February 4th (today) is World Cancer Day - a day to remember, to shed a tear, to reflect but also to be positive, be brave, be supportive and to fight - a day to get involved and support the research and the fight against cancer.
We all know someone whether a family member or friend who is currently or has been affected by cancer. In November 2012 we lost a dear friend and work colleague Maureen who sadly lost her fight against the disease after a short illness. Maureen left behind wonderful supportive parents and brother as well as a son she adored and supported with everything she could give.
In a way I was fortunate up until that time to not have someone close to me suffer from cancer. Since then though I have tried as best as I can to support and raise awareness to help the fight against this horrible disease.
Each day around the world thousands of people donate, bake, walk, run, cycle, swim as well as many other activities to help raise money and awareness but even more crucially each day countless partners, relatives, friends and volunteers support and care for people affected by cancer.
I'm going to be blunt at this point - this is the link to the many ways you can support the fight against cancer - I beg you to consider donating via the the linked page or by supporting someone you know who is taking part in a charity event in the coming months.
There are many types of cancer which need supporting and each has its own awareness and funding challenges but each one all has the same goal - to beat cancer.
On 29th April 2018 I will once again take part in the Stirling Scottish Marathon - 26.2 miles running in the wonderful scenic Stirling countryside. Sounds exhausting and exciting at the same time plus also rewarding to those that complete the feat.
A feat that is yes personally rewarding but also a feat that requires mental and physical strength - after 20 miles with just over 6 miles to go it is another 6 miles too far for the body which just wants to give up and stop going forward.
I'm not exaggerating, 20 miles into a marathon the body is struggling and doesn't want to continue with the final miles - personally it is at that exact moment that in the past I have drawn on the support of the crowd but more importantly drawn on the support of the wonderful people that have donated and supported my efforts with my charity cause.
This year I have chosen to support Prostate Cancer UK, a disease that will affect 1 in 8 men, kills a man every 45 minutes and is now a bigger killer than Breast Cancer in UK.
With the Men United campaign the awareness of Prostate Cancer has increased in recent years but the funding for the research to help fight this particular type of cancer is less than other well known cancer types.
Since I started running and raising money for charities in 2013 the support from family, friends, colleagues and customers has been remarkable and each time I am humbled for the support you give.
Conscious of asking for your support again for charity I do believe though that raising awareness and supporting the fight against Prostate Cancer is worth me asking and pleading for your generosity again.
Please consider supporting, not my running efforts, but the future research and those currently fighting Prostate Cancer.
A new year and new running goals to meet in the coming months.
Enjoyable training run despite it being -3C. #stirlingmarathon #running #fitness #stirling
Windy and rainy 46m:19s #buchlyvie10k and now putting the mug to good use. #tea #sugar#recovery
SUPPORT Prostate Cancer UK - Donate at www.scottmclean.scot
"So you doing any more marathons this year Scott?" was the question from a work colleague as it then suddenly dawned on me that yes I am and that the next one is now less than 4 months away.
After Edinburgh in 2016 and Stirling in 2017 it is once again my home town marathon that I have signed up as I look to complete marathon number 3.
My base level of fitness is reasonably ok but I always feel I need to challenge myself to not only give me the motivation to train and improve my fitness but pushing and extending the boundaries of our comfort zones is the way to expand our capacity to live and experience life.
It's similar in business as it's always easier and more comfortable to stay within the zone that you know and have experienced but more pleasure and better rewards are usually waiting for us if we commit to giving that extra usually uncomfortable to begin with push that's required to get us into that better more rewarding zone.
Thanks to my colleague who's now reminded me that it's time I planned those long training runs.
Our team held a coffee morning at our office today in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support - proud of our team's effort and baking raising over £200.00 for the charity.
I would like to echo the compliments from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in thanking again all the kind people who donated to my Stirling Marathon charity fundraising a few months ago.
A final word on my Stirling Marathon journey to say thank you to everyone who supported me before and during the event. A special mention though to the kind hearted who donated a total of £600.00 to my chosen charity for the event Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland.
Thank you all.
Four weeks to go until my second marathon and the home doorstep event at Stirling.
The inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon takes place on Sunday 21st May 2017 and my training continued today at the 10 mile Great Edinburgh Run.
Running through the historic streets of Auld Reekie was good preparation for running through the historic streets of Stirling in May.
I appreciate the Stirling Marathon in May is close to home and many local people will be taking part and raising money for worthy charities and each cause is worth supporting.
I am hoping to raise a small amount of money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland who support the many people in Scotland who are affected by these conditions.
If you can donate CHSS a few pounds or more it would mean a lot to the charity and help them continue to research and support these illnesses.
I have a charity page available if you can help. Thank you.
My Stirling Marathon training continued today with another half marathon around the streets of Stirling.
Even running in the pleasant spring afternoon sunshine there were many emotions I had to go through to run 13.1 miles especially when you know you have to double that distance for the marathon.
It should be noted that I did complete my first marathon in Edinburgh last year so I do know whats it's like to double that distance. (but please don't remind me)
Whether it's physical pain or mental challenges you will experience it all as you start to run those distances.
In a way I compare it to running a business. 21 years of varying degrees of challenges each week/month - counter balanced by the end game and the many satisfying days of watching your company and employees progress.
To coin a phrase 'when the going gets tough' in running and in business you will at least question what you are doing and at worse feel like giving up when the pressure and pain increases but during that time that is the most vital and important part of your journey, it's at this stage you must muster all the remaining energy you have, you must focus the mind and banish those mind games, it will be tough, it will be tiring, giving up is the easiest solution at this stage.
But you need to adjust your pace, adjust your focus and concentrate on the vision of the end game, go on - keep on adjusting your pace and focus, the hurdles are getting easier, the pain is easing, the reward at the end will far outweigh the pain along the way.
Not everyone runs a marathon or runs a business because it's not easy but those that truly know how it will feel at the finish line, how satisfying it will be to watch your employees progress through your company or at the winning of a contract or how proud you will be at your son or daughters weeding day know it will all far outweigh the challenges and the pain you will encounter along the journey BUT importantly you do need to experience the journey along the way to achieve and appreciate the end result.
I'm happy to offer and help with advice to anyone looking to set up or grow their company. Just get in touch
I am taking part in the first ever Stirling Scottish Marathon on 21st May 2017.
After completing my first marathon in Edinburgh last year I have decided to take part in this new event in my home city of Stirling and I will be supporting Scotland's Health Charity - Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.(CHSS).
My father died in 2010 from 'COPD' - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and I hope that you will support me to raise funds for CHSS. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for people in Scotland affected by chest, heart and stroke illness, through medical research, influencing public policy, advice and information and support in the community.
Many of you have supported my past charity events and I am very grateful for your support and any donations you give to my CHSS fundraising would be fantastic and greatly appreciated.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.
Heartwarming to see our electricians where #unitybands this week in support & memory of family, friends, colleagues #WorldCancerDay
Stumbled across this Sunday newspaper article today about Virgin Sports - looks like the company launched by Richard Branson in 2015 is ready to increase its pace in the running and cycling events market.
Mass-participation fitness events have certainly become more popular over the past decade which was highlighted recently in our own area with The Great Run Company launching the Stirling Scottish Marathon event in 2017.
These events are a crucial way in raising money for charity so with Virgin's not-for-profit fundraising Virgin Money Giving you can expect these two to be closely linked which in turn will hopefully increase the benefit for charities.
It was on this day, Sunday 19th June 2016 that I had my very own Battle of Bannockburn.
Three weeks after completing my first ever marathon in Edinburgh it was back to shorter distances but that meant running at a much faster pace than marathon pace.
I had signed up for the inaugural Bannockburn 10k in 2014 to mark the 700th anniversary of the famous battle but illness prevented me from participating so I decided after training hard for the marathon that taking part in this years Bannockburn event would be a good experience and thankfully my battle with this hilly 10k course was won.
My fastest 10k time in an organised event is 43m:41s on a flat Perth course in 2013 so on the up and down terrain of Bannockburn I would have been pleased to finish just under 50 minutes so I was delighted with my finishing time today of 45m:47s.
Overall out of around 500 participants I finished 65th and was the 56th fastest male.
The Bannockburn event was a well organised and enjoyable event raising funds for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund but also this year for the Small but Mighty Fund who are raising funds for the Brain Tumour Cancer charity.
#lifechanging #edinburghmarathon 4hrs 28mins 28secs.
I did it - My first ever marathon and a #Year40 goal complete.
View Route and Stats.
The inspirational London Marathon takes place today and in just 5 weeks time it will be my turn as I take part in my first ever marathon in Edinburgh.
Training for this challenge continues and yesterday I ran my furthest distance to date running 18 miles around Stirling.
I will be running for the charity Cancer Research and would appreciate any support that people can give to this great organisation in the battle against cancer.
My sponsorship page is at https://www.justgiving.com/scottmclean40
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