Thursday, 6 June 2013

The Drugs Don't Work

This week's blog comes from my colleague, and fellow Arc to Arch cyclist, Craig "Chopper" Chaplin. I hope you’ll tune into our blog updates throughout our preparation and the Arc to Arch event itself. You can support our endeavours, and these great charities, at www.virginmoneygiving.com/DWF or contact Hilary Garrett (hilary.garrett@dwf.co.uk / 0161 603 5000) to hear more about our corporate sponsorship packages.


Today is the non-cycling day of the trip which leaves us all slightly tired and frustrated. Groch (BA) is like a coiled spring. We had thought he'd gone all romantic when he suggested a pootle round Paris this evening but it turns out he has never gone this long without exercise in the last 5 years. The trip Doctor has advised that, if he doesn't cycle tomorrow, he will literally explode in a blast of testosterone like an indoor firework.


The view for the rest of the field tomorrow...
Many thanks to our sponsors: 2 Hare Court, Carrley Business Consulting,
Crown Office Chambers, Datamere, Elior, Marine Harvest, Tangle Teezer, Wilson Gunn

So we've met, been briefed, met some of the 60 or so riders who have so far raised £100k for the various cancer charities. We are now on the Eurostar travelling to Paris. We'll have a hotel transfer, some dinner (being a veggie in Paris will be interesting) and a further health and safety lecture. After some medicinal red wine, it's an early night followed by a 6.30am start.

Demonstrating our sleeve sponsors, or Tiger Feet dance routine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKgGfiOpojc)?
You be the judge...

As we've done nothing much today, it has been a time for reflection for me personally. Five years ago, I was on a very similar trip to this in Spain when I learned that my brother-in-law had sadly passed away at the age of 39. He had battled against lung and brain cancer for just over 5 years enduring 9 bouts of chemo, 2 lots of radiotherapy and brain surgery. Vince embodied everything that was fun about life. At his funeral, they played "The Drugs Don't work", "Think I better Leave Right Now" and, rather predicably, "Pinball Wizard" at the graveside. His coffin had a sign saying "This Way Up" which my sister had to argue with the undertaker to put on as it was one of his wishes. They said it was in bad taste. I think that was Vince's point, it was his taste.



Whilst through deliberate undertraining I will suffer for the next 3 days, nurofen and a beer will make me feel quite normal. Vince suffered horribly for several months prior to his death and never had a normal life from the day he was diagnosed. Cancer is a disease that rips families apart, as well as bodies. It was only Vince's humour and humanity and my sister's mental strength which stopped that happening.

I have been relatively lucky with Cancer in that Vince is only one of 3 people close to me who have been affected. Another chap I know is dying of prostrate cancer and he still beats me up the hills on a bike. The last time we were out, we rested at the top of a hill and looked out over the view. "There's a very dark cloud on the horizon", I said. "Aye", said Charlie, "that'll be the Cancer".

So, here's the deal. Supported by very generous companies and individuals, I'll do something I enjoy doing and I'll also monitor Steffan so that he doesn't explode. Mad Dog Duncan will plough through the miles with the efficiency of a runner and Robin Watt will discover whether the time crunched training has helped at all. If you haven't donated already then now is time to do so.

Tomorrow we ease into things with a 96 mile scoot. Bring. It. On.

2 Hare Court (see www.2harecourt.com)

Carrley Business Consulting (see www.carrleybusiness.co.uk)
Crown Office Chambers (see www.crownofficechambers.com)
Datamere (see www.datamere.co.uk)
Elior (see www.elior.co.uk)
Marine Harvest (see www.marineharvest.com/scotland)
Tangle Teezer (see www.tangleteezer.com)
Wilson Gunn (see www.wilsongunn.com)

I hope you’ll tune into our blog updates throughout our preparation and the Arc to Arch event itself. You can support our endeavours, and these great charities, at www.virginmoneygiving.com/DWF or contact Paula Ferdinales (paula.ferdinales@dwf.co.uk / 0161 603 5000) to hear more about our corporate sponsorship packages.




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NYC Marathon, 2004

NYC Marathon, 2004
NYC Marathon, 2004