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Quick trip to Rio to do a Marathon


At the fitness fair



The Big Five Marathon, Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa



June 2016 Marathon Status Check

Total Marathons Completed31

Total Continents Completed = 6 of 7

Next Scheduled Race – Australia Outback Marathon- 2017

Antarctica Antarctica

Status: Complete 2011

Number of Marathons Completed: 1

Oceania Oceania

Status:  2017

Number of Marathons Completed: 0

South America South America (Rio de Janeiro Marathon)

Status: Complete 2016

Number of Marathons Completed: 1

Asia Asia 2001 (Tiberius, Israel) and 2013 (Great Wall China)

Status: Complete 2013

Number of Marathons Completed: 2

Europe Europe (Athens 2500th)

Status: Complete 2010

Number of Marathons Completed: 1

North America North America (Many)

Status: Complete

Number of Marathons Completed: 25

Africa Africa (Big 5 2014)

Status: Complete 2014

Number of Marathons Completed: 1


Seven Continents Club

It’s too cold to run.

Ken Hypothermic 12 Feb 11

Running is a great passion but there are times when it is just too ridiculous to run for fun. Temperatures that are -20 combined with a wind chill to make it -32 is just plain craaaazzzzyyyy!!!  However when I see some of my other running buddies, such as Dan Morley or Mike Styzcen, running in these temperatures I have to give them great respect.  It is there perseverence and determination and damnation to the weather that gets them out on a run.  Even my girlfriend Wilma went to the Westhills Running Room yesterday all prepared to get out and pace the Hypothermic Half Marathon Run Clinic, but no one showed up.  Now I do go out in these extreme temperatures when there is a race I have paid for, but for fun……

I remember a Hypothermic Race a couple of years ago when the temperatures were much like they have been lately in Calgary.  The wind chill was a little more intense but my mind was thinking that the wind was a chinook and that it was warm.  I had an earlobe exposed and did not realize that it was getting frosty until after the race at the brunch inside the Sheraton.  My ear started to thaw out and it was some painful.  I didn’t lose the lower portion of the ear, but it sure got black and scabby.  It has been a little sensitive ever since.

So I am hoping that by New Years Eve the weather improves considerably as I have the NY Resolution 5 km Run at Eau Claire in downtown Calgary.  I have done this race many many times and in all conditions.  But it is a lot of ffun (yes I spelled fun with two f’s). 

The other concern I have running in this weather is that it seems to bother my knees.  I have had knee problems in the past having arthroscopic surgery on each knee and I hope that it is only the weather that is affecting them, not the fact that my knees are getting worse (as they really are).  As I get older, (it was another birthday for me the other day) it is harder for me to realize that the body cannot handle the same amount of exercise I used to do in the past.  This slowdown, means that I am also running outside in those cold conditions that much longer.  No more speedy finishes.   

My Run Rant

Okay, I am not trying to be a “talking head” but how can you do a rant without being one ala Rick Mercer.  So have a watch on my video about my rant on my pet peeves while running.  By the way, I said crampon, not tampon.

Running towards You Tube videos

Social videos are, as Shama Hyder Kabani’s Chapter 10 title, “The Most Powerful Social Medium” and You Tube is definitely the winner in this field, although several other sites continue to hold their own.  The key is grabbing your audience and holding them to the finish and for that you need to be very creative.  But there are video’s out there that capture moments, events and milestones in peoples lives and except for the very very few, will never reach viral status or have people drawn to the site.  Some videos are just posted for the benefit of the few individuals taking part in the moment.

As you are aware, not only from my blogs, but from my masthead picture (as it currently is), I went to Antarctica to do a Marathon in 2011.  Two of my fellow runners captured the moment on their own cameras and posted them to you tube.  Both are different and yet capture two different viewpoints of the milestone.  These are the types that are really just for people who were there or for the individuals own pleasure.

The first one by Tony Keefe here: is 9 minutes long.  However his editing and background music are not the very best.  The dramatic music he used did not suit itself to the actions of everyone running.  A little more modern and upbeat tempo music would have been perfect for this.  I would also say that he probably could have cut out several parts to tighten the overall affect.  The most annoying part of the video is the microphone capturing the wind, which sometimes overrides the spoken words that Tony was making.  Even the music occassionally disrupts what he is saying.  The camera is also very jitttery which can be offsetting, but without a self-righting gyroscope that is what happens when running.  I note that at time of writing this, he has had 1304 people view it (or at least start to view it).  Most likely others planning to go to Antarctica, or me, going to it several times to do this assignment.

The second video is by Leong Ying.  He starts his video with a more professional and smart looking title page, but also includes a bit about a stuffed penguin that he used as a mascot for this race (he uses a similar mascot for all the marathons he does around the world).  I found this video much more interesting and fun than that of Tony.  Leong interspersed individuals making comments, a little bit more editing and he didn’t need a music background as it would have taken away from the experience.  The same issues are at play here as they were in Tony’s video, being the jittery camera and the howling wind being picked up by the microphone. Although a better looking video, he has only had 867 views.  As an aside, Leong went to China a few months after this Antarctic adventure and captured it in this video here:

This segues nicely into the third video I am talking about.  This was a professional video to advertise the Great Wall Marathon by Albatross Tours for the 2012 edition (which is what I did).  I find that this video builds the audience up through the use of the imagery and music.  It almost says, your’re losing out if you are not here.  I know when I initially saw this video, I got excited, thrilled and also a little scared.  Have a look:

I am also going to add a bonus video which I came across and which I found to be a bit emotional.  It is about a guy who decides to train to do the Boston Marathon, lose weight in the process, and raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis.  The change in him is quite dramatic and you can see what he does to get in shape and lose the weight.  This video was done in 2008 and has had 3,367,773 views. I think it is well done, and had to choke back some tears initially.

I don’t need to invent my stories, I live them.




15 Minutes of your life.

Although the requirement for podcasts in the Social Media Course is no longer required, I thought I would do a podcast to talk about the Great Wall Marathon I was in China to do this past May.  It is just under 15 minutes long, and if you hang in to listen to the whole podcast, well, good for you.  After listening to it after it was recorded I was starting to fall asleep in the middle section thinking who is this guy talking that is putting me to sleep.  What was interesting is that I didn’t think that my narrative on this topic was going to go 15 minutes.  As I wasn’t looking at the timer, I thought It was about 7:00 minutes long.  Time seems to have two perceptions when it comes to podcasts.  For me, the speaker, it only seemed as if 5 or 6 minutes had passed total, but for the audience, listening to it, it would seem to be an hour passes as they listen to me boring everyone to death.  I know, I have been in lectures and presentations, and I am thinking, “Oh god, when is this going to end.  I am so bored, I want to sleep.”  Time just seems to drag on in those circumstances.  You are embarrassed to nod off, lest you get caught, so you ask the people on either side of you to keep you awake.  When I am the presenter, I look out at the audience and I think what I am telling them is so good and interesting, everyone’s attention will be focused on every word I say. It takes me a while to realize the glazed look on the audience.  How many times has your significant other, a friend, a coworker gone on with their story and you start drifting away or day dreaming only to be brought back to atention by a quick comment from the individual “Are you listening to me?” or “Did you hear a word I just said?”  Yup, it’s happened to me.  It’s good to know that no one will be falling asleep or daydreaming reading this blog right now………..

Here is the podcast


~ Cup of Tea

Sandi McNeill

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