Sunday, June 27, 2010

Congratulations to one and all !

Firstly let me thank all the organisers of the wonderful Parish Walk 2010. It must have been one of the hotest we have on record - it certainly felt like it up the Sloc. Huge thanks to the Race Director, Secretary, Assistants, Time Keepers and those that helped in any way.
Thanks to the Marshalls that kept us all safe on the roads, to the Corporate drinking station sponsors that supplied much needed water, fresh fruit and snacks to keep us walking.

to everyone who competed, completed or supported the fantastic Parish Walk! It was a great day all round, with personal bests, many first time finishers and those who achieved their own goals!

Congratulations to Dave Walker (fellow blogger) who was a first time finisher with a brilliant time of 18:54:29 and 25th place- Well done Dave you deserved it as you put a lot of effort into your training plan and it paid off!

Dudley Butt (fellow blogger) made it to Peel in the blistering heat- I guess you knew that your injury was going to have a big impact on your walk, Dudley! Well done.

The Breakthrough Babes Team had a roaring success, we had 4 members complete the 85 miles, 2 x under 21's reached Peel in great times and others had a great walk and are already planning for next years race! We hope to have raised many £'s for Breakthrough Breast Cancer - we certainly had the publicity from BBC North West, and Sky TV - all great for raising awareness of this disease and charity.

I was delighted to score another Parish Walk finish (my 6th ) - my times however always reflect my lack training - so don't do as I do , follow Dave Walker's blog and have more success!

Lastly but certainly not least thank you to Murray Lambden (& Marie) for this fabulous website which is so impressive, accurate, informative and enjoyable. It has been a pleasure blogging , thank you for asking me Murray, I hope it has provided some enjoyable reading for those that viewed them.

Hope to see many of you on Wednesday evening at the Villa Marina for the presentation!
all the best
Angie Aire

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Parish Walk on BBC News tomorrow evening-Friday

First of all I would like to give my very best wishes to Dave & Dudley, (they sound like a dynamic duo) my fellow bloggers on this fantastic web site! Well done Dave for keeping up the blogging and the serious training report, I wish I had done half of it! Sorry if I have disappointed anyone with my lack of blogs - I had great intentions to blog more regularly - however that thing call time was always against me and still is!!

The Breakthrough Babes Team are filming tomorrow morning (before 8am) for the BBC North West News - so fame for 60 seconds if we are lucky! To be shown Friday evening 6pm.

GOOD LUCK to everyone who is raising funds for their own special charity on Saturday - every penny counts and charities are very grateful to receive these donations and sponsorships from people who .......go that extra mile! So go the extra mile, stay safe, have fun and do it all again next year!

Once the Parish is over myself and 15 other locals will be training hard for our trek up Kilimanjaro in October , so we will swap the trainers for the hiking boots and the Sloc for Snaefell! Can't wait- hope I keep my toe nails this PW.

Thanks for reading our blogs ( I know some people did as they stopped me and told me)
here's hoping everyone achieves the PARISH they want to get to or the finish they have always wanted!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here we go, here we go, here we go......

Hurray! the Parish Walk is upon us but maybe, like me you are feeling a little nervous too! Unless you are one of the top 10/20 finishers there shouldn't be any pressure on us BUT we do feel the pressure to succeed- whether its a faster finish or to 'go a bit further' or reach another Parish or just your own personal challenge!

After the Parish, maybe next week, or when our blisters have healed, our joints are more supple and we have forgotten the pain we were in when we stopped walking - we all set ourselves another challenge for next year's walk! and can't wait to plan our great intentions to "do more training" - or maybe that's just me!

Well I eventually managed to get No. 1 (eldest) son out of bed at 7.30am on Sunday for a walk up round Glen Roy - he thoroughly enjoyed the countryside, the peacefulness, and spending some quality time with Mum!! The walk went well but his stride was twice the length of mine - so I doubt we will walk together on Saturday. This was his longest walk yet (9miles).

Son No.2 (middle one) is walking with his 'love of his life' Sarah and as they are both under 21 they will be finishing hopefully at Peel!

Enjoy the walk everyone - pack plenty of supplies (kitchen sink is handy) it's going to be hot, hot!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Counting down....

Okay so how many of you like me are starting to panic now that you didn't keep to your training plan to compete in the Parish Walk 2010?

Well I would be lying if I said I have ever had a plan - I never have a plan of training, or even on the day where I should be at what time or what I should be eating and drinking - for me it seems to work when I just go out there and get on with it- Last year my first part of the race was quite slow and I didn't feel very motivated but the second half was a different race altogether. I never know how it is going to be on the day - but then neither do any of us.

Most of all it's a great event, bringing many of us all together around our wonderful countryside.

Oh so what walking have I been doing - not much as I have been in Italy on holiday with my family which we all enjoyed - lots of walking whilst sightseeing though!
Am walking to work and back this TT week as it's quicker than driving!

Have a safe TT everyone and take great care on the roads this week if you are out walking or driving.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Not long now..........

I had a lovely walk tonight with Sarah (PW 1st timer) straight after work and we walked the route from Upper Pack Horse Lane in Lonan up the tiny windy roads (more like a pony track) to Glen Roy and dropped back down to Laxey - what a beautiful part of the island !

The views looking back as we climbed the hilly roads were breathtaking - there were new lambs jumping about in the sunshine, horses and ponies with their heads up when they heard us talking and spoiling their peace and quiet, a pheasant jumped out of the hedge, cows grazing on the fresh new grass, a beast that looked like a Yak! with long, pointing and menacing horns, cockerels were crowing in the nearby cow field. We heard a peacock calling and there was birdsong over head.

The hedgerows were full of golden gorse, primroses and bluebells abundant, and the may flower peeped through the long grass! I know this sounds more like a wildlife stroll but.... it really was a
very enjoyable walk and it was quite challenging "up hill and down dale " . We walked about 9 miles and plan to do it again on Sunday!

The weather is looking good now and you can see many walkers out training in the early mornings and late evenings.

What ever training you do, be it long distance or short walks just enjoy it, take a look around you and remember how lucky we are to live on this beautiful island.

Have a good weekend all - Angie

Sunday, May 2, 2010

All things bright and beautiful..............our countryside

Training has been hit and miss over the last few weeks! I have been keeping up the short walks as they are less time consuming and very enjoyable. However I did take a loooong walk today with my son James, who is competing in the Under 21's race to Peel. Our older son, Rob, remained in his bed - again! Will he even get to Rushen on the day I ask myself!!

We walked from Douglas and followed the Parish Walk route to Rushen Church. It was a beautiful day and although chilly to start, we soon stepped up the pace and stared to really enjoy the challenge. We have now walked the first 32 miles to Peel in 2 parts and thoroughly enjoyed the route, the views and generally the countryside. The daffodils are fading, but the primroses and bluebells are really starting to flourish - and the hedgerows are abundant with them - I also noticed that there are numerous dandelions everywhere - even our back garden! The cattle have been turned out to the fresh spring grass after a long Winter indoors, the little lambs were following the ewe's round the fields. These are all wonderful things you just don't see when driving the car.

Over the next few weeks I need to step up the miles - yeah rather late as usual! but it's never stopped me getting round, so best foot forward and lets all enjoy the Springtime.

Any tips on how to keep your toe nails I really would welcome!

Thanks Angie

Friday, April 2, 2010

......up over the Sloc and down to Peel !

2 weeks ago I encouraged my 2 older sons to attempt the Parish Walk this year - James is 19 and Rob is 21- a little unsure they agreed to let me sign them up ( and pay for them!!) After all the years of supporting me I felt it was time for them to give it a go!

Last Sunday was a beautiful morning and with my son James, his lovely girlfriend Sarah (both new entrants in the Parish this year) and my friend Kim, we all set off from Rushen Church and slogged our way up the Sloc! I thought it would be good for James and Sarah to experience this section before the big PW day.

'The Young Ones' led the way and set the pace for Kim & I. We were sure us ' Not So Young Ones' would out walk them on this 12 mile walk over the hill and down to Dalby - not to be! They stayed ahead and walked in great style, enjoying their first long training walk -

Walking past Niarbyl around midday I sent a text to Rob to let him know what he was missing - but he said he was in the best place after a heavy night out - still under the duvet! That won't get you far Rob!

We all made it to Peel in a good time and deceided we would walk more of the route from Douglas to Ballasalla or even to Rushen next time.

2 weeks ago I walked (crawled ) up the coastal side of Cronk Ny Arrey Laa, in training for Kilimanjaro with the other 14 trekkers led by farmer Paul Costain - this was tough and very steep climbing up from the shore line - even the sheep didn't get to some sections we did! Whilst we didn't experience any 'altitude sickness' it was exhausting!

My training at the gym is going well -visiting twice a week I am feeling fitter than ever and looking forward to a long walk on Easter Monday with friends.

I hope you are having a good weekend and I wish you all a very Happy Easter!

Shame about the weather ! Angie

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Still alive & kicking!!!

Sorry for the missing blogs! Lots been happening lately, I have been in London for a few days, had a rotten cold ( I think I caught the one that Dudley has had all Winter!) and was in Blackpool last weekend with the family who were competing at a Brass Band Championship contest with great results!

2 weeks ago I started at the Ladies Only - Body & Mind Gym in Douglas, who are very kindly sponsoring me a 6 month membership to get me round the Parish Walk and up that Kilimanjaro mountain in October! So I have a lovely personal trainer called Paula who on my first week said we would just take it easy to get started- and so I was fine-

Last night at the Gym. Paula really put me through my paces! I didn't use any major equipment just stepping, bending, stretching, lifting, kicking etc and boy do I feel it today!! I have muscles where I didn't think I had any! I now need to attend more classes and really strengthen my lower half of my body and increase my stamina.

I am still walking short 2-4 mile walks about three times a week, which isn't enough but it's all time permits at the moment. I have so much charity work going on after my own work there's little time for anything else.

I, like everyone else must be looking forward to the clocks going forward to bring us lighter evenings - I am hoping the Easter weekend will be a fair weather one and getting some extra walking in!

Keep walking and talking !

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2010 ..........a challenging year

I have been that busy training that I haven't had time to 'blog' ..... well not quite true but I have been full on with work and other commitments so sorry this blog is overdue!

I have been out on the roads quite a bit these last couple of weeks albeit short walks of 3-4 miles - and last Sunday I walked up Snaefell in the rain and mist to try my skills at mountain trekking!! I have to be honest I was not very comfortable doing this . Okay, so I had my Parish Walk trainers on which slipped about on the wet mountain side, my feet were not supported as they should be, and I have decided I need to buy the right footwear for the right job. I did not have the right wet gear either.

So what is this mountain trekking all about you may ask?? Well myself and 13 other Manx residents have signed up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in October later this year in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. The Kili mountain is the 'roof top of Africa' and a huge challenge for us all. Snaefell is the only 'mountain' I have ever ascended and Kili is 10 times higher than this.

It is a 10 day trek , the trekking isn't the hardest part of the journey it is coping with the high altitude which can leave you suffering great sickness, feeling weak, headaches, breathlessness
( does that sound a bit going round the long stretch to Bride?) Well my Parish Walk training will continue and along with my Kili training I will be expecting to be 'supa fit' !

This weekend I am going to buy my first pair of hiking boots and probably some thick walking socks! I am told the temperatures are very extreme up there - we start off at the bottom of the mountain in tropical temperatures and as we climb to the top it is like being at the North Pole - minus 15 degrees ! I have already bought some non glam thermal underwear (long johns to those of us over 40).

That's all for now, oh if anyone would like to sponsor me ( direct to Breakthrough Breast Cancer ) please visit - I would be truly grateful. Thank you -Angie

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dodging Doggie Deposits !

This morning I went out for a long walk and whilst I was enjoying the countryside around Braddan I took my eye off the pavement for a split second and 'squelch' - I can't tell you what words came out of my mouth next! Good job no one was around me, but I could be seen scraping my trainer on the patches of grassy areas at the side of the road!

Okay- not a nice subject, but then neither is Dudley's Flaky Feet and Slimy Snot or my Drop off Toenails! But I can't tell you how annoyed I was!! I bet most of you have had this happen! Don't you always have to check your feet before you walk in through your front door, particularly after a dark evening walk. Why is it just a few irresponsible dog owners let the side down of all dog lovers.
I had a couple of 'walk home' walks from work (Douglas to Onchan) last week and whilst this isn't far it's keeping me motivated.

Looking ahead to the back end of this year I have some serious training to get down to for my next charity challenge, but more about that next time-
Have a great week - Angie

Sunday, January 24, 2010

DO IT FOR CHARITY .................

There must be many thousands of pounds raised for various charities across the Island every year from participants in the Parish, I too have raised for many different worthwhile organisations. The people of the Isle of Man are so generous when it comes to putting their hands in their pockets for charity- there are over 600 registered charities here in the Isle of Man.

Remember the year 2008, that very wet Parish ?? My employers, The Bank of Scotland Int. (HBOS) challenged 80 of their UK workers to come to the island and attempt the 'Parish'. Each had to raise a minimum sum of money for the Bank's Charity of the Year, Clic Sergent (a UK children's cancer charity). The day before the Parish, we collected them from the airport and sea terminal on a bright and sunny Friday and settled them into their hotel, with a free afternoon to enjoy the sights and sea views of our capital, Douglas. In the evening we shared a meal and a welcome presentation from our bosses to our walking guests. Parish walk officials attended and registered our visitors giving them an overview of what they should expect the following day. They made our guests very welcome and wished them luck for the following day.

I wasn't walking that year as I was one of the organisers bringing the walkers to our shores - I drove a 10 seater mini bus following our teams around the course. We ferried them all to the NSC on what started out as a dry and calm morning, we had over 100 packed lunches, water, juice, fruit and energy bars for our teams, enough to feed an army and enough bananas to feed a Zoo.

We divided the walkers into 3 groups -
1.those walking to Rushen 2. those walking to Peel 3. and those attempting the full Parish.

We had 20 HBOS walkers all signed up to continue past Peel and so we provided 20 support drivers from the Bank all prepared for a long evening ahead.

Of course as we all know the dry, calm day did not continue for long- I was in the mini bus at Santon when the rains came down and the wind got up. We were trying to find 80 walkers' rain coats and hats in tons of bags and back packs in the 3 mini buses- we had named and colour coded their bags but of course the walkers were well spread out even after 10 miles of walking! I guess we hadn't quite planned for 80 of them requiring items of clothing from their bags at the same time but the biggest difficulty was the traffic on the roads and having a large mini bus to manoeuvre!

Most of the first group of walkers had reached Rushen , soaking wet, cold and hungry- the plan to coach them to Peel to see their colleagues reach the second part would have been great on a fine day- so the coach took them straight back to the Sefton for a hot bath and some rest.

Driving up the Sloc desperately trying to identify 'our' guys, (they had been issued with fluorescent armbands for ease of us locating them) but was made more tricky as they had donned their coats and fleeces over their armbands and numbers in order to take protection from the driving wind and rain or should I say sleet. A gentleman from Douglas was knocking on the window of my side pleading to be rescued, he dragged himself onto our mini bus, so glad to get out of the appalling weather. (I received a phone call from him on Monday morning thanking me for 'saving' him on the Sloc!!) Once we got many of them to the Round Table we phoned ahead for our local colleagues to come and return them to their hotel - They were exhausted, soaked and pretty miserable. It was so unfortunate for these guys to experience this awful weather in their 1st Parish Walk as most of us know it's a wonderful friendly occasion where everyone is happy to be taking part and being a part of this fantastic event !

Well all of our walkers finished either before or at Peel except for one of the HBOS team member and that was Martin Malone - Manx resident and CMI employee (part of the HBOS Group). Well done Martin for being our only finisher, I am quite sure I would not have been able to continue had I been walking, although there were over 100 finishers which was amazing!

Later that evening I went down to watch the winners walk the Prom to the finish line and many of the HBOS guys were there to watch this amazing race come to an end - for some!

The next day we hosted a Gala Celebration lunch and many of them were presented with awards for various categories we had defined. They returned home later that day having had a wonderful weekend (despite the weather) and some vowed to return to 'tackle the Parish' again.
They did too, 3 people came back for more in 2009, one got to Andreas, one to Maughold and one actually finished 'The Parish' in drier and calmer conditions than the year before.
As ever the organisers did a brilliant job ensuring everyone arrived back safely despite everyones struggle with the elements!

Over £80,000 was raised that year by all our HBOS walkers for the children's cancer unit which was just magnificent and a real purpose to their eventful weekend in the usually beautiful Isle of Man.

If you are 'tackling' the Parish this year maybe you can raise a few pounds for a charity close to your heart, they will be extremely grateful for your efforts and every little helps. Get a team together, ask for sponsorship, people from the Isle of Man are so very generous and above all have some fun going out for walks and keeping fit. Have a good week- Angie

PS: Did I say I had been training? I have honestly, not very long walks but little and often is my motto - for now!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Toe nails - or lack of them!

Oh my goodness where has the time gone since my last blog!! Well I have been busy with this and that! .. and I have been out training!

I didn't get out in the snow to train apart from having to walk to work on the Tuesday .. in my wellies! Which was fine going in the fresh snow in the morning but walking back home from Douglas to Onchan in the evening on the trodden snow made it very slippy for me in my farmyard footwear!

How beautiful and peaceful every where looked and sounded with out the noise of the cars all around us. As I walked home I must have seen a dozen snowmen in the gardens on route and one excellent polar bear at my neighbour's! It is so rare to get the dry and plentiful snowfall, I am sure all the children enjoyed it!

Does any other Parish Walker suffer with a loss of toe nails after/during the walk? Not just one toe nail but several! On my first finish in 1997, not sure how I was supposed to feel, look or act post Parish Walk apart from surprised, and shattered, when one day I noticed something stuck in my sock! It was a small toe nail - I hadn't anticipated this to happen - after many hours walking, your feet almost become numb from being constantly pounding the pavements and being stuck in the same trainers for so long- Mine longer than many others! Over a couple of weeks one by one of my nails dropped off and 'sadly' I kept them in a small box- I think I lost 5 or 6. One week later I went to school at 3.30pm to collect our sons and our 7 year old came out to say his teacher wanted to see me! Not again I thought, as he is the middle one he always seemed to be getting up to mischief. Mrs Q asked me if I had lost anything, no I thought, and she produced one of my 'dropped off' toenails she had confiscated earlier!! James had been scaring all the girls with this 'giant' toe nail . Each time I finish the Walk I lose between 4-6 toe nails and it takes time for them to re-grow - My big toe nail has just this last week grown to full length since June 2009.

Sorry if you are squeamish, I hope you weren't eating your lunch reading this - still it's never as bad as Dudley's foot photo!

My husband & I went out this morning and walked for over 2 hours - not sure how far it was but it felt good and we enjoyed good weather. I think this year I will have completed the most training ever, blogging makes me get out there and WALK!

Have a good week - Angie

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fifth Fabulous Finish - 2009

Hi there

Hope you all had a great festive season , and getting back to some 'normality' ! Well the weather makes it harder to get out and train, or to stop eating those left overs and chocolates - but if you did make a New Years resolution, I wonder if you have stuck to it! I never make one as I don't feel it's a good time of year to make sacrifices, dark winter nights, the need for warm and hearty food, and the long wait for Spring time.

I did go out early Sunday morning and walked for 6-7 miles - it was icy but calm and I was well wrapped up, my legs are a bit stiff today (may have something to do with my ice skating fall on New Years Day ouch - it hurt!)

In my last blog I was telling you about my last years Parish Walk where I got up to the Hibernia (after Maughold) -The first year I completed the walk, my husband & support driver Ian, stopped the car at the top of the Hibernia waiting for me to get to the top of the hill and fell asleep - I remember thinking as I walked past him - should I wake him or leave him for a snooze - (he is a Postie and had been up since 5am the previous morning) it was some 40 minutes before he caught me up- was I glad to see him.

Next comes the Glen Mona and The Dhoon stretch on the way to Laxey, there were still a few walkers infront and behind , you can tell because there are more cars coming and going and voices in the darkness ahead and behind. It's a good feeling to see Lonan Church looming as it is almost a mile from the main road to get to it and the same back down again! As I walked down the Whitebridge Hill ( I really dislike walking down here because of the traffic - at any time of the day) my parents and sister drove up , horns blowing , lights flashing, boy was it good to see them, although Mum & Dad had been out the night before with me up to Andreas. I happily walked into Onchan village, my home for 27 years although there was no one around it felt good to be 'home' and take the turning into the Butt and up to my Onchan Parish Church - this Sunday I was too early for the morning communion I often attend. Peter & Bridget Kaneen were checking me in at the church gates and said to me these words of encouragement - 'Keep going there are a few ahead of you and you can catch them, go, go Angie' I was feeling great and stepped up a gear to find the walkers ahead -I passed by my own front door on Royal Avenue, where 2 of my son's were waiting for me, (the eldest was at Uni) I did pass 3 walkers on Royal Avenue and Port Jack area but the one guy on the Promenade ahead was just too strong for me! Well done Martin!

Crossing the line at the War Memorial on Douglas Promenade, with many of my family there was just fantastic, I never believed I would manage to complete the Parish again following my illness - but there you are, never say never! If you have a goal, go for it, no matter what happens to you in life, get up and live it - you only get one chance!

Thanks for reading - Angie