Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Big One!

Hi Everyone!

Right then my lovely blog followers, my turn to update you on our latest adventures as 'Team Beautiful' (just made that up) take to the road again for our longest training run to date. 
Todays target was 12 miles and I am pleased to let you know that we have not disappointed you and achieved the target in fabulous time of 2hours and 10 minutes.

I am going to upload a couple of pictures to show you our latest training clothing line, which has been kindly created by Shelly's mum Carol, a big thankyou for these especially as the ones Carol has had made come in extra large for fatboy and the giant!

I am going to warn you now that the following picture of Dan modelling the t-shirts also shows off his new running socks!  Of course we are not childish enough to mock him for these as he assures us that they are all the rage in the running world, and at no point whatsoever did people shout 'run ladyboy run' through the streets of Farnham :-)

Luckily, the picture came out a little blurred so hides his face a little.  I have done some research and in fact I think Dan has had the last laugh as the 'pantyhose' for men or 'Mantyhose' is all the rage in the USA and soon to hit the shores of the UK so watch this space for an advertising deal to be done!  See above image of how Dans forward thinking as been embraced across the water in the commercial world, its a sure fire hit!

In seriousness, the t-shirts are helping to spread the word as we ran around the local streets with a Phyllis Tuckwell logo on the front along with 'Running In Memory Of Nikki Fagg' with a lovely picture of her on our backs along with the web page for donations.

Shelly being 'cheeky' as always!  Ok,I  must point out that I am in fact wearing running tights, having just taken the micky out of Dan for his socks, however I think you will agree that mine are clearly extremely manly in a Soho kind of way, but also............they are really gentle on my skin! Mmmmmmmm.

Setting off on our merry way, we had a good idea of where we were heading and so decided to make a quick start as it was -2 Degrees C this morning so need to get moving and get the blood pumping.

Its easy to keep going when you have someone in front of you with a picture of Nikki on their back looking at you.  She is our inspiration, motivation and drive for this marathon so its good to have her with us all the way.

Well, we did it! 12 miles with no stopping in 2 hours and 10 mins, our longest yet and I have to say (at this particular moment in time) we all feel pretty good so long may it continue!

This week also included another fantastic boost to our fund raising efforts which helped to tip us over the £9,000 mark!  A truly amazing effort and again totally attributed to the fantastic supporters of our cause.  Its a tough time of year financially for many people having just come through Christmas, but still people have managed to find the odd £5, £10 or even higher to contribute to the justgiving site.  For this, we 3 are very humbled and grateful, which also gives us that extra boost to running longer and longer each week.

Shelly will update the blog again shortly with news of her week in the local press which has been very successful in continuing to spread the word.  Next stop Hollywood!!

Thank you all for following us on our journey and dont forget to tell your friends and family of the site if you feel that they would be interested.

I look forward to keeping you updated on 'Mantyhose gate' and really dont look forward to the return of compliment from my fellow runner Dan (go easy on me Dan, been friends a long time now ha ha).

Take care all.

Marcus :-)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

'Restoration Man' week has finally arrived.........

Well its time for the boys to stop telling you how great they are at running and move over and let me have a blog once in a while! 

Well its been a while since I've been on here and things have been hectic to say the least.  Leading up to Christmas was a very difficult time for all of our family and on Christmas Eve we headed down to the Mill in Kent for Christmas with Pete.  We packed in a few runs before we left knowing that there would be substantial amounts of eating and drinking including Nikki's favourite 'Angry Gin'!  We were doing things a little on the fly for a change with decorating the tree at 9pm Christmas Eve but this year things were very different but that's how we rolled! We would go with the flow and do things in the style Nikki would have done them, nicely presented and thoughtful in every way.  We had our two little ones Zack & Evie and they were a great and much needed distraction for all of us.  Zack was beside himself with being back at Uncle Pete's, but more excited about the possibility of seeing Mike the builder and his digger! ( No offence Pete!)  Each time we've visited since the completion there is always a glimmer of hope that we may just see him one more time.  Mike you don't realise the impact you've had on him, he is in awe of you!  So it only felt right considering his obsession with Uncle Pete's Tractor and Mikes diggers we needed to find the perfect pressie!!!  Rather than talk about running I thought I would share some pictures from our time at the Mill.  Including a large gathering of our family on Boxing Day and a lovely walk from the house.......

Mum, Pete and I taking a moment to reflect on Christmas eve from a beautiful but very windy position!

Decorating the mammoth tree,!

Christmas Day
The proud new owner of the ultimate tractor/digger. Mike if you want to borrow it you only have to ask?!

Our two biggest marathon supporters Zack & Evie x
Our little Christmas angel, Evie Nicola Mae x
Boxing day family walk pre mulled wine!
Not a running shoe in sight, well just for a few days!

Simply beautiful

In Zack's words 'a wish to Auntie Nikki in heaven' x x

Well considering this is a running blog I haven't talked too much about running yet?!  Well we left Pete's and headed home for 3 days before going back for a small gathering of friends and family for New Year.  I am pleased to say in the following days Marcus and I managed to both run 13 miles so we worked of a few mince pies in the process....

New year was one of the strangest times for all of us and another very difficult time to reflect. On the 2nd of January with the thought of Nikki in my mind I set out on a 6.5 mile followed by some shorter runs later in the week.  I really find running therapeutic, and a time to try and release some tension and stress.  To have some time on my own, music pumping (some of Nikki's favourite tunes as well... Coldplay, Mike Snow, Calvin Harris) and take in the fresh air and scenery and know that wherever Nikki is she at that moment is with me side by side.  There are times when I'm tired or even feeling tearful whilst I'm running and then I have a little smile to myself because she would be saying what on earth are you doing lets go and get a latte and a piece of fat cake!  I take my strength from her and as the training is starting to increase I find myself feeling more empowered to do this for her and the incredible Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

This week has been the longest week with the anticipation of 'Restoration Man' being shown 5th January on Channel 4.  I think I paced the house for most of the day not knowing quite what to expect.  It was extremely difficult for us to watch but through the tears I couldn't help but feel immensely proud of how Nikki's strength of character shone through and what an amazing job Pete did and a testimony to his courage in supporting Nikki and completing the project.  We always knew she was special but now 2.2 million people also know it  and my goodness nothing could have prepared us for the overwhelming response to both our Marathon page and the Trust.  Unbelievably  heartfelt messages that have been left on our just giving pages and on  As a family we feel overwhelmed and humbled by the most generous and kind hearted people that were touched by the Nikki's Story.  If you are reading this you are likely to be just one of those people and please know that whilst we would love to respond to everyone individually we truly are so very grateful and  we couldn't have done this without you thank you x   After a phenomenal response we are now at £8385 as I write.  This means so very much to me to be doing this in memory of my beautiful sister so please continue to spread the word.  Its working....

Following this immense boost in donations it left me nothing more than buzzing to get my running shoes on.  So yesterday I completed 9 miles and Marcus 10 .  Today Dan achieved 10.14 ( you would almost think there is a bit of competition between us?!)  but thanks to Nikki and yourselves we continue to strive harder to complete more miles each week and try and look more like pros.  I hate to break it to everyone but Marcus is now in running tights, now that would put a smile on Nikki's face!  

Next Sunday we are doing our first 12 miles as a trio so watch our for us in our t-shirts and I apologise in advance for a lot of figure hugging lycra!!! 

Thank you again to all of you and for continuing support us on this huge challenge.  Shelly x x 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

This body wasn't built for long distance running....

Let me start this post by wishing you all a very happy New Year. I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas, I know I did and the scales show it!

It's at this time of year that I, like most of you, make the traditional New Years resolutions of getting fit and healthy, giving up smoking (the only one i've stuck to in 10 years), cutting back on the booze and to generally be a nicer person. By January the 10th I have usually failed on all counts and pledge that next year will be different. However, this year is different, it has to be.

In April of this year,  I have got to drag this currently very large body around 26 miles and 385 yards of London roads in the 2012 London marathon. For those of you who haven't met me  - I am 6'4" tall, I weigh approximately 16st and I currently have the fitness endurance of an asthmatic say that there is some work to do is an understatement. By April this year I NEED to be 1.5 stones lighter, I NEED to be able to run 26 mile + non stop and I NEED to be able to do all of this whilst not letting down my good friends Marcus and Shelly. More importantly, I WILL do this in honour of Shelly's amazing sister Nikki who I'm sure you all know had to endure far greater challengers last year before sadly losing her fight against cancer. It puts everything into perspective when I think about the long runs, the hurting knees, the aching back that I'm sure we will face in the next few months. In reality, It's going to be easy, a piece of cake, a walk in the park compared to what Nikki so bravely fought last year.

This being a running blog, I suppose I should give you an insight into how the trainings going. In a nutshell, it's hard. This body was not built for long distance running. It is far more suited to long distance sitting. It hasn't always been this way though. I actually ran the London Marathon in 2003 in a respectable 4hrs 13 mins - needless to say, I was younger, lighter and fitter than I am now. There are certain things that haven't changed though, there are things about me that are often my downfall in life but are very very handy to have on your side when your training for a marathon. I'm stubborn. I'm Belligerent, I'm pig headed and I hate being proven wrong (I sound really nice don't I).

I started training properly in November 2011. The average distances were around 4 miles at a time which slowly increased to the 5m, 6m and then 10k distances within a few weeks...not bad as a base. Then all 3 of us set out on our first LONG ONE - 10 miles, non stop in under 2 hrs.

It was great for the 3 of us to get out and do a good run together. Shelly was rather nervous before we set off because, for some reason she thought that Marcus and I (with a combined weight of 30 stone) would be running to fast for goes without saying that this was not the case at all we ran the whole way together and managed to finish the 10 miles in under 2 hrs. It was really interesting to see the different things that kept us going, After about 4 miles Shelly put the earphones in and ran the rest of the way listening to Lady Gaga (I can't blame her for this, she did have to listen to me and Marcus banging on with the usual mindless drivel that tends to spew from our mouths). Marcus needed an update every 45 yards in terms of how far we had run (If you picture a small child in the back of a car constantly screaming "are we nearly there yet, are we nearly there yet, are we nearly there yet") and I pretended that everything was okay whilst hiding the crippling pain coming from my knees, ankles, and hips, (see, stubborn, belligerent and pig headed) this body wasn't built for long distance running.

Since then, and I have to say that I am very proud of myself for this, I ran 6.4 miles on Christmas Eve. 5 miles on Boxing day. 6 miles on the 28th and then yesterday I ran 8.7 miles whilst also setting a new Personal Best (post 2003 weight gain) for 10k. I'm motivated, how could I not be. We're doing this in memory of Nikki and that's more than enough to ensure that all 3 of us will try our hardest over the next few months to make her proud.

I see from Marcus's posts that I should post a couple of photos from some of my recent runs - so here you go. Bear in mind that these were taken whilst running so please forgive me if the photos aren't a true representation of me :-)

This was me at the start of the training in early November, thought i'd enter a race to get some practice in -

This was me running three weeks later on a really sunny day in Farnham -

Until next time


Please visit to donate

Friday, 30 December 2011

Quick Update From Me

Only me again my beloved blog followers (thats just you then Lucy) - unless others are reading this so please add comments if you feel the need to hurl abuse at me or at least words of encouragement.

Without wishing to sound like I have an alcohol problem, last night was spent with some good friends, who we dont see enough of.  Somthing to do with having children now and whats been going on this year!  But, it was good to see everyone, and at the same time have a few beers.

Come 1st January 2012, the beers will be few and far between as the training increases along with the healthy eating (along with the rest of the country, for the first month at least), where traditionally one joins a gym, goes everyday for the first month, and then its simply a wasted direct debit each month that you never actually cancel for about 6 months = biggest waste of money ever!  Trust me, I have joined a few gyms in my time and they have done well out of me not going and still paying for the priviledge.

Ok, rambling on now so I will keep it short and sweet and give the other 2 a chance to write something equally as exciting to entertain you all!.

My friend told me last night that her brother runs the London Marathon in around 2 hours 30 mins, which is nothing short of AWESOME! 
With this in mind, I set out today to run as fast as possible and as long as possible to try and match this monumental effort.
Safely made it about 500 metres down the road when the potential for my heart, and other major organs, to start falling out of places they really shouldnt due to the high speed of my heart rate,increased hugely, so I decided to revert back to my comfortable pace (virtually reverse) and crack on.

Beautiful day in the Farnham/Seale area and managed a 10K run (even after that energy session from last night sponsored by Perroni and scampi fries!  So wrong, but somehow right!).

I was pleased with the effort today and feel really good when running now.  Its weird to say but my body starts to warm up at around 3 miles and thats when I start to settle into the rhythm of the run.  In the past, 3 miles would have guaranteed me a bed at the Royal Surrey cardiac ward for the night, however I seem to be getting stronger, and dare I say it fitter.

We have bagged 18 miles this week each through our training, which is really pleasing and will be increased as of January, so watch out for the podgy bloke in a bright yellow top running around Farnham and think "have I donated yet?" 

Its New Years Eve tomorrow and of course it will not quite be the same this year as Nikki is not with us.  The reason we are running is for Nikki and to raise money for the amazing staff and facilities at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, who cared so well for Nikki and also supported the family (shamless plug for

Its a simple motivational technique when running the streets and feeling like you should probably stop because you feel tired or your legs hurt, but all you need to do is think.........Nikki didnt stop, she carried on all the way and under extreme conditions Inspirational!!  If that doesnt drive you on, nothing will.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and thanks to everyone for your continued support.  Its very much appreciated and we are so blown away by the generosity you have all shown, especially so close to Christmas.  We are already over £3000 now so cant wait to push the campaigning harder in 2012 to reach our goal, which we WILL hit with your support.

Tell your friends, update your facebook status and twitter accounts with the web site details, its the best way to spread the word and is proving to really work.

A big thankyou and see you in 2012!

M x

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A Personal Best

Dear All,

Ok, so I don't admit to being the next Shakespeare or JK Rowling, but I will try to give you an initial brief run down (no pun intended) of our training so far.  Without wanting to send you all off to sleep with tales of just running, I may just keep it brief on this occasion (ok, less of the cheering).

So, the shock of getting into the marathon has now set in and the three of us are on a mission to make sure we do the best possible job.  This, as you can imagine, is something that we are all immensely passionate about so we are dedicated to putting in the miles to ensure that we finish the race in a reasonable time.
For those of you fortunate enough to have known Nikki, you will know that as we pound the streets in our training runs, she remains our key driver and the reason why we don't stop.
I often find myself looking up into the sky for some kind of sign or encouragement during the runs, just at the point where I don't think I can carry on going.  Someone recently told me that he, during his own training runs for his marathon, would have arguments with himself on a regular basis as to why he should stop, "i just need to stop, I just need to walk, stop being such a wimp, you can do it"! 

This is not uncommon as I have found recently and has taken my talking to myself issue to a whole new level, especially when hitting certain physical barriers during the training runs.  The reason why I try not to stop?.......simple!  Nikki went through so much more than a bit of leg pain, breathlessness etc so I owe it to her to carry on and 'man up'!  The strength she showed to us all during the last few months was nothing short of gladiatorial, a real inspiration to anyone, so I have to carry on running.....its that simple!

The first few weeks have gone well, especially into the lead up to Christmas.  At work, as many people will know, its hitting 'silly season', which means lots of work parties, client nights out etc so I am trying to be strong and keep the alcohol levels to a minimum.

Having said that, I did find myself giving into some un-marcus like weakness and on the way home from a night out last week found myself in a kebab house!!

Waking up in the morning, with a mouth like the Gobi desert, I still knew that a run was on the agenda so set off on my merry way.  I had no specific target but I knew that being the weekend, it had to be a longer run.  My maximum to date was 7 miles which I achieved the week before, however after the night before, one mile in and I was seriously thinking of turing around and blaming that damn kebab for ruining my training (i might have had something to do with it) - but to this day, I still don't know why I had a kebab? My first in YEARS!
Having said all this, the day was beautiful, with stunning views, sunshine and still my goal firmly in my mind!  With that, I managed to achieve a personal best of 9.6miles....I was very chuffed and the facebook update to shout this from the roof tops went straight on!

Today (17th December) the three of us set off on our big challenge to hit 10 miles!  This would be a PB for all three of us during this training period, plus a 3 mile uplift for Shelly on last week!.
Below is a before and after picture, but I am happy to say that we all did it......together......without a wet start but ending in stunning sunshine again! 
The legs are now burning, and its safe to say that although we are over the moon to be able to run 10 miles without stopping, there is much to do to get to the 26 miles that the marathon is going to ask of us.

Christmas is coming, its normally a time to celebrate and share with the family, however this year is going to be different.  Its going to be missing someone very special and that's something that we are all going to find intensely difficult to comprehend.
The only thing we can do is run, keep on running and just when we think we cant run any some more, knowing that what we are doing is nothing by comparison to what Lady Fagg managed to achieve!

Until next time everyone, I am off to have an ice cube bath followed by a full body 'Ralgex/Deep Heat' rub down! 

Marcus x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

This is why we are doing this.......

On 6th February 2011, we received the most devastating 32 year old sister's cervical cancer had returned having been in remission for almost 5 years. This time, it returned in the orbit of her left eye, her skull, liver, lungs, hips and bones. We were soon to discover that this time there sadly was no cure, with her initial prognosis being less than one year.

Nikki, a nurse herself, instantly showed her caring and selfless nature with her primary concern being that of her family. She took on the palliative treatment with such dignity and determination, even faced with the loss of sight in one eye. As always, she looked to make the best out of this terrible situation and wanted to achieve her goals surrounded by the people she loved the most, her family and friends.

Nikki fought with such courage and bravery, but sadly lost her fight on 14th August 2011. Throughout this time, both Nikki, our Mother and I were supported by Amber Turnell and the team at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Without their constant care and compassion, the journey we faced would have been even more unbearable. There are simply no words to express our sheer gratitude for the difference the Phyllis Tuckwell team has made to our family in coping with this tragic loss.

Earlier this year, I made a promise to Nikki, that I would run the 2012 London Marathon for her, in aid of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.So...... here I am. Alongside me are two amazing people, my fantastic husband Marcus and our best friend Dan, who are ready to join me in taking on the challenge of a lifetime. Both whom have been directly affected by cancer themselves, with each of them having lost a parent to the disease. Our thoughts will also be with Desmond Carolan and Lyn White during our training and on the Marathon Day itself.

We want to say thank you for the incredible work that Phyllis Tuckwell undertake each day. If we could have one wish, out of something that has been and continues to be so incredibly painful, would be that no other family would have to lose such a vibrant, charismatic and kind hearted member of their family, at such a young age. Unfortunately, as we know, this is not the case but what we can do, is make a positive difference to other families who have found themselves in this similar life changing situation. We want to make sure that the funding is there for Phyllis Tuckwell to be able to continue to offer these families the support and guidance that they require on their own unique journeys.

I am so proud to have shared such a close bond with my sister and continue to be blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family. Nikki is our absolute inspiration, and whatever we will endure during our training and on the day, will be nothing compared to what she had to go through during her treatment and the final few months of her life.

Nikki and her husband Pete, were in the middle of filming for Channel 4's 'Restoration Man' programme whilst building their 'dream house'. The programme is to be shown on Wednesday 4th January 2012 on Channel 4 at 9pm.
We fully appreciate you taking the time to read our story and know that with your support we can help so many more families. We would be so, so grateful if you could find the time to donate to our cause at our Just Giving site which you can find here -

However much you can afford to give in these difficult times, is genuinely appreciated as we could not do this without your support and generosity.

You can also donate by mobile phone -

TEXT: NFAG61 and the amount (i.e £10) to 70070 you'll be prompted to donate gift aid - this doesn't cost you anything but increases your donation by 25% so please click yes when asked. You then have the option to leave a message, that way we can thank you for you donation personally.

You can obviously follow our training here and we would very much appreciate your comments on our posts which I'm sure will help us immensely during the cold winter months!!! 

Many thanks again for your support and please share our link to this page with your friends and family.

Shelly, Marcus and Dan

Nikki, this one's for you x x x