The Jane Tomlinson Appeal…

Jane Tomlinson CBE, was an inspirational and very determined Yorkshirewoman. Before her death in 2007, she raised £1.85m through a series of incredible physical challenges. Mike Tomlinson and his three children, Suzanne, Rebecca and Steven, now have set their sights on a £5 million target. Several events are organised annually to help raise money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, including the Run For All 10K events in Hull, Leeds and York as well as the Swim For All and Walk For All events.

The Jedi Joggers will be trying to raise as much money as possible to help Mike and his family reach their £5 million target by competing in the Hull 10K event on May 15th 2011, dressed in the full costumes of several Star Wars characters. We will be competing as Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Obi Wan Kenobi and our costumes will even include lightsabres, blasters and helmets, although race rules forbid the use of any jet packs 😦

As we are running for charity, the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, has promised not to try to freeze Han Solo in Carbonite, and the stubborn Wookie, Chewbacca, has agreed to be on his best behaviour. Obi Wan will aid his companions to ensure safe passage to the finish line. I am sure that Han and Leia will be running together.

So, our aim is to complete the Hull 10K in fancy dress, put a smile on people’s faces and to raise some much needed money for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal. If you feel that you would like to know more about the Run For All Events or the Jane Tomlinson Appeal then just click on the blue hyperlinks 🙂 If you would like to support the charity by sponsoring the Jedi Joggers then please visit our Just Giving page.

Your support is very much appreciated by everybody involved with the charity so thank you 🙂 If you would like to follow our training and preparation for the event then please can I point you towards the following social networking resources? Just click on the links below:

The Jedi Joggers Facebook Page

The Jedi Joggers on Twitter

Run For All on Twitter

May the Force be with you!

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Mr. Tenzing Norgay would be proud…

Since our relatively recent inception, the Jedi Joggers have taken on a few different challenges and on Sunday 27th February 2011 we took on our latest one. Myself and Graham took on the Huddersfield 10K, which turned out to be the hilliest course yet. The race was hosted by the Huddersfield Road Runners and started and finished at the Huddersfield Rugby Union Club.

The day started well and by the time we got to the car park the temperature was about 5 degrees Celcius. There was rain in the air and we had a few showers in the run up to the race. The Gods were smiling on us though as it was dry throughout the race, although it rained on the way home.  As we were waiting in the warmth of the Rugby Club and the obligatory trip(s) to the loo were complete I noticed something stuck on the outside window that made me laugh nervously…the course profile!

Course Profile!

As you can see, we instantly wondered what we had let ourselves in for!

We've just seen the course profile!

So, at 10:55 a very efficient man blew a whistle to tell us to go to the start line. It appears as though the start line had been moved 3 times, probably to ensure an exact 10k distance. Graham decided to start about half way down the field and I decided to start at the back. When I was a junior cross country runner I used to start at the front, sprint off at the start and then move backwards until the end. Nowadays, I start at the back and gradually overtake people until the finish, much better for the ego 🙂

At 11:00 we were off and just as the course profile indicated it wasn’t long before we were running up a big hill! It seemed to go on forever but there was some good crowd support near the top which always helped. The rest of the course was essentially up and down with a few flat bits. Essentially there were two big, long hills and two short, sharp hills. The downhills were just as interesting and on 2 of the hills I couldn’t run at full tilt as they were too steep! On one of these downhills I overtook a man pushing a pram on behalf of MacMillan. I gave him a few encouraging words and briefly thought about jumping in the pram, before dismissing the idea and carrying on. On the other downhill, I was overtaken by a young kid with long shorts that I was convinced would fall down, but they never did 😉

The end of the race was a long downhill which provided a fast finish, back at the Rugby Club. I was very pleased to have crossed the line and gladly had some complimentary water. I also gratefully took charge of my latest race T-Shirt which was definitely well earned. Not long after finishing I began to feel a bit nauseous, probably due to the lactate-inducing, lung-busting, leg-burning hills. A banana and some lucozade sport later and I was feeling fine.

Job Done!

As ever, Graham was looking fresh as a daisy!

Fresh as a Daisy!

All in all it was a great event that was really well organised by Huddersfield Road Runners and the results can be found here. Despite the hills, it was a very enjoyable course and I would consider running it again next year, but that’s because I’m a runner and we like putting ourselves through it…it’s exhilerating. Now, when’s my next race?

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Obi Wan spanks the Brass Monkey…

It has often been said that the biggest opponent you face when embarking on a challenge is the one inside your head. Well, today, my challenge was to complete the York Knavesmire Harriers Brass Monkey Half Marathon. I had eagerly entered the event, along with my fellow Jedi Joggers, a while ago and the day had finally come. My training for this event had been OK but I’d missed a few runs due to the recent ice and snow. Despite that, two weeks ago, I had run 13.5 miles along the canal on a training run so I knew it was possible, right?

Some runners are very particular about their pre-race preparation. They need certain events to go like clockwork with precise Swiss timing. All I can say is that its a good job that I don’t. Miraculously, we had managed to pack the car and get the girls ready by 8 o’clock…on time! However, my next move wasn’t very Jedi-like…I pulled the front door shut, the Yale lock closed and the car keys (and house keys) were locked inside 😦

All was not lost, I thought to myself, as a ran up the road to my parents’ house to borrow our spare keys. After a lot of apologising about waking them up so early on a Sunday, I ran back home to my very patient family. On the way back to the house I noticed that my right hip and left leg were a bit sore…mere niggles I thought. I retrieved the car keys from the house and we set off to York Racecourse.

The journey went well and we found the place fine. There was hardly any traffic and ample parking. We organised ourselves and went to meet the others in the Ebor Suite. Darth Vader, Han Solo and Boba Fett had all arrived in good time. As soon as we got there I was advised to join the race number retrieval ‘bun fight’ so off I went. Eventually I got my number (fortunately I remembered my ID), and joined the others. I set about pinning my number on whilst Darth Vader attached my timing chip to my trainer! I was conscious of holding the others up.

Fortunately, they had delayed the start of the race for about 10 minutes due to the ‘bun fight’ so we had enough time to make it to the start and even have our photo taken!

The Jedi Joggers by Melanie Ellis

The race started and we all set off, taking just over a minute to run through the start line. I had decided to start slowly, thinking that I would be jogging round in 2:10:00 and ran with Han Solo for a while. After a mile however, I began to speed up and caught up with Darth Vader. Now that I was in the groove I pulled away from the Dark Lord and set a good consistent pace. I had made the decision to run without my Runkeeper app and to go with my instincts. It appears as though they served me well because I felt quite good all the way round.

Well, should I say I felt good until about mile 12 when I could see the Ebor Stand, towering up from the horizon. The Ebor Stand was just next to the finish and it looked a long way away! All of a sudden I began to feel all the niggles and the tiredness but I managed to keep going. As I turned the final corner I was greeted with an almighty cheer from the Jedi Joggers supporters club (and Boba Fett who’d already finished!) and I made it across the finish line.

Some of the Jedi Joggers Supporters Club by Melanie Ellis

Once I had crossed the finish line a marshall asked me if I’d broken my PB. I told him that I didn’t know because I didn’t have a watch. Apparently, I’d not noticed the big clock situated at the finish line to greet the runners on their way across the finish line! Later on I found out that I had conquered the Brass Monkey in 1:51:00 which was indeed a new PB, so I was a very chuffed Jedi Jogger. In fact, all the Jedi Joggers did great and I’m sure that at some point their stories will be appearing on here too.

On a personal level, I would like to thank all my fellow Jedi Joggers, our wives and children and friends for their support and kind words. If your biggest opponent really is in your head then it doesn’t seem as daunting when you have friends and family standing by your side.

Ben Kenobi

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The Sith Lord Returns

This Jedi Jogger has been training in total for around 18 months. The fitness bug caught hold hard when I started training for triathlon and started a structured training plan that peaked at around 10 sessions per week in the run up to the 2010 Ironman 70.3. It was on the completion of that event that I decided to enter my first Marathon and the 2011 full Ironman.
Also at that point I hit my first ‘hiccup’ in training. The last 6 months have been hit with a variety of chest infections and colds that have impacted the continuity of my training. Prior to this I’d managed a pretty clear 12 months of training and I think I made the mistake of thinking that that was the ‘norm’, where in fact it’s far more likely that any committed individual is going to have to deal with the downs of illness as well as the ups of races.

Well, after a long time in the wilderness it finally feels like I’m really back. I’ve managed a consistent week of training with swimming, biking, running and weights leaving me tired but satisfied at the end of the week. Tomorrow is a well earned rest day and I intend follow it up with a second week of hard and consistent training.

With our focus on the Brass Monkey half marathon in just 7 days I’ll aim to watch my diet, maintain the smoothies and smash all the training sessions.

Fingers crossed this joggers immune system keeps the faith!

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The Final Countdown…

So, only 7 days to go until the Knavesmire Harriers York Brass Monkey Half Marathon. There are four Jedi Joggers running in the event. We met up yesterday at a cheesecake tasting competion to discuss our preparations. By the sounds of it all is very well in the Jedi Joggers camp. I (Ben Kenobe), did my long run a week ago (21.75k) and a shorter maintenance run (10.28k) on Saturday. I’ll be resting up this week so no runs for me. To make sure that I’m at one with The Force I’ll be trying to get my 8hrs a night (younglings permitting ;-)) and drinking lots of Green Smoothies!

Han, Boba and Vader are well prepared too. The long runs have been run and the maintenance/taper runs have been done. Green Smoothies will be drunk a plenty to ensure that we are all in good shape for Sunday. So, if you are going on Sunday and want to know how to spot the Jedi Joggers then keep checking the website for a photo of our specially designed running vests…cheers Vader!

Run, Jedi, Run!!!

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Training Update…

I hope that this blog finds you all well with all resolutions still intact? Two runs to update you on…

The first was a 16.5km run on 03/01/2011 as a build up to the long run of 21.75km on 09/01/2011.  Both runs were in preparation for the York Knavesmire Harriers Brass Monkey Half Marathon on Sunday 23rd January 2011.

Both runs went well, although the longer run involved a little ice skating and resulted in a little bit of aching and a lot of tiredness! The next run will be on Saturday 15th January 2011 and will be a shorter 10km run as a taper for the Brass Monkey.

Can I also take this opportunity to welcome the @sithsloggers to twitter. A like-minded group of runners who we will be sharing a bit of banter with. We might even have a couple of races together in 2011!

Ben Kenobi

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A New Hope…

I’d like to wish all of our Jedi Jogging followers a very happy and healthy 2011. Thanks for supporting the Jedi Joggers since our inception in 2010. There will be lots more blogs, videos and information appearing on this website throughout the year.

Anyway, this blog has been categorised as Ben Kenobi’s Training Updates. Basically, I’ve started a new category so that all my blogs about my training can be found easily with one click. I thought that 2011 would be the year that I blog a lot more about my own running activities. It’s a big year for me this year with a half-marathon coming up in 3 weeks (first one since 2006!) and my first ever monster of a marathon in October!

So, throughout the year I’ll be blogging about my training with the inevitable ups and downs being discussed. This post is a bit of a head’s up really so as you’ll see, there are no Star Wars references (apart from the title).

Today was my first run of 2011. It was a 7.3 km plod around our local Glen (2 laps). Its one of the few places that I can take my dog running without having him on the lead. He loves running around there but the conditions were a bit difficult. I didn’t have the best start as Runkeeper wouldn’t detect the GPS for ages which resulted in me standing around in the cold and the wind, desperately holding my iPhone in all kinds of different positions to get it to work. I looked like I was holding a sacrificial offering aloft to the Gods! Eventually I got the orange GPS light (didn’t want to wait for green) and off we went. The route is quite undulating and takes in a variety of terrains (grass, concrete and woodland path). Today, however, it was mud, mud and woodland mud! My new longsleeved running top and gloves (both from Santa) kept me warm as I trudged round, trying to muster a smile and a half-friendly hello to all the New Years Day walkers, all wrapped up warm and full of the joys of the new year. Perhaps a Jedi mind trick would have helped. I spent a lot of time trying to distract my exceedingly wet and muddy dog from jumping up on all these shiny happy people…I succeeded.

So, 2 cold, windy, muddy laps later, having successfully avoided any dog-related incidents with the walkers, cars, horses and cyclists (oh, and a tractor) I returned home…and took down the Christmas decorations 🙂

Happy New Year everyone,

Ben Kenobi

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