Paul’s Blog – Cho Oyu or not Cho Oyu

As some of you will know sadly it is the latter for 2019 at least. Quite simply because returning from an excellent skiing trip to Italy with Dorina & Chris the next day I found out the Chinese have changed their climbing regulations adding literally thousands of £’s to the cost. Fair play to Tom & his team at Jagged Globe who as the week progressed came up with some alternatives including Manaslu & Lhotse but for me, it is Cho Oyu that’s been on my mind & so after much soul searching (Dorina could read the turmoil in my scrambled brain) I reached the conclusion that 2019 would be a very different year from my long standing plans. My conclusion was: Cho Oyu was off for 2019, other 8,000 metre peaks are not me, Cho Oyu can be re-thought for 2020 onwards, 2019 new plans need to be made. Sitting here more than a week on from that decision it is sitting happy with me, for me & my mindsight it’s looking like a very good call.

With Cho Oyu in mind I had been focusing on my training for it, not just with Cath Wilson & Kean on ropes in Scotland. Whilst skiing all day for 5 days in Italy I’d also returned from the slopes each day to do core exercises & then go out for a run before a bottle of the inevitable vino, or two. By the end of January I’d clocked up over 200 running miles over 28 runs etc. etc. ‘Paul, are you going to put all this to good use?’

2019 is still re-writing itself butwith this training under my belt I have tried to be positive in adversity, to date here goes:-

Races entered: Clwydian Sheeptracks (17 miles, Feb.) Wrexham Half Marathon (mid-March), Coniston 14 (as it says on the tin 14 miles, late March), Manchester Marathon (early April), Yorkshire 3 Peaks (22 miles, late April) & the Original Everest Marathon (Nov/Dec., including acclimatisation).

Races I can now contemplate & plan to enter now that I am around for them: The Moelwyn’s & the Welsh 1,000’s Metre Peak Race, both races I did 7 years back to back but had missed last year due to Y3P’s & Stockholm marathon respectively.

Other thoughts of how to fill the now empty year: Run the Anglesey Coastal path or Scotlands’s Great Glen Way. Climb with Tim in the Alps in July & follow it with a run around the Tour du Mont Blanc (friends welcome). Decorate some Internal rooms on our house & at last get our self-contained flat out into the Air B & B world. I am of course still thinking for more…

2020 onwards: Cho Oyu or Denali or both? I’m saving as I type.

But it’s not all about me Kean (who rather than console me initially had buggered off back to Scotland to enjoy himself with Sandra, in truth that was a tad un-truth but I thought it’d bring a smile to the old mate’s face), Dorina is coming to Nepal with me for that Everest jog, apparently the organiser’s think I need her as a Marshall to avoid losing me! As you can imagine we are both very excited about the trip.

Think that’s a fair way to react to a set-back which at first gutted me. & now, despite the crap weather outside it’s time to fuel up & go for a run, thank you for reading a heart, ache!

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