Saturday 3 October 2020

24 Hour Blogathon - The Great South Blog Run Starting Now! (An Introduction)

This post is part of The Great South Blog Run - an event where I attempt to complete a 10 mile run and then write blogs for 24 hours in support of Solent Mind, a mental health support charity. I would be really grateful if you would help by sponsoring me and help raise some funds for the charity.

You can find my sponsorship page by clicking this link.

Today, the 3rd October 2020, should have seen 5 venues on Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth packed with new music fans. It would have been the latest and best edition of Dials, Southsea – a small but perfectly formed festival that I help book and run in my home city. We started forming the line-up early in 2020 but by April, with acts like International Teachers of Pop, Los Bitchos, The Pale White, Natalie McCool, Coach Party, Lynks (now just known as Lynks) and Hallan all confirmed, it was clear that the festival was unlikely to go ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A couple of months later, with heavy hearts, our team, all of whom are volunteers and take no pay or money from the event, announced that the festival was cancelled for 2020.

Being the sort of person who doesn’t like to sit around dejectedly and mope about things, I decided that on the day of Dials I would do something positive instead.

Dials is different from most other festivals insofar as it gives its profits to a local mental health charity – Solent Mind. As Solent Mind wouldn’t benefit from our event this year and given that I have a number of friends who have experienced their own struggles with mental health over the last 12 months, I still wanted to do something to help and raise a small amount of funds for the charity. Support services are vital – and all of us may at some point in our lives need them.

One of my more recent passions has been running. Having suffered a heart attack at the tail end of 2018 due to a congenital defect that I didn’t know about and undergone subsequent open-heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve with a mechanical one, I have started jogging to get fit again. At first it was just a few hundred metres at a time, but now I feel confident running several miles. Therefore today, on a day when I would normally be busy with Dials Festival, I will be running 10 miles. It’s the same distance as the Great South Run, which also normally takes place in my home city this month. To help spur me on for this run – the furthest I will have gone since the surgery – I am asking people to sponsor me if they are able to. All donations are being given to Solent Mind.

But I’m not just doing a run. That would be too easy (I might regret saying those words after I’ve completed it). Assuming I finish in one piece and have done a warm-down, and had a shower and eaten some food I’m going to do a 24-hour blogathon; writing and posting blogs non-stop (with a few rules / caveats in place which I’ll list in a separate post after the run).

If you subscribe to my twitter feed (@BMWavesBlog) or get the blog content in some form of subscription service such as RSS I’ll try not to overload you; there won’t be posts published every 15 minutes, it will be slower than that. Remember this is a marathon / blogathon not a sprint and if I go at it like a bull in a china shop not only will I exhaust my brain but I’ll quite probably run out of ideas for content. This is actually one of my biggest concerns at the moment – I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about. Leading up to this I’ve been so focused on the run, plus my day job and concerns about friends and family I have given little thought to the following 24 hours, except to say that there will be a mix of posts about new bands / music and perhaps a few more personal pieces as well – although all related back to music in some way.

By the time you read this I will have (if all goes to plan) started my run and will be out there on the streets of Southsea giving my old weary legs and body a punishing that they haven’t experienced for some time. This post is of course pre-written and I’m uploading it just shortly before the start of the run. The rest will be written ‘live’ and the 24 hours will include reading blog related emails from bands, listening to music I might feature etc. It’s not just about the writing.

I’ll try and post some updates both here and on Twitter as soon as I’ve finished, but for now, I’d just like to say please do visit the blog a few times over the next day – it would be nice if someone reads what I write.

Oh, and of course, I’d really like your cash. Not for me. But for Solent Mind. Yes, I’m doing this for myself; for my fitness, for a positive approach to Dials being cancelled, but I’m also doing it for your money. So please, if you can, donate.

Throw a couple of quid at me (by clicking on this link) and help make the world a tiny bit of a better place.

Thank you. I’ll (hopefully) be back here in a couple of hours or so after a run, food and shower. And let’s hope that in 2021 Dials Festival happens so I don’t have to do bloody do this again!

Tourist - Run

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