A review of Year One – the first 1000 miles…

I can sum up my first year in two simple sentences –

  • run the first 1000 miles – tick
  • written lots of blog posts – no

My dedication to running 5000 miles in 5 years is clearly better than my dedication to writing about it, which I had promised I would do. So – year two is all about the blog – and running, obviously.

Before I talk about my plans and goals for the second year, this is a quick recap of year one, mostly in pictures –

It started at the Yorkshire Marathon with the VIP treatment –

20151011_09285920151011_08490520151011_084653(0) at-the-start-2

This is me at the front with the Kenyans who finished first and second, rugby league legend Keith Senior, Mr Burton from Educating Yorkshire and Harry and Nicola from Look North….

12096370_10153802623241264_7893191075239117049_n…and this is me afterward, looking about half a stone lighter and absolutely shattered…..




I got a lovely certificate


……and a medal……


……..and I was in all the local papers…….

yorkshire-post-10-10-15-article-without-pic  hudds-examiner-16-10-15dewsbury-reporter-9-10-15

I then got on with the business of running an average of 20 miles per week, every week – this included longer weekend runs often incorporating a parkrun……



an evening run on my own, running with Roberttown Road Runners……..


or with my Thursday tea time work crowd……..


I got a job in London for six months which gave me the opportunity to run around our capital city two evenings per week, so I started taking really terrible selfies at various landmarks – this is me outside the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace………….

london-2 andy-runs-london-nov-15-pic-2

…….and towards the end of my time in London, I ran to every square on the monopoly board, again taking a picture as I went……

pentonville-road pentonville fenchurchpark-lane pall-mall marlborough-street

northumberland-ave-full bow-street

……and I put them all onto the board to prove it –


I ran the Leeds and Sheffield half marathons, smashing my old personal best in both races –

…..and in the summer we had a family holiday in Florida, where I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Clarmont parkrun!


I finished the year at the Kirkwood Trail run, getting a 10K personal best of 44:20,  and helping with the PR too.


So that was my first year! I’m delighted to have got the first 1,000 done, so let’s crack on with the rest……

These are my goals for year two:

  1. run the next 1,000 miles inside the first 11 months (to get ahead of the game) …..this should take care of itself if I can avoid injury……
  2. new PB at 5K (parkrun) (currently 20:08) …..this is the toughest on the list, at least in my head. I am absolutely desperate to go under 20 minutes for #parkrun just once, but it is a big ask – I have run 20:08, 20:14 and 20:16 all at Huddersfield, all absolutely pushing myself as hard as I can – the course has recently been remeasured and made a few metres longer, and of course I’m hitting the big 5-0 in January, so not getting any younger. I have promised myself to have a really good crack at it this year (hashtag #sub20at50 🙂 but if it doesn’t happen then I may have to resign myself to looking back fondly in my old age and being able to say that “I ALMOST cracked 20 minutes for 5K”. Would be better to say “I ran 19:59 for 5K” though, wouldn’t it!?
  3. new PB at 10K (currently 44:20) …..this should be comfortably doable, according to these clever calculators that work out what your PB should be based on your other best times at different distances, I should be able to get close to 42 minutes for 10K. I did the 44:20 at the Kirkwood Trail run which is varied terrain, so a road race with not too crammed a start and I should be able to achieve that.
  4. new PB at marathon distance (currently 3:53:47) – targeting Manchester in April…..this will depend on how many longer training runs I get in between now and April – I’m under no illusions as to how hard marathon training is and the step up from preparing for a half and preparing for a full marathon – if I do my longer distances over the winter months, then this could happen, if not, then I can still plod around Manchester waving!
  5. run 30 miles in a single day running between as many Kirkwood Hospice shops as possible – this is an idea that I’ll blog about more later – I’ve become an Ambassador for the Hospice this year, in addition to doing the running, and 2017 is 30 years since the Hospice opened – they are theming much of their fundraising in 2017 around the number 30. Thirty miles is only a bit further than a marathon, and I thought it would be a good publicity opportunity for both myself and the shops and a way to say thank you to the volunteers who give up their time to help raise funds in that way.
  6. to raise 75% or more of the amount I raised in year one (around £2K) – I’ve learned a lot about the issues and complexities around charity fundraising since I started on this challenge, looking back I was incredibly naive when I started – I made assumptions that were entirely incorrect, plus I tried to devise a scheme that hasn’t really worked out in the way that I thought it would. However, an important part of what I am doing remains the idea of raising sponsorship,  so I will continue to do that. I have a small number of very generous regular givers, who have become “Andy’s Friends of Kirkwood”, plus friends who have pledged to donate annually over the five years, plus the justgiving page is sat tantalizingly just here (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andy5000) for anyone who thinks that what I am doing is worth a donation, however large or small……..I continue to be extremely grateful to everyone who has put their hand in their pocket for me as part of this challenge – thank you!
  7. write an average of one blog post per month – at least 12 in the year – and finally – if I can get my act together then I will achieve this – I wrote a blog a few years ago when attempting 1000 in a year, and got some nice kind feedback which encouraged me to write more posts – maybe I should go for shorter more frequent posts – I’ll try, I might even put reminders on the calendar 🙂

Finally, if you’ve read this far – I’m pretty shameless in my attempts at any self publicity that will help my cause – earlier on in this post you’ve seen me in the paper, I’ve got pictures with the bloke off Educating Yorkshire, Nicola and Harry from Look North etc. So I’m pleased to announce that over the course of the last year I have also managed to secure endorsements for the Kirkwood 5000 from the following reputable celebrities and many other notables…..


A representative of the Stormtroopers – and Vincent Company…………

frozone-selfie paula-sherriff-signing-2

Frozone from the film “The Incredibles” – and local MP the very lovely Paula Sherriff

me-and-mr-tipple little-green-man-selfie

International supporter Mr Matt Tipple – and one of the soldiers from “Toy Story” (!)

horseguard-selfie    mariah-carey-2

A member of Her Majesty’s Household Cavalry – and Mariah Carey (who wouldn’t do a selfie…..)

I will be continuing to seek out photo opportunities in 2016 / 17!

Thanks for your support over the first 12 months – here’s to the remaining 4,000 miles!

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