Backpedalling and Backwards Running

Earlier today I clicked the ‘reblog’ button above an article I published last June. The ‘reblog’ button has never worked before so I didn’t expect it to work today either. I’ve tried it a couple of times and nothing has ever happened. So why should it work today?

At best I thought it would send something to my ‘drafts’ folder so I could add an introduction later explaining why it was relevant again.

But no:

The ‘reblog’ button distributed the outdated unedited 2011 article directly to all my subscribers.

How very embarrassing.

Perhaps I should explain…


Forever Manchester (the Mancunian charity that puts money back into our communities) is once again holding the Backwards Running Championships at Heaton Park.

There is a £10.00 registration fee, for which you’ll receive a t-shirt, medal, refreshment and a donation to Forever Manchester. Any other money you raise will go to your charity / voluntary group of choice. (Registration is free if you raise money for Forever Manchester).

The Backwards Running race is this Sunday, 27th May 2012 at 10 am. You can register in advance on the website or sign up on the day near the Heaton Park duck-pond café.

So now I’ve backpedalled and explained, here is the ‘repost’ I wanted to share:


Have you ever fancied becoming a UK Sporting Champion with little or no effort?

Last year I did: I discovered that the European Running Backwards Championships were taking place in Austria on the 7 & 8th of August. The UK only had 2 people competing so it was probably my one and only chance to represent the UK in something, anything, and to become a ‘UK Sporting Champion’ despite being not particularly good at anything physically challenging.

Backwards RunningI reaaallly wanted to enter. I toyed with the idea for weeks but in the end I just couldn’t justify a weekend away in Austria, especially after my friends pointed out I should probably try it in England first, before attempting to represent the UK in a sport which [some] Europeans take seriously.

Hmmm, so running backwards is a serious sport, is it? (Shrugs) Well yes it is… apparently. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.


Running backwards has lots of benefits: It gives you an intense cardiovascular workout, reduces the risk of leg and back injuries, helps create a stronger more balanced lower body and is a speedy aid to losing weight. 

People claim that running backwards for just one lap could be equivalent to up to six laps of forward running and burns a third more calories too. (Think of the time you could save exercising!)

I didn’t go to the European Championships. Instead I entered the inaugural UK Championships.  

And I came fifth. FIFTH! Hurray!


2010 winners at Heaton Park, Manchester

Admittedly I only came fifth out of the female contestants and even then only about eleven women entered that first year, but none of that is relevant really…

The fact of the matter is, as it currently stands, I SammyDee, am the fifth fasted Female Backwards Running Champion in the UK. And I have a medal to prove it!

It’s surprisingly difficult. Yes it’s easy to go a few dozen meters. Anyone can ‘run’ backwards a few steps, but believe me; your calves start to burn very quickly when you don’t stop… I probably should have practiced at least once prior to the race.


One memory that still makes me giggle is when I looked down to see I’d just stepped in horse manure. I continued running, naturally, but with every step I waded deeper and deeper into more manure. I had too much momentum to stop or swerve. Instead I just doubled over laughing and continued to run. Thank goodness I didn’t slip or trip at that point.

As the manure shrunk into the distance I noted it was several meters long in one fairly narrow path. One step to either my left or right would have spared me the mucky trainers. Perhaps I should have made a cap with mirrors at the sides, or at least looked behind me once in a while.

Back to present day: A BBC article about the event is still live on their website but if you wanted to play ‘Where’s Wally’ for me on the clip published on ITVs Granada Report, I’m sorry but the link has been broken.

If you don’t already have plans for this Sunday I recommend going to the race at Heaton Park. It’s going to be a scorching day and it’s a great excuse to feed the ducks and have a picnic.

The course is only 1 mile long… Anyone can walk or run 1 mile! 

Go on, give it a go… then you too can boast about being a UK Sporting Champion.

All comments are welcome 🙂


Charitable Valentine

I don’t celebrate Valentines Day. I don’t have a problem with the commercial aspect of it – I don’t mind the big red love hearts everywhere and the fact everything is coloured red or pink. I don’t mind the soppy cards or big balloons – Not that I’ve ever bought any. I don’t mind the discounted chocolates or discounted flowers. It’s as good an excuse as any to treat myself or my loved ones, or to get them to treat me instead. The only thing I object to is the price of restaurants.


Food is well and truly the way to my heart, as my other half will testify. For our second date I insisted we went to my then favourite restaurant for a 43 course banquet. This wonderful restaurant was where my closest friends and I celebrated each and every payday, by turning ourselves temporarily into Weebles. Sadly the restaurant is no more, much to my waists relief no doubt.


The thing that irritates me about Valentine’s Day is when restaurants use it as an excuse to charge extortionate prices. Many of them will be full to capacity, with increased profits to boot, so why push the prices through the roof as well? That’s just greedy, isn’t it?

Some restaurants change their menus specifically for ‘the big day’, serving six courses or more, but there’s really only so much you can eat. I don’t think stuffing your face more than usual is truly romantic. (I could be wrong). Personally I’d rather have a normal size meal for a normal price.

(Evidently my opinion has changed since the days of wobbling out through the banquet door…)

With all that in mind you won’t be surprised that I usually stay in on Valentine’s Day. I love eating out at restaurants and do so as often as possible, just not on February 14th.

This year I’m making an exception.


You’ll remember I eagerly anticipated the reopening of The Black Lion on Chapel Street with its own upstairs cinema. Well they’ve come up with a unique fundraising idea for Valentine’s Day: The Black Lion is hosting a one-off Pop Up & Pay What You Think food night.

The deal is you book a table (£1 per person), enjoy a delicious 3 course ’Valentine’s meal with a twist’ from 7.30pm (suitable for vegetarians and meat eaters alike). Then when the bill arrives, you pay what you think for the food.


Future Artists LogoThe Black Lion reopened in September last year, after being taken over by a creative co-op called Future Artists. Over the past four months Future Artists have created an ‘arts space’ in the upstairs of the pub: developing a studio suitable for film screenings, theatre, meetings and ‘art happenings’, but the beautiful 130 year old venue isn’t accessible for everyone.

Love Food at the Black LionBy paying what we think the food is worth (don’t be stingy now!) we will be contributing towards funding a stair-lift in the venue, so disabled artists can enjoy the array of new artistic programming across cinema and theatre too.

(Future Artists at The Black Lion is NOT funded by any government, arts council or artistic grant).

Additionally, Valentine’s diners will be the first sponsors of ‘Love your art space’ – We’ll get our names on the board!

(I don’t even know what ‘Love your art space’ is, but as there’s a board I want my name on it…!)

It’s an opportunity to be romantic and altruistic at the same time, or to simply enjoy a meal with friends or family. I think it’s a good excuse to go out on Valentine’s Day. Who’s with me?!

All comments are welcome 🙂