a wander around the Excel centre, bought a couple of things and generally teased ourselves with all the running stuff and events that are on offer. Then we had more pasta! 🤣🤢
Tomorrow will mostly be about enjoying the event, taking plenty of happy snaps, high fives with the crowd and running together. No nerves now, just simple excitement.
Team C&C is ready. We may have folded during training, in the worst weather, had it not been for the words of support and encouragement you gave us. We hope that all our supporters feel proud of our achievements, both running and plucking, and know that their kindness and generosity is so worthwhile. Know that you have helped people you will never meet, they will be eternally grateful.
P.s. Download the TCS London Marathon 2023 app and follow our bib numbers. Catriona is 33737 and Colin 35537.Share
Manchester Marathon 2023Sunday 16th Apr
Manchester Marathon 2023
16 April 2023, 0950hrs. That was when we started. Nerves had gone, both settled, made our way through the start process. Boom, we were underway.
Wow what a day! Both of us had grown up conversation a number of weeks ago about running our own race for various reasons. We both excelled today, Catriona (hoped for sub 4:30)….smashed a new PB 4hrs24mins and saw some friends that turned out especially to cheer her on! Both saw each other and screamed out hello…! Awesome encouragement for anyone. I had a great day, I was hoping for something close to 3:45ish….. BOOM 3:37…..Get in, back of the net, Mic drop, championi. On a slightly serious note, I’m blown away with that time.
The training we did, the encouragement we gave each other (sometimes a little too much😬) has paid off for us both. Building stamina and strength and mental resolve over the 20 weeks in all weathers paid off in handfuls. If there was one piece of advice I could offer….. Get a running/training buddy.
So, Manchester 2023 done. Next week, LONDON 2023. Please keep the support and the messages and the likes going, it really does help. We hope that you feel we did you and Combat Stress proud. Numerous comments during the run to effect of “what an awesome charity”. Can’t ask for more than that.Share
Week 20 - Final updateSaturday 15th Apr
So it’s Saturday, Manchester Marathon tomorrow. Nerves have set in, final prep in the hotel. Last minute carb loading done. We are both nervous but very excited.
Training is complete, our last runs were Friday. Would you believe we have clocked up 715 miles in training. Both feeling like we are ready, sent people our bib numbers for the tracker (21483 for me and 18043 for Catriona)
Everything we need is packed, checked it… checked it again. Unpacked it, checked it, repacked it. Is that a sign of anything we should be worried about?? 🤣
Feel free to stalk us on the marathon tracker, we will post some pictures at the start and end and let you all know how it went.Share
Week 19 - last weekly Sitrep before the Manchester MarathonMonday 10th Apr
Maybe we spoke a little bit too quickly last time….. week two of the taper and it’s been a bit of a bumpy one.
Colin has tried some new trainers in the hope of helping his foot pain; fingers and toes crossed that they help.
Catriona is trying to fend off maranoia and not worry too much about her pace slowing due to menopause and changing hormones.
We completed our final interval session this week and the training distances continue to decrease. Resting our legs is still the aim.
We’re in our final week now. Team T-shirts are being prepared and packing lists checked. The nerves are really taking hold now, excitement and apprehension.
So you’ve probably seen the Charity Beard Pluck updates on the Combat Stress page and Facebook, it’s also on Tim-Tok! I’m certainly never going to endure that again! My face has just about recovered now and Catriona and I are back speaking terms (only kidding, it never stopped).
Thank you for your continued support, it really keeps us going.Share
Week 18 - SitrepSunday 2nd Apr
Taper time has now started and so far “maranoia” hasn’t appeared……
The focus of this week was the Charity Beard Pluck. Thank you all for helping us exceed our fundraising target; we are so grateful.
The pluck took longer than we thought and so we had to juggle some training sessions around. We were back on track for our joint Sunday long run, a nice 16 miles this time. The weather was sunny and dry but windy!
2 more weeks until Manchester and 3 until London. Team C&C is ready.Share
Charity Beard Pluck completeSaturday 1st Apr
Always hapoy to LEND A helping HAND for charity! COLIN HAD HIS ENTIRE BEARD PLUCKED!!! #beardpluck #foryoupage #fyp #capcut #pluckinghair #pluck #plucking #nopainnogain #charity #charityevent #charityevents #combatstress @combatstress8♬ Sharp Dressed Man (2008 Remaster) - ZZ Top
Charity Beard PluckThursday 30th Mar
Week 17 - UpdateSunday 26th Mar
Week 17 has been a strange one for us both. I think it had something to do with the weather, work and the anticipation of the longest run of our training programme on Sunday.
So what happened? Well work is work and that’s probably the same for everyone - late finish, late training runs, you know the score. The weather - OMG! Driving horizontal rain and wind, in the dark - dreadful conditions to train in. We both were close to sacking that session… but, well you know, you need to put a tick in that box in your head to stay on track. So like a couple overly keen nuggets out we went, pushing each other on, 10 miles and 1hr 30mins later. Done.
Sunday long run… 20 miles in the plan. BOOM 20 miles done. Can’t believe how we coped with that, again the weather cut us a break from the rain the hour before we started. Catriona smashed it out the park, don’t misunderstand us though, it was still nails! We did it though and the elation was warm and satisfying. FYI tried some new karrimor marathon socks, good investment.
The taper starts now, big runs are 16 and then 10 miles. The training looks like it focuses on maintenance and recovery and allowing the little niggles to heal, preparing us for the big day(s).
Keep track of our progress. Keep up the support, a shout out goes a long way, share the Facebook updates and spread the word.
Thank you all. 😁Share
Week 16 - UpdateSunday 19th Mar
WOW week 16 already of training, ground rush seems like an understatement. This weeks training was hard with a medium run at goal pace and an interval session, we can definitely feel the temperature increasing now, spring is here I think.
Long run Sunday finished this week with a lovely 18 miles toward Sandwich and then country bound, finishing along the sea front; glorious place in the world to run (its flat! 🤣).
We are both nursing a couple of small niggles but hopefully they will be gone by race day.
Still makes us laugh comparing the before and after pictures on Sunday long run, the simple things….. you know the rest.
Thanks for keeping an eye on our progress and supporting us, please keep it up and keep us going.Share
Week 15 - SitrepSunday 12th Mar
37 Miles down. Week 15 has seen variable weather but an over arching theme of struggles. We have both had to contend with high winds, rubs and hot spots. Feels like our feet are getting a pounding at the moment, and it’s only going to intensify over the next 3 weeks or so before we start to taper our training.
The end of week long run peaked with our hardest struggles so far and it wasn’t even our longest run - which was last weekend. The brink of defeat was felt by both of us but team work pulled us back and we are back in the right head space to press on.
Onwards and upwards for the Manchester Marathon and the following week, the London Marathon. Keep the support coming please.
The Charity Beard Pluck is on schedule to, so if you would like to see a grown man cry and wince then add to the total and get us over the mark (£2000).
Thank you all for keeping us going.Share
Week 14 - SitrepWednesday 8th Mar
This week saw us rack up 40 miles, a Saturn 5 rocket, an SR71 Blackbird spy plane and fast intervals around a lake, check out the pictures on the fund raising page. The Huntsville trip garnered support from some new friends including some Canadian Forces and UK Border Force and donations from both, thank you.
Trails and hills and stiles and cows, this was the culmination of week 14. Sunday long run was back in the British cold again. That was a bit of a shock coming from Huntsville 22deg (80% humidity) to Wells 6deg and felt like 3deg!
The long run - 18 miles and longest so far - was done at Wells and took in some great views, interrupted by stiles as we climbed the hills and ushered the cows out of the way…Share
Week 13 - SitrepTuesday 28th Feb
Ground rush is setting in, only 7 weeks of training left. So the Manchester marathon is growing larger by the day and the thought of London the following week seems to be quite daunting now.
Training is going well and I know we can do this (both in a week!). This week has included fast intervals, a goal pace run and jet lag culminating in a long run - 16miles - in Huntsville, AL. Check out the Genome Walk on our strava feeds. Stark difference from the weather in Blighty, 17deg C and 87% humidity.
On top of all that the Charity Pluck preparation is pretty much complete. Catriona has done all the organising, bought the tweezers, got the T-shirt…. all I have to do is turn up get plucked! 🤣😬Share
Charity Beard PluckTuesday 21st Feb
Week 12 -Done ✅Tuesday 21st Feb
Another week and another 37 miles each done. The fast intervals made a return to the training plan and the mid-week miles are increasing now too.
Sunday was another 16 miles and another train trip for us. This time it was the along the line to Hollingbourne before running back home through Maidstone and along the river. Our new favourite thing to make use of the railcard!
Only one run was joint last week but there are lots more coming up.
As ever, thanks for your support and help.Share
Week 11 - Sitrep. Over halfway nowSunday 12th Feb
Wow! Over halfway in the training now. This week was a consolidation week with some relatively easy runs. We finished the week with a change, train to Ramsgate and run home! It’s opened up some more ideas for running routes, I can’t have the beautiful seafront all to myself..! Another time it might be less foggy, more sunny and we can have a post-run ice cream!Share
Week 10 - SitrepMonday 6th Feb
Boom! Longest run so far with 16 miles around the Maidstone area, route courtesy of Catriona; and, to top off the week, the London Winter Run (10km) with Catriona and another running buddy aiming to beat the hour, smashed it out the park! Well done Claire 👍.
So things going well, retired some trainers, tried new ones, retired them, some new new ones now!
Some mammoth hills and intervals done in week 10, slight recovery week to look forward to now to consolidate the mileage (37m this week). Having a running buddy just keeps you going…..recommended for anyone training.Share
Week 9 - SITREPSunday 29th Jan
The mileage has increased this week- 35 miles each in the bank.
2 joint sessions this week which provided support and motivation. Another change of scene this week with one C in Spain and the other C in Belfast. Training continued regardless!
Our 15 mile Sunday run included a guided half marathon with a visually impaired friend. It was nice to mix things up and be able to help at the same time.
We now have a plan for “The Big Pluck” which is great. 8.5 weeks to go!!!!! More to come soon. We will be asking for your £ in exchange for Colin’s stamina and determination!!! Thank you.Share
Week 8 SitrepSunday 22nd Jan
Week 8 - done!
33 miles under our feet this week. 3 of the 5 sessions were joint which helped spur us both on. From snow in Birmingham (see the picture updates and strava video) to crisp sunshine in Kent, our gloves have come in handy 😂 ❄️
We are finalising plans for “The Big Pluck” and will share those soon. The long runs are beginning to stretch us now, they increase steadily now, new trainers needed soon.
All support and sponsorship welcome. Thank you.
Week 7 SitrepSunday 15th Jan
A joint interval session was first on the training plan this week. These are definitely better done together!
Two sessions featured miles at our goal pace of 9:00 mins/mile; we are getting a little more used to how that feels now.
Sunday’s long run was by the coast. A beautiful sunny day with ridiculously strong headwinds!Share
Sitrep 6Sunday 8th Jan
Week 6 done!
Another 31 miles each completed.
This week had a two centre theme with one C “en vacances à Paris” and the other C holding the fort in Kent. Nice to see La Seine on Strava.
We’ve also ticked off our first hill session; they always make us work hard!
Our joint Sunday long runs are ramping up as well with 14 miles completed. It really helps having a buddy to run with.
(Paris was lovely! - Mr FG)Share
Week 5 sitrep - complete ✅Monday 2nd Jan
Week 5 done!
We are now a quarter of the way through the training plan and have seen in 2023 with a half marathon. Another 30 miles under our feet, including a New Years Day half marathon to boot!
3 of the 5 runs this week were joint sessions and we covered a few different locations again. The park in Central London was busier than we had wanted!
Next week brings our first hill session which means a temporary relief from intervals!
My personal pacer has returned home now, so it’s all on us for the rest!
Thank you for your continued support.Share
Colin -Sitrep 4Wednesday 28th Dec
Sitrep 4 - Week 4 done
So week 4 is complete, xmas dinner eaten and burnt off, New Year is next. This weeks training has been split in various locations and with a bit of help from a pacer too (on his bike).
It’s been chilly but lovely getting the miles in.
The fundraising is moving ahead steadily, Team C&C is getting there slowly and with your help we can reach our target and London Marathon will be here sooner than we know it.
Week 5 steps up the pace and distance again. Faster Stronger Further.Share
Catriona- week 4 ✅Monday 26th Dec Training has stepped up a gear with two hard interval sessions 😬 I was definitely glad of Colin’s support for those!
Team C&C - Week 3 SitrepWednesday 21st Dec
That’s week 3 finished! Another 27 miles done.
Catriona and I managed to do 4/5 sessions as joint runs. We had almost the whole range of British weather with dry, cold, windy, snow and ice! One of the sessions had to be 3 miles on the rowing machine as the pavements were still under inches of snow.
It’s feeling good to be back in the swing of training and we are starting to work a bit harder now.
We had the chance to chat to a lady on Sunday about our cause which was nice.
We have some more joint sessions planned over the next couple of weeks to keep us focussed over the festive period. Thank you all for your support.Share
Colin - Sitrep 2 - week 2Sunday 11th Dec
Catriona- week 2 ✅Sunday 11th Dec
Colin - week 1 done….Sunday 4th Dec
Catriona’s week 1 - done.Sunday 4th Dec It’s good to be back in training mode despite the drop in temperature 🥶
A bit about me and whySunday 27th Nov
Here is a little bit about me. I served in the Army and retired after 22 years Colour Service. During those 22 years I served in Great Britain (obviously), Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan. For the last 12 years of my service it was almost entirely in a bomb disposal operator role with operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq and twice in Afghanistan.
During those tours I saw soldiers deeply affected by their experiences, some of which were my close friends. It pains me to know that veterans and some serving soldiers, are still suffering from the effects of their service in high stress situations, some of which resulted in critical experiences.
I would like to help give something back, to help veterans, to help support the charities and organisation that directly help those in need. I have a target to reach, £2000, before my running buddy, Catriona, and I run the London Marathon. I would be so grateful if you could donate what ever you can to support our cause.
We have some figures to help convince you to part with your hard earned cash.
For a start we will be running the Manchester Marathon the week before!
During the training we will rack up a minimum of 672 miles prior to the London marathon!
We will be running a half-marathon 12 times during the training program, which is 20 weeks long.
Training starts Monday 28 Nov 2022.
I have one more challenge to mention……….. Charity Pluck! More on this in the next instalment.Share
Thank you to my Sponsors
Deal Hockey Club
Katharine Huffman And John Rusciolelli
Saks Kings Hill Clients & Friends
Nz Fernandez Clan
Christine & John Hutchison
Cathy And Dave Barber
Holly, Mike & Ellen
The Rae Family
Adam & Ana
Alex And Hannah
Mandy & Ian
Kerry & Al
Rich And Amy Salmon
Cezar My Canadian Friend
Bella And Jeff
Zoe (sports Massage)