Medical breakthrough boosts Moodie morale as Boot camp is set up in Worldwide HQ

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Lots of grape juice. And plenty of water.

That’s The Moodie Blog’s secret formula for getting in shape for the ‘Miles for Smiles’ 10k run in Dubai on 22 November – to raise funds for cleft charity The Smile Train.

This spartan diet sounds almost as bad as running 10 kilometers but after careful research we can reveal that the two ingredients can, in fact, be blended. And, as luck would have it, that cocktail of healthy ingredients just happens to be found in every good bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Inspired by this scientific breakthrough, I have stepped up my training programme, even to the pont of investing in a custom-made ‘dreadmill’ (pictured), which now assumes pride of place in The Moodie Report Worldwide HQ (also known as ‘The Shed’).

Sadly, running for 40 minutes on a dreadmill is not conducive to keeping The Moodie Report website up to date, though the leisurely speed at which I run at least ensures I can check my blackberry messages. So if you’re unhappy about the lack of breaking news between around 6 and 6.45 in the morning London time you now at least know why.

[All pictures: Minox DC 8011]

Whoever invented dreadmills clearly had advanced masochistic and sadistic tendencies. There’s precious little entertainment and plenty of pain to be gained from effectively moving one’s legs up and down while remaining in the same place – probably an accurate portent of what will happen to me come the big day in November.

But the ‘hard yards’ as we used to call them in rugby simply have to be put in. I completed my first 5km ‘run’ last weekend, admittedly at roughly the same speed as Mao Ze Dong’s famous ‘Long March’ through China. I am trying different music to inspire me to greater distance and speed – currently I am playing Van Morrison’s ‘Bright Side of the Road’ to try to convince me that there is one…

So far I’m not so sure. Certainly I need to check whether my full AA breakdown and repair contract extends to my legs, which are currently both suffering from hamstring strains in protest at the thought of running 10k in the Dubai heat.

But it’s a great cause and there are other runners of all shapes, sizes and abilities to inspire me. ‘The Brains Trust’ – Jilly and Jessica Brain from Jakk – are in serious training down under in Australia, pounding the local streets to the rhythms of ‘Hit the Road Jakk’, and there are plenty of others* doing their bit to help the cleft children of the world. Keep up the great work.

[I aim to raise at least US$5,000 and hopefully much more for The Smile Train by completing the ‘Miles for Smiles’ run. Currently I’m up to £1,480 (around US$2,700) plus a further £100 (US$184) per kilometer completed (provided I furnish photographic evidence) courtesy of Ivo Favotto at The Nuance Group. How an Australian could be so sceptical about Kiwi sporting prowess after the All Blacks’ glorious recent Bledisloe Cup triumph over the Wallabies I don’t know, but we plan to ensure his generous donation is optimised. Please consider sponsoring me at]

*For details on how other runners are getting on – or if you wish to submit your story – see our ‘Running Miles for Smiles’ section on the home page of this Blog.