Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Degree Over, I Become a Full Time 'Everest Aspirant'

It's been an incredibly busy month, with plenty of Everesty stuff going on- so i'll try to keep this post short for fear of boring everyone to death!


Firstly- congratulations to Kenton and Ran Fiennes, who reached Everest's summit early Wednesday morning last week. Ran is now the oldest man at 65, and KC has topped the Big One 7 times in 6 years now, so Mum: i'm in good hands!

The BBC are currently airing 'Everest ER' on Monday's at 7pm, which is a documentary following Kenton and Rob Casserely (also a guide on the 2010 expedition), if anyone would like to know more about who i'll be on my expeditions with and what it will be like on Everest, this show is a great insight- you can catch it on Iplayer:

Since finishing my degree i've gotten my teeth into finding sponsorship. It is possibly one of the most soul destroying tasks on the planet- like being a sales person, but the product that keeps being rejected is you... great!

Thankfully, for every few 'no's i've gotten some great contacts who are offering all kinds of support- and finally after two weeks of emailing and cold calling, i have finally gotten a bite!

I can't go into details at the moment, purely for fear of jinxing the whole deal, but as soon as it is concrete i shall most likely be shouting from the roof tops. I will say that it was possibly the best feeling i the world after opening countless rejection emails to read the words:
'Bonita, I am delighted to inform you that we would like to help fund your expedition...'

On the training front, the day after handing in my last essay i drove down to Devon for a coastal marathon, not exactly the end of term celebration i was hoping for but nonetheless we managed to celebrate in style after the race was over!

Myself, Rob Casserely and Stuart Burbridge ( are all heading to Everest next year and Rob is also on the Manaslu expedition in September, so it was great to go and meet the guys and stay with them for the weekend.

The race was awesome- the views were breathtaking and the terrain was very tough. Rob managed an amazing 18th place, whilst i managed to somehow take a shortcut and miss out two checkpoints. Now looking forward to the Mont Blanc Marathon, the pinnacle of training for this year- it's one month to the day and i'll be honest i'm pretty nervous: hiking at altitude is one thing, running at it is another!

This bank holiday was just spent climbing Snowdon in North Wales. Our team from Holloway chose to take the Miner's track to the summit, and knowing that it was only 3 miles long and had a vertical gain of about 800m, i decided that it was relatively chilled compared to my more usual trail races of 20+ miles and 2km vertical gain, so i would try and run to the top!

I collapsed on the summit in a pool of sweat, lungs heaving etc, to find that i had finished the route in 1 hour 33 minutes. Nothing in comparison to the 4+ hours spent on a coastal race, so i felt pretty good- though extremely angry that i didn't break 1.30- so really i just sat on the top pretty pissed off whilst waiting for the rest of the team... great!

In the end i called my mum, my little brother (Alfie, 8) answered and the conversation went something like this:

B: Alfie, guess where i am?
A: On top of Everest?

How could i possibly beat that?!

B: Er no, Mount Snowden in Wales!
A: Oh...
To say he sounded dissapointed would be the understatment of the century... oh well, must try harder next time!

Thanks to Bob, Mike, Lee, Simon, Kirsten, Rianne and Lucy for a fantastic time- we shall return to the barn for a naked mile one day, Kirsten and i will have to rise to the challenge!

Procuring sponsorship and publicity for Everest has reluctantly forced me into being uncharacteristically assertive- carpe diem etc etc, i am now one of those annoying people who 'networks', or attempts to anyway!

Today i saw that BBC Radio Berkshire were handing out some flyers in Reading, so i went up to the nicest looking one, shook her hand and blurted out:


Thankfully she (Katie, a producer for the station) was quite responsive to this information, duly interviewed me on the spot, took all my details and has promised to follow up with a radio interview soon- i just wish it was that easy all the time!
I have also secured a page 3 feature in the Staines Informer- not THAT kind of page 3! So will let you guys know when it is published.


Finally, this Sunday will see myself and a big team from Holloway, Oxford Brookes and the Bracknell Forest runners tackle the Salomon Turbo X race on Surrey Hill. It's gonna be messy... Good Luck guys- the race is on!

Will post pics from the race and hopefully some more details of the sponsor deal next week.

1 comment:

  1. Ah sounds like everything's coming together nicely for you. Congrats on the sponsorship deal! It's the hardest thing to do but so rewarding when it all falls into place - nice one!
    well done,