Following the Grantham run, training-wise the week was a quiet one as I didn’t want to aggravate my ITB problem. Exercised sensibly at the gym without a weight vest and kept on the treadmill avoiding the high impact of road running (which I usually favour).
Friday was a half-day and come lunchtime it was a dash to Heathrow airport on the underground. The reason? My very kind friend, Clare, had been hard at work over the past few weeks organising a pub quiz at Russells pub in Ranelagh, Dublin, to help with my fundraising.
Clare had been an absolute dynamo sorting out the venue, quiz master and heaps of prizes donated by local businesses. She’d even been interviewed on local radio highlighting my run and the charity I’m running for, Facing Africa.
On the flight over I prepared a little thank you speech and was actually quite overcome with emotion. Over these past 11 months I have been so touched by all the support I’ve received, from both friends and strangers alike, that I don’t think I can ever thank people enough for helping me along the way. By the time we touched down in Dublin, I’d managed to rally myself together ready for the evening ahead.
The quiz was due to start at 8.30pm, but I think that Ireland is pretty relaxed about a later start. We kicked off at 9.30pm. We had nine teams of around 50 people with Dermot, the pub co-manager, doing an excellent job as quizmaster and question setter. Clare, Kathy (Clare’s friend) and I kept the scores on the doors. I managed to drink about 3 inches of a lager shandy but felt it going to my head (I’m so out of practice) so had to give it a miss so that I could carry on with the mental arithmetic. We had a raffle at half time and every table seemed to win at least one prize, if not more – we had so many!
I managed to get round to most tables and talk about what I was doing and why, and demonstrated the kit I’ll be taking. I also managed to get through my speech without too much of a lump in my throat. I’ve never had such a warm reception before and I’d like to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome that evening.
In the end, the quiz was a close run thing with the “Non-Runners” team coming in just one point ahead of the second placed team. Well done to them!
Come the end of the evening we had also raised 670 Euros to go towards my fundraising target. Thank you to everybody involved for making the evening a success – Dermot, Russells, Kathy, the quiz teams and local businesses who donated – and especially Clare. I can’t thank you enough.
We rounded off the night with a cup of tea around 1am (how rock and roll?) with an early start ahead of us on Saturday morn.