Cycling to ENCALS – “on yer bike”

Medical Research Council (MRC)/ MND Association Lady Edith Wolfson Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Johnathan Cooper-Knock, is based at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), at the University of Sheffield. The Tour de France ends up in Sheffield a week today, so to get you into the cycling spirit, John blogs about the Sheffield to Leuven ENCALS cycling challenge!

The great idea

A few weeks ago Richard Mead and I had a chat in the lab. We wondered whether it would be possible to cycle to Leuven for the forthcoming European Network for a Cure of ALS (ENCALS) conference (22 – 24 May 2014). Well of course it would be possible, but given finite resources, time and training could we do it? When we discovered the overnight ferry from Hull to Zeerbrugge (which we were reliably informed only resulted in sea-sickness 60% of the time) we realised the dream could become a reality. Read More »

Streaking Meerkats

In April 2014 over 30 runners from the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) took part in the Sheffield half marathon. The team consisted of researchers and family members (one of which had even travelled all the way from Australia to take part!). Association-funded researcher, Dr Emily Goodall, blogs about the Streaking Meerkats running team’s half marathon challenge.

A unique running team

I took up running for the usual reasons, to increase fitness, lose a bit of weight and boost energy levels. Running was the ideal exercise for a hectic lifestyle, just grab a pair of trainers and get going! I joined a very friendly running group where I met Tracy, a motivational fitness instructor with a ‘can do’ attitude. So far, so normal.

Then a crazy idea began to germinate, why not set myself a real challenge – running a half marathon with less than a years’ worth of training. This developed into – why do this alone, a team has greater power to raise money and awareness. Add a catchy team name to attract attention and the Streaking Meerkats were born!

Mo at streaking meerkat bootcamp with Monty, local mascot for “not the full monty” fun run team!
Mo at streaking meerkat bootcamp with Monty, local mascot for “not the full monty” fun run team!

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Running the 10K for MND research

MND Association part-funded PhD Student, Dr Tamlyn Watermeyer passed her PhD viva in February 2014. Here she writes about her 10K run in aid of the MND Association.

The last time I ran in a race was at my school’s sport day. I came stone last. In fact, while completing the 1200m the umpire started the next scheduled race while I ran past the 800m point because I was taking too long. Embarrassed but stubborn, I finished that 1200m; later salvaging my pride with a familiar cliché: “it’s not about wining; it’s about participating” – a handy outlook developed from always being picked last for the volleyball team. Fast forward a decade later, I still showed little athletic promise but, spurred on by New Year’s Eve merlot, I publicly declared my 2014 resolution to run a 10K in aid of the MND Association. So… publicly, there was no way out of the intense training schedule…Read More »