Tough 20 Miles

Running 20 miles is tough. But some days are tougher than others. That first timer you hit 20 miles in the training for a marathon hurts. But it will get better. Five weeks to go, so should be able to get in two more long runs.

Please read about the great work the Church Urban Fund and Paul’s story here:

Sponsor me if you can here:


Snow days are not no days

So it’s snowed, not just a bit but apparently it’s been a beast of a storm. But for those of us that train this is not an excuse not to run. The training has to be done. You pay now, or you will definitely pay later.

This year it is a real privilege to be running for CUF (Church Urban Fund). You can find my sponsorship page here:

Having spent seven years working in Torquay I know how important the work of the CUF is to those who are in need.

I will update my progress on this blog and share to facebook.

For now here are a few videos and photos from today’s run. Enjoy.

Marathon Training Benchmark

Having done a few of these before, I am very away of how the structured marathon training changes you physically over time. During the summer I have put on a little weight as I had to ease up from running because of a tendon injury. I forgot to adjust the diet and just kept eating, not so clever. However because of this I am expecting the training to have a very noticeable effect. I will save you from the usual before and after photos (unless someone sponsors me loads) and just give core data as a benchmark.

Current Fitness Level 29th Oct 2017 – mostly taken from Garmin 235 data.

Average Resting Heart Rate (over 7 days): 62 bpm

Weight: 208.6 lbs (Nov 2016 I was 189, that’s the effect of not running and continuing to eat the same)

Waist size: 38 1/2 inches

10k Time: 51(ish) as I was running with dog (PB was this year 44.41 on 26th Feb 2017)

VO2 Max: 46 (Feb this year I have been at 52, so quite a bit of a drop in fitness)

Let’s see what happens over the next 5 1/2 months.

What I Think About When I Run

People often ask what i think about when i am running. It is often closely followed by, “don’t you get really bored”. I am a thinker, a prayer and a dyslexic. Often my thinking and praying get stuck. But when I run, everthing clears again. So i thought I might just jot down some of the things I think and pray about when I run… “what I think about when I run”.

10k, 44:41(PB), Sunday evening.

    • Is today a PB for my 10k.
    • The man who drowned in the harbour.
    • Prayed for LB as I have not seen her in church for ages.
    • J who said this week he “experienced” the bible for the first time.
    • Vision is like running, big plans but still only happens one step at a time.
    • Torquay homeless.
    • Turning the church into a shelter and set of business units.
    • Electronic filing (yes dull).
    • Sleepy Torquay.
    • Churches working together, reminded of the three streams picture.

    A Day in the life of a Vicar….

    Since my sabbatical in 2015 I have tried to live a work differently. Two full days off a week and a starting point of forty hours a week. One of the days off is creativity focused and the other just resting. I find this kind of pace means that I can be fully engaged in both my family life and working life. But I still often get asked, “so what do you vicars do during the week”. So I thought I would give a snapshot of what has be a busy day.
    5.45am I get woken up by our barking chocolate lab who has decide she wants a to go out. In my experience she should not be ignored other wise the consequences can be messy. I watch her in the garden and stare at the coffee machine. Expresso wins and so to work on the summer rota – yes I am a bit behind as it is July.

    7.30am Rota finished and emailed to the 25 people who will be helping to make Sunday’s happen over the summer. Few more emails sent to try and start the the day as clear as possible. Updated a new webpage that a number of the team are working on.

    7.45am Made tea for Meg and woke up the kids up late. Usual family prep for the day, all hands on deck.

    8.15am Bit of work on family accounts as trying to be better with budgeting.

    8.30am Running shoes on. We leave the house a bit late with one 10 year old on scooter and two dogs. School drop. 6.5 miles later and very tired dogs, my run it complete. Prayed for for a few other churches and leaders on the way (Ian – Rivera Life, John St Matthias) as well as stopping to talk to a couple of people from church on the way round.

    9.30 Finish getting ready for the day and called a company to chase delivery of new church doors.

    10am Time with two leaders at St Mags, looking at an outreach project and a way to review another key part of church life – small groups. Important leadership lessons on the way.

    11.30 (35 as I was late) Coffee in Neros with another key leader for supervision and coaching. Asked at iPhone repair shop if they could fix sons phone that was run over by a car yesterday.

    12.45pm Back to church to fix my dyslexic error on the poster for Sunday. Tried to find old keys for two doors at church – nope, they are lost.

    1.30pm Grabbed lunch and ensured backup happened on computer that is starting to run slow.

    2pm Funeral visit. What a privilege to hear the story of a couple who found love again in later life. These are sacred moments. Stayed an extra half hour as it was so precious.

    3.45pm To town to get iPhone fixed. On the way stop to chat to a friend of St Mags about the painful stuff of life. Spent five mins with a guy that is high and scared. Talked to a girl in her early twenties who has recently come to faith and is struggling to make drug free friends. Chatted in passing to one of the guys who was baptised last year and is busking. Back to phone…. First shop unhelpful, second sorted. Coffee and planning at Costa while they get it fixed. Pinging church administrator on Trello (who should not be responding to messages as she is not working this afternoon) re current projects, funeral, wedding and new church bank account. Also exchanging so texts and returning some calls from people growing in faith. Bumped into Meg and the kids. Back past church, someone is asleep round the side. Try to wake him up, he is off his face with his big dog on guard. He wakes eventually and we have a good chat. I leave him there as he is alive and does not seem to been in danger or a danger to others. Sleep is prob the best option.

    5pm Delivered fixed phone to son – he was sort of grateful (joy of being Dad)

    5.25pm Few more texts and asked one of the Mags team to take the lead tomorrow night.

    5.30pm Drove to Exeter for a meeting on a difficult subject but in very good company. Amazingly I am ten mins early. Just about managed to behave with three Bishops and an Archdeacon in the room. Good food and then heavy focused conversation. Finish at 8.45, very drained but it was healthy and life giving.

    9.30 Back in Torquay, few texts and emails. Called Mum and Dad to check they are alright – they are carrying so big stuff very graciously.

    10pm Sofa and decide to write day in life of a Vicar – Gin and Tonic.

    Marathon Double, Brighton and London 2016

    At some point in the past this seemed like a good idea. But now I have to move from idea to reality. Bags are packed. Training done. Just got to complete 26.2 miles… twice in 8 days! But how did I get here?

    This will be my fourth and fifth marathons (2008/12/15). I had entered the ballot for the London Marathon 2016 but did not get in. Disappointed but still determined to run in 2016 I secured a place in the Brighton Marathon. A few weeks later I got the offer of running for Exeter Cathedral in the London Marathon. A choice needed to be made, which one to do? Then I had this idea. What if I did both. Brighton for The Living Room, the community Cafe that is run by St Mags (the Church I lead). London for Exeter Cathedral, the city that I grew up in the Mother Church for Devon. Double Marathon for churches old and new. So I said yes to both.

    Each person runs for different reason, for me it is often a way to process anger prayerfully. This is why I run. 

    The charities I am running for are very close to my heart.

    The Living Room is five years old this month. We give coffee, cake and bacon baps to anyone who needs it for no charge. We welcome in people from every walk of life and are seeing many people find faith and turn their lives around. It is also run by St Mags the church that I lead in Torquay.  


    The Living Room Chistmas dinner in a bap, 

    The Cathedral
    is the mother church for the place a work – Church of England in Devon. I grew up around this place, spend   far to many evenings the worst for wears on the green. But I was always engaging with conversations of faith and the presence of such a great building inspired me. It is over 900 years old and in need of a bit of TLC. The community is also deeply engage in caring for people the town centre and my Mum and Dad are also not part of this lively Christian community. 


    Me at the Cathedral with Dad on the day he became a Cathedral Canon

    You can support me in the following ways:

    1. Like this post (or comment) this will encourage me loads (yes this is an occasion to be that shallow)

    2. Donate to one of the causes below (you are a hero!)

    3. Donate to both of the causes below (you are a super hero and you have my permission to make a special costume and wear it in public just because you can!)

    Marathon one: Brighton 17th of April for The Living Room, the community cafe that is run in my church. We have 80-100 people in each day we open, give away the coffee and bacon baps and make no charge…

    Marathon two: London 24th April for Exeter Cathedral. It has been open for over 900 years and with your help it will be there in another 900…

    Thanks Loads, Mark