Callidus Health and Safety are embarking on a Charity Fundraising Drive for 2014. The beneficiaries being:
• Help for Heroes
• The Firefighters Charity
• St Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough.
As part of this initiative, our Managing Director, Steve Hanson, is running and cycling from John O Groats to Landsend over 9 days in March. Completing a marathon and an intense 75 mile cycle each day.
Day 8 After not a lot of sleep it was a tough start leaving Trowbridge. Directions were once again working against us, Steve managed to cycle 14 miles yet still be only 4 miles from Trowbridge. We eventually gave up on trying to use the cycle directions and decided to just follow the A roads that Steve knows in order for him to be able to get his head down and ride. We had the road bike fixed (once again) and transferred him onto it around 17 miles in. Steve was in a lot a pain with his knee whilst riding but was managing to plough on. The roads were unkind to him with a lot of hills, at one point we had to go into first gear to get the car up, which should give you an idea of the gradient. We were making steady progress but after 37 miles we pulled Steve in and he was in an enormous amount of pain, he felt he physically couldn't ride any further. At this point Steve could hardly even walk and we had to give him help for him to get in the van. We made the despising here that this was the end of the road for the challenge. Even the slightest touch of his knee was agonising. Mentally he was still very determined and heartbroken at the thought of having to call it a day. We drove onto the next hotel in order for Steve to rest. At dinner we decided that Steve would attempt to ride again the next day for as far as he could physically manage but it looked unlikely that he would make even 5 miles as he was struggling to even walk from the room to dinner. Day 9 Steve set off from Okehampton with the plan to meet us at short intervals and we would go for a long as possible. We were shocked when he hit the 10 mile point, he was still in horrendous pain but the fact that this would be his last day of cycling was spurring him on. Steve said "the faster I do this, the less time I will be in pain for" When he stopped at 17 he looked very ill, his nose was bleeding and he looked drained, after some food and rest he insisted on getting back on the bike. From this point on we met Steve every 7 miles and he was doing the stints in record time - sometimes we were struggling to park and prepare a drink before he was at the side of the van! At one point we pulled over and he drove straight on by smiling! The entire journey was a series of large inclines and everytime Steve managed to get up one of the hills we were extremely surprised. When we told Steve we had made it to Cornwall we broke him and he cried with happiness. This news gave him that last burst that he needed and that's when he said 'I'm going to make it all the way to Penzance' (another 45 miles) from then on we continued to pull him off the road every 5 or 8 miles depending on terrain. We made it to Penzance while it was still light.t 92 miles cycled!! On the day we told him to stop, I think this proves how stubborn he is!
#JOGLE2014 Stats So far: 82 miles running 355.4 miles cycling Day Seven: Yesterday Steve was exhausted before he had even set off. He set off on the bike and immediately we were all lost! The directions were really complicated making it difficult for Steve to get his head down and just ride. We had various pit stops to refuel and the pace was good. The pace was particularly good when Steve had yet another puncture!! So it was back on the mountain bike until it became to dark to carry on. He covered 56 miles. Steve was in pieces after the ride but decided to attempt some running but his body would not allow him to get further than 10K. It was a particularly long day for everyone and we finally called it a day around 11pm. Steve: "I'm sorry but my knee has completely given up and wont take any weight at all. It finally gave up the ghost at 11pm last night as Nikki and i were finishing 10K to try and get some extra miles in. Going to plough on today on the bike. My knees are absolutley screaming at me and my shins and my head and my ankles..." From here until Landsend Steve will attempt to complete as many miles on the bike as he can. Running is no longer an option - he can hardly walk.
Day six This morning started out well with Phil brown from Audas coming down to join Steve for a 10K run. It was great for Steve to have some company to keep him going. Steve hoped straight onto the bike and continued down the A6. After 21 miles on the bike and making very good time Steve stopped, this is when I saw that he was shaking very badly and had bloodshot eyes as he came towards me I thought he was going to collapse, he fell into the van. I decided it was best to drive him to Cannock in order for him to get warm. When we reached Cannock Steve couldn't remember any of his cycle or why we were in Cannock - this is when we decided it best for him not to continue for the day. He is very frustrated as he knows he can do the miles but his body is no longer allowing him to. Steve has been covering much further in daily training runs but it seems all the training has exhausted him. Tomorrow is a new day and Steve is determined to go as far as possible. Steve has said "I feel so ill I would even take a day off work" - that's when you know he's not well!
Day Five: Watch day five here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB0Wj6c4qZs Steve set out with a lot of determination on the morning of day five and straight into a hill! Deciding to cycle all the way to Lancaster after the scare on the previous day. Steve was going at a very good speed until half way through when his tyre blew. He changed onto the mountain bike and continued on while i went in search of someone to fix the bike (again) It was ice cold and blowing a gale so Steve found it very hard work on the mountain bike. I eventually got in touch with a nice guy called Scott who said he would be able to fix the bike but was currently out of town and wouldn't be back for another half an hour. He then suggested we meet half way and fix the bike at the side of the road. So 15 minutes later we were at the top of Shap hill fixing the bike in gale force winds. Thank you Scott!! I then drove on to find Steve - who had got much further than i had anticipated! He was freezing cold but determined to get to Lancaster. We swapped over the bikes and he continued...(ignoring my directions and briefly ending up on the M6!) he quickly found his way back to the A6 and continued. 83.9 miles later and freezing cold Steve arrived in Lancaster very happy but exhausted.
We were up and ready to go by 6:30. We drove back to Loch
Lomond, the point that Steve has finished the previous night, ready to make up
the twenty miles and cycle into Glasgow. I sent Steve on his way, straight into
a large incline! I drove ten miles ahead, as is now the system and waited in a
lay-by in case he got lost or needed help. I received a phone call to say he
had gone 7.5 miles and had a puncture so I drove up to meet him and swap over
the bikes. When I got to him he was shaking, delirious and freezing cold. When
Steve asked to be taken back to the hotel to warm up I knew something was wrong
as he is the most stubborn person I know. So we decided he would change into
warmer clothes whilst I took the bike to be repaired. When I got back Steve was
much worse, completely delirious and still shaking so we called Nhs direct.
They advised us to go to A&E or a doctor and to not continue with today's
leg of the challenge - to which Steve's response was "she's told me to
give up, is she bloody mad". We travelled down to Caldbeck and visited a
doctors surgery here, Steve saw a very nice doctor who told him he had damage
from his crash on day 1, mild hypothermia and exercise induced haematuria
(?!). He is now officially too old to be
doing this according to the doctor. (Obviously Steve mildly disagrees with
this). She advised to not continue with the challenge but if he insisted that
he must then he would have to miss out major hills. She also advised him to see
a doctor about his mentality after he explained the challenge to her.
Basically this challenge is going to continue but it's
going to have to be taken in a more gentle approach because of his age (doctors
words not mine) Steve is not happy about this so you'll probably see him
speeding down the country on his newly repaired bike!
While I left Steve to rest I travelled to Carlisle to get
the bike repaired and buy some protein shake to help with muscle recovery. The
guys in Halfords and Palace Cycles were really helpful and encouraging. They
did everything they could to help and fitted an extra protective layer to the
tyres to hopefully prevent any further punctures.
"Why are the downhills never as long as the uphills" So i set off early this morning to make up miles from the previous day. Came up against a problem before i had even left the door, literally, we were locked in our hotel! Once we had escaped i got myself into a good rhythm until my tyre decided to give up on me! *pop*. I completed 12 miles of hills and bends. Then it was swap over time again and onto the marathon - my knees are really feeling this! one foot in front of the other... Change over time again, back in the saddle. Managed to complete 64 miles these roads really are tough! so many blind bends and unexpected hills but i must say beautiful scenery. Towards the end of the bike ride today i was feeling a lot better than yesterday. I cannot wait for some flat terrain and civilisation now. Many people told me i was doing this the right way round and it was all downhill...! I literally pedalled this evening until it was impossible to cycle any further, the roads are deathly, i want to complete this alive. With no street lights for miles around and not being able to see anything, it was time to call it a night. Alex joined me today and has taken over the driving from Nikki. She will drive me back to where i finished this evening early tomorrow morning and i will cycle the 20 miles back to Glasgow before starting tomorrows route! On a positive note i was feeling fairly good after the cycle this evening and the beard is growing well! unfortunately its coming through grey!! Check out day one here:
So its begun...all of this preparation and suddenly we are here. Day One: After staying in a lovely hotel in Thurso i started extremely early in the morning to get off to a good start. Freezing cold and dark at John O'Groats. Marathon went very well - almost too well! Finishing in 3 Hours 57 Minutes. After a lunch break it was time to get on the bike. The terrain is much steeper than i had imagined, but i guess the clue is in the name! HIGHlands!! It was a shaky start as i was pushed off the road into a ditch after just 10 miles, Nikki came to my rescue and i took some paracetamol and then got back on the road. After another 30 miles on the bike i had to stop because of the pain in my ribs from the ditch incident. 40 miles short of target i felt quite frustrated.
Day Two: Up early and back to the point where i finished yesterday to complete the rolled over miles, managed to complete it in pretty good time. Then it was a short break and onto the marathon. half way through i realised the direction were incorrect and i had gone a fair way in the wrong direction, at this point my frustration was really building, i managed to get back on track and completed the marathon in 5 hours. It was pretty late, around half 4 by the time i set off on the next cycle leg of the journey. Another route of dangerous and hilly country roads with many blind bends. Two hours in it had become too dangerous to carry on in the dark on these roads - i am very much looking forward to a cycle path at some point along the way! So tomorrow its an early start again to make up these 30 miles and then crack on with day three. So far the challenge is much tougher than i had anticipated. Please support me and these three great charities by visiting our giving sites to make this all worthwhile otherwise im just a nutter running from one end of the country to the other. Help for Heroes & The Firefighters Charity: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Callidusfundraising St Catherines Hospice: http://www.justgiving.com/Callidus-Health-Safety
The van was packed this
afternoon and we set off on the first leg of the drive up North.
Overnight tonight in Paisley and a gentle trot and cycle in the hotel gym
tomorrow before driving up to John o Groats.
It seems strange
that I’ll have driven 480 miles to get somewhere and will promptly turn
round and run back twice as far!
A million thanks to
JCT600 and Volkswagen Commercials in Sheffield for the supply of the van.
I can’t tell you how much easier this has made our planning!
on Saturday to see some before and after pics from the
first leg (don’t show the “after” pictures to young kids)
Picking up the Transporter yesterday donated by JCT600 & VW Sheffield for the duration of the challenge.
Nervous smiles before the start of the long journey up to John O'Groats
Plenty of space in the back for all the essentials of the long journey.
If you’re lucky in life you get to meet someone
like Mo Stevenson.
Mo was many things:
But above all, he was one of the most down to
earth, genuine people you could wish to meet, and I was proud to call him a
There was no side to Mo. He would greet
you with the same warmth and enthusiasm whether he saw you every day or whether
you hadn’t been in touch for months. He made you feel as though he was
genuinely pleased to see you every time you bumped into him. This led to
him being regarded with genuine affection by people too numerous to mention.
He will forever be a legend amongst the members of Scarborough RUFC,
Staxton CC and amongst the many patrons of Klosters Bar – where his personality
reflected on the happy and relaxed atmosphere.
Mo left a gap in many people’s lives when he
sadly passed away, and this whole challenge is hopefully a way to show him how
highly regarded he was.
Its been a busy weekend of training. With only 12 days to go the challenge is getting scarily close. Saturday: A wake up run of 8.2 Miles. Blowing a bloody gale! Followed by 40 Miles on the bike in the afternoon. Sunday: 13.3 Miles with Nikki and George (in the pram) - An extra work out to push him!
Many thanks to Leeds
United, who have managed to take my mind off the physical pain I’m suffering
from training by distracting me with the mental torture of being a lifelong
LUFC fan. You couldn’t make these last few weeks up – mad even by our
Back in the real world,
it’s bloody freezing running across Putney Bridge at 530 in the morning, but at
least I have a smug grin on my face in the office when I’m sat down, showered,
with a cup of coffee having done 10 miles before everyone else drags their
backsides into work :-).
Turbo trainer is now set
up on the balcony of the flat so I get a view of London as I pedal away to my heart’s content.
This week I’ll cover
over 100 miles running and 230 miles on the bike, still only a third of the
distance I’m going to cover in March but Im feeling very fit and Im sure the
next few weeks will see me setting off in good nick.
All I need now is for my
football team to get themselves sorted (some hope!)
Donations have gone over
the £1000 mark now so it feels like we’re making some progress. Thanks to
all who have taken the time to donate so far. Keep them coming!
I'm back in the UK now, and my cold weather training has started! Running in wet and windy Wimbledon this morning really reminded me of spending 3 hours in an Indian gym on a treadmill or bike (not). Chucked in a sneaky 6.5 miler this morning and I'm about to knock another 11 miles out in the next hour; followed by a mind-numbing 2 hours (35miles) on the turbo trainer in the glamorous basement car park of my block. The next 5 weeks of my life are planned like a military operation, and the only thing I'm struggling to fit in is sleep, but sleep is over-rated. I'm so looking forward to dodging the tramps and dodgy geezers on my 5:30 am runs into the office. At least the runs back from work are dotted around with slightly more "conventional" people! 4 weeks of full on torture to come, but I've only got myself to blame! I'll carry on updating my training progress on a daily basis so you can all snigger under your breath if you see me! Thank you to Clem Constantine, Jon and Jodie for their very generous donations.
Steve is working from India this week but that has not got in the way of the training regime. Each day this week Steve has been completing 20K on the treadmill and 30 miles on the bike in very hot and sweaty conditions. With snow forecast next week the training could be rather different when he is back in England.
Some of the staff at Jubilee House,
Penrith with Arthur (in red) and a fellow fire fighter.
Fire Fighters Charity and St Catherine’s Hospice
By Alex Hanson-Deakin
The Fire Fighters Charity and St
Catherine’s Hospice are both charities that have helped our family tremendously
and this is why we have chosen to support them in our charity drive this year. My
Grandfather, Arthur, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 25 years ago and
throughout my life I have watched the condition slowly take away his ability to
perform daily tasks such as walking, dressing and now even using his
wheelchair. We have been very lucky, in that the deterioration has happened
slowly over a long period of time, but in the last 6 years we have been in
desperate need of support and this is where these fantastic charities come in.
Arthur served in the fire service for 30
years, becoming an ADO. The diagnosis of his illness resulted in him taking
early retirement and so for the past twenty years has devoted his time to
music. For over 70 years the Fire Fighters Charity (formerly The Fire Service
National Benevolent Fund) has been raising funds to support the fire and rescue
community, and Arthur himself raised thousands of pounds during his time in the
Fire Service. Arthur has been fortunate enough to attend Jubilee House at
Penrith where he can go for rehabilitation or respite care. Jubilee provides
Physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, emotional support, counselling together with 24
hour nursing, and the opportunity of mixing socially with other Fire Service
personnel attending the Centre. This facility is offered to both serving and
retired Fire Brigade personnel and their families.
During these two week rehabilitation stays
the differences we see physically and emotionally are incredible. The nurses
work closely with the patients on a one nurse to two patients basis giving them
safety, reassurance and attention. He is given physiotherapy daily at Jubilee
House including Hydrotherapy. The Hydrotherapy is particularly enjoyable for
Arthur, as it allows him to move easily and comfortably, unfortunately this is
an activity we are unable to offer him in our hometown. After his first visit to the centre the
physiotherapy resulted in him being able to stand briefly, the tallest we have
seen him in years which was amazing to watch. His strength was much improved
with the ability to pick things up and squeeze a ball restored. The dedication
and care of the staff is second to none and the centre has a very friendly and
family orientated atmosphere. Arthur comes home from these breaks with stories
of interesting people he has met and conversations he has had which is great
for us to hear, as now he is unable to leave the house without the help of two
careers and as a result has very little communication with people. These
rehabilitation and respite stays benefit the whole family, in particular my
nana, Trix, whom is Arthur’s full time carer.
St Catherine’s Hospice, Scarborough, have
been extremely supportive for Arthur. St Catherine’s offers a Neurology Support
Service and Arthur can attend here for respite periodically in the In-Patient
unit. The hospice also runs weekly physiotherapy sessions in blocks of 8 week
courses, which Arthur regularly attends with use of specialised transport
The respite stays that St Catherine’s offer
are very enjoyable for Arthur, the rooms at the hospice have equipment such as
specialised chairs, ceiling runners for hoists and fantastic bathroom
facilities, making daily tasks much more comfortable and easy. For Arthur
having a bath is something that is impossible at home. The staff at St
Catherine’s are more than happy to do this at the hospice even though it can
take up to five members of staff to bath him. The hospice offer a homely
environment, 24 hour care and a change of scenery which helps his health more
Trix, as a carer, also benefits from St Catherine’s
attending a “time out” group. This Service is offered to carers who are looking
after someone long term, giving them the opportunity of some "me"
time over a cup of coffee. Being a full time carer is both mentally and
physically draining in order to support careers St Catherine’s provide sessions
of relaxation which can include reflexology and massages.
To sum up as Arthur has benefited from both these Charities it goes
without saying that he thinks the Fire Fighter Charity and St Catherine's
Hospice are deserving of support for the fantastic work they have done,
enabling people like himself living with a progressive neurological illness to
be helped through difficult times.