Top five to-do’s before we get nuked: run a half-marathon in October, sign up for a six-mile team run beforehand, buy new trainers, eat cake and write a blog


It’s Wednesday, 9 August. Everything within the M25, the greater London orbital motorway, is awash with torrential downpours. Umbrellas are bent out of shape and the tube smells like wet sheepdog. To take my mind off things on my way to work I read about how, on the 28 July, North Korea successfully test-launched a long range ballistic missile. This followed a test of a similar Hwasong-14 two-stage missile on July 14. The second of those, which flew for about 47 minutes and reached an altitude of 3,700km, would have had a range of up to 10,000km. The nuclear warhead carried by such a vessel could easily have a yield of 300 kilometres, enough to devastate an area of over 70 square kilometres – about a third of the length of the M25!

Donald Trump’s watch asserts that this would never happen. But America’s Defence Intelligence Agency reckons we are at least two years away from North Korea having a workable intercontinental ballistic missile. Meanwhile, when faced with such uncertainty and gloom, I do what I always do: keep on running. My entry into a half marathon was the type of distraction that my mind needed.

The beginning

The email came in on Monday, 7 August. Austica, Deutsche Bank’s charity of the year was looking for 15 people to sign up to The Royal Parks Half Marathon in London on 8 October. It was a sign. I had wanted to do something good for Autistica since my employer made them their charity of the year for 2016 and 2017. I had heard a lot about what they were doing to raise autism awareness, to fund research and to help people with autism lead normal lives. Most of all I was inspired to support them by a young family member, who despite being unwell, has the type of bravery that grips my core. I didn’t hesitate. I signed up to the half marathon and had two short bread cakes to mark the triumph. That night I went to the gym and did a half-an-hour on the cross fit machine to commence my training.

Go team!

The next opportunity to prepare for the half marathon came on Tuesday, 8 August, when a work colleague was looking for someone to run six miles for the DeutscheRun team marathon. The 26.2 miles can be split as a relay or teams can run together. Every mile completed counts towards the team total. Experienced runners can even complete the whole distance themselves. The hardest part would be coming up with a team name.

These trainers were made for running

In committing to the two runs, I decided that it was time for a new pair of trainers. I found a pair of Asics which had enough support and comfort that would last me at least two years. Trying them on felt good – they were bouncy and bright pink to bring some colour to a rainy day.

Financial crisis remembered, with cake

On leaving the office after work I was reminded that is was the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis. Kristina suggested we mark with the occasion with cake. So off we went to Patisserie Valerie for a double chocolate cake slice and chin wag over the remains of the day. This carb loading for the half-marathon is going well, I thought.

Blog party

While on the train home I decided that instead of going for a run in the pouring rain that I would wait until Thursday to do so. I instead set up my sponsorship page and it is with this blog that I formally commit to running 12 miles on 8 October. Please help me raise funds for Autistica by visiting my sponsorship page at



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