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Thread: Family commitments

  1. #1
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    Family commitments

    I'm in the early stages of thinking about doing a round next year. I reckon I've got a good base to build on, having run ultras for the past few years, so am not too worried about the physical challenge, but am concerned by the amount of time I'm going to need to spend away from the family in what is essentially a selfish pursuit of my goals. How much time is realistically required to reccie the route, help support others in order to get experience and build a network of potential supporters, and get the necessary climbing and time on feet in that will be needed? How have others negotiated this with their non-running families?

  2. #2
    Master wheezing donkey's Avatar
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    I've been supporting BG attempts for 34 years now. Back in the mid - late 80's, two guys that I supported on separate occasions were divorced by their wives, over the weekends spent away on their own - you could say that Bob Graham was cited as the co-respondent.
    Many might not see it as being in the spirit of the challenge; but in actual fact you don't need to recce the entire route. I know of several successful rounds where the contender has been very au-fait with one particular leg and having supported many others on that leg, he has built up a network of good friends who are each very au-fait with another leg - there's no point in having supporters if they are merely acquaintances that you cannot trust to the nth degree ..... I can't get my head round the number of people who come on here begging for complete strangers to rock-up and support their attempt ..... you need to be every bit as au-fait with your support as you are with the route - even more so. If you serve your apprenticeship by supporting others, you'll have the right network to get the support you need
    In the club that I belong to, a contender is referred to as "the willing victim" - on the day you just do as you're told by a slick posse of very polished supporters. Your only responsibility is to be fit enough to do as you're told. Last thing that you need is the "victim" arguing with experienced support.
    Last edited by wheezing donkey; 20-03-2017 at 10:13 PM.
    I was a bit of an oddball until I was abducted by aliens; but I'm perfectly OK now!

  3. #3
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    Ian, I have to admit to pointing several contenders this way, having been asked if the Club knows of anyone who could help them on their round/attempt. Though I do point out that supporting other attempts will earn brownie points.
    Bob

    http://bobwightman.co.uk/run/bob_graham.php

    Without me you'd be one place nearer the back

  4. #4
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    Maybe I'm naive, but as a newcomer to this I would have thought it was pretty good strategy to help others out first, as this will get you experience and, hopefully, some contacts and potential future supporters.

    This is possibly an even harder sell to the family, however: "Look after the kids will you while I swan off for the weekend to help out a stranger I've met on the internet"...

  5. #5
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    If it's going to cause tensions or other problems with the family then don't do it. Unless you value running the BGR more than you value the wishes of your family. That's my two penneth, from a family man who would LOVE to do the BGR but is not willing to cause domestic upset to the degree necessary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Simon.B View Post
    Maybe I'm naive, but as a newcomer to this I would have thought it was pretty good strategy to help others out first, as this will get you experience and, hopefully, some contacts and potential future supporters.

    This is possibly an even harder sell to the family, however: "Look after the kids will you while I swan off for the weekend to help out a stranger I've met on the internet"...

  6. #6
    Senior Member wjb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benshep View Post
    If it's going to cause tensions or other problems with the family then don't do it. Unless you value running the BGR more than you value the wishes of your family. That's my two penneth, from a family man who would LOVE to do the BGR but is not willing to cause domestic upset to the degree necessary.
    The way you're running Ben I reckon you could do it without causing any upset to your family. You could set off running from Keswick at midnight and be back in Ilkley in time to put dinner on the table! No need for recces just get BM and AW to show you the way!

  7. #7
    Master MorganW's Avatar
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    I knew there was a good reason why I put myself through this at the ripe old age of 21. Girlfriend free at the time too......😉

  8. #8
    I made sure the wife fully understood how important it was to me to do it. So she agreed to give me some latitude for 12 months to train and recce and I agreed to keep the racing and recceying to a minimum on a weekend. I've taken days off work around our other commitments, so as to minimise impact as best I can. I've supported on legs 1 & 2, as I can do a days work, support a round and get back just in time to see the family get up (if they sleep in). We even agreed a budget covering fuel, food and training kit (she's an accountant), hopefully I'll stick to it! All I have to do is run 66 miles in June. The issue will become a problem if I don't go sub 24, then I'll need a plan B
    On the build up to a 2017 BG attempt

  9. #9
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    Simon - it's an interesting and sensitive post. You need to keep your family on board - that's the most important thing. I am fortunate in that I live in Cumbria so was able to get the required training in without too much fuss. However, this usually involved early mornings (e.g. starting running at 5.30am) or doing night runs once the children were in bed (e.g. running at 10pm and getting back at 5am). This did lead to a lot of tiredness but I think it helped me cope in the long run with running at unusual times of the day.

    From what you say, you are used to ultras so fitness shouldn't be a problem. It is worth recceing the route just to give you a psychological awareness of what to expect on the round - even if you just do it once at least you'll know what Yewbarrow looks like.

    It is a good idea to support others. I have supported a few Leg 2 rounds in the last year or so - this is often easiest because it's at night thus minimising disruption to family. This may be an option for you too depending on where you live. If I were you, I'd keep an eye on what rounds are going on and see if you can be of assistance (BG facebook page can be a source of information) and fit your running around family life in the least disruptive way to them.

    I'd be happy to support your Leg 2 in 2017!

  10. #10
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    Simon - it's an interesting and sensitive post. You need to keep your family on board - that's the most important thing. I am fortunate in that I live in Cumbria so was able to get the required training in without too much fuss. However, this usually involved early mornings (e.g. starting running at 5.30am) or doing night runs once the children were in bed (e.g. running at 10pm and getting back at 5am). This did lead to a lot of tiredness but I think it helped me cope in the long run with running at unusual times of the day.

    From what you say, you are used to ultras so fitness shouldn't be a problem. It is worth recceing the route just to give you a psychological awareness of what to expect on the round - even if you just do it once at least you'll know what Yewbarrow looks like.

    It is a good idea to support others. I have supported a few Leg 2 rounds in the last year or so - this is often easiest because it's at night thus minimising disruption to family. This may be an option for you too depending on where you live. If I were you, I'd keep an eye on what rounds are going on and see if you can be of assistance (BG facebook page can be a source of information) and fit your running around family life in the least disruptive way to them.

    I'd be happy to support your Leg 2 in 2017!

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