*33 days until the race*
The 33 day mark has crept up on me from nowhere! On May 27th, with only 49 days to go until the start of the race I took the plunge and committed to rowing 200 miles from Ibiza to Barcelona for the HPV & Anal Cancer Foundation’s NOMAN Campaign. The campaign is certainly a noble one and one that I am proud to be a part of – we hope that by raising awareness we can encourage governments across the world to administer the HPV vaccine to girls and boys to halt the spread of 5% of cancers directly caused by the Human Papillomavirus!
The race itself is going to be epic. 16 days ago I took up rowing having never been on an ergo and having never touched an oar until 8 days ago. Needless to say but this is going to be my biggest challenge yet. It’s going to be painful, it’s going to be an adventure into a mental state that I’ve only brushed the surface of in my ultrarunning to date and it’s going to push me past the my current known limits of physical endurance.
Organising and undertaking the fundraising, administration, physical training and theoretical training in such a short time frame has proved itself to be a real handful especially as I only started my new job one month ago! My original budget and financial forecast went out of the window about 5 days after committing to this as unexpected costs just keep on popping up – I am paying for my travel, accommodation, training and courses so that means 100% of donations go directly to the charity so I am thankful for the smallest to the largest donations to date.
I’m also thankful to a few people who have been instrumental in keeping me positive, teaching me the ropes of rowing and a host of other things. First and foremost thank you to my awesome girlfriend Gabby Lee for her relentless positivity and for spurring me on to do this in the first place.
Thanks to Chris Martin at New Ocean Wave for the initial telephone conversation that led me to NOMAN after my dreams of rowing the Great Pacific Race turned out to be a longer term plan! Thanks to Hamilton Sailing’s Owen Timm for getting me through my VHF course and offering to help me out with my navigation and seamanship course (which I will be starting this weekend). Thank you very much to Gabby Brunton at Street & Co. for helping me out on the social media front and thanks to my Deputy Manager, Dianne Hopwood for encouraging me to put myself out there and spread the word at work and throughout my organisation. Finally, thank you to Somers Town Coffee House for allowing me to use their space to host my pre-race party on July 11th! I’m sure that over the next 33 days I’ll have a few more thank yous to give out!