Charles Jardine, the founder and director of the Fishing for Schools initiative, undertakes his greatest challenge yet, on 7th/8th April – the #WessexWaterChallenge. This 24-hour event will see 65-year-old Charles fish at three Wessex Water Reservoirs and run the 60 miles between them, all in the space of a day. You can sponsor him here

On Wednesday I tried to kill myself – no don’t worry, it’s not all getting too much for me! I just pushed myself that little bit too far. I thought it would be a good idea to run the two miles to the gym, do an hour’s spin class and run home again… in the rain. A lesson learnt!

But let’s go back to the weekend. Saturday morning was intervals training in the New Forest with my good friends at the Downton Running Club then it was back to the forest on Sunday for the Lover 5K and I was pretty happy with my performance – I averaged 9.5mph, which is quite quick for me. Afterwards we had lots of cake. I love the Downton RC motto – run hard, eat cake. Perfect!

Monday was spent indoors at the Countryside Alliance offices and Tuesday was a rare rest day – just as well considering my decision on Wednesday (see above!).

Today, Thursday, I’m at Wessex Water’s beautiful Hawkridge Reservoir. This will be the second fishery on the #WessexWaterChallenge and the fish and facilities are astonishing. They are the first fishery in the UK to stock the Spartic trout – a cross between a brook trout and an Arctic Char – and today was the launch of that. There was a little rivalry as to who could catch the biggest of these new fish and I’m pleased to say I am, for now, the holder of the UK title for Spartic Trout! A lovely fish, I think you’ll agree, weighing 5lbs 10oz

We also had a press call at Hawkridge today and I had a good chat with Luke Knight of BBC Somerset. If anyone who lives locally hears that interview go out, please let me know! It was also great to catch up with friends old and new who write for the fishing media. Their support is crucial to this challenge!

On Friday I’m training with the Downton crew in the morning, then in the afternoon I am visiting Alton Sports, in Alton, Hants, for advice and gait analysis. I really cannot afford equipment mismatch or failure, so I am very grateful for their help in getting me to the starting and finishing lines.

The England Youth Fly Fishing team are training at Eyebrook on Saturday, so I won’t get any running done that day. Myself and Ivor Jones are getting them ready for the season ahead – which starts in July. We have a young team to mould at the moment as our older and most experienced members had to move on at the end of last season, so we shall be focussing on building muscle skills.

I have another New Forest run on Sunday then next week is a big training week. I have taken the week off from other duties to focus on training and it will culminate in my running the 27 miles from home to the Savills Contryside Alliance Point-to-Point at Badbury Rings, where I shall be shaking my collection bucket. If you are coming along do pop along and say hello! And if you have not already please consider sponsoring me in this mad endeavour –

Until next week, yours aye


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