Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tweet Tweet! Twitterati.

Tweet Tweet A Woo!

You can follow Chase The Rainbow on Twitter @HimalayaQuest

For bang-up-to-date nonsense please follow!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alas poor Seigfreid, I knew him not well.

Blimey, I don't where to start. I've been a very busy boy these last few days.
I know, I'll start at the beginning; if I can remember it! I can't even remember where I left off last time.
I'm very pleased with the "Please sponsor us" buttons that Matt added last week; I'll be even more pleased if someone ever uses them :D
Where was I... Yes, Friday. I was late finishing work on Friday which was a bit of a bummer really because I had scheduled (In my mind) a 10k run, before going out on the town to get drunk and embarrass myself with my lovely friends Anita Barley and Krusty McBurton. "I'll just have to be a little bit late for our shenanigans" I told Anita on the phone. She gave me a stern telling off and told me in no uncertain terms not to do it again. She's a bossy madam that one.
And so to the run; I struggled a bit for the first couple of miles to get into my stride. I've had this problem since re-starting training, after to a long lay off due to debauched traveling around South-East Asia with my son Danny and my niggling injury which I may have mentioned in previous posts (Yeah yeah, we know. Enough already... OK don't get stroppy! :D).
South-East Asia; now there's a story that needs telling! Perhaps I'll leave that one for another day :D

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What a truly sad turn of events for the Norwegian people.

Having witnessed the events unfolding in Oslo yesterday, in the UK media, I am left aghast and speechless.
I was very fortunate to visit Oslo last year; and a more beautiful and welcoming people it is hard to imagine. It is one of my outstanding travel memories.
The Vigeland Park, The Edvard Munch Museum, The Fram Museum, The National Gallery, The Viking Ship Museum, The Nobel Peace Centre, The view from the Opera House and many more wonderful attractions all done with Norway's understated charm; the list is a long and glorious one. Oslo is one of the most outstandingly beautiful cities in the world and the Norwegian people are some of the most relaxed and charming people I have had the pleasure to experience. I thank you for the cherished memories.
I cannot begin to imagine the pain you are suffering. You have my most sincere and heartfelt condolences.
Love to you all from the guys at Chase The Rainbow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More fireworks required please! :)

I’ve had another busy week blissfully wandering through my bubble of a life. If only work didn’t get in the way, it would be a truly harmonious existence. Internet stuff has seemingly sucked up much of my precious life since this embryo of an adventure started to take shape. This blogging malarkey can be very time consuming and along with my butterfly-esque social life I have almost no time at all for sleeping!

Matt has now added JustGiving buttons in the  'Please sponsor us' box on the right, so that all you lovely people can make very kind donations to our chosen charities; Rainbows Hospice and Whizz Kidz. Please consider splitting your donations between the two charities if you don’t have a personal preference. Unfortunately it isn’t possible to have a dual page and so they are both done individually. Sorry about that. Anyone wishing to donate to Wilco’s cause can contact him direct on

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fame at last! Ugly mugs appear in local newspapers.

My thanks to Paul lynch of The Ripley & Heanor News and The Belper News for featuring The Himalaya Quest 2012 in this weeks editions, although I'm not sure about the bit that says I'm super-fit! Hopefully I'll be just about fit enough to complete the challenges by next February :D I like being called an action man though, unless he was referring to me being not very tall and that I actually resemble a child's toy in which case... Hahaha :)
Robert Butt is mentioned as being one of the participants unfortunately Robert had to decline due to work circumstances, which was a shame because he would have been a great addition to the gang.

Yesterday was a blast, I went down to Cannock Chase in the National Forest and with The Milky Bar Kid - Leigh Townsend - and did a full circuit of The Follow The Dog Trail and The Monkey Trail followed by a second circuit of 'The Dog' just for good measure, about 22 or 23 miles of good riding. We set a decent pace all the way around and I only fell off once and Leigh twice, which is a good result for us! Leigh was pleased to set himself a new personal best time on the first circuit at 2 hours 7 minutes which is pretty respectable for a man who shamelessly enjoys lots of beer and kebabs; although we don't go out with the intention of timing our runs it's nice to know how you are progressing. The trails at Cannock are a credit to The Forestry Commission and the local trail pixies, who have done a wicked job over the years establishing and improving the rides. The 2 interlinked trails offer sustained singeltrack pretty much all the way and have several fast and exhilarating downhill sections that are so much fun that you come out at the bottom smiling and whooping! We are regular visitors and love spending a bit of time down there. It's very good training too. The on-site bike shop (Swinnertons Cycles) at Birches Valley is well worth a visit, they even have a bike wash area, and the cafe pulls it out of the bag too with great food and drinks.
There's even a decent 'Go Ape' if you fancy hanging around in the trees for a few hours, the zip-line is great fun.

Some good news to follow soon, hopefully, with a possible sponsor announcement.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 5 Musketeers have a few up's and down's.

Once upon a time in Derbyshire, England...

 Well! What an epic day I've had today. Are you sitting comfortably children? Then I'll begin.
Yesterday, after an especially busy morning, I gayly trotted up to England's finest National Park (The Peak District) taking in the scenic route across Beeley Moor just to make it all the more rewarding. I arrived in Hathersage about 4.00pm, and thinking that my riding buddy Mark Franklin would still be still be out and about plundering the peaks finest descents, I called in at the Outside store for a coffee and a look at all the shiny wonders in their lovely shop. Why I even treated myself to a splendid new tee-shirt emblazoned with the slogan "Optimism can take you anywhere"; and if I do say so myself I look particularly dandy in it. Oh yes indeed.
Feeling rather pleased with myself I then detoured around to the crags of Stanage Edge and Upper Burbage to see if it might be worth and hour or two's climbing later in the evening. Unfortunately the sun was shining and the car parks were full so I trundled down to the Hardhurst Farm Campsite near Hope; to set up home for the night and to meet Mark. With the formalities dealt with we headed to the nearby Travellers Rest for a couple of beers and some trail fuel. Mark had a delicious looking Chicken Tagliatelle with Blue Cheese Sauce and I opted for the Home Made Lasagne and Salad; well eventually I did, because I kept getting distracted by the very attractive bar-lady and kept forgetting what I wanted. It's just a shame she didn't seem so distracted by me! I should have worn my new tee-shirt that would have turned her head let me tell you.
We spent the evening talking nonsense as only blokes can do, especially when helped along by a couple of flagons of fine ale, before turning in for a restful night under the stars. The local sheep however had other ideas and decided amongst themselves to hold in impromptu, and most likely illegal, Rave Party in the adjacent field. I'm pretty sure they were drunk too and were having a jolly good giggle at our expense. That will teach then for eating our kids I'll bet they were thinking! The Rascals.
What with me snoring away in the next tent poor old Mark must have had a terrible night.
Dawn came and went, (lovely girl) and news filtered through from the rest of the gang; Mitch Bryan was definitely coming and  Mark Bishton and his mate Charlie were going to be a bit late. We were prepared for this though because Bishy is always late.

To avoid any confusion with the two Marks, Mark Bishton shall henceforth be referred to as either Bishy, Captain Slow or simply The Captain as whichever is my wont.
With the team assembled, a mere 45 minutes late, we forged gung-ho out of the campsite. Mark Franklin had devised us a devilish route for the day and we'd be damned if we didn't succeed.
The only obvious 'spanners in the works' to this audacious plan were twofold; I hadn't had a proper ride in anger for months due to extended holidaying and a niggling leg injury and Charlie hadn't ridden since last August due to an interesting 6 month stay in West Hollywood, California; generally cavorting and partying for the whole period, and had only arrived back in the UK a few days ago. Such trivial banalities weren't about to dent our enthusiasm though.
The climb up Win Hill was merciless and no kind of a warm up I can tell you. Charlie and I even laboured behind Captain Slow and that really is pathetic. The reward for this purgatory is one of The Peaks' classic descents; The Beast. A rocky, loose and fast blast down through dense woodland. On the way down this triumph of nature I managed to park my bike in a dead stop against a gigantically large pebble, and flew gracefully over the handlebars. Taking a quick look around I realised nobody has spotted this so decided that discretion was the better part of valor and kept my mouth firmly shut, omitting to mention it to boys waiting at the bottom. The Captain wasn't so lucky :D. Mitch, Mark and I waited for an eternity for Charlie and The Captain to appear and when some time later The Captain trundled shakily around the bend our giggling began. Battered, bloodied and bruised; The Captain sheepishly told us of his spectacular ejection from his bike. Sympathy not being one of our more gentlemanly traits we amused ourselves for ages at his expense.
Immediately following this hard but heavenly descent is another punishing climb; up the opposite side of the valley past Hagg Farm. Once at the top the going gets a little easier for a while by traversing the ridge across to a very fast (Mark clocked 41mph) fire-road descent down to Fairholmes Visitor Centre at the top end of Ladybower Reservoir. Several miles then skirt around the banks of Derwent Water and Howden Reservoir up to the Slippery Stones bridge. Then the fun begins again.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Different strokes.

Well if yesterday turned out nice today turned out to be completely different to what I anticipated.
I had been considering a night on the town last night and a hangover today, along with a trip to the local swimming baths to blow off the cobwebs. However; Danny, my son, had other ideas and called me yesterday to see if I would pick him up from a rave in Birmingham at 05.30am this morning. Being the fool that I am, I agreed! I'll never learn :D
And so it was at 04.00am this morning that I dragged my weary bones out of bed, had my usual bowl of cereal/raisins and some fruit juice for breakfast and headed out the door for the hour long drive to Brum.
A quick call in at the (Markeaton) McDonalds Drive-Thru for a Latte should liven me up thinks I and so it did, eventually. However... (there's a few of those today!) I was beaten to the line by a considerable lady in a 4x4, who proceeded to dilly and dally over the menu for an eternity; I wondered if she was considering whether to have all of the menu or just some of it, but judging by the bag she was handed through the kiosk window I think she went for all of it just in case. And this is at 04.45am on a Sunday morning! By the time I received my much needed caffeine boost a mere 15 minutes had passed, 15 minutes I ask you! 15 minutes is a long time twiddling your thumbs at 04.45am on a Sunday Morning :D The queue of cars behind me had reached a biblical 9 by this stage, I wondered what they were all making of it. Not much I should imagine.
Anyhows nothing else of note occurred and I arrived back home at about 07.15am. By 08.30 I was back out the door and burning around the local bridleways on my beloved Mountain Bike (Pegasus; because it's like a flying horse!) and taking the scenic route to the swimming baths in Ripley.
I whizzed into the car park, propped Pegasus by the bicycle racks and pulled out my lock. However...(Told you!) I couldn't get the key into the hole and after stubbornly making a number of attempts I drew the conclusion that I may have brought the wrong key. I'm having a bit of trouble with keys this week.
So, putting on my best forlorn face and explaining about my complete lack of any discernible intelligence, I politely asked the young lady behind the counter if I might be permitted to leave Pegasus in the foyer? Hmm... after a brief consultation with the manager it was agreed I could leave it in the kitchen area out of the way. Marvelous. I skipped happily into the changing area and then plunged headlong into the busy pool.
About 10 lengths later I got a twinge of cramp in my left calf, bloody buggery bugger. I pulled up, massaged it for a while and decided to spend 20 minutes or so doing the walking exercise that Dave has been trying, it turns out it's pretty effective too; although I did get a few strange looks from some of the other swimmers.
Feels OK now thinks I, so I swim some more. 5 1/2 lengths later the right calf knots into a proper spasm and I lunge for the edge of the pool before I drown and try not to cry like a little girl. So that was the end of that.
Half a recovery shake and a latte in the foyer and I'm off on my trusty steed once more. Yay :)
A fast blast down the Greenway, a loop of the reservoir, and a few road miles to the fishing tackle shop in Somercotes to drink free tea for a short while. Another fast blast down Somercotes Hill and into Riddings Park for a few laps of the new BMX track with the kids. It's time I grew up someone said to me recently; not while I'm having this much fun I won't! Yet another fast blast down into Golden Valley and along Stone Row to the Cromford Canal. Down the towpath, round the reservoir and back onto the towpath once more. A call in at my mate Neil Truscott's house for more free tea (I like tea) and a refill for my water bottle and I'm off again, up Monument Lane onto the bridleway, past said monument and away towards Aldecar. Half way along I bump into another friend, John Brooks, and we chat briefly before I zoom off down a likely looking track; very steep, very long and very fun. At the bottom it turns in the wrong direction and I have to crawl all the way back to the top. it was worth it though :) Whee! Back on track, down through Langley Mill, along the Erewash Canal towpath and up the long climb from Shipley Boat. I find a way, cough, into the old American Adventure theme park and play around on the stair-sets and drop-offs for a while having loads of fun before lapping the lake and climbing up through the woods in Shipley Country Park. By this time I'm starving having eaten precisely nothing at all since 04.00am. Malnutrition was setting in. I think about calling in at the Visitor Centre for something to eat because by this time I'm fading fast and in danger of never making the last 5 or 6 miles home due to imminent starvation.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Turned out nice in the end! :)

A lovely day for it I'd say, whatever it is you're doing.
Me? Finished my last night shift at 06.00am, stayed in bed way longer than I meant too and dragged my fuzzy head into the world at the crack of 12.30pm. Spent a pleasant hour at my parents showing my mum how to do simple tasks on the internet for the umpteenth time this week/month/year/lifetime and then called in at Planet Carp in Nottingham and whiled away an hour or two talking nonsense, fishing and holidays. As it happened an old friend of mine, Jim Russell, was in there too; which made it all the more enjoyable.
Called in at my mate Mad Dave Martin's house (he really is mad as a rattlesnake) on the way home and chewed the cud in the 'Man Shed' there for a while before leaving with a great big bundle of home grown salad for me tea :) Cheers Dave.

As for my exercise regime? Nothing for a couple of days, you naughty boy, due to some muscle soreness after my last run (and a couple of 12 hour night-shifts).
Tonight however I almost excelled myself. Set off for a run down the lanes around Kilburn and Horsley but pulled up a couple of times because of some tightness in my left thigh, and massaged the muscle. I reckon I must over-compensating a little for the injury. I also nearly ran into a lamp-post whilst admiring a vision of blonde loveliness in the beer garden at the Coach & Horses.
I got my first shout today from and old school friend, Craig Weston, who was filling up his car as I passed the petrol station at Lower Kilburn. And then to top it all off with the proverbial cherry I was almost overcome with joy as the heavenly scent of cow manure drifted wantonly on the Summer breeze, as I hot-footed it up the Pit Fields and back to home. 7k give or take.
Plenty of stretching and a delicious 'For Goodness Shakes' Banana Recovery Drink and here we are. They are delicious too, I don't know how I never discovered them before; I bought 5 Banana and 5 Superberry flavoured ones from the Rat Race stand at Cliffhanger last weekend because they were on special offer. Man what a result that was, £1.00 each no less and worth every penny. If you are out there training give them a try you'll be impressed. I'll definitely be buying me some more of those!

If I can I'll drag myself to the pool tomorrow at the ungodly hour of 09.00am ("On a Sunday"? I hear you roar!), then do as many lengths as I can muster before packing my tent and heading off into the Peak District NP for a couple of days R&R with friends. Mountain Board? Check. Mountain Bike? Check, Rock Boots? Check. You'll do for me then.

Wilco got in touch to say he has an interview with a sporting website in Holland on Monday, which he hopes will get us a lot of publicity. Sounds good to me.
He also tells me that he is exercising at a rave in Holland tonight, with lots of beautiful girls. I must have heard him wrong.

Dave has been to the pool again and knocked out a nifty 40 lengths before doing his resistance, water-walking, exercises. That's about 10 more lengths than i can usually manage before being sick! :D Pretty impressive for a dude who takes pride in doing no exercise whatsoever, unless online gaming or fishing count?. Well done mate. I feel your pain.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WOW! 1000+ Views in less than a week :)

Wow, I really can't believe that the blog has received 1000+ views; in less than a week since launching!
Amazing. Thank You Everyone who has taken the time to look.

According to the stats there has been a lot of British and Dutch interest as you would expect really, but also from as far away as the USA and Alaska, Australia, Sweden, Chile, Italy, Germany, France etc

I wasn't going to blog today but I had to after seeing the stats counter go over 1000 :)
Anyway, day off for me today from training, legs are aching a bit too, so it's recovery time until tomorrow morning when I'm at the local Swimming Pool for a few lengths.
I must say I find Swimming the least enjoyable exercise that I do and it's also the toughest, I come away feeling really done-in but i know how good it is for me so I can live with a bit of boredom.
If only it were warm enough here in the UK to swim outside more often; then I would enjoy it a whole lot more!

Wilco Voulon and I have been in constant contact since he confirmed his place on the team for The Himalaya Quest, he has arranged several media appointments in Holland and has asked me to provide information for the articles. Sounds like we will be getting plenty of coverage over there, which will highlight what we are up to and bring in plenty of traffic for the charities. Well done mate :)

Justgiving links to both the UK charities and Wilco's chosen charity being put up on here very soon.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

1st run out on my nearly good as new leg!

Popped out for a 5K run tonight to see how my leg holds up, it came through fine, it's just the rest of me that didn't, so I'll up it to 7K on the next one and then stepping up to 10K twice a week if everything stays good :) Strangely I ran the whole way with the song 'Puff the Magic Dragon' going round and round in my head, weird.
So if you see a wobbly forty-something huffing and puffing along in skin tight compression wear, singing along tunelessly to Puff the Magic Dragon, give me a honk and I'll exchange it for a friendly wave; if I can raise my arm up far enough between gulps.
Lost my spare key, out of my trainer, on the way round and had to climb the fence into my back garden, and then through a very lucky open window into the house. I meant to lock it too before I went out and forgot to do it. Phew!
I then pulled off my trainers whilst writing this up and magically found it in the opposite shoe! I think an application for The Magic Circle should be flying off forthwith.
Fortunately and perversely I actually enjoy running, although it doesn't seem half as much fun as yesterdays Slacklining session or the blast through the woods on my bike, or a session at the climbing wall for that matter. I might do more of those instead :D. Am I talking myself out of running???
Note to self: find better place to store door key when running.
If you see a wheezing thirty-something with dodgy knee's bobbing around in the pool at Ripley Leisure Centre give him a shout too, we need all the encouragement we can get; PLEASE.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Photo's done :)

Dave and I met the photographer from The Ripley & Heanor News today and had the photographs taken to go with the article. This weeks issue hopefully.

I've started increasing my training schedule, if you can count slacklining with Matt all day as training! :D
I have also been out on the bike though for a couple of short but high intensity sessions in my local woods.
My poorly leg is responding much better, now it's been rested for a few weeks, since falling off at Cannock Chase; and the free massage I got at Cliffhanger really seems to have helped too. You can't beat free stuff :)

Dave 'dodgy knee's' Slater is starting his sessions tomorrow with some Swimming followed by Water-Walking; which the Physio recommended to increase the muscle tissue around his knee and give it more support. Turns out it's a great aerobic exercise too which burns around 250 calories in half an hour while supporting the joints using the body's natural buoyancy. Bonus. (That's walking in water by the way, not on it!)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Third member of the team announced for The Himalaya Quest

I am very pleased about this. I can formally announce that the third member of the team for The Himalaya Quest is my very good friend Wilco Voulon from Zwolle in the Netherlands.

Wilco is a fantastic addition to the team, he has a great character and will inspire us all with his determination & fitness; and his sense of humour. (Just look at that tee-shirt. He made it himself too!)

He has a strong military back ground and is a fine athlete. He will be a tremendous asset to the team during the trek.
Wilco has travelled the world both during and after his military career (I first met him in France when he was on a fishing trip).
He is currently working with Autistic children teaching them sports and recreation; and is also training for a triathlon in his home country.
This also means that we have to really step up our training or we'll never keep up with him! Ouch :D

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bio's updated :)

Chase The Rainbow/Himalaya Quest February March 2012

Mount Everest Base Camp Trek.
In February and March 2012 Neil Cottam, David Slater, and hopefully one other person, all from Derbyshire, are undertaking a difficult and unsupported, late-winter trek to the Mount Everest Base Camp area in Nepal.
Flying in to Kathmandu at the start of February we will have a couple of days acclimatizing to the time difference and the altitude before catching a bus to Jiri. From here we will start the trek on to Lukla and through the region taking in such iconic places as Namche Bazaar before winding up at Gorak Shep. We will then ascend to the Kala Pattar viewpoint (5554m) to take in the sight of world famous Mount Everest summit pyramid (you know the one, the classic photo with the plume trailing away from the summit!). Hopefully the weather will be clear and we can experience a great moment.

Weather and time permitting we will then have an extra day's trekking to visit the Base camp itself, after which we will descend back to Lukla for a return flight to Kathmandu. We anticipate that the trek will take around 21 days, unless of course the passes are blocked with snow! :)
The other guys will then be returning to the UK, leaving me to prepare for "The Worlds Highest Mountain Bike Race", suitably acclimatized for the altitude I hope.

The Yak-Attack, The Highest Mountain Bike Race in the World

The Yak Attack Starts with registration at the Kathmandu Guesthouse on March 2nd.
Commencing on March 3rd the race is a 12 day, Eleven stage event over 400km with 11000m of ascent! (but what goes up must come down! Whee!) With stages ranging from 17km to 67km; unfortunately not all the terrain is rideable and I will be shouldering the bike and hiking up some very difficult sections of 11km or more :( Why am I doing this??? :D
Only 30 competitors are allowed to enter; 15 Nepalese riders and 15 International riders. Only 8 international riders have finished The Yak-Attack unsupported in 5 years. My goal is to finish it, preferably unsupported but just to finish it will do.
I have no illusions about winning this event because I won't. In fact it's unlikely that an international rider will ever win it. The altitude problem is a huge barrier.

We will be adding links for our chosen charities shortly and a Justgiving page for each one so that you can donate to our causes if you wish to. Please! :D

I will be blogging regularly on what we are up to and how our training is going before the event and hopefully during our time in Nepal too, that does depend on access to and reliability of the internet in Nepal though!
We will also be adding a Twitter microblog shortly as well.

Welcome to Chase the Rainbow :)