The sponsor money is still coming in nicely. There is now less than £2000 left to collect and 3 weeks in which to collect it. Of course, the justgiving.com website has taken the pain out of collecting such a vast amount. God bless the internet!
Roberto Marchegiani was, today, the latest sponsor to increase his initial pledge and the fund creeps ever nearer the £28,000 mark. It's amazing to think that, when I finished the run in Lands End nearly 4 weeks ago, the fund stood at £23,080. The fund currently stands at £27,743 and I've got every confidence that it will reach £28,000 (I've got a few tricks up my sleeve involving a certain cheque presentation evening and taking advantage of the drunken guests!).
Over 100 tickets have now been sold for the cheque presentation evening. As I reported earlier in the week it promises to be a cracking do. I'm really looking forward to seeing The Happy Cats as well as all of my "colleagues, friends and family". In fact, as a result of the friendships I've made during this run, those 3 words are very much interchangeable these days.
Meanwhile, on top of the planning and collecting, I'm continuing to put in some very good miles on the road. Since returning to work last week, I've managed a couple of very intensive sessions in the gym. I've also put in 4 runs of the highest quality (by my standards anyhow!). Each one of them has been a PB. I've twice smashed my records for the 5 mile Newcastle Race course route as well as the 6 mile Town Moor route (aka the Mark Allison Memorial 6 miles). I've had some excellent company on the runs in the form of the "speed merchants", i.e Mark Fleming, Pete Maddison and Carlton Fletcher. More about that on Sunday, though, when I summarise the last few week's training.
In the space of 8 months my comfortable running pace has gone from 10:30 to 08:30 minutes per mile. This improvement is in line with the weight I've lost. I expect to get quicker as I continue to lose weight. That's the plan anyway! It won't be as easy as it was during the first 8 months of the year as I've now re-discovered the fact that I quite like the taste of beer!