Philip and Warren with Marathon Man Robert Young
A few months ago a good friend and I were lucky enough to complete what was a big challenge for both of us by running 7 marathons in 7 days in Guernsey. The challenge was beyond anything we could have imagined in so many ways.
The Guernsey community was amazing in helping raise almost £23,000 for two charities, This is EPIC and The Hub.
Philip and I weren’t prepared for the dramatic impact doing this would have on our lives. This will evolve into firm action in the coming months and years.
We were fortunate to meet an amazing man on this journey. Robert Young is aiming to break the world record for the number of marathons run in one year!!!
This is a phenomenal challenge but when you hear his story and why he is doing it you will understand why. Make sure you have a tissue to hand.
What is amazing is not only how Robert has turned his life around but how he has gone further and through this challenge raising money but also engaging with people and inspiring them to be better people themselves.
In the early hours of Friday 5th December (2am) Philip and I, along with around 30 other runners, will run a marathon (13 doing it all, 17 joining along the way) to stand shoulder to shoulder with Robert in support of his efforts.
We are running at this time because in order to fit in with his job and family this is when Robert has been running the majority of his marathons.
If you are touched and inspired by this like we both were and can spare any change before the Christmas presents are all bought you can donate at the link below.
Donations will be spilt 50:50 between Robert’s cause and This is EPIC which helps to end poverty in the most extreme places through village savings and loans.
Thanks for reading and I hope on some level you find it inspiring.
We wanted to let you know of a change in Guernsey. We are currently moving out of our office and have a month or two before we are in new premises. In the meantime its business as usual flying around filming and producing our usual menagerie of films.
You can contact us on 07781 126 708 or via email email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
“We’ve come a long way. But we’ re not too sure where we’ve been….”
Take That (Never Forget)
Watch the short film to find out why we are determined to succeed in this challenge.
It feels like we have been doing this for a very long time but there’s now less than two weeks of serious training left before we have two easy weeks and the big day arrives. It’s now close enough to feel very real and daunting. We are fine-tuning our refuelling strategies as they are very different from running just one marathon. It takes a body 20 hours to recharge its glycogen stores. We are likely to only have around 19 hours to do this so, even if we get our nutrition right each day, we will be starting without a full battery.
This past week has been the biggest in terms of mileage, I hit 80 miles and Philip made 94.
It has taken months and months of sustained consistent training to even reach this point. For the past two or three months we have regularly been running 50 to 60 miles a week. One of the strange things when training for an event like this is that you never do anything like the mileage of the actual event. It’s vital to get your body used to running regular mileage but it’s equally about training the mind. So much of the success will be down to mental strength.
We are both in a good place with our fitness and feel we have got ourselves to a point where we can really do ourselves justice. It has been a roller-coaster though. The worst point came two weeks ago when we both hit our biggest low point on the same day. For me it was a Sunday morning; I had got up at 5.45am to do a 20-mile run, having just completed a 60-mile week. As I left the house to meet up with Philip I felt really, really tired – far more than normal. I ran a mile to where we were meeting and just felt terrible, I was already mentally shortening the morning run. I was early and as I stopped to wait for Philip (secretly hoping he’d overslept and wasn’t coming so I could just go home) I could barely keep my eyes open. Unfortunately he arrived and we started running but I had a flat battery. I kept going but 7 miles in decided my body was shouting at me for a reason and I should listen. I wasn’t going to be helping myself by still going for the 20 miles. I reluctantly cut the session short and ran the three miles home, completing just 10 miles. I felt terrible and angry with myself for not finishing the run I set out to do. I decided to have a rest and took the next two days off from running. Since that day I have felt great, one week later Philip and I ran a marathon on treadmills in public at Seafront Sunday, it was really good and helped make more than £500 for the charities we are raising funds for.
Some of the things I’ve experienced:
- Blisters on all toes, sometimes blisters on top of blisters
- Friction sores to the inner thigh
- Cut nipples
- Dead legs
- A huge food bill
- Self doubt and fear
- Occasional mental and physical exhaustion
Bigger than the running challenge is our aim to raise £20,000 for The Hub and ThisisEPIC. Take a look at this short video clip to find out how your donation will have a direct impact on someone’s life. Both charities change lives.
If you are one of the many kind people who have already donated we thank you so much, we have been humbled by your generosity.
We have been kept injury free and in training thanks to;
Stuart Hardie from Primal Running (Chi Running)
Paul Gosling from Equilibrium Massage
The thank-you list is growing – thank you to everyone who has helped so far.
Watch this video to see how you will change lives
There are just over 11 weeks to go until Philip and I start our 7 Marathons in 7 Days challenge! That’s about 1000 miles left to run.
Training is going well; from 1st May to yesterday I have run 225 miles in training. My body is craving food all day long and my wife has become a running widow. She also has to listen to all the facts and figures every day – which is no fun.
Many of the runs have to be shoehorned into our daily lives and responsibilities, we both have busy jobs and young families that also need us.
Some training runs we just want to get over with but others have been amazing. Last week I really didn’t want to run but went out just before sunset for a 12 miler, heading towards Cobo. I decided to go through the nature trail by Saumarez Park. The views of the sun setting were awesome, I did stop a few times to take in the view. I felt like I was floating across the coastline and probably went too fast as the next few days I was tired out. I think this was one of the first runs that all the elements Stuart Hardie of Primal Running had taught me came together: breathing, arms, heel lift etc. Philip and I have been lucky to get such priceless support from Stuart, an experienced multi-marathoner. I have been changing my style in line with the “Chi Running” form which has meant speeding up my steps to 177 per minute, and using my arms more. Who knew that 50% of your effort comes from your arms?
We also have had fantastic offers of help (which we are taking up) from the likes of Equilibrium Massage and Guthrie Steer to ensure we are in the best physical shape to complete our challenge.
One thing we are beginning to notice as the miles add up is the need to pace ourselves better and not go for it on every run. It goes against Alpha male tendencies, but we will need to be controlled in our running if we are going to be successful.
Let me know if you want to join us on any part of the run for as much or as little as you like.
If you or your business would like to support us please let us know or make a simple donation using this link.
Mastering YouTube and putting your brand, product or service in the spotlight is not something that many modern marketers are familiar or comfortable with. In this guide we will offer you 10 easy steps to promote and market your small-business videos.
But first let’s hear from Rob Ciampa (@robciampa) of Pixability. On www.contentmarketinginstitue.com he writes,
“Businesses are flocking to video content marketing as an efficient and wickedly effective content tactic. But the focus on making the video often overshadows the marketing of it. And winning followers on YouTube requires different strategies than doing so through other types of content marketing.
Audiences are about 10 times more likely to engage, embed, share, and comment on video content than blogs or related social posts. Understand that YouTube is not just an online video repository; it’s also a powerful social media platform. Engagement is a critical part of earned media that allows brands to engage back, a critical method for driving views and action.”
So where to start? Get the right creative for the right message. Keep it simple. Sometimes professional grade content is required, sometime user generated content will suffice. Don’t over complicate your film creations and never put form over function. Ok, so we have (albeit briefly) addressed what the content is, now let’s start looking at the cleverness of YouTube and other promotional tools for your online video.
- YouTube already has some brilliant built in tools. By providing a detailed and accurate title you will get found more easily. Add a detailed description and you increase your chances further. Once you have included relevant tag words you are well on your way to success.
- Encourage people to like, rate, share and comment on your video within the film itself. This form of enhanced call to action will reap rewards.
- Remember YouTube automatically transcribes your audio and produces subtitles to your viewers, professional sound quality results in more accurate subs which by their very nature add more digital keywords to your online film.
- Start sharing your YouTube link with the obvious people, the friends and family, customers and clients that you already have a social network with. Encourage them to like and share your videos.
- If you represent your company online then ensure you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ where you can promote your content. These channels will help you drive viewers to your film and ultimately to your website where audiences can transact or learn more.
- If your company has a blog then make sure every new product or service video is discussed and linked/embedded.
- Separately you should consider using HTML emails to relevant target groups to share awareness of your online YouTube clips.
- Use free online PR tools to make other interested parties aware of your content. Try to engage with editors, journalists and bloggers who will pass on your expertise.
- Cross promote your YouTube channel within other channels like your company website, literature, email signatures and offline advertising.
- Google AdWords for Video is a powerful and cost-effective tool for promoting YouTube videos. Consider paying for keyword advertising on the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Facebook.
If you bear these basic rules in mind when you are developing your video marketing strategy you will be sweating your video assets and see an upturn in viewers, visitors and conversions.
Going through our archives we often stumble across a few gems. A couple of years ago we were tasked with creating a promotional film for a new Darts event to be held at the NEC in Birmingham. Check out this short promo we made, it’s a little over the top but good fun.
You”re crazy! Or words to that effect that weren’t quite as polite!
That’s pretty much the response I have received when I have told people about the challenge myself and Philip Smith are taking on this year.
But the reason we are taking on such a tough challenge is to raise money for two Guernsey Charities, The Hub and This is Epic.
I seem to have a drive to cram as much as I can into my life (or ants in my pants). We don’t know what’s round the corner, we could become ill, be injured in a life changing accident, or worse.
At this stage in my life I am lucky because I can make the choice (time and money withstanding) to take on challenges and have a positive impact on others lives, one day that will be taken out of my hands.
My dad died when he was 50. I am 41. He achieved alot in his life and had a long lasting positive effect on many people. I don’t want to get to the same age and wish I had done more with my life.
I am trying to push myself further than I think I can go, and by doing so change lives in Africa and in Guernsey. This thought alone will help me at each step of the 183.4 mile event until the goal in achieved.
I’m scared of failing but I will do everything I can not to.
Philip and I are going to learn a lot doing this, about people and about ourselves, it’s going to be quite a journey. Already the help and support we have received has been incredible.
We are starting on August 18th running one marathon a day for seven days, finishing with the Guernsey Marathon. It’s going to be harder than either of us can imagine and we need your support.
I’d like to say thanks to Stuart Hardie who conquered 40 marathons in 40 days and is helping us prepare – to giving us the best chance of success. His Chi Running classes have been illuminating and so useful.
Quote from This is Epic
“Seven marathons in seven days is quite a challenge, but the positive impact on lives the money we raise will have is well worth the hard work and effort. If we hit the fundraising target we will be able to impact the lives of approximately 3000 people with our projects in Africa,” said Louise, one of the founders and directors of This Is EPIC.
From the HUB
“We are so privileged to be benefitting from this quite extraordinary fundraising challenge, and have such admiration – and gratitude – for the gruelling week that Philip and Warren are undertaking,” said Jane St. Pier from The HUB team.
“Since opening the service in 2012, the HUB team has worked with over 1,000 young teens; changing lives and changing futures. Our annual running costs are £120,000 pa and so the funding donated from the marathons will be crucial to our continued viability. We are also humbled to be a recipient in partnership with This Is EPIC; a charity that is also committed to having the maximum impact on changing lives.”
So How YOU can help
You CAN run with us?
It can be one mile, a marathon or several marathons. We hope that each day we get a good number running with us. We won’t be fast!
If you are interested please contact Louise Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
You CAN sponsor us?
We need to raise £20,000. Thats a big ask but think of the blisters and pain YOU won’t have to endure.
Marathon 1 – Monday 18th August
Marathon 2 – Tuesday 19th August
Marathon 3 – Wednesday 20th August
Marathon 4 – Thursday 21st August
Marathon 5 – Friday 22nd August
Marathon 6 – Saturday 23rd August
Marathon 7 – Sunday 24th August (Also Guernsey Waterfront Marathon)
Find out more information about This Is EPIC
Find out more information about The HUB
Theres big news at Spike. After 10 years building up the business I have sold the Jersey side of the business to an exciting operation in Jersey called PBS Media. This announcement comes just days after we have celebrated 10 years of film making.
This is owned by Richard Hall, who you may know has years of experience making literally 100’s of programmes for Sky and other channels. Most recently he worked with George Clooney to make a documentary on the JFK assassination called “news of a shooting” shown on Channel 4.
Spike has built a reputation for service, friendliness over the years and I know Richard and the team aim to carry this on.
It’s been a tough decision as Spike started as just an idea Liam and I had back in 2004, it feels like the right time for someone new to take the business forward in Jersey.
It means I will be creating a bigger and better studio in Guernsey using some of the amazingly talented people based here. We have invested in the latest editing technology which means a better service all round for editors and clients. Its an exciting time and we can offer better strategic marketing support and help clients get great value for money in the marketing. This all gives us a great base for the international work we do as well.
See you soon
In April 2004 Spike Productions took its first few nervous steps into the unknown. Those first steps were straight off dry land and on to a boat as Liam and I embarked on our first project together, four days filming across the Channel to follow a world record attempt for rowing from London to Paris.
Armed with £80,000 of brand new kit and a few specialist lenses we had hired for night filming, we set off from London following an impressive team of rowers from Guernsey trying to get inside the 90-hour time.
Ahead of us were four days of little sleep (except for rare moments when I could find an unoccupied bed).
The rowing team was led by the infamous Colin Fallaize, with the support team being led by the equally skilled Rob Platts, but it wasn’t all about them: there was an amazing set of people involved, from the tough, fit rowers to the organised, willing support crew – all there to play their vital part in making this record attempt a success.
Colin is a master motivator and his ‘Fallyisms’ are peppered throughout the film. This is my particular favourite from when they are well into the challenge but still have a lot to do:
“[You’ve] got to dig deep on every department – every single department you know. We have to maintain the pace, put the pain aside and improve on everything we are doing so far, so we don’t make any silly mistakes, we don’t let ourselves slip, at what is a crucial, crucial stage it’s really easy to have something like this and all the hard, hard work we have done – things that are a little bit of a memory now but the force 5s we were fighting in the Channel, all the things that have happened, boat bumping, the repairs, would all be for nothing if you went a did a stupid, stupid thing at this stage of the game.”
For our part we were making a one-hour documentary with the aim of getting this aired by a TV channel. We had interest from the BBC and also from a distributor through the Extreme Sports channel.
We were full of naïve enthusiasm and excitement for the actual adventure we were on as well as starting a business.
Reality set in when we got into editing. For 12 weeks we edited the programme, which included revisions and script changes. We had advice from distributors and did what we could to sell it for broadcast. This came to nothing but we still managed to do well with the stocking filler market by selling DVD copies.
Overall, however, looking at the film again I’m struck by how powerful it is. Not only was it a great start for us and an opportunity to make our mark with a significant project, we are also proud to have been a part of the record breaking team we filmed.
I learnt a lot in that trip, about working with people in a tight stressful environment. About pushing yourself further than you believe is possible. That by being ambitious and setting your sights on a big goal you will find a way to achieve it. All of these lessons came from the rowers and support team – one and all an inspirational lot with whom we are honoured to have been involved.
They weren’t “in Seine”, they were warriors.
Watch the film and be inspired yourself.
Warren looks at why Video is now a vital communication tool and no longer the “nice to have” corporate video.