September marks the beginning of the new term and the end of summer holiday season - which has included some enjoyable and pleasing runs.

Exhibiting at the Keswick Convention has become a regular fixture in the diary over the past five years. It's a great opportunity to meet with a number of existing Feba supporters, as well as making new potential supporters. The main convention programme and exhibition hours make for long days on the stand, but this year I did manage three runs including an early morning circuit of Derwent Water (19km) before breakfast. I was amazed at what could be done on a cup of tea and a bagel! The Lake District scenery is exquisite and the exercise provided some welcome balance in an otherwise largely stationary week.

This is the first year I've ever considered running opportunities in a holiday destination. Even more remarkable is the fact that this was not merely idle speculation: during a ten day family trip to Italy, I managed four runs totalling over 40km. The shores of Lake Garda and vineyards of Piedmont made for some spectacular views along the way, and having my elder son as a (much fitter) running companion was a real treat. The terrain was varied (including beautiful hilly trails through the vineyards) but it was consistently very warm.

A busy schedule during a work trip to Mount Abu in Rajasthan, India, meant there was little time to get out, but again (as in Keswick) it was the pre-breakfast slot that worked best for a single run of 7km. Even in the early morning, it was very humid and sticky. I didn't spot any of the local bears (- of which I had been warned), and avoided the nonchalant cattle wandering in the road, as well as the inquisitive dogs; thankfully, the scooters, trucks and buses avoided me too!

The meeting I was attending was an annual 'Learning Event' with about 40 people from across the various offices and teams of Feba India, the majority of them volunteers. In addition to the structured training sessions (on topics such as Team Communications; Performance and Reporting; Listener Engagement), it was opportunity to hear more directly about their work - their plans, successes, and challenges. It was certainly an encouraging and stimulating trip; we'll be sharing more about it in our forthcoming autumn appeal, including some short video clips, so keep your eyes peeled!

Closer to home, on three different occasions during July and August, I achieved new Personal Best (PB) times for 5km (24:09), 10km (54:08) and 15km (1:23:12) too. Given that I'm such a novice, I'm very aware that there's a real danger my times will plateau unless I commit to proper, structured, regular training. For now, my aim is simply to try to run at least twice and ideally three times per week - to include a mix of speed / hill / endurance. We'll see how things progress over the coming months!

Thank you for your interest and encouragement - I really do appreciate your support.

If you would like to sponsor me, please see my fundraising page.

To read more about my marathon efforts, please click here.

Thank you!

Photos: Rustington seafront; vineyards of Monforte d'Alba, Piedmont; Mount Abu, Rajasthan. © Bob Chambers.