Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Top Tips for Catalyst Festival

With just a few days before we pack our cars & head off to the Catalyst Festival, I thought I would share a few pearls of wisdom:

#1 Don't drink any liquid after 5pm ... or you'll face the 'long walk of the full bladder' at 2am.

#2 Take a torch, we've got 66 tents/caravans on the RFC site and 2am is not the time to make a new friend as you fumble into their temporary dwelling. 

#3 Don't assume everyone is having a good time except you. We only see their upbeat facebook/twitter quotes BUT I suspect everyone has a wobbly moment. 
#4 Take wet weather gear, we're camping in the UK. Enough said.

#5 Decide to be friendly to people who seem weird. Pretty soon everyone will seem weird because they're friendly. The perfect spiral.

#6 Jesus is supposed to be centre stage, not us. Think about that long enough and lots of stuff will get simpler and more bearable. 

#7 Avoid boredom, play Festival Bingo by spotting the people below... 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The Lakes with mates

Last Friday 8 of us from my Tri club went to the Lake District with our bikes for a long weekend. 
We stayed in a camping barn (Pyjama coughs and snoring was plentiful) which was pretty basic but very cheap! 
The weather can best be described as 'heavy downpours with a few sunny spells', it was more wet than dry. 
It was a great few days away, although some of the mountain passes nearly killed me due to the steepness of the climb followed by the sharpness of the descent! 
There were coffee stops, a few punctures and many sores legs. Can't wait to do it again sometime!
 Obviously we had to make time to clean our bikes!

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Vision Fund update

In Oct 2011 we started our Vision Fund, believing that God will provide for us our first home. 

We set ourselves the goal of raising £100k each year (on top of our regular giving) until the building was ours. We also said we would give away 10% of whatever comes in for the Vision Fund. 

On Sunday I gave an update on how year three is going: So far we have raised £74,971.62 with another £12,501.25 of pledges that still need to be honoured. We have given away £10,000 of Vision Fund tithe to Starting Point Reading

Assuming all the pledges come in, that leaves us with £12,437.13 still to be raised.

The plan therefore is to have a special offering at our celebration at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday 8th June. If every person gave £20 (+ Gift Aid) on that morning, we would cover the Vision Fund shortfall for this year.

Of course, come October 2014, all is reset and we shall try to raise another £100k ... but let's think about that after the summer break!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

First Tri of 2014

Yesterday, my son Joshua and I competed in the Hart Sprint Distance Triathlon, a pool based local race (400m swim, 20km bike, 5km run).

Joshua has proven himself to be faster over individual 400m swims and 5km runs, but we have never raced a 'Dad v Lad' Tri before. So there was a lot at stake!

It was perfect racing conditions (sunny, warm, light wind) making it a very pleasant experience (it has been cold and wet in previous years).

Our swims started at the same time but in different lanes and just as I turned to swim my last length, I saw Joshua out of the pool and running to his bike ... ARRGGHH!

Thankfully I had practised my swim/bike transition extensively and did my fastest yet. It didn't take too long before I caught up with him. Phew!

As I passed him I was A) pleased to have caught up; B) delighted we do something together we really enjoy; and C) Reminded that youth is no substitute to years of training/experience ;-)

Both our runs went well, Joshua really enjoyed the cross country course with it's deep stream crossing. We were also heartily cheered home by our fellow TVT club mates.

For the record, I won our inaugural 'Dad v Lad' race (probably the only time I will ever beat him) so am enjoying the heady glow of beating a future champion.

My time was 1:05:47 (3 minutes quicker than last year), placing me 33rd out of a field of 396 ... hooray!