Apologies for the delayed updates but I am now doing triathlons in the evening which means I get to bed at midnight, so I no longer have the hour after breakfast to complete this task.
Also, with a wife having broken her wrist after falling over on the ice recently, nursing duties and a full-time job make it harder than ever to find the time.
However, rest assured I have completed an Olympic-distance triathlon every day since my last update. They have been done entirely indoors, pool swim followed by 40.2km on a Wattbike and then a 10km run on the treadmill.
I would like to say on Day 90 – a massive milestone so close to finishing – that I stayed up late, had a wild time and got completely drunk, but only part of that would be true. Finishing a triathlon at 10pm means by the time you have replenished your fuel, and I tend to eat quite a bit afterwards, it is way past midnight before you can climb into bed after digesting all the nutrition you need.
However, it was a great feeling of satisfaction to have reached this stage. I am pushing quite hard now, completing the swims in 29 minutes, bike ride in around 1 hour 8 minutes and the 10km run in just under 47 minutes.
Over the next three days I replicated these times but gradually slowing to 49 minutes run as the loss of fluids from completing the triathlon indoors takes its toll. The fact the gym’s air extraction system hasn’t been working does not help either.
However, running indoors at this time of night is now essential, we have a thick layer of snow on the ground that I hope disappears and warmer temperatures return as I am really missing running in the crisp sunshine.
I am now just one week away from finishing. I have seven left to do with plans now firmly in place for the final one to finish at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, where the fitting tribute to fallen police officers and staff will be built.
I am probably pushing too hard on each element as the risk of injury is ever-present and I would hate to have to stop at this late stage. The end goal is so close now, and it has developed to mean so much to complete the job. However, I never wanted to shuffle my way through the challenge. Even when injury or illness has struck, I have completed each one exerting myself as hard as possible, bearing in mind I have 99 others to do.
I am pretty lean, having burnt around 2,000 extra calories a day. I have lost around 6kg, which is a lot for someone who weighed just 72kg at the start. I was complimented on my stomach yesterday as being ripped – must be the first time that has happened since I was 17. And that is despite eating a third of a giant Christmas pudding every night, lots of cakes and vast amounts of other food, thankfully.
However, I am constantly asked if I am exhausted from the efforts and yes that is very much the case. The most recent illness, suffered since number 80, had a huge impact. And the joy of getting over it and returning to perform strongly, I am suddenly very achey and tired. But also elated to reach this stage. I have completed a triathlon every day for three months, having started on October 31. Now there is just one week to go. I must remember to focus on the reaching number 95, when I will have a mini-celebration, as I have tried to do every five days along the way. But I can’t help but think about that finish line.
It is also getting quite emotional, as I reflect on what it is all about. And the small number of families, friends and colleagues of officers and staff who have died I have met along the way are very prominent in my mind. The impact of the loss of a loved one, and the chasm that is left behind, needs to be highlighted, and time made to reflect and remember.
I have made a lot of time to reflect on this. As I swam, rode and ran, I have gradually become more determined to raise awareness among the public of the massive sacrifice made when officers and staff turn up for work and strive to help and protect us.
I urge anyone who can support the building of this memorial to do so now. It would be wonderful to see it begin construction soon, so we not only provide the peaceful space for loved ones to go to reflect and remember, but also for the whole country to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to the thousands of officers and staff who will put themselves in danger every single day.
You can donate here.
Over the past four days I have paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives while protecting us on these dates.
On January 28, they are:
1921 – Police Constable William Baseby – Metropolitan Police
1972 – Police Constable Raymond Carroll – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC
1917 – Police Constable Edward Greenoff KPM – Metropolitan Police
1989 – Police Constable Stephen Montgomery – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC
1921 – Police Constable Thomas Moyles – Royal Irish Constabulary
1928 – Police Constable Percy Oldacre – Staffordshire County Constabulary
1887 – Police Fireman Richard Richardson – Liverpool Police Fire Brigade
1929 – Police Constable Harry Stanton – Dudley County Borough Police
1932 – Police Constable George Whinn – London & North Eastern Railway Police
On January 29, they are:
1974 – Reserve Constable William Baggley – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC
1908 – Sergeant John Clark – Metropolitan Police
1887 – Sergeant Henry Coles – Devon County Constabulary
1921 – Temporary Constable Charles Engleden – Royal Irish Constabulary
1948 – Police Constable Patrick Fitzgerald – Metropolitan Police
1921 – Divisional Commissioner Philip Holmes – Royal Irish Constabulary
1968 – Assistant Chief Constable Ivor Jones QPM – Hertfordshire County Constabulary
1845 – County Inspector (Retd) John MacLeod – Irish Constabulary
1941 – Police Constable George Martyn – Metropolitan Police
1958 – Police Constable John Meredith – Bristol City Police
1842 – Police Constable Charles Nicholls – Metropolitan Police
1898 – Superintendent William Pullan – Leeds City Police
1979 – Police Constable John Roberts – Lancashire Constabulary
1964 – Police Constable John Rowe – West Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary
1979 – Detective Sergeant Ian Smith – Metropolitan Police
2005 – Police Constable Jonathan Speakman – Cheshire Constabulary
2008 – Sergeant Robert Walsham – Essex Police
On January 30, they are:
1928 – Sergeant Henry Ashton – Metropolitan Police
1921 – Police Constable Sydney Clarke – Royal Irish Constabulary
1928 – Police Constable Arthur Fletcher – Staffordshire County Constabulary
1921 – Sergeant Peter McArdle – Royal Irish Constabulary
1921 – Police Constable – Terrence Sweeney – Royal Irish Constabulary
And, on January 31, they are:
1984 – Police Constable Thomas Bingham – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC
1991 – Police Constable Bernard Bull – Northumbria Police
1921 – District Inspector William Clarke – Royal Irish Constabulary
1822 – Sub-Constable Hugh Colligan – Peace Preservation Force, Ireland
1975 – Sergeant George Coulter – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC
1904 – Police Constable John Foley – Dublin Metropolitan Police
1914 – Police Constable Thomas Grundy – St Helens County Borough Police
1962 – Police Constable Denis James – Somerset County Constabulary
1936 – Police Constable James Mahoney – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC
2006 – Community Support Officer Adrian Martin – Metropolitan Police
1942 – War Reserve Constable Joseph Pickering – Liverpool City Police
1984 – Sergeant William Savage – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC