The Blogging Train will make the following stops….
I like blogging about my running. Before a divorce, and the subsequent deletion of the site, I ran the largest (in terms of hits) Pub Roast review site in the UK, which by default probably means the world. Hundreds of people looking for the place for the best Yorkshire puddings south of the river (The Harwood Arms) or the best STP (Sticky toffee pudding) in Farringdon (The Well) would come to the site and for impartial, and normally so honest it could be damning reviews. The reviews got us offers (that we never took) of free lunches from pubs. Some took our reviews very seriously and made changes based on them. We were honest about the plate of food in front of us, the service, the ambiance and I like to write about my honest running experiences here.
I am not the fastest, the best, the first, or anything, I am a bit of a pudgy plodder. I do get to run around the world though, which is kinda cool, albeit plodding around the world, slowly, somewhere near the back, in clothing that leaves a mark it’s so tight, maybe bleeding nipples, maybe shin splints. This year, my third year of running it seems to be coming together.
First, I have a marathon coming up and better still it is Berlin so I get closure on my biggest DNS to date, better than that it is for Pancreatic Cancer UK, and better still I have an amazing marathon coach getting me ready for it. This means I have a true running goal, rather than the normal shaving a second off my PBs like the last 3 years.
The blogging is getting noticed too, or a combination of the tweeting combined with the blog. I was one of the global bloggers/ambassadors for the Two Oceans Marathon weekend in Cape Town in March, well the blogging led up to the race in April, but you know what I meant. This was a great experience, as I had to think about the trip to South Africa and what I would do there, as well as the race preparation. I got to meet some wonderful people and get some free stuff (Adidas gear, race gear and the all-important parking permit for the day). They also entered me into the International Friendship Run the day before where I got to run with Haile Gebrselassie, destroyed my feet in brand new Adidas Ultra Boosts and somehow represent Malta.
You can read my Two Oceans global blogger posts here.
Now the blog is reaching 30,000 hits and I have over 2,500 followers on Twitter products are coming my way to review, some good, some bad, and some I would LOVE to review, so please, send me free stuff to try. Joking aside, I really do give my open and honest opinion on everything and so the reviews of the products may not necessarily be what the maker wanted. But I am not going to write a glowing review for a turd, no matter how polished it is. A pig in lipstick is still a pig, as they say.
And so I reviewed the IAMRUNBOX garment case. I was not a fan to be honest as it is a little misleading on the packaging as it shows people running and getting places but then you find out you need to put the Run Box in something else. It only has a stop handle, there are not straps, this is not a garment carrier backpack, which would be useful. This is a bag to put in another bag, you will need a backpack, as not a minimal one at that, or a suitcase, to make use of this. But then what’s the point? I didn’t even bother with a review of FELXISEQ as I was only sent a single tube and to be honest I didn’t notice any effects either positive or negative. And then I was sent a bumper bundle of Pump it Up! Which, I am glad to say, was actually pretty awesome. So awesome in fact that I used in at the end of the Great Newham Run before heading up to hospitality. Which brings me on nicely to the next blogging gig, and the race ambassadorship of the Morrison’s Great Newham Run, ending at the Olympic stadium.
This was pretty cool in the end. I had to write three blog posts that would appear on the Men’s Running UK website, one on training for the race, one on race preparation and the third on the race itself. And for this extra effort I was awarded, along with several others for the other Great Run races, with free entry in the race, a technical t-shirt for the race series, and a pass to the VIP hospitality area in the stadium and all the delights therein.
You can read my three Men’s Running UK blog posts here including the third, where I ended up meeting Paula Radcliffe:
Next up and a ping out from the Hampstead Heath Park Run became a photo shoot on Primrose Hill with Paul Roberts photography and three ladies (one with a toddler and stroller, one with a dog). These were for a couple of campaigns and as one of the schmodels I get to keep 3 of the shots myself whilst all of them can be used in ad campaigns by companies. This was something cool to do, and we had a laugh doing it. There were six sessions and I know a lot of people who were involved. I cannot wait to see one of them/us in a campaign, on a billboard, in a magazine.
Which segue leads me neatly into the final bit of kinda running related stuffs. I was asked on Twitter about my experiences running and travelling in South Africa by a journalist writing for a European magazine. This became an email exchange/interview and I will soon be featured in the widely circulated FinnAir inflight magazine Bluewings. Ah well, not quite Runners World but it is something to show the grand kids if I can get a hardcopy.
All this STUFF, for want of a better word, is making it more and more fun. The blogging, the twitter, the subsequent tweet ups, and all the aforementioned stuff makes me love this running lark even more.