Well we are back, best to start this story from last years race

Race Day 2013, It’s day I will never forget, 1000 odd people there to run / walk the race, family & friends there to support us, a great buzz in the air, but the thing I remember most is the feckin cold, my god it was freezing that day. But Myself and my running partner Shane Carroll stripped down to the shorts & shirt and headed on, in fairness I think it was the cold that kept us going for fear of god should we stop we would have frozen to the floor.

Myself and Shane took a steady pace, meeting up with friends along the way (Hi Terry O’Dowd and David Burke, troopers) and managed to complete the run in a respectable 1:47, I think the congratulatory bum slap every mile spurred us on.

Now there are two things I felt when crossing that line, a great sense of achievement, having never dreamed I could do it, it felt great to cross the line but better yet was to see my wife and family at the finish line spurring me on, and to see the look of pride in my little girls eyes nearly brought me to tears, something I will always treasure.

Like most people I got my fitness back, a love for going out training, you may see myself and Shane running around wexford town in the early mornings or cycling to rosslare and I lost 10kg (from 104kg down to 94kg) before the race, so I lost the man boobs and belly, i was toned as they say.

What is the goal this year, to get fitter, lose about 5kg (christmas splurge), and come in in a better time.  But we also have some new recruits, we have Tim Nolan joining us this year, (makes me sick, he is just born fit, and making myself and Shane look like an asthmatic convention) and we all have a bunch of friends going to do the run / walk this year too.

An executive decision by my wife has concluded I won’t be growing a beard while training this year ( i was having a rocky 4 moment last year), as great and as much as i loved it, there is only some many homeless, hobo jokes I can put up with (I have grey hair and my beard was patchy ginger).

Read my previous blogs from 2013 online, for all our highs and lows in training, injuries, beards and weight loss experiences.

So I say this to all of you who think they would love to do it, or need a goal to lose weight, set the Hope and Dream 10 as your Goal this year, whether you run or walk it, if you start your training today you will lose weight, you will feel great and two great charities will benefit from it, it will also change your life.

So go do it, start training today in 10 weeks time you will be better for it.

– See more at: http://www.hopeanddream10.com/2014/02/06/on-the-road-again/#sthash.NtImmLQz.dpuf

I’m out running around Wexford, my plan tonight is to increase my target to 6 Miles as I have 5 weeks left. As I run down Wexford Marine the stitch from hell hits me (both sides), so now I’m running and my sides feel like something is trying to get out.  I continue running and I start imagining the famous alien scene, I imagine that little bugger trying to rip its way out of my sides.  I continue running as I have no clue how to get rid of it, as I do I start thinking of the Braveheart scene at the end where they are taking his insides out of him, and just like Mel defiant to the end he screams the famous words, my inner sole screams something similar HOPE & DREAMMMM.  In a weird way this spurs me on, I am now 3 miles in and not even out of breath. As I run a few things come into my mind, of the people that have come up and said they could not do 10 miles or worse yet, said they would do it and now starting to back out, this is something that has never entered my mind and I will try to explain why and maybe it might change their minds. When I run, I see faces of people at the launch of H&D 10, I see the faces of the children with no hair, I see the face of the father who is diagnosed with cancer who knows the inevitable is soon. This man speaks to me telling me how great the Hope centre is, what they have done for him.  As he says these words I see his sons eyes, loving staring at his father and I remember having that same stare of love and hope many many years ago.  A stare unfortunately all of you will see or experience in your life especially when Cancer is involved.  I remember the words from Margot Kehoe from Hope and Shay Kinsella from Share a Dream on the night of how the money doesn’t go to buy medical equipment or to find a cure but on the little things, like cushions for chairs when people in the hope centre are painting to make them more comfortable or money for art supplies.  Or how Share a dream care & support for the entire family and not just the sick child. And as all these faces come into my mind I find I am running harder, faster and the stitches haven’t even dawned on me and I’m reminded that the money we raise is for people of Wexford, it is for our Fathers, Mothers, Brothers, Sisters, Sons, daughters, friends or loved ones that unfortunately might get this unforgiven sickness, to make their last moments a little more enjoyable. With all this in my head I feel if the people involved asked me to run 100 miles I would do so, as would everyone else there that night. So I am coming to the end of my 6 miles I am barely out of breath, and the stitches are in the background (BTW if any of you know how to get rid of stitch please let me know, they are distracting) and I hope this encourages you all to keep on going. – 

Ok so January is upon me, I have only 82 days left to run the 10 mile so lets just see how I get on and I haven’t actually ran yet so it is time to get on the road, now that I have my new turbo runners and yellow canary running jacket (thanks My Sport & Santa) it shouldn’t be a problem -right. Well in two words “not good” I say I ran 100 yards before I had to stop and take a good break.  I convince myself maybe it was just initial shock and continue onwards, again another 100 yards and bam my body stops, frustration is kicking in, I march onwards and continue this for the next 30 minutes.  I can feel every stone of my body weight (all 16 and a half stone of it) hammering my legs when I run, and it dawns on me, one I’m really out of practice / shape and two I might have pigged out too much this christmas. The nightmare of eating too much turkey over many many days has come back to haunt me and in hindsight I think my body thought the new runners would move my legs for me.  So I head home disheartened but knowing I need to up the gears. So I need a plan asap,  I really need to shift weight as I am carrying too much, after talking to the nutritionist (Hi Ciara) it turns out, I really am not putting in the right foods to keep me going, I eat far too much Toast in fact I eat near enough to a Sliced brown pan a day between toast and sandbos, so they are out.  And who would have thought it that fried eggs etc are bad for you (noooooo) so back to poached and boiled eggs for me.  Fizzy drinks are now out, Tap water is in, so are more oily fish, tuna, mackerel etc, I believe the word is Protein and the more of the better as long as I don’t fry it.  So just to be clear I am not on a diet I am just changing what I eat for the better.  I feel like I’m saying “I’m not fat, I’m big boned.” So Five weeks on… I am now running up to 5 miles jogging up forth mountain and lovin it, I really enjoy going out, myself and Shane also run 3km twice a week around town (the Hilly bits). I have lost 8kg in the past 5 weeks and I have been eating like a king (thanks to Phelim Byrnes recipes, Mick Kelly’s low carb / sugar plan and Ciaras Warnings).  My legs are now stronger, I’m getting faster and my recovery rate has hugely improved and my new turbo shoes are supporting my ankles great, also my blood pressure is dropping (first time in years). One other change is I have started to grow a beard (to my wife’s annoyance might I add) but it is great it keeps your face warm and no-one recognises the wheezing, staggering lump running around the mountain.  So I recommend you all get one and good shoes. So it is going well, lots of support happening down here and it is great to see so many people taking part. – See more at: http://www.hopeanddream10.com/2013/02/19/fatman-rises/#sthash.Il03FZ5O.dpuf

So I need to get on the Road, now due to my ankles not healed yet i will spend the first month or so on the Bike.  Saturday is the planned day for the cycle with my buddy Shane Carroll who has signed up for the race too, level of fitness same as me (poor), but I am more handsome.  So we plan to meet at 7:30am, now I don’t know what was harder, cycling the bike at that hour or getting out of the bed on a Saturday at 7am to one of the frostiest mornings I have seen this year.  But I got up and put the gear on (when i say gear I mean tracksuit, three jumpers a coat and a yellow reflective jacket and my new helmet from Hayes cycles, always best to be safe than sorry and I felt three jumpers would be more than enough to keep me warm. As it turns out upper body was fine, well protected, my hands and bottom half of my body on the other hand where the wind is channelled was not so warm in fact it nearly froze off. We decided to go along the Rosslare Road, see what shape we would be like in 30 mins and take it from there, so we headed out. First thirty minutes was great, we were at a good speed, warmed up well, feeling proud of our fitness we continued all the way to Rosslare Strand (pat on the back moment), it was great, great scenery and we were not that tired, we headed back.  Now it dawns on us that we are not as fit as we think, turns out the road  is mostly downhill from Whitford to Rosslare strand and that the wind had been on our backs the whole way down, now we had to cycle back into the wind (which was a breeze but felt like a hurricane) and cycle uphill the whole way back, the worst one being the mountainous hill from Mcdonalds to Whitford, I now regretted shouting weeeeee on the way down it when we first started out. I recall saying feel the burn many times as my thighs went on fire and to the end my hip joints and cocixs seised up like rusty gate, but we got there and to my amazement I have had no pains, the pain must be saving itself for next week.   So we did it in 2 hours and proud of our achievement we have arranged to go again next week, but with more thermals and gloves and also check the wind direction before we decide what route to take. Feeling proud of myself when I get home I brag all round me, eat like a man possessed and pass out for the next 2 hours.  Fitness is getting better, feeling great and enjoying it. Fitness level feeling good after and enjoying it, Weight loss to date still the same, man boobs and belly are retreating.  People are being very supportive and there has been a large number of people signing up to to run the race which is great. So please help spread the word and register online as soon as you can, if I can do it anyone can   You can Walk, Jog or Run 

These are some of the posts I wrote for the Hope and Dream 10 mile charity run in Enniscorthy to help raise money for two great charities Hope and Share a Dream. We were trying to help spread awareness and get me back into shape (Win Win)

Niall Reck, Married with 2 kids, designer / owner at Graphedia, I am 36,  6ft 1, I weigh 105 kg and have a waist of  38”.  I know this sounds dreamy but it is far from it. To sum up my fitness level: Badly out of shape, supporting man boobs and a belly like Buddha.

When it comes to exercise I need a goal to keep me motivated, I have been noticing my fitness slipping away lately and too many bad habits creeping in.  Speaking with John O’ Leary about this years event and seeing I needed to get up off my butt the challenge was set and as Alan Maher said if all else fails a lot of people would pay to see me puking up at the finishing line.

I would have been fairly fit over the years, having done martial arts when I  was younger.  Work and family life took priority over the past couple of years and this is where a few bad habits have kicked in, also the added bonus of injuries playing football with eagerly unfit men I have torn almost every ligament in my right ankle and ripped most of the ligaments in my shoulder.

Bad Habits:

  • Overeating
  • The temptation of biscuits, crisps and sweets
  • Not exercising lately
  • Too much TV, curse you BBC 2 for creating hours of enjoyable TV from 6 to 9, from top food programs to dance programs.  And of course ITV 4 from 9 pm with endless hours of Clint Eastwood movies and Escape from New York too, how could i leave it.


  • Run the Hope and Dream 10
  • Raise a load of money for the Hope Clinic and Share a Dream, 2 great causes that do fabulous work which have helped and touched everyone in some way
  • Encourage a load of Wexford people to take part
  • Get my fitness back, I’m out of shape badly
  • Not necessarily lose weight but to decrease my fat and get more muscle in there.

To reach my goal of fitness this gives me 4 months to get in shape, seeing I cannot run for a while as my ankles are still healing this will involve a lot of core work and fitness stamina training.  So the schedule is 3 days a week in Total Fitness Systems, consisting of Kettle bell training on Mondays, Fitness Training on Wednesdays and Boxing Fitness on Thursdays.   I have also roped my good friend Shane Carroll into running the race with me in March so we will be Cycling our bikes every Saturday morning.  In two months time I plan on getting on the road and running, that should be fun.

So set your Rocky theme tune and lets see how this goes,  I’m really looking forward to it from a personal point of view and to see how much money I can raise for these two great causes

– See more at: http://www.hopeanddream10.com/2012/12/10/run-fat-boy-run/#sthash.JtRkAzhb.dpuf