Former Bucks Free Press photographer Matt Fowler is about to take on the challenge of a lifetime in April – three marathons in three weeks – for South Bucks Hospice. In his latest blog, he writes:

It was all going so well, there had to be a slight hiccup on the way.

I am sitting in a tiny back room at Geneva Motor Show looking back on a very successful February. I’ve spent the last three days without sunlight or air photographing cars for Nissan at the show.

Obviously I’m doing something right, as this is the19th year in a row they’ve asked me and, in truth, it’s a job I love to be involved with. I know a lot of the personnel really well now and it is great to catch up albeit in brief, snatched conversations at a hectic, manic show.

And now I’ve succumbed to the lurgy. A full-on head cold and I’m feeling rubbish.

The problem is I haven’t run for three days as I’ve been here, so tomorrow, as long as the cold hasn’t spread to my chest, I have to get out there and get back to the training.

Anyway, enough about that. February’s training has gone really well. I have been upping the pace a bit in a bid to beat my personal best and have done a lot of training I haven’t done before - like a 15 mile run around a 400 metre track! Not the most stimulating run but a good rest from battling the hills around here.

I also entered a 20-mile race near Reading and it went pretty much entirely to plan. It was two 10 mile circuits and I managed to run the second ten miles quite a bit faster than the first which is a good sign.

At the end of February, I went on a three-day run training camp in the delightfully-named Sandy Balls holiday camp in the New Forest. About 80 of us were there, listening to seminars about nutrition, pacing, dealing with disappointments etc and lots and lots of running. It started off on the Saturday morning with a parkrun at the local Moors Valley park.

I managed to get under 20 minutes for the five kilometre course (by one second!) for only the third time. Then after lunch we did an interval session which meant we ran a 1200 metre loop (including a very big hill) three times, each time hoping to get faster than the last.

Further running the following day included a half marathon but the major benefit of the whole weekend was that everyone could talk running all weekend without eyes rolling or people shuffling away after a couple of minutes.

In the very near future, I have been shortlisted by a running clothing company, Ashmei, to be one of their ambassadors. The selection day is very soon so the cold had better be gone by then and hopefully, if selected, I will be able to represent them at all my upcoming marathons and beyond. Hopefully I can also tie them into helping with a bit of sponsorship too.

While I genuinely love the training it makes it so much easier to get up and out in the rain and wind knowing that I am, in my way, helping to raise money to support South Bucks Hospice with the work they do.

If you feel you could help please take a look at my sponsorship page:

More about the Hospice at More about Matt at