Mark Chalklen


My Activity Tracking


(Virtually) Run2Paris - Day 4

Final day. Final run.

Rather windy again today, long, long straight road so got my head down and gave it all. A good man in my life once said 'If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well...' that's all the encouragement I needed today to get me through to the finish.

4 days
85 km
8hrs 37min
90,000+ steps
7,900 calories burnt
PB half marathon of 1h 59m 16s
£648 + £122.30 Gift Aid raised so far.

Personal running achievement during  'lockdown' as a result of a global pandemic - who'd have thought that would happen.

(Virtually) Run2Paris - Day 3

OK, yesterday was painful, today seems like torture. 

Early on, in discussion with others I had already figured day 3 was the hardest. Day 1, all excited and pumped, leaving the UK. Day 2 - hurting but first day in France ready to crack on. Day 3... well - there were two days of running before, what do you think!

I wanted to give up before the first 1K mark... It hurt... but I've done it.

(Virtually) Run2Paris - Day 2

Day two was tough going, wanted to give up so many times, first 10K was painful, the rest was more so. Not quite sure how tomorrow will go, but will rest the legs and give it all.

Watch didn't map the route well, image is from my phone tracking.

(Virtually) Run2Paris - Day 1

Day 1
Early start, lovely route if some what hilly, its going to be a warm day so setting out early was key, the distance covered is what is shown by the route plan, plus a little for good measure:

I couldn't make it all the way back, tank was empty...

It's been a while...

No updates here for a while, but training has continued throughout 'lock down' as much as possible, lots of miles, 122.5 miles of running since my last update just over 2 months ago… Wowzers…

In that I have completed my second and third ever half marathon distance, smashed 10k and 5k, through to 20K and half marathon PB’s. From falling over the line, after a 34min 5k just about 6 months ago, I’ve progressed to:

5k – 24.05

10k – 53:56

10 mile – 1:47:!5

20k – 2:15:17

Half – 2:23:30

Well pleased with that! There is talk of us taking on the challenge as planned in the next few days, completing the distance running from home.

10k PB

Yep, so the 7k runs turned into th pursit of a 10k. Against the wind (which has bene here all week it seems) a 10k was tough but pleased to find the average pace was good overall, and PB on a few segments and overall!

Some knee discomfort now though so I will be giving it a rest for a few days

7k recovery running

It seems like 7k is my limit for now with the knees and legs, so I have stuck this week with around 7k per run. Knee discomfort (not pain) kicks in around 5k so don’t want to push it too far at the moment.

We will see how it goes.

Gentle running...

So, it’s time to get started again, gently after physio. 2k recommended run... 

I thought I felt fine so carried on a little... turns out 7k in one go after all isn’t a great idea. Back to resting a painful for the rest of this week, keeping up the exercises daily of course.

Physio is painful!

So, a month of physio and I can walk again without a limp... By god it was painful. Bruised from massage to I couldn’t touch my leg without pain for days, electrocuted through the knee, laser therapy and, the worst of all, shockwave therapy... As the picture suggested, it’s like a pneumatic hammer on your already painful knee. talk about bringing a tear to your eye...


So sore knee has given up. Referral to physio. No running for me

Running when you can - Part 2

Working from home today meant I could finish and be up and out to drop J at Beavers and take the opportunity to go for a run. Time limited again I set off with a turn back timer. Running was slightly painful in places on my knee, but was fairly steady pace which was pleasing. Finished up with a few loops around a field to bets use my time.

Family running #5

Early-ish family run to start the weekend, small loop completed I carried on with an extended run. Heading for some more hills I took a new route today. Poor choice of route along a country road with no footpaths and poor visibility in places made for not the most pleasant run.

Run complete – time to get on with the rest of the day.

Run when you can

Early start to the working day puts a stop to the early morning running from the last two days. Back from a long day just in time to get to football practice, it was time to throw the kit on and run while J was at football. Having a 50-minute time limit, and starting from an unusual place I set a turn back timer to ensure I wasn’t late.

I set off too quick – frustration from the day taking hold but tried to maintain the pace for as long as possible. 8km added to the feet in 45 minutes, got me back in time to watch a bit of training. Hill repeats have definitely made a difference to how a run feels, I guess I need to go back and do more!

Family run #6

Finally, time for another of our family runs, last one was last year… last decade! Lots of illness hopefully now behind us we are all back together. I’d covered just over 66km of running, a large proportion of which has been off road with a good amount also being hill running since our last run together. This run felt OK despite pushing a double loaded buggy. Was almost nice to run, thanks to J for chatting all the way round.

Yet more hills… this time with buggy

As if hill running wasn’t difficult enough…

Event has conspired against me this week meaning it was too windy to run at night so trying to get some miles done in the morning saw me out early doors two consecutive mornings. This means this little champ was also in two, so hill repeats with buggy… - Not a bad effort not as many meters of climb as I had hoped for, I think the 2000m climb for January goal is looking less achievable now.

Extending this slightly from yesterday means 173m of climb over these two days, tough going:

Setting a turn back alarm was the only way to ensure I had enough time to get back, showered and out to work on time.

The run after the hills before

Today sees me with a painful right knee so not really wanting to run, a poorly baby not able to sleep meant either a drive around in the car or…. Yep a buggy run. Gentle buggy run then to see if I can loosen the knee and not cause any further damage around the now well-trodden route.

Easier than hills, easier than mud bathed trails.

Hill repeats

After a week of sickness bug in the family, a trip to the hospital with a poorly baby and many a lost night’s sleep I realised that this week had just disappeared without any training at all – not the start to January I had imagined or hoped for.

So, starting the weekend I pushed myself out, leaving the family behind with a timer saying if I’m not back by then give me a call, so I could make it back in time for J’s football.

I set out again, with no real plan other than to do a few hill repeats not far from home. It was… bloody awful. On the first turn to run up the hill I was already frustrated and wanting to quit, it took all the mental strength I had left after the week gone to not walk up it and home.

Thinking about plans for work, and what the opportunities were for change kept my head occupied while I ran what I hoped was a steady pace up and down the hill a few times. Distracting myself watching some cyclists also doing the same thing, thinking ‘That looks much easier….’ And some other people either running up or down I began to question the sanity of what I was doing.

Absolutely knackered, I headed home hoping that I had run at least an 8k and managed to put some climbing miles on my January challenge of climbing 2000m (a seemingly ridiculous amount). To my surprise, 11.5km later and just over 160m of climbing, it was time for the best bit of running – a shower.

Sore runnings!

First chance to try back to back runs. Following not enough sleep in the house with poorly children I was later getting up than I would like. Combined with hill running from yesterday that didn’t agree with me in the form of asore right knee made for a difficult start to this morning’s early morning run with my dad.

We set off to pick up part of a route run with Toby on New Year’s day across the fields and along the creek. We wouldn’t be able to run all of it due to the tide (and not wanting to swim in freezing cold water) we took a different route and ended up back on part of the route from yesterday, across the fields towards those darn hills. As with yesterday, its very difficult to keep pace up across patches of sheet mud and over hills.

The knee pain meant that I had obviously then changed my running, so the ankle of other leg started hurting. That and a very embarrassing, misjudged passing of wind at mid-way point made for and VERY uncomfortable run back through the mud with knee and ankle pain along with a new experience of extreme chafing. The joys of being a runner… I guess.

Those darn hills!

This morning saw our plans for a day at the zoo abandoned on account of the freezing cold weather… why not go for a run instead I thought. I set off without much of an idea on route as it was a last-minute run and thought I would head towards a local town Woodbridge and see how far I could go.

A kilometre or so away sees me go down a steep hill, so I thought it would be worth doing a bit of hill running – hadn’t planned to but 3 times up the hill later and I’ve decided to run on to the next hill. Straight up and down that one and I’ve spotted a footpath across a field so decide to venture that way.

Very muddy run across the fields sees me out in a little village… at the bottom of another hill! After that massive hill there is one final hill to get home.

127m of (not necessarily planned) climbing in all – felt like much more, but another few miles on the clock

Post illness run-it-out

New Year day and starting as I mean to go on. Joining Toby for a run we explored a new route for me along the creek on a cold and misty morning. Mostly off road today, but post chest infection, I was pleased to be able to complete 12.5km in a reasonable time. Wasn’t easy, but running is definitely better with company.

Illness is a killer for training

9 days after my last run and Christmas passed (no ghost’s in sight) saw me out for my next run today. Steady paced family run that, given illness neither the wife or I were up for, but we pushed ourselves out.

We used the run to give the boys a ride on their bikes and drop a couple of late Christmas presents off to friends. Back home in enough time to get out again to friends for lunch.

Christmas running

Christmas is a busy time, but I managed to get a run in. Picking up a friend enroute, I managed just under 12km buggy run with two little ones in tow. Buggy was heavy but Mike helped with it, so pace wasn’t too bad.

Piggy back running… Looks fun...

Last night I managed to squeeze a run in after work and before picking J up from football practice. Having only a limited time I was, for the first time, really conscious of the need to time and plan a run – new experience for me. I set off looking to cover a decent distance, with around 50 minutes in hand so set off at a good pace.

It was apparent fairly quickly that I was warmer than other runs, mixture of fair weather but also new high-vis jacket so the first run of the night was really tough going as I overheated. Making it to pickup with 5 minutes to spare I’d run as quickly as I could.

Unfortunately J had picked up an injury playing against the adults so want able to run home as planned. Piggyback running then became a thing, not easy with a 7 year old. Dropped him home and then carried on running as felt I could and put in another few miles before it was most definitely dinner time.


Piggy back running – looks fun, don't try it…

Family run #4

Last night saw us pick up on our family run again, running a fairly steady 5.5 km around our now staple route. Reasonable running weather not to cold, not raining so what’s not to like. J and mummy both did an awesome job. Proud of my running buddies!

Grizzle hill… resistance training with a difference

So today saw me out in the middle of a manic weekend full of Christmas crazy… E had a party to go to today, so I took J & H out for swimming lesson, then for a couple of hours of playing carols again outside a local supermarket. The afternoon saw us try and squeeze in a run before the others got back, which we just managed.

Running, with E in buggy and J behind on his bike. What a difference running in the daylight, and not freezing cold or rain! Headphones charged (thanks to my wife) and we were away, heading for a bit of hill training.

Out was easy going, relatively speaking but as soon as we turned back things changed. I’d failed to notice the wind was behind us on the way down the hill. A double buggy, with a rain cover on makes a really good wind catcher. That combined with J having a 7-year-old ‘moment’ at the bottom of the hill which lasted right to the top made for a few stops and rough going. We agreed to call it Grizzle hill from now on. Despite his resistance all the way to the top – he made it.

Not feeling like we had run that far with stops, we went a slightly longer way home hoping to hit 6k. Genuinely surprised to see that we’d done 8k by the time we got back home, so pleased with the result... Then time to put Sunday dinner on for the kids and look forward to a new week.

Never enough time…

I worked from home for a couple of hours this afternoon, a rarity for me but that meant I was at home at the end of the day. The family all left just before my working day ended to get our eldest to a football get together as a local climbing place so that left me with an hour to myself… I could actually have an hour to myself doing nothing (something that is so scarce with a full-time job and three lovely kids its not funny), or I could… run.

I couldn't run last night, as I went straight from work to my other fundraising efforts, 1.5 hours of playing carols outside a supermarket in the cold to raise money (we did well). By the time I got home, it was a choice between dinner or run – I chose dinner.

Feeling guilty, I got pumped up and ready for a run wrapping my phone in clingfilm as I knew it was raining pretty hard. I have to be honest, I left the house to grab my hat from the car and it was so wet and cold, I went back in to contemplate the wiseness of what I was about to do. I did it anyway, forcing myself to go out. Headphones ran after a few hundred meters which made it even more difficult to run, but 5k completed around my usual route – backwards for some variety.

Strava seems to think it was a 5k PR so all in all, not a bad effort, still a painful run on the shins...

Windy... cold… painful

Been a busy few days so haven’t managed a run for 4 days.


Tonight was painful… My legs have hurt on and off since my last longer run, so getting started tonight was a chore. Add to that it was blowing a gale outside, every direction I ran I seemed to be running into a hefty head win.. and it was raining almost sleeting to boot…

Despite that, completed a short run, with a couple of pain induced stops around a now well trodden path.

Donation backed, spaghetti fuelled longest run

Yesterday saw me launch the fundraising effort in earnest, and a cracking day it was – thank you all so much. Off that back of over £250 of donations in one day, and the inspiration from my 7 year old earlier in the week on our family run… I wanted to ‘push myself’.

So last night saw me run further than I have, a little over 9k. I have to admit, I was heading for 10k minimum (need to get my routes sorted out) and it felt like I had done 15k, but I was quickly done with the disappointment of not hitting 10k when I saw the pace was much steadier across the run.

Yesterday also saw my run with music for the first time, what a difference that makes. I love my new bone conducting headphones. Rushing to get out for a run after a day in London and just making bedtime, my wife set my play list – a workout playlist from Amazon prime. Not hearing, so not focussing so much on breathing all the way the run seemed much easier than some and also allowed me to keep a steadier pace. Weird to still hear all the road noise around you along with music, but much safer.

Thanks to all who donated yesterday!

The world around you... as you're running

I must be honest... I don’t yet see what people enjoy about running, not alone anyway. Perhaps I'm too early on and just finding it tough going.

I hit me the other day whilst running that you observe a lot if you run for an hour, but its whether you 'see' it. Whilst running at the weekend down a busy road, I saw a lot of ambulances, as the were heading towards the local hospital in some capacity. It got me thinking about an article I read recently about how, in our local areas there were three paramedics who had taken their own lives in a space of 11 weeks.

The article / post talked about the obvious things we all know; they do an amazing job, we need them, they genuinely brilliant people. It also went on to say talk about how we as a community can do a simple action of saying hi, or thanks, or just a little wave of acknowledgement. That might be just enough to brighten someone’s day a little, when you think of what they potential have just been dealing with.

The same is true of the other emergency services. Whenever we’re with the boys and see a police car we always stop and wave, hopefully it just makes them smile, and occasionally we get the odd blue light flash – which never gets old!

So I thought I’d give it a go, as I think I’ll be doing a bit of running down this road as I stretch out towards 10k and beyond. If by some chance anyone does read this, and does run, and find themselves seeing any of our lovely emergency services, try giving them a wave, you might just brighten someone’s day.

Family run #3

We seem to have fallen into a pattern for the last few weeks of a Monday night family run.

Setting the scene: Its 6pm. Its dark, very cold, there is a 1 year old, a 4 year old and a 7 year old to get ready. 

Luckily my wife is amazing and I arrive home and everything is ready to go, two little ones wrapped up in... I've lost count of how many layers and in the double buggy ready to go. 7 year old J is also dressed ready for running.

We set out at its bloomin' freezing... literally icy on the paths so we go steady. Walking for a bit and then running J is getting better every week with his running, less flat flappy feet this week. We get close to what has become out routine turn around point for what becomes just under 4K route. As we approach J says 'I want to push myself and go further'.

So, with mummy trailing being a little and confused as to where we're going we press on and end up doing an almost perfect 5k, arriving back just in time for showers and bedtime stories, full of pride and happy i've put some miles down to start the week.

Thanks family for the training motivation!

'Hat on run' with Christmas trees

Today saw me out for an early morning run with our little one year old in tow. Again, time limited before taking J off to swimming lessons I had an hour only so headed out.

Getting a bit more used to this running stuff, I've joined and started making use of Strava (expect loads of riverting run updates):

'Hat on run' because it was 1 degree outside, and for most of the first half I was telling H to keep his hat on in the buggy, in multiple different ways... he of course paid absolutely no attention at all, and then fell asleep.

The 7.5k were painful, not sure if it was the coffee in the morning or the talking to H that had an effect on my breathing but ended up being sick at mid-point. Too much detail… perhaps but I want to share that this is tough in the hope you will find some change down the back of the sofa and think of me.

Snap of my running partner for today.

I need your £10


While I was out running today, I’ve decided on my fundraising strategy – I need you to donate £10.

There, simple as that. I know there are loads of other uses for £10, don’t believe me, have a look here. If you can spare it, it means that I only need to plead with 99 other people to meet my target. You can kick back and enjoy what I’m absolutely convinced will become a truly dull and mind numbing blog, from the comfort of your soft, warm chair/sofa/bed.

Running is hard work

I feel I should start this, for the record, with my starting point. 

A little over two weeks ago saw me do my first run of any real length in around a year. That’s right... I'm not exactly a runner combined with pressures of work and family life with three small children. 

I started again, because someone convinced me to sign up to run2paris!.. So, like a good dedicated runner I started with my first park run. I had to get J to his football match, so I had to complete it in 30 minutes. Not really believing I could, I ran across the line in just under 30 minutes... in pain having run with all I had. I ran a couple of short runs that week, all less than 5k and completed the next weeks park run in just under 29 minutes.

So, that’s my starting point, I need some motivation to get going out in the cold, dark and typically wet weather in the evenings, so please start me off with some donations.

I'm fundraising for...

That's right me and the team of 4 others are running to Paris...You heard, from London to Paris on foot, in just 4 days.

I need your support now and in the coming months to help me achieve this.

Your donation will go towards two really important causes, Supporting Parkinson's UK and SSAFA. I really appreciate your support.

Thank you to my Sponsors


Tim Butcher


Steven, Helen, Jp & Iris

Great work, fella. Ice bath and a well-earned beer me thinks!


Milos Tadic

Good luck Mark!


Robert Wright

Good luck mate - epic challenge and will surely qualify for a cycling pass in the summer for your efforts


Ben Taylor

Best of luck mate! Positive vibes from the Taylor tribe :)


Adrian Cassidy


Luke Rumbelow - Nayland 10k

Stay strong.


Kathy & Stuart Walsh

Good Luck Mark


Paul Benyon

Well done Mark... amazing effort and great causes to raise money for. Keep going!! Paul and Liz xx


Nathan Holliday



Zahra Beknounou

What a goal this is! You can do it :)


Laura Armstrong

Good luck!


L West

Well done :-)


Sarah Cable

Good luck!


Mr Chris Beale

Good luck


Rachel Franklin

Good Luck Mark!


Eduardo Carvalho


Rechenda Smith

Good luck Mark


Paul Chalklen

Good luck all! 👍🏻



Bonne chance!


Emily Jackaman

What an awesome thing to do and love that the whole family are getting involved 👍🌟 go team Chalklen! X


Rufus Tang

Break a leg.


Lee Hanbury-pickett


Emily Shaw


Milos Tadic


Josh Crawford


Bryony Hill

I figured a little hiccup like lockdown wouldn’t stop you! Well done!


Colin Aldous

You*ll make it


Jenny Davy

Well done Mark! Lots of love Jenny and boys xx



Smash it 💪



Starting this off with £10


Colin Aldous


Lee Branch

Don't break anything!


Ian Dance

Good luck mate!


Adam Gibson

You’re mad!! But here’s a tenner 🤣


Damien Kerry

All the best, you must be mad, running sucks


Mark Chalklen


Elaine Ellis


Amy Highland

Don’t let us down!


Jayne Howlett

Good luck!