40 for 40 – a plan for 2017

I know, I know – long time no blog. It was always going to be hard to follow up last year’s big Boston marathon adventure and a combination of waning motivation, a new job and life just getting in the way caused the radio silence.

That’s not to say I haven’t been active. After Boston, I took part in a triathlon, a 2-mile open water swim and a couple of other bits and bobs but there wasn’t a huge amount of racing to write about. That’s all about to change this year.

I’ve had an idea bouncing about in my head for the past few months. It’s one I may well live to regret but, sod it, I’ve decided to give it a go. This year, whether I like it or not, I have a landmark birthday coming up. Rather than plunge headlong into the typical midlife crisis, however, I wondered if I might be able to use my energy a little more constructively.

So here’s the plan. To complete at least 40 distance events during the year in which I turn 40. These events will vary in shape, size and format. As you’ll read further down, I’ve started out small but there will be some big races too – I’m well and truly entered for the Stirling Scottish Marathon in May for example. Rest assured – there will be a lot of running, some swimming and definitely a chunk of triathlon, throughout the year. The finish line will come at the end of a December event that is always in my running calendar and one I’ve just completed – The Marcothon.

For the first time I can remember, I’m also going to be aiming to raise some money for charity in the process – specifically for Macmillan Cancer Support (the link to my justgiving page is at the very bottom of this blog). If you can donate anything over the course of the year that would be wonderful but the idea of all this is really just to emphasise what a tremendous idea it is to get outside and be active.

I’ll be blogging about each event I take part in  so, with that in mind, I’ve made a start…

Event Number 1 – The Shortbread Run  (Jan 2)


The Shortbread Runners make their way through Balloch Castle Country Park

There was no better place to start this challenge than a New Year event right on my doorstep. And there were no better people to start the challenge with than the rest of Team Crumley – my wife Fran and sons Callum and Sam.

This lovely local run in Balloch Castle Country Park, to be found at the southern end of Loch Lomond, is organised every  year by Maurice Donohue, the man also behind Balloch Run N’ Park.

The Shortbread Run is a short family run designed to help people get active and blow off the New Year cobwebs. Given that Talisker had played a big part in my ushering 2017 in, this was the perfect way to properly clear the head.  The added bonus was some free shortbread at the finish!


Team Crumley



It was brilliant to see many other locals had thought the event to be a great idea too and there was a pretty sizeable group amassed at the start when Maurice yelled ‘go’. Callum, who’s 10, shot off into an early lead while Fran and I hung back to run with seven-year-old Sam over the 3km course.

We expected to catch up with Callum in the second half of the run but the penny is clearly starting to drop and some of my moaning about pacing himself seems to be seeping in. When we closed in on the finishing line there he was, looking very pleased with himself and wondering what had kept us all. Sam, too, seemed to really enjoy it all (he hid it very well if he didn’t).

So, we’re off! One event down. Let’s see what the rest of the year holds.

As promised, you can find my JustGiving page here.

Thank you!


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