Urrrggghhhh. Engage brain. Function, dammit. I write this whilst at the same time trying to persuade a big pink elephant to stop jumping on my head.

Training with a hangover is never a nice thing. Sweating out the alcohol might be good advice but not when the resultant fumes should come with a warning with regard to naked flames. However, in line with my ‘train when you’re as psychologically miserable as possible’ mentality, perhaps it’s not at all a bad thing. There’ll be times mid-Channel when I’m dehydrated, tired, hating everything, depressed and in need of a fry-up. What better way to replicate and indoctrinate my body to this experience than running / swimming etc with a stonking morning-after-the-night-before?

In all honesty I do tend to feel better after exercise. Emphasis on the after. I guess it has something to do with the endolphins swimming around the body. Very eco-something.

Anyway I suppose I should explain how I ended up in this state. Part of my fundraising efforts have included holding a launch party for the GB3 (Great British Triathlon). Of all the events I am doing this has been the one of which I have been most afraid since I put the idea out there back in December. As soon as you let the party-cat out of the bag you really have to go through with it, though I always regret trying to throw a bash as the inevitable draws near and you start worrying about turnout. Trying to book young people in advance is ridiculously hard. Just getting them to write two words in their diaries, unless they have a vested interest (i.e. they are related to you or physically joined to you), is a success tantamount to that enjoyed by the suffragettes / the abolition of slavery / the liberation of France / [INSERT SEISMIC POLITICAL SHIFT HERE]. People always want to see if something better will come along and never, ever confirm.

On the night though, noone let me down. I can’t believe how many made the effort to come along. People who have known me since before I knew which way was up, or while I was still swinging around on the old umbilical cord. New friends, old friends; work mates, play mates. I’d put about the invitation to everyone I held dear, start time 7pm, in a fairly well-known Soho bar, LVPO (lovely place), and spent the best part of 6 weeks crafting the World’s Best (yes capital letters essential) playlist, and generally prepping for it. Of course, this was the day that the 6 Nations decided for the first time ever to stage a match starting at 8pm on a Saturday. Crisis. However, not even a nuclear holocaust could have prevented the party faithful from turning up at the anointed hour and I am ever grateful for such caring, wonderful people. Indeed one of them had even crawled from the scene of a car crash just to be there (I tell no word of a lie although I employ full use of journalistic license for embellishment). Aunts, uncles (real and so-close-to-me-while-I-was-growing-up-that-they-essentially-were), cousins, friends, people I hadn’t seen for years all got there early on. The place was packed and I was worried my capacity for 100 would be transgressed.

I was thankful and grateful that anyone took the time to come at all, but it’s always nice to be saved from the eternal lonely wait at doors open, wondering if anyone’s going to come at all. It worked out perfectly. The early arrivals had travelled from fairly far and wide and had to scarper relatively early doors, at which point the later arrivals turned up, and kept coming. It was, as they say, awesome. (I can’t thank everyone enough for coming.) There was an overlap during which it was breathing-in room only, and at this point I thought it wise to do my thank-yous and present the raffle prizes (oh yes there was a raffle. Parents did a fantastic job of selling the tickets on the night. What had been a slow, tedious process in the weeks before the event turned into a situation where people couldn’t buy them fast enough – we ran out. Peer pressure + alcohol is the answer to almost any impasse, I now think).

After I had disposed of my responsibility of holding onto raffle cash and prizes (a lovely girl from Concern Worldwide, Robyn, had been kind enough to come along and draw the prizes, and had the takings from the night safely tucked away in a non-descript white envelope that, I’m sorry, might as well have had $$$$ signs all over it), I proceeded to dispose, post haste, of my sobriety. I don’t know exactly where I left it, but if you find it you might find my dignity nearby. Enough said on that matter. Suffice it to say that Jaegerbombs do exactly what they say on the tin (I don’t really get that metaphor either but it almost works).

After the usual post night out wake up (1. Open eyes; 2. Close eyes again very quickly and shut curtains; 3. Check to see if wearing clothes; 4. If (3) is not true try to remember if declothed oneself; 5. Try to remember where the grass stains came from; 6. Start to suffer flashbacks of Moonwalk / general bad dancing which felt good at the time; 7. Start to suffer flashbacks of Moonwalk / general bad dancing which leads to falling off 8, the table it was a good idea to dance on; 9. Review texts and missed calls asking if you are alive, etc), and vague attempt at rehydration (4 day old milk), I figured it was a good idea to go for a run….10 miles later here I am and I don’t think I can feel my legs.

The night itself was a huge success. We raised loads of dosh (about £1,400 from the raffle alone (thanks to all my sponsors for the donated prizes)) and from what I hear everyone had a great time. The pictures seem to show that I did too!

I can only recommend fundraisers of this sort for anyone attempting anything as stupid as I am. It can never hurt to have everyone you love in a room at the same time offering you nothing but their support. It’ll help me get through every difficult stride of the marathon, and every difficult stroke of the Channel. As I climb through the Highlands their good wishes will get my pedals round and stop me from giving up.

There, dumbo, there you go – I’ve got a lovely box of peanuts for you now. Oh good god get off my cranium or I’ll set these endolphins on you. I’m off for a swim…

P.S. If anyone wants a tracklisting of my playlist just shoot me an email julianbennet@gmail.com. You know it makes sense.

P.P.S. You can now support me by SMS! Just text JBGB3 to 70007. Full terms and conditions available on my website: www.justgiving.com/jb-does-the-gb3