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Friday, 11 June 2010 13:07

Climbing Kilimanjaro: Blog 3

Written by Tim Hornby
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June 2010 Follow Tim Hornby as he prepares for his Kilimanjaro Climb in September this year. (Click here to read his first blog) So much has happened since I blogged last, I hardly know where to begin! I could come up with all sorts of  lies reasons for the big gap between blogs, but I won’t. I ran a half marathon back in March in one hour, 57 minutes and 48 seconds which I was dead chuffed about (I was aiming for under two hours). Since then though I’ve not been to the gym or for a run once. My midriff is starting to reflect that a little now and I need to do something about it. I haven’t forgone training entirely however; the big Trailwalker challenge in the middle of July is fast approaching and the team and I have been working hard to get prepared to do 100km in one very long day. We’re aiming to complete it in about 26 hours or so, but to be honest I will be very pleased to finish, regardless of how long it takes. This training and the looming event have been great opportunities to wear in my brand-spanking new walking boots (well, they’re far from “brand-spanking new” now, as I’ve already walked about 100 miles in them, which, now that I’ve actually written “100 miles” is a shock even to me!). They’re Asolo Power Matic 200 GTX and cost me £165 and they are bloomin’ marvellous! Quite hard soles, great ankle support, comfortable (now, anyway) and, with the help of zinc oxide tape and some decent socks when I first starting wearing them, they haven’t given me a single blister. I am a little upset with their name which sounds much more impressive than the car I own. It’s almost like you need a cinematic voice-over guy to say “Power Matic 200 GTX: Better than Tim’s car.” Although, come to think of it, it’s probably about right considering they were roughly a third of the price I paid for my little motor (and will probably last longer too)! I discovered that the primary language for Tanzania is Swahili and English. English is great news because I don’t know much Swahili. In fact, the only words I’ve ever been taught are swear words (juvenile, I know) and I have mentioned before about being conscious of not offending locals, so I think I’ll stick to English and wash out my potty mouth with a bar of soap. I also discovered that my geography is pretty appalling for someone who works in the travel industry. I blame it on the back-office roles I’ve been in, not having to be in direct contact with our product and all that (ah-hem). I believe I previously mentioned that I hadn’t visited the African continent before, but for reasons that I couldn’t begin to explain didn’t realise that Morocco was in Africa (and I’ve been there, coincidentally with Explore, and it was one of the most wonderful places I have ever visited on our beautiful Earth). I thought Morocco was in Europe, right between Egypt and Cairo, which are both in Europe too, right? Less said about this, the better. My buddy (who I hope is less geographically impaired than I am), Stitch, and his parents have done a wonderful job of sucking me in to a major charitable campaign for our Kili climb. I went for dinner at a friend of their family’s house one evening to meet their disabled son, Benjamin. He goes to a local school for young people with disabilities where they get all sorts of equipment to help them communicate. Benjamin can’t speak, he uses his eyes and sometimes his hands to show a limited number of responses such as “yes” and “no”, but the school he attends have ingenious technology that allows him to select words, phrases, expressions and the like just by using his eyes to select them from a screen. Stitch and I are going to try and raise enough money for him so that he can have one of these clever little devices at home. As you can imagine, this will enable their family to communicate much more effectively with Ben especially during long school holidays. Nothing like piling on a bit of pressure for us to do our best on Kilimanjaro, but if I didn’t plan to put in 110% before I certainly do now. My friends and family, colleagues, suppliers and Facebook friends (let’s face it: Facebook friends don’t necessarily feature in any of the aforementioned categories) are going to be sick to death of me asking for sponsorship from them, especially as we are still pushing for the Oxfam sponsorship for the Trailwalker challenge (cheekily, please click here to sponsor!). I must try and motivate myself to get back to the gym, it’s just so darned hot in there in the Summer because their idea of air-conditioning is open windows. That sounds like a rubbish excuse. By the next time I blog I will be back there regularly, will do some more running, will eat more healthily, will have quit smoking and drinking and won the lottery. If any two of those things happen, I will be content (and possibly very rich). That's it for now - speak to you again soon Tim

Read 14201 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 15:33