Blog: Adrian Shandley

"10in10 runner 2012"

21 May 2012

Exceptional Achievement brings its own anticlimax

Day 10...... one of the most extraordinary days of my life!

"Life is Experiences" Philip Rankin.

The last marathon was always going to be “the big one” and indeed it was.  The day’s routine started as normal, but an hour earlier than every other day.  By 9.00, we were out on the lawn being applauded by nearly 2,000 people. 

By 9.30, we were off and running, and I knew from the beginning that it was going to be very difficult because I was running on a swollen leg and a twisted ankle.  This was made much worse by the fact that I fell badly at the 2 mile point and from then on, my day was in trouble. 

I managed to run the first 14 miles, but then slowed dramatically for the second half of the last marathon, and finally came in with a time of just over 5 hours, which, by any normal standards for me, would be an inconceivable disaster.  But I didn’t really care, because I had achieved my initial goal which was to run the event in under 50 hours and I actually managed to finish in just on 47 hours.  To run up that hill to the finish line in Brathay is quite extraordinary!  We were treated like heroes. 

My son, Jordan, met me at mile 26 and ran the last 0.26 with me, and I just can’t tell you how much I appreciated his support in the last little bit.

Crossing the finishing line, I knew I was in trouble and was met immediately by the “Body Rehab” team who clamped my foot into an ice cuff …….thank you so much Graham. (update 21st May….. Looks like it’s serious)

My wife and family were there to meet me, together with our exceptional friends, Debbie and John and I have to say that much of the day thereafter seems to be a bit of a blur.

There was a big presentation on the stage and on Sunday night, we had curry and champagne!

We all met in the bar afterwards, but to be honest I was tired and so were my family and we called it a night fairly early on, although I do believe that some people stayed out until nearly 4.00 in the morning (you dirty rotten stop-outs!).

This has been an incredible event and an incredible journey, I am very privileged to have met the people that I have met over the last 10 days, we became a very close knit and supportive family group.

I will miss everybody, especially Jeff, we have laughed so much that I cried on so many occasions. I can still hear him say “Why do bad things happen to good people?” when he lost his tee shirt!

Monday morning was strange, everybody went their separate ways and scattered to the 4 winds, rooms were empty, suitcases were packed and the life had left Brathay for another year.  There was no more noise, just quiet.

There is nothing on this planet that does not have a natural life, and one day, the natural life of everything comes to an end.

One of the most difficult things is to come to terms with the fact that the natural life of this year’s 10-in-10 event is over, it is gone, and all we have are the most amazing and special memories to keep.

I have already done all my thank you’s in previous blogs, so I won’t repeat myself, but the 10-in-10 has been the coming together of the most remarkable & unique  group of people focused on a single extraordinary goal.

It has been my most extraordinary privilege to be part of it, and I will never forget it.

Don’t cry because it’s over, just smile because it happened…… and I was part of it!

And finally, for my parents, who, sadly, never got to see their grandchildren perform in their school plays, attend awards ceremonies, or open their presents on Christmas morning. They didn't see Gill & I get married, or indeed see most of my major achievements in life, my Mother died when I was 18, my Father when I was 28.



By Adrian Shandley, 21 May 2012 – 5 comments

20 May 2012

Dog Tired !

Day 9 …..4:53 ….The best my body could give!

Day nine made me realise that my times are starting to slip because the injuries are taking their toll and my body has little left in reserve. I am literally “worn out” this has been so tough and as we sit on the eve of day 10, the last marathon, I cannot say I am sorry.

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

-John Bingham

The mood in camp is good tonight in anticipation of the big day tomorrow, I am sore all over but looking forward to the 10th run and I simply don’t care what time I get, it will be the best my body can still produce whatever it is.

Brathay is an extreme challenge, that only the stupid attempt, but it is also a journey of personal discovery, when you are going to spend 45 hours on your own you have a lot of time to deal with things you never had time to think about before.

It is also a journey to discover the true “Brathay Trust” and what they do, I am sure this is only the start of my involvement with the charity.

Most of all it renews your faith in mankind, the people here could not have been more kind or thoughtful, and I mean EVERYBODY!

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

“Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

From the point of acceptance onto the challenge to the 10th marathon, everybody has been so kind. Ally …….. What a woman! She can’t do enough for you, equally Mac is such a nice guy and so obliging, they make the whole thing so special.

The Body rehab guys are beyond description, they have patched me up so many times I cannot tell you, they are professional, knowledgeable and they really care, the challenge is impossible without them.

And then there is everybody else here, all the staff, the volunteers and not to forget Rita, Ally’s Mum, a very special lady.

But as I sit here know knowing that we will all be ending our journey tomorrow I have to say that I have met 17 of the most fantastic runners here, to my knowledge we have spent 11 days at very close quarters with not a crossed word, and a mutual support for each other that has been quite amazing.

There are some special people here who I will remain in touch with. Those who have followed the blogs will know that Jeff & I have had some banter, God how we have laughed together, and talked, and supported each other, he really is a great guy and I have enjoyed “bunking” with him!!!!!

After all the trials tribulations we are on the edge of something great here.

For 10 days I have not seen any TV, I have not listened to my beloved radio 4, in fact I have not left Brathay. I will enjoy tomorrow but want to go home to my bed, my house, my fantastic wife & my family.

DAY 10 here we come !

Over the last 10 days I have been quoting from the Desiderata….. 3 people have asked me what it is, here is the full text for those who wanted it….


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

By Adrian Shandley, 20 May 2012 – 6 comments

19 May 2012


Day 8 …..5:03 ….Total Disaster!

I had a good day yesterday, but as I said in my last blog, I could hardly walk last night.

This morning the ankle was still bad but better than it had been and the knees are holding up.

When I started running this morning it was “OK” nothing more, and I thought I could limp round.

The run started well, loads of support today, the children at the local school in Hawkeshead stood at the railings shouting our names ….NICE

Mark, my normal running partner made the trip up to support, so appreciated by me, GREAT GUY. Shame he had to see what followed!

From the beginning my times were slow and at about mile 6 I discovered stones were in my right sock. Now, any sensible person would have taken the sock off, but you can only do that if you can A) Bend down and ….B) Bend your ankle. I could do neither….. so after 20 more miles I now have blisters to add to my list.

The ankle went from bad to worse and all this led to my worst marathon time EVER! I have never run over 5 hours before.

I was also running on empty from a lack of sleep due to the pain in my ankle and compounded by the fact I haven’t been eating very much (the food at Brathay is great, I just haven’t had an appetite)

Bad day all round, I went to physio, Rocky made me scream and after everything that had gone on I was in bed by 8pm ….fed up…..sore…..down ….& homesick.

Family are here tomorrow and I Can’t wait. I may go for a run around the lake too! If the legs decide to co-operate!

If you can help support please do, but the fact that you are following my blog is support enough for me THANKS!

By Adrian Shandley, 19 May 2012 – 3 comments

17 May 2012

Lucky 7 !

Day 7

4:24 ……. My second best time since I arrived in this strange isolated Brathay world…A RESULT! ……….ONLY 78.6 miles to go now  WHOOP! WHOOP!

This 7th Marathon didn’t seem to have an identity, not the beginning, not the end, not the half way point, just an “in-betweener marathon!” This is where the fatigue gets to you, I am running on empty. But, born on the 7th day of the 7th month, the number 7 has always been lucky for me.

When I woke this morning I had the feeling that my mind had started to write cheques that my body just couldn’t cash! Today would be good or bad, there would be no “In-between” performance.

Roxy, my physio, was back today, after a day off yesterday and she made a huge difference to patching me up this morning (When I set off I was more tape than man!)

Support on the course was great today, My wife, Gill, made the trip up again, with her parents Mo & Fred and I was extremely grateful,….. It makes a huge difference to my running…You really miss home after this long dwelling in insanity.

Also the local Southport love birds Chris and Peter came to watch the start and also the last mile, I was extremely touched.

The weather was bad, rain at the start, but not too heavy.

So everything was against me today from the beginning, BUT…..The main thing is to keep a positive mental attitude, your mind can defeat you more than any lack of physical fitness.

“Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”

10:30 The run started! And for some reason, although my aches and pains were still there I felt mentally good. I put this down to the fact that yesterday I mentally cracked the course.

For a runner, mentally cracking a course or a distance is as important as being physically fit, seriously. I have got the course chunked up in my head, it isn’t one 26.2 mile course any more, it is 8 smaller courses, and I run each in isolation. It really helps.

So, from a difficult beginning I finished in 4 hours 24 minutes,  which isn’t great by normal standards, BUT it is my 7th marathon in 7 days and I was really pleased with myself. I ran consistently and with pace, it is the second best time of the seven marathons I’ve done here. My best time was the first day !!

TONIGHT I CANNOT WALK ! The pain in my right ankle is indescribable, but Roxy knows what to do! She has already had 12 acupuncture needles in my leg tonight! (I think she enjoys inflicting pain!)

“Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans”

Marathon 8 is just 12 hours away !

If you can help support please do, but the fact that you are following my blog is support enough for me THANKS!



By Adrian Shandley, 17 May 2012 – 4 comments

16 May 2012

DAY 6 ......Consistant .... Thanks To My Legs For Co-Operating !

4:32 ...... A consistent time that I'm happy with

I woke this morning at 6.45 and looked across the 3 foot gap that separates our beds, there was Cuddles (Jeff) wide awake with those big eyes staring at me! He had that amorous lusting look in his eyes, the sort of look that scares me to my core every day!

So, to avoid his wistful gazing I put my head under the covers….. And what did I see ?                           (please don’t be rude!)

I actually saw my legs looking at me saying “Is it the same again today ?”

“Yes please if you wouldn’t mind” I said, and so both my legs & I got out of bed as one, with a mutual understanding of each other for the first time in 5 days. They delivered today with a consistent 4:32 which I am happy with for a 6th day marathon.

The sun was out today, the lakes are fantastic, especially when the sun shines, the trees, the flora, the forna, the birds, the wildlife, It takes your mind off the distance, this beautiful planet really is the most fantastic accident of evolution, you really feel at one with it all when you’re out there. When the cars are not around the peace and quiet is astounding.

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.”

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

Best of all I have mentally cracked this course today, any marathon runner will know what I mean when I say that …. I have broken it down, segmented it and I now have it mentally beaten.

“Does running 10 marathons in 10 days get to you ?” I hear you ask

“No” I would say “You just start talking to your legs !”

Marathon 7 is just 12 hours away !

If you can help support please do, but tha fact that you are following my blog is support enough for me THANKS!

By Adrian Shandley, 16 May 2012 – 10 comments

15 May 2012

Today our letter is "S"

DAY 5 TODAY MY TIME WAS  : 4:25 …. 3rd fastest of the 5 Marathons …..Acceptable

We are now over the 5th day, everybody seemed quite emotional this morning, don’t know why there are still 5 more to go! OR….. As I look at it 4 more marathons and a 26.2 mile lap of honour.

Really sore leg tonight, Roxy didn’t half hurt me tonight stripping my IT band muscle…. BUT ….. It could always be worse, Nick on the table next to me had acupuncture in his groin! And if you think I screamed you should have heard him!


"S" is for SUPPORT, not just the on-site support but also the support of family, loved ones & Friends, without that you wouldn't get your plan off the ground in the first place. I never forget that without an understanding Wife, family & Friends to support your challenge you can't do anything like the 10 in 10. Last night my wife had a major problem with the car and I am lucky enough to have a great friend that I can call when I am 150 miles away from home. My thanks to John (AKA NOJ) who rescued my family in my absence. I have left home for 10 days, not to mention all the time I am out of the house when I’m training. Without the support and understanding of my family I couldn't do this

“S” is for SPONSORS ….. Without them it wouldn’t be worthwhile THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU

“S” is for STRIVING ….. which is what I am doing to get the best possible time I can, despite injury & tiredness

“S” is for SORE ….. Which I am, the body Rehab guys got me back on the road again today, none of the injuries from last night or this morning bothered me, BUT, I got a new injury in my right calf, just to add to my collection!

“S” is for SUCCES which I hope I will achieve ……. BUT you cannot get close to SUCCEEDING without the previous four points!

Tomorrow’s marathon is just 12 hours away! Thanks so much to everybody for your Support



By Adrian Shandley, 15 May 2012 – 5 comments

14 May 2012

Back From the Dead !

4:21 ....... Incredible !

By my normal times 4:21 would be a disaster, but....Last night, after the worst marathon time I have ever put in, I wouldn't have bet £1 that I would be running today!

When people say "you just can't put into words........" about something, the term is so often over used, NOT IN THIS CASE!

I just cannot put into words the miracle that BodyRehab performed last night and this morning to get me back on the road. I couldn't walk last night! ........a lot of pain & screaming later and I ran a great marathon today!

Roxy & her team are amazing, nothing short of AMAZING!

I also have to thank Chris Heaton for some good advice.

I have been seriously "put back together" by BodyRehab, I am fit, healthy, I have a great family & I am running marathons in the Lakes....."country of the Gods!" Perhaps one of the most fortunate people alive! with a seriously big task ahead of me, to try and help those less fortunate. (104 miles done, I just have to do another 158 miles!)

I may, however, feel very different tomorrow about how fortunate I am in this "groundhog day" world!

The Brathay 10 in 10 is a little like the French Foreign Legion..... We are a band of lost soles, in a closed camp, with a tough mission........... where no questions are asked about where you came from !!


By Adrian Shandley, 14 May 2012 – 7 comments

13 May 2012

Pain, the family & Ed Sheeran

Day 3 .... 4:55 .... A disaster !

Day 3, I was worried about knee pain, AND I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ! Painful isn't the word, I struggled from mile 10 and Heaven knows how I got home in under 5 hours, was looking like 8 hours at one point.

But, despite the pain, I had three things on my side, Firstly my wonderful wife Gill came up for the day, with my fantastic children, Jordan, Talitha & Kayla..... But did it help seeing them every 2 miles, what a motivation, BRILLIANT

Second my youngest daughter kayla has been messing with my itunes account, as a result my ipod is full of Ed Sheeran, to be honest the change of music helped, I quite liked it!..... and it kept me going for a few miles.

Finally, the thought of seeing everybody at the finish line drove me on, They were all there waiting for me, with hugs & kisses,

I even got a big hug from "Cuddles"

Tonight I have been with the body rehab team for 90 minutes and another hour tomorrow, BOY! does it hurt !

Day 4 ....... Here I come (I hope)

By Adrian Shandley, 13 May 2012 – 9 comments

12 May 2012

The amazing Body Clock

DAY 2 ! ....4:32 ........12 minutes slower than yesterday

Well I got through day one (just) with a severve pull. Thankfully the Body Rehab people worked right through the night to sort it..... actually they worked for about 2 hours, the rest of the time Prestridge was bouncing up and down on my bed, keeping me awake. That man, known by most now as "Cuddles" does NOT SLEEP ! What's more he wanders the corridors dressed in nothing but a bath towel. (a small towel at that)

He revealed far too much to mention at 3am this morning, I was in shock, not at the size (far from it) but at the fact that he got so close before I woke up ! I had, what can only be described as "a lucky escape" (although it has reminded me that I haven't bee fishing for a while,)

Today as I set off I could feel the pull for the first three miles, and then, to my surprise, almost every other part of my body started shouting for attention. Like a clock, the pains came, then went, to be replaced by another in an anti-clockwise direction. First the pull at the top of my left leg, then left knee, not wanting to be left out the blisters on my left foot had a go, then over to my right leg, not wanting to miss the pain party, right calf, knee then quad, and so it went on for 23 miles, until at 23 miles they all decided to have one big party together!

Tonight my legs are stiff, the rehab team have been all over me again (boy! it hurts) and I hope my aches & pains will be less by the morning ! Weather looking bad too !

Hang on, wait a minute, I can hear a clock! Oh yes it's ticking down until day 3 ! 3rd marathon only 14 hours away !!

It'll be another long night with Prestridge ! ...AND.....PLEASE!....Somebody take his phone off him too!

If you would like to sponsor me to carry on putting up with Prestridge (oh yes, and running 8 more marathons) then please go to

By Adrian Shandley, 12 May 2012 – 1 comments

01 May 2012

Running with Ducks

As a child, we used to visit the Lake District regularly. Whenever it rained, my late Father used to say, “they don’t call it The Lakes for nothing” and with his words of wisdom in my head, I have prepared myself for some inclement weather during some part of the 10 in 10.

But, nothing could have prepared me for the weather I encountered on my last training run on Sunday morning. I decided that the last long run I was going to do before the 10 in 10 would be the Manchester marathon. It was only by chance that I decided to take a lightweight running jacket with me when I saw that my running mate had brought his. I didn’t really think I would need gloves, because after all, it was nearly May!

I have never, never, been so cold in my life. Whilst the organisers can’t be held account for the weather, there was little shelter, either at the start or for most of the run itself. For 24 miles we endured driving rain, hail and strong winds, it took me 2 hours to get warm again (seriously).

But to take the positives out of the experience, I would hope that this is the worst of the weather you could expect anywhere in the UK, including the Lake District. I managed to finish at an almost respectable time of 4 hours, but the cold brought on some severe cramp.  

I am now looking forward to Brathay with the expectation of somebody going on a tropical holiday!

And as I drove home from Manchester thinking about my late Father’s words, I have to say, you wonder why they call it “Manchester” and not Aqua Land!
By Adrian Shandley, 01 May 2012 – 1 comments

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