Tuesday, 3 April 2012

One project is coming along smoothly, welcome to 3 more! Oh, and I'm going to be on billboards!

Going to try and keep this blog a little bit more digestible but not sure how I'll manage, as there's so much amazing stuff going on at the moment and I'm loving all of it. It's only going to happen once.

Firstly, I'm going to get an audio clip made of my interview on BBC Radio Merseyside to put on the blog so you can listen again as it's no longer online. At first my fear of speaking made me very anxious, but now I've actually got a taste for it and I want to do more- I want to promote my Mont Blanc project and tell my story to the world, as well as being a torchbearer. I've written to Chester dee 106.3 and still waiting for a reply, got an interview with another radio station next week.

On the train back from London on Monday, me and mum were making some more progress with my charity night. Tickets will go on sale about 6-8 weeks before the event. In May sometime.
Finally catching up with my course fee, but still need to pursue other leads for kit etc and sponsorship. At £370 on my fundraising page, which isn't bad, but still a long way to go. Not even 10% there yet, but I'll get there. www.virginmoneygiving.com/montblanc2012
Handed in a grant application yesterday. My local village group, KADRAS, have a Young Persons Bursary grant of up to £100 for young people embarking in projects of any kind. If I am granted this, I will receive a £100 cheque this month which will go towards my personal costs. What a great scheme, great to see some support for youngsters nowadays.
Raised £70 last Thursday at a cake sale in school. 2.5 stressful hours at home of making cakes, including dropping one tray of cookies and burning a tray of muffins. Not much fun. Few bursts of the smoke alarm but, I had enough cakes (along with a small few which were bought) to make £70 at 50p a cake. Sold out in 7 mins, so that's £10 a minute thanks to a load of hungry kids. Got another in May, hopefully I can get people to help make cakes for me too this time. Went down rather well.

Guillaume, the owner of one of my charities, REACT, is unbelievably helpful, and I very much appreciate all of his support. He thinks I should do bucket collections at events, and there's loads around me- the Kelsall Folk Festival, the Kelsall Steam Rally and the delamere forest concerts. He's been organising this for me, such a great help. Will be good when the organisers actually decide to answer their phone! Will need volunteers, if you can help, email or call please!
But life as a torchbearer!? Phenomenal!!

I went to a photoshoot in London on Monday (the 26th). Now I thought the BBC was cool... but wow! The last time I went to the capital was in 2000 to watch my dad do the London Marathon (which I'm going to do when old enough). All expenses paid, we went down to Wembley after leaving from Chester station in the afternoon. I'd ran a killer 15 mile run that morning, but when we realised my stepdad's phone was in my mums handbag, minutes before the train was due, there was nothing stopping me legging it back to the entrance at full speed to return it to him, getting back just in time and feeling like a boss.
Got to Euston then I really enjoyed the experience of the Underground, getting us to Wembley Park where our hotel was. Strangely there was a guy behind me at Kings Cross, who towered over me, which is rare as I'm 6"3! Got to the hotel for tea time, got ourselves sorted out then I met up with two of my torchbearer friends I'd met online, Katie, and Reymund. Katie is a great friend and an ultracyclist and an epileptic like me, she does a lot of work for two Epilepsy charities. She's doing the RAAM bike ride, which is pretty impressive to say the least, takes me 20 mins to cover 5 miles on a bike, yet she's travelling 400 miles a day. Crazy but amazing stuff! Please check her blog out at http://cyclingwithepilepsy.blogspot.co.uk/ and tell her I sent you!

Reymund is somewhat of a celebrity in his home country of the Philippines, and is also a great friend too. We chatted for hours in the hotel lobby. Amazing people. Here we are:

Alex Staniforth Dizzee Rascal

All buzzing about it, got changed back into our kit again and came for another barrage of flashes and stinging eyes. Got asked to do a few daft poses which got a bit awkward, but fun at least. Got to 4 then it was time to leave, but an end to an awesome awesome day.
But here's the funny bit which we only found out at the end!

The pictures were taken on a huge camera, because, the picture of all of us with Mr Rascal are going to be put on huge billboards across the UK! These will be in every major city. Not sure exactly where but either way I'll be going to see one, 30ft wide! Hopefully nobody will vandalise mine :-) So happy. Unbelievable experience. The pic below is me with the torch in casual clothes again. Feels great. Did I tell you we get to keep our torches for free?

I'll be able to put a pic of the billboard up here between May-July as the relay takes place.

Yesterday, I was gobsmacked to get a message off a girl in the Philippines asking for my autograph as I'm 'famous!'. Going to post her a signed photo all the way to the Philippines... I'm humbled! I'd previously joked about being asked for autographs.

Me and my fellow torchbearer David Goodier made a page of the Chester Chronicle. By remarkable co-incidence, out of 8000 torchbearers, there are two of us on one road! David runs the Tarporley Scouts and has spent many years volunteering his time for the kids as he used to be a scout in his youth. A Lloyds TSB torchbearer, he is running on the same date as me, but in Rhos-on-Sea. It's great to highlight the sort of people we have in Kelsall. There was a great picture of us both near the sign of our road. Suggested to the local council that we receive some sort of commemoration- not quite expecting golden statues at the entrance to our road but we'll see what happens...

And I'll bring another not-so-small blog post to a close with my new upcoming projects. The day after Mont Blanc, Sunday the 29th of July, I am doing the Manchester-Chester 50 mile bike ride. But a couple of weeks later, just for good measure, in late August, I am now hoping to do the John O'Groats- Lands End bike ride in 10-11 days with 3 fellow torchbearers, Katie, Holly and Huw (who is 17 and another local torchbearer in Chester). We're going to be raising money for Epilepsy Action and Cancer Research UK, but there's no more details as of yet. I might be giving the 3 Peaks a go next year again, but this time, 3 times, in 3 days, non-stop. My knees are going to love me.

And instead of Kilimanjaro next year, I'm going to be doing a cheaper but higher Mera Peak in the Himalayas. Better preparation for my third project, hopefully to take place in 2014, which I shall refer to only as Project E for now, until plans have been made! :-)

Keep believing, keep achieving!

Living the dream, over and out.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alex,

    Congratulations on all your achievements and becoming an Olympic Torch Bearer.

    I live in Kelsall village and also have a photography business that I run from home. I believe that you are looking for prizes for a raffle (think I heard you are having a function at the Lord Binning to raise funds in June?). Well, I would like to donate a raffle prize of a photo session at my studio with a 10x8inch print also provided.
    Let me know if you you would be interested in using this in your raffle and we can make the necessary arrangements.
    Good luck with everything.
    Best wishes,