Monday, 16 July 2012

Reason To Ride we all survived

Wow, can't believe it is over, 2 weekends ago 14 of us cycled 200 miles in one go to raise money for a 7 year old boy with Cerebral palsy, Callum Brown.

When  I came up with the concept I had no idea what I was about to embark on, for me it was about doing a long bike ride, raising some money and altering a childs future. Turns out there was an awful lot more to it! The support I have had in putting this event on has been unbelievable. Really need to thank David Lloyd for supporting the whole event, Robin Palmer for doing the PR, Ann Marie for keeping me sane, doing all the artwork & design and generally being the strength behind me. High5 and Northumbrian Water for their very generous donations and Kaleel Zibe for giving up his time to Photograph the group. Another massive thank you is to one of my rider Michael, he lent us his van for the ride had signs made up and also packed up the van with all the gear and bikes, what a total superstar.

The list of thank you's goes on but I will end it there and tell you about the ride.

So we headed up to the David Lloyd in Edinburgh on Saturady 7th. It was finally good to have the whole group together. The group in the end was 4 girls and 10 men, we had a few drop outs along the way. We had 3 support Vehicles in total, the 3 drivers deserve medals for there efforts, not the easiest job following a pack of cyclists 200 miles.

The ride brief on saturday night
The Route
There was alot of nervous people with in the group, not one of us had cycled this far in one go. Think having the map layed out really hit home to some people how far 200 miles was.

The ride started at 4 am on July 8th.

Just before the start
It wasn't long into the ride and the rain started, it seemed to get heavier, my thoughts at this point was this is going to be hideous 200 wet miles. 

 The views were non exsitent 

But despite all this the group was in good spirits. As we got over the Moorfoot hill, the weather started to change, much to my relief. Our first stop was further on than planned, mainly due the weather, but at Innerleithen we had our first decent stop where I think most people had a change of socks and put their shoe covers on. 

From this point on the weather just got better and better. The group really started to gel together, I had introduced a buddy system, this was where riders were responsible to keep an eye on each other. They had been paired with a buddy (another rider or two) the night before and they just had to check that each other were drinking and eating regularly, running out of energy on the bike is no fun and it can be a quick transistion from feeling great to feeling horrendous, shakes, sickness feeling like you are going to pass out, it is not a nice experience.  Pleased to say the system worked and the whole way down all you could hear was 'Buddy are you ok'.

Unfortunatly before we left Scotland we did have two falls, both people suffered road rash, but both got back on their bikes and continued with the ride.

Our next main stop was Bamburgh, on the coast line, here I don't think I have seen so many portion of chips consumed in such a small amount of time, the word hoover springs to mind. But I must say they were most welcome.  After Bamburgh we were homeward bound, here is a picture of some of the pack in full flow.

 Need to give a special mention now to two members of our group Phil Gray and Robbie Elliott, here they are Phil is leading.

These two have an enormous challenge coming up and this 200 mile ride was really just a training ride for them. They will be cycling 3,500 miles in 25 days with no rest days . Here is the link for you to read more on this challenege 
It really will be a ride of a life time but at the same time they will be raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Break through Breast Cancer.

So 17 hours later we rode into David Lloyd and what a welcome sight it was to, everyone was buzzing and I think quite relieved to be getting off their bikes. Here is a video that was done during the last section of the ride and I think you can gather from it I was really very proud of them all.

I need to say a massive congratulations (again) to Reason To  Run Guys. Matt, Phil and Lee began Running at 9pm on Saturday the 7th July and ran the entire length of Hadrains Wall, 86 miles in less than 24 hours, truly amazing here is a great report of the run from Matt

Finally I don't have an actual over all figure that we have raised yet, but there is still time to donate. All money raised is going to a 7 year old boy who has cerebral palsy. Reason To is about a group of people coming together to make a difference and this year we were using our legs so Callum can get the use of his.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Reason To Swim

So this week Reason to Swim begins. Reason To swim is about seeing how many miles we can collectively swim. Its about people coming together and making a difference. The idea is to swim a mile (64 lengths of a 25m pool). This can be done in a relay, over a number of days or maybe you can just make your training session mile count. How ever you do it, please register your mile at  with a small or large donation. All money raised will be going to the Percy Hedley Foundation which helps children with disability across the North East. Tomorrow I will be relaying my mile with my 9 year old twins and my 4 year old, it may take a while and I may be slightly water logged by the end but we are determined to make our mile count.

Here is a little clip from the Launch last week


Wednesday, 16 May 2012



So as normal I took everything very seriously. Packed all my stuff up, well apart from the bike, poor Phil G had to do this for me AGAIN!! Then decided I had best pack a few extra, more shoes and dresses and then a wig (GB Style of course)! You just never know when these things come in  useful and to round it all off decided to get my toe nails painted, just check this out.

For those of you lucky enough to live in Newcastle. These were done by U Salon Gosforth High St. Really think these should be a must for the Olympics.

So off I jetted to Eilat. Sun, Sea, biking, running, swimming, racing what more could a girls ask for?

First proper morning there started at some unearthly hour with a bike recci of the course. Not much to it really, going out up a hill and into the wind on a road equivalent to our A roads (there motorway). Then hopped over the central reservation (race day a ramp was construction, just like a skate boarders ramp..........awesome) then cycled back.......FAST, it's a very windy place.

Straight off the back of that was a little jog to check out the run route, you have to love a triatheletes holiday, sorry race event. Run course was a bit of road then dirt track with mines (as in blow you up) to the right. Decided best to keep to the track!!

Later on it was off to the beach to check out the swim course. The Red sea is really salty and as I/we found out and we also kept getting stung. We had or been told various reasons for this stinging sensation two reasons being, sea lice eurghhhh!! and algae, ok can live with this one. This aside I was actually looking forward to the swim, I was feeling good in the water, despite the shoulder injury which has been niggling for the past 5 months. My asthma still wasn't great, don't think the sandstorm on my first night really helped either!

Race day started early, nothing new in the tri world. after a light breakfast at 5am it was down to transition. Just did what I needed to do and got out. 7 am it started my wave was 7.40am, it came round quick. I was not as nervous as I was on the Ironman, infact I felt reasonable relaxed. The horn went off and off I went. You never really know where you are in the swim, so decided to just go (always hopeful to find some ones toes to hop on but unfortunatly it didn't really happen in this race). Turns out I was second in my age group out of the water. Long run to transition which gave me lots of time to get the wetsuit off. Transition went well and off I ran with the bike, first time with shoes already clipped in (kept in place with elastic bands, for all you non tri people). What can I say but live dangerously!! So got to the mount line and the elastic band snapped, leaving my shoe swinging around........that wasn't planned, took a bit but eventually got my foot into the shoe (need to practice this!). Wind was really strong and going up the hill my chest was heaving, but just kept my head down and did my best. Went up and over the ramp, decided best not perform a trick then flew back down to Eilat, it was an amazing return journey...quick as hell. Went through transition and onto the run course, 2 laps of heat and dust, every asthmatic dream. Had my usual thought 'why am I doing this' it soon past and finally crossed the line much to my amazement in 4th place. Only to realise that I had been in 3rd place and was overtaken in the last 8 second, DOH!!!!!!.  All I will say is next year.

 Since I have got back I have kept up with training, after all it is just the start of the season. My next big goal is the UK Ironman 70.3 in Wimbleball which will be June 17th. So not that long to go really. I raced at the weekend at the Alnwick Sprint triathlon, it was yet another very wind ride but a lot colder than Israel. I finished this race 5th female overall, and looking at my splits I have improved in everything since last year, so happy with that result. 

This weekend I am off to race at Keswick. Its an 800m open water swim, I am gasping for breath just thinking about it, it is going to be freezing. However have just got myself a nice neoprene hat to wear for the swim, that will be a good look.Then its a 35k cycle and a 10k run to be honest I will probably not warm up at all!!

Finally will leave you with a picture of the nice GB Wig. Probably would of looked a lot better had I got it on straight, then again maybe not!

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Have you ever wondered how you have got to a point in your life? Well that is where I am at now, I feel like I am on a path somewhere which is exciting, daunting but a journey I have no idea where it will end but I wouldn't alter it for anything.

I have recently had a good look around at people and I am amazed at how many people give up their time so selflessly to help others. This can be just a parent helping out at school, running a committee or a neighbour or friend helping out one another.

There are the people who set challenges, putting themselves through and in some case quite an ordeal to raise money for charities that are important to them. One man who has just done this is Ivan Hollings, last weekend he completed 100 mile run in 24 hours to raise money for CHUF (Children’s heart unit fund at the Freeman Hospital). His determination and inspiration comes from his son. I am just full of admiration, here is the link to his blog, he is truly inspirational. If you are also inspired please donate, it is such a worthwhile cause.

This summer a friend David is going to attempt to break a world record to raise money for Help the Heroes. David Graham is aiming to smash the GWR himself for the amount of dead lifts in a day! The GWR is 475,065kg which works out at 5-6 reps of 60kg, every single minute for 24 hours. He is not alone there are three others you need to check this challenge out, it is something else, it is going to be a tough one.

Maybe my biggest inspiration is my dad John Shallcross. I have watched him for the last 25 years give up his time to help raise money for the 'Clubs for young people' which was formerly known as the 'Boys club'. There have been, boxing events, shooting events, dances etc and in that time he has raised over 1 million pounds which is just astounding and it is money that has made a massive difference to young people lives throughout the city.

Maybe it is from him I have got to the point I am at now. Last time I told you about 'Reason To Ride' (another group of people who have agreed to give up their time to help make a difference to a Childs future). So maybe it’s time I should tell you about 'Reason To Swim'.

Reason to Swim, (this event is for everyone; yup that is all of you). Very excited to tell you that Virgin Money will be supporting me with this event. We will be raising money for the Percy Hedley foundation, which does fantastic work helping disabled people and their families in the North East.
All you need to do the week commencing the July 2nd is hop in a pool and swim a mile (64 lengths of a 25m pool). This can be done in 1 go or over 6. It is about doing something to help make a difference. All I ask is that you will go online and donate something for taking part at the time. Now here comes the twist being an endurance athlete I like big numbers, what I want to see is how many miles we can swim in 1 week, in my book the bigger the better. By donating your mile will be counted and you will be participating in something special and the money raised will make a huge difference. I will be giving lots more information nearer the time.

Finally maybe I should mention a little race I am in next weekend. On Tuesday I fly to Eilat (yikes, yippee, oh lord) for my sprint triathlon in Eilat, representing GB in my age group. Don't think it has really sunk in yet. Had an awful week last week, got sick then my asthma all flared off, not really the best. So have been taking it very easy, which probably isn't a bad thing for me. My race number is 281 thought for a second when I got that it was the same as my Ironman number which would have been spooky but that was 291 not far off though. So I will fill you in on how I get on when I get back. Wetsuits still haven't been banned so that will be an experience 30 degrees and pulling on a full rubber outfit. Thank god my race is 07.40am (on the 21st), couldn't imagine putting a wetsuit on in the midday heat to race!! Whatever happens in Eilat it is definitely going to be a trip that I will not forget. Look forward to filling you all in when I am back.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The blog is back!!!

WOW can't believe I am sitting here about to start writing another blog. In fact I can't believe now what lies a head of me.

So for those that followed the last one it was about me completing my first Ironman, which I absolutely loved. I then went on and qualified in a sprint distance Triathlon for GB in my age group, which I will race in April (yikes that really isn't far away) in Israel. Just check out this little cheeky number I will be wearing!!

So I thought that would be my year of 2012 a few races including the UK half Ironman (70.3) and one big race (Israel), and just concentrate on my career as a sports coach at Smart Fitness, which by the way I am loving.

Obliviously deep down I thought this wasn't enough. In October I was asked by my cousin if I could do anything to help raise funds for a boy, Callum Brown from Seaton Sluice, who has cerebral palsy. His parents are trying to raise enough money so they can get him to America for an operation that will enable him to walk unaided for the first time. I really didn't feel asking for sponsorship for one of my races would work again, not after the Ironman, so one solo bike ride later I came up with this:

REASON TO - RIDE. On July 8th 2012 I will be setting out with currently 22 other riders to cycle 200 miles in one ride, one day. We will be cycling from Edinburgh to Newcastle taking a somewhat scenic route so we reach our target mileage.

The support I am already receiving for this challenge has been amazing. David Lloyd have been unbelivable they are supporting the event fully, which I will shout about in the weeks to come. They are allowing all the riders to meet one evening a week to train, this will also help create a team feel to the ride, which I believe is very important. To me this ride is about a group of people (who don't all know each other) coming together. They will be using their legs so a child will get the use of his. All riders have agreed to raise money which is a challenge in itself.

High5 have agreed to help us nutritionally on the day of the ride, this will be such an important factor.

Nick Grantham of Smart Fitness and Jambo Truong  of  Jambo's yoga, Saddle Skedaddle and The Cycle centre are all helping by sharing their knowledge and expertise, which is invaluable for an event like this.

So you would think this would be enough to keep a girl busy, mother to 3 fab kids, training, working, put an endurance event on and now blogging again!!! But oh no I decided to take it a step further, will fill you in next time on that.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Well tonight will be the last blog for a while, maybe ever. I have now been writing this blog for nearly a year and to be honest at times it has been so much harder than the training, racing and even the Ironman itself. I started writing this blog with one goal in mind and that was to raise £3,000 for Tiny lives, a charity that really does means so much to me. I can now tell you all that I have raised just over £4,000, so I am ecstatic I never thought I would reach the amount let alone exceed it. So just a massive thank you to everyone who has followed my journey and donated.

I have one last picture for you I found it isn't the best picture but it really does show how small they were. Here Jakes chest is the size of my forearm, 2 weeks on.

All donations are still very welcome.

Just Giving Page:
I really do need to thank some people because without the support I have received I really don't think the Blog and the actual Ironman would of happened. So to all of you who have trained with me, Lisa, Laura, Andrea, Becci, Kay and of course my Tri club 'Total racing International,' especially Phil and Drew. Then there are the people who have given me so much support whether it is with my kids or with me personally, (so all of the above names again) Anne Marie, Rach, Simon, Jimmy, Toby, Gilsey, Vicky, Gemma, Lynsey, the Netball girls. To be honest there is a vast list better to stop now and miss a few out rather than just one name.

Got a couple of special thanks to pay now.

Jambo Truong - the man with a massive heart. He has inspired me, looked after me (fixed me) and introduced me to a new way of life a more balanced one. For those of you who are lucky enough to live in the North East you need to check out a class.

Matt Key (aka yaagTri for you twitter people) - Matt has been a great inspiration to me also, but I think he is better known with my facebook followers as the man responsible for posting all the links and info while I raced in Germany. Thanks to him my kids, mum and everyone else actually got to see me cross the finish line, which really meant the world to me.

My Coach Woody, what can I say the man really does know his stuff and during the time I was training for my first Ironman he had his first Ironman win with an athlete. So anyone who is thinking off racing and needs a coach I really can't recommended him enough.

Finally my mum who has just been simply amazing, don't know what I would do with out her. Also my Dad and  his wife Michelle for all their support, it truly is appreciated, so thank you.

So what a year I've had its hard to sum up what I have done. Firstly I did my first Ironman WOO HOO and loved it, in an all right time to. Had some great races and seem to have won a few prizes. Had some a awesome bike rides which included my solo ride to the lakes and back (300 miles in one weekend mixed with some socialising).  An obsession with handstand ( thanks Jambo) and now with yoga. Slowly learning to love running, I am a firm believer you need to work at some things. I have met and now made some fantastic friends, been on the radio twice. I have had so many nice emails from people telling me I have inspired them and are going  to start exercising again. Personally I have had some very high moments in the year and some very low ones, especially losing loved ones. But at the end I have achieved what I set out to do and that was to raise money for a very worthwhile charity.

Finally before I sign off  I just need to mention the small matter that I raced today, it was the Newbiggen Bay sprint and it was a ETU qualifier. Which means you can get the chance to represent GB for your age group at Eilat, Israel 2012.

I think first I should mention the weather, it was blowing a gale. The waves were MASSIVE, you could say it was a little intimidating. Especially as it was Lisa's ( my cycling partners) first ever Triathlon. I had been telling her what a great race it was (it still is) how the bay is quite sheltered. Umm it was ridiculous, we watched the first wave go off and saw them all get pushed to the left quite servely and then a few being pulled back in on the front of canoes. Also I should mention I started this race injured, so apart from the tail end of a  horrendous chest infection, it has been looking more and more likely that I have a slight tear at the top of my achilles, so the advice was not to run or start and if any twinges stop. I have never started a race injured so it really was a very stressful decision on what to do.

Those waves really were massive
 The horn went and off we went, the breaker waves were enormous, I swallowed so much water, goggles filled up twice and properly got smacked around a few times, just nasty. Getting out to the first buoy was hard, high fast arms were needed. Eventually I saw the end of the swim, transition included a beach run to a car park where the bikes were racked. Freezing cold I got out of transition as fast as I could, once I found my helmet, Inhaler and race belt which had blown away. About 2 minutes into the ride I realised I had lost my race chip, which meant no time. The first marshal I passed I informed them hoping some-one could get some times for me. 3 very windy hard going out and very fast coming in laps later ( managed to set off the 30mph speed camera on every entry into Newbiggen). I dismounted the bike, informed the marshals again that I had no race chip, at this point I really was seeing it as an omen that I should not go on the run with my foot. However off I went, the run was two laps along the beach front. I took the first one nice and slowly trying to figure out what my foot was doing. Its was just full of pins and needles that was about it, as I turned around for the second lap, I got it confirmed that they would get my time, that was it off I went, I ran as hard as I could even managed a sprint finish. So as I had no race chip I have no splits. I came in with a time of 1hr 30, placing me 2nd in my age category and if I have got it right I have just got my place for Israel. The fastest female overall was 1hr 22, so considering my injury and chest I am happy with my time. I think it may be time for me now to recover fully before I start training intensively again.

So once again thank you to so many people especially to everyone who has donated, tweeted me, left messages on facebook, you have really inspired me. I am currently on a course to become a personal trainer, which I can't wait to qualify in. Then it seems I may have a place representing GB for my age group in Israel, I think I have some exciting times ahead of me.

Finally if you have been inspired by me please have a quick look at what a friend of mine overcame to get to the start line alongside me for his first ever Ironman as well, truly inspirational.

Monday, 29 August 2011


Well it has now been 3 weeks since my Ironman and I am still feeling the effects which I am not impressed about especially as it is in only one place! About 3 days after my race just above my heel started to get sore, very sore, which only means one thing my achilles, arghhhhhhh!!! I have one race left to go which is on September 11th, I was really hoping to go hard but now I will have to wait and see. So till then I have been advised ice and anti-inflammatory's. It was also suggested to wear a bit of a heel to rest the achilles so they are not being stretched all the time. WOO HOO I need to wear heels, well you have only got to tell me that once, I think these will do nicely for starters!!

only joking........I went for a bigger heel!!
So last week I was on the radio again, I am really starting to enjoy going on, BBC Newcastle. However this time I was slightly distracted. I took the kids down with me, to say they were excited is a bit of an understatement and the excitement seemed to reach a new level when they discovered the water machine, the fact that mummy was going onto the radio seemed to take second place at that point. So for those who have not heard it here is the interview;

And here are the four rather excited children straight after the interview (only 3 of then are actually mine)

I would like to thank everyone who has donated, currently I am only £117 off £4,000, It would be amazing if I could reach this amount. So please if you haven't donated please feel free to do so any amount really is appreciated, it is for a great cause, it really can make the difference to a premature babies life.

My daughter weighing a mere 2lb 8oz, her arms here aren't as fat as my little finger and her chance of living was 50/50 maybe less

Once again here is my just giving page, the page currently says I have raised £3, 683.00 (I also have a cheque  for £200 at home).

Finally here as promised are some more photo's of the trip, it really was a great trip to Regensburg with some great people. Doing my first Ironman has really made me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to do something like this for a charity, and how my twins would be capable of doing something like this when they are older, if they wanted to. I have to say that is all thanks to the amazing care they received at the special care baby unit at the RVI in Newcastle upon Tyne at the time of their birth and after and of course to my beautiful twins for fighting so hard to survive at the start of their lives. I would of been a lost soul without them.