Mannyi's Blog

The 50 mile mark reached

It’s 52 miles now into my #1000milechallenge for Children in Need. Three runs and 22 miles overall ran this week and feeling great.

Long way to go and I’m just taking it one run at a time. A case of so far so good and it has been a solid but unspectacular start to this year’s challenge. 21-01-17-run

Must admit training is going well ahead of my first of four marathons in 2017 with the first one at the Manchester Marathon on 02 April. This year I have also started to meditate and take up yoga and although it is still early days, I’ve already started to feel some of the benefits including tight muscles being loosened, soreness being prevented and it being a good de-stress mechanism.

Ultimately though there is still a long way to go in terms of where I want to get to fitness/running wise and I will be pushing myself even more throughout the year. But there are reasons to be positive. 

Can’t beat avocado on toast. Clementine and blueberries and bananas with Bran Flakes.


As you all know, I’m taking on the #1000milechallenge for Children in Need to inspire young/disadvantaged children in the UK and to never give up. It is children like Bradley Lowery who I want to inspire.

Bradley is five years old, a massive Sunderland AFC fan and has neruoblastoma. His story has touched me and millions of people out there and it is heartbreaking what he and his family have had to go through. No child should ever have to go through what Bradley has been through and no child should ever have to struggle in life. We are all right behind Bradley in his fight against neuroblastoma.

Please donate to a fantastic cause to help children like Bradley overcome their battles. Your donation will go to projects across the United Kingdom to help children build better lives. Please help make a difference. You can donate online by visiting my JustGiving page:


You can also follow my progress during my #1000milechallenge by visiting my JustGiving, Twitter (@Baggies20) and Instagram (manishpatel89) pages.

Please get in touch as well if you would like to get involved with my challenge for Children in Need. Would love to hear from you.

The long road to 1000 miles completion continues

Two runs down now and 20 miles into my #1000milechallenge for Children in Need.

12 miles ran yesterday on what was a foggy but mild morning. Started at 7.45am and even though it was an early start, it was an enjoyable run once again. I will be wearing my Pudsey ears soon so watch out.

It is only just the beginning of my #1000milechallenge journey and it is going to be a very tough one. But if you want something in life, you have to work hard and sometimes be patient. And eventually your patience will come off. As they say, best things come to those who wait. 20170107_085029

After an enjoyable run, I was able to top off the morning with a nutritious breakfast. Avocado on toast seasoned with salt and pepper, blueberries and bananas with Weetabix and a Sprinula powder drink. Great breakfast.

I’m also #marathontraining for the Manchester Marathon on 02 April, so nutrition as well as fitness is going to be pivotal in how I perform throughout the year. Would love to hear from you if you have any nutritional advice and what I should be eating/drinking.

980 miles left to run in 2017 but all for a great cause. No child should ever have to live in poverty and struggle in life. By taking on this challenge, I want to inspire young/disadvantaged children in the UK to never give up in life. You can achieve anything and be who you want to be if you work hard and believe in yourself.

Seeing the tear jerking and heart breaking stories shown on the Children in Need Appeal Night really did bring home the difference your donations can make to help improve the lives of young/disadvantaged children in the UK. Seeing those stories was also another reason why I have taken on the #1000milechallenge for Children in Need in 2017. Please donate to a brilliant cause.

You can donate by visiting my JustGiving page: You can also follow my progress during my #1000milechallenge by visiting my JustGiving, Twitter (@Baggies20) and Instagram (manishpatel89) pages.

Also please get in touch if you would like to get involved with my challenge. Look forward to hearing from you.

992 miles and counting to go

Done and dusted – my first run for Children in Need completed as part of my #1000milechallenge in 2017. It wasn’t plain sailing for sure.

It was always going to be tough especially given the cold, frosty and challenging conditions. But eight miles ran in under 90 minutes. I think I can be pretty satisfied with that. Just another 992 miles to go.

It is going to be a long, tough and crazy journey but one I am very much looking forward to. Four marathons in 2017 to look forward to with the first one on 02 April at the Manchester Marathon. #marathontraining

Nutrition is also going to play a big part in helping me maintain my fitness levels. Breakfast today consisted of a Sprinula powder drink, a clementine, peanut butter on toast and blueberries with Bran Flakes. A sign of things to come for 2017. 20170102_114545

As you all know, I am taking on the #1000milechallenge for Children in Need in 2017 – a great cause. By taking on this challenge, I want to inspire young/disadvantaged children in the UK to never give up in life and never give up on your dreams. Children may have a disability but that should not stop them from going onto achieving their dreams and succeed in life.

You can achieve anything if you work hard, believe in yourself and have the confidence and willpower. You can make the impossible possible. You just have to believe in yourself and think positive. Amazing what a positive way of thinking can do for you.

You can donate by visiting my JustGiving page: You can also follow my progress during my #1000milechallenge by visiting my JustGiving, Twitter (@Baggies20) and Instagram (manishpatel89) pages.

Also please get in touch if you would like to get involved with my challenge. Look forward to hearing from you.

2017 Challenge for Children in Need

2017 is just around the corner. A new year and a new challenge

After running 540 miles in 2016 for Children in Need, I have decided to take on an even tougher challenge. This time to run 1,000 miles in 2017.

I know you are probably thinking I am even more mad for doing what I have planned for 2017. There is no doubt I will be pushing myself even more and it will not be easy (especially as I am doing four full marathons in 2017 – eeek!). But I wouldn’t be taking on my 2017 challenge if I didn’t think I could do it.

Each run I do will again be of varying distances and will be verified by my Forerunner device and recorded on my JustGiving and social media pages.

What I was able to achieve in 2016 is only just the beginning and you haven’t seen anything yet. 2016 was a great year and having initially completed my 500 mile challenge with a month and a half to spare, I decided to extend it by another 40 miles and was able to raise over £1,200. And not forgetting I completed my first full marathon at the Wolverhampton Marathon.

I feel proud knowing I contributed to a record breaking total raised for Children in Need this year. Watching the appeal night really did bring home the difference your donations can make to help improve the lives of young/disadvantaged children in the UK.

There were so many tear jerking and heartbreaking stories shown on the appeal night and it put into perspective the challenges so many families shouldn’t have to face.

By taking on the 1,000 mile challenge, I want to continue to inspire young/disadvantaged children in the UK to never give up in life. Children may have a disability but that shouldn’t stop them from going onto succeed in life. No one should be afraid to follow their dreams. 20x30-bruk6057

As part of my 2017 challenge, I will be running four full marathons in 2017: Manchester – April, Liverpool – May, Wolverhampton – September and Birmingham – October. They are going to be tough for sure, but if you want something in life, you have to work hard, believe in yourself and never give up.

Your donation can help change and improve the lives of young people and bring a smile to their face. Please donate generously. Every penny and pound donated will go towards projects nationally to help children build better lives. It will also help children to achieve their potential and turn their dreams into reality. Please help make a difference. Thank you so much.

You can also follow my progress on Twitter – @Baggies20.

Mixed bag for Sahara Force India at Spa

If you had to describe Sahara Force India’s weekend in Belgium, you would be right in saying it was a ‘mixed bag.’

For Sergio Perez it was an impressive weekend and his performance at Spa-Francorchamps definitely had people turning. For Nico Hulkenburg it was a case of ‘what if.’

If Sergio’s fifth place finish is a sign of things to come for the remainder of 2015, we could see Sahara Force India challenging for podium finishes before the end of the season. Now that would be brilliant.

Two different tales

Friday proved to be a productive and positive day for the team with both Sergio and Nico seemingly happy with the set-up of the updated VJM08. Both drivers also made it into the top ten in the third Free Practice session so the signs were there that Sahara Force India could have a strong weekend. NHulkenburg

Unfortunately for Hulkenburg he just missed out on a place in Q3 and ended up qualifying 11th. If he thought that was agonising, what was to follow on race day was even more frustrating. A loss of power on the parade lap meant Nico was not able to take the start despite the best efforts of the team to fix the problem.

Without those issues, Hulkenburg for sure would have been in contention to score points. The Belgian Grand Prix weekend really was a case of ‘what if’ for the German. Disappointment for one half of the Sahara Force India garage, but delight for the other half.

Sergio Perez had a stunning weekend and he can be satisfied with the ten points he bagged for the team at Spa. The Mexican was flawless in qualifying and qualified an excellent fifth. He started the race fourth due to Romain Grosjean’s five place penalty. SPerez

You know the phrase ‘a flying start,’ Perez had one of those starts on Sunday. He was up to second come the end of the first lap and was even close to taking the lead on the opening lap when he was alongside Lewis Hamilton after Eau Rouge.

The high degradation on Perez’s soft tyres in the first two stints took its toll in the end and he was unable to hold off Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat. But fifth place was a fine result for Checo and you know what they say – the only way is up!

The only way is up for Sahara Force India

I think I would be right in saying that it hasn’t been all plain sailing for Sahara Force India in 2015. Changing its wind tunnel facilities and moving to Toyota’s, based in Cologne, problems with suppliers and launching an underdeveloped VJM08 with three pre-season days remaining, it wasn’t the ideal start to the season.

But if you said to anyone at Force India that they would be fifth in the constructors going into the summer break and bearing in mind the B-spec car was only launched at Silverstone, they probably would have snatched your hand off.

It has been a solid first half to the season for the team despite the slow start to 2015 and a double DNF at Hungary. Going into the summer break on the back of a double DNF will have been disappointing but I have seen enough in the last three-five races to think that Sahara Force India will have a strong second half to the 2015 season.

Source: Sahara Force India

And even in Hungary, both Nico Hulkenburg and Sergio Perez were running strongly in the points before both drivers retired from the race. There are plenty of reasons for everyone at Force India to be optimistic going into the second half of the season.

Season so far

Both Manor cars and others failed to make the starting grid for the season opener in Australia. But that didn’t stop both Force India drivers finishing in the points, with Hulkenburg finishing seventh and Perez coming home in tenth.

The next four races, only four points were scored with Perez finishing eighth in Bahrain. Less said about Malaysia, China and Spain. A time for the team to feel sorry for themselves? No chance.

Although Hulkenburg just missed out on the points in Monaco, Perez came home in a strong seventh place to kick start Force India’s season. In Canada, this time it was Perez who missed out on a top ten finish and it was Hulkenburg who finished in the points by coming home in eighth. The points were now coming and what was to come next for Hulkenburg was a moment he will look back on with great memories.

He became the envy of the F1 grid after winning the small matter of the Le Mans 24 Hours on his debut alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber. A phenomenal achievement and no doubt a moment he will never forget.

After winning Le Mans, it was pretty obvious Nico had a spring in his step and he then went onto finish a season best sixth in Austria. The eagerly awaited B-spec car arrived for Silverstone and the benefits of the updated VJM08 were felt straight away.

Hulkenburg went onto finish seventh at the British Grand Prix and Perez came home in ninth.

Source: Sahara Force IndiaPerez more or less has played second fiddle to Hulkenburg since Canada but the Mexican finished ninth in Austria and Great Britain to score valuable points for the team. It has been an up and down year for Sergio and for sure in the second half of the season, he will want to regain the edge over his team-mate.

Punching above their weight

Sahara Force India for me have always been punching above their weight in Formula One and you have to credit everyone at the team for where they are now. I find it quite remarkable that the team are currently ahead of Lotus and McLaren, two championship winning constructors teams, and Toro Rosso in the standings.

Whether they are ahead of them come the end of the season, only time will tell. But it just goes to show how far Sahara Force India have come and they continue to improve year by year and take the fight to teams that have much bigger budgets to operate with.

The second half of the season gets underway this time next week and what a track to go to – Spa-Francorchamps. Force India have always tended to pick up strong results at Spa. Hulkenburg in his first stint at Force India finished fourth in 2012.

Source: ReutersAnd who can forget 2009? Giancarlo Fisichella finished a brilliant second in 2009 and kept Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen honest throughout the whole race. Not forgetting he qualified on pole.

We have had some classics at Belgium and I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that we are going to have another great race in the Ardennes Forest. I am already looking forward to it.

Living The Dream

Brilliant, exciting and sensational. Just some of the words to describe my day at the Red Bull Racing RB9 launch. Sunday, February 3, 2013 will always be a day I will never forget and am thankful to the team for inviting me.

Being selected as one of the lucky ones to attend the RB9 launch came as a real surprise and a total shock. This was an opportunity I could not turn down and the countdown to the big day had begun.

Getting into Formula One has always been a dream of mine whether that be being a racer or working in the media. And attending the unveiling of the RB9 is hopefully a sign of things to come. I definitely want to be present at future car launches and Grand Prix weekends on a regular basis. Just looking for someone to give me that chance.


I arrived at Milton Keynes Central train station and the excitement certainly did kick in. Despite the fact I have followed Formula One since 1996, this was actually the first time I was visiting a team base. And for that team to be the reigning Constructors Champions was just incredible.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The winning bloggers whom I spent time with were fantastic and it was obvious throughout the day that they are true F1 fanatics. Looking back at the 2012 season and Grand Prix’s we had attended were just some of the topics discussed on the way to the Red Bull Racing factory.

My eagerness and anticipation notched up another level once we arrived at the home of the current Formula One Champions. You would think signing in at reception would be uneventful and a simple formality. How wrong was I.

Next thing you know, you are able to see the trophies Red Bull have won and end up taking photos you will be talking about for many years to come. I said to my fellow bloggers, ‘this was only just the start of the day.’

The Bull has arrived!

We were certainly getting VIP treatment and I was not complaining. Just before me and my fellow winning bloggers took our seats for the launch, we saw a number of famous faces from the Motorsport world including Martin Brundle, Ted Kravitz and Red Bull Reserve driver Sebastian Buemi.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have always had admiration for the job Martin has done since he took up a media role in Formula One. Again he did a great job in presenting the RB9 launch alongside Holly Samos. Wouldn’t you just love to have Brundle’s job? I also spoke to Martin after the launch and he really is a top man as is Ted Kravitz.

From all the 2013 car liveries I have seen so far, the RB9 is right up there in terms of the best looking car. It is obvious for us Formula One fans that Red Bull are the team everyone will want to beat this year.

Sebastian Vettel was his usual self. Chirpy but also serious about the team’s targets and his personal aims for 2013. Mark Webber being Mr. Calm and quietly confident of having a decent season.

Myself and the winning bloggers didn’t want to leave Red Bull Racing HQ and we honestly felt as if we were at home. Who knows we might end up working for the team in the near future.

Thank you to everyone at Red Bull for making us feel welcome and making our day a memorable one. And on behalf of the victorious bloggers, I would like to wish Red Bull Racing the best of luck for the 2013 season.


Just ask Adrian Newey and Red Bull?

Why is it that Adrian Newey and Red Bull have been crowned Constructors Champions for the last three years? Simply because they have pushed the boundaries and they never give up.

Pushing the boundaries is all about thinking outside the box and not just settling for second best. Being persistent, determined and never throwing in the towel are reasons why you should push all boundaries.

Pushing the boundaries is all about being innovative and coming up with new ideas in order to stay above your competitors which is what Red Bull and Newey have been doing for the last three years. How big a part did the exhaust blown diffuser play in Sebastian Vettel’s Championship winning year of 2011? And who pioneered the new generation of blown diffusers? Mr Newey himself.

Pushing the boundaries is all about coming out of your comfort zone and believing in yourself. Sebastian and Red Bull might have been behind Fernando Alonso in the Drivers Championship at the halfway stage of the 2012 season, but who came out on top in the end? Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull. Simply because they believed in themselves and pushed the boundaries.


A tale of two penalties

The talking points to come out of the game at the Emirates will have been the two penalties awarded to Arsenal. The Gunners got a much needed win but West Bromwich Albion were on the end of a harsh defeat.

Two controversial decisions meant the Baggies left the Emirates empty handed. It just wasn’t Albion’s day and they found themselves on the wrong end of two key decisions. Three straight defeats for West Brom and they will want to get back to winning ways pretty quick.

The Baggies have made a great start to the season and they were always going to have a blip at some point. Every team have a period where they will struggle to get results. Despite three straight defeats, West Brom will bounce back and they will start winning games again.


Up until Arsenal were awarded their first penalty, Albion were defending well and the Gunners weren’t causing any real problems. It is fair to say Arsenal were handed an early Christmas present when Steven Reid was alleged to have brought down Santi Cazorla.

Replays clearly showed us that the Spaniard took a dive and referee Mike Jones fell for it. Cazorla is a quality footballer but what he did on Saturday was an absolute disgrace and the Spaniard went down way too easily.

Something needs to be done to punish players who dive. Perhaps an immediate five match ban.

Arsenal’s first penalty without question changed the game. But that wasn’t the only controversial moment.

Arsene Wenger’s side were given another penalty this time in the second half. Chris Brunt was penalised for a foul on England winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and it was a penalty. However in the build-up that led to the second penalty, Goran Popov was pushed by the former Southampton player and Albion should have been awarded a free-kick.

But it wasn’t to be and Mikel Arteta dispatched the second penalty. There was no coming back for West Brom.

Steve Clarke and the players have every right to be aggrieved with the way Mike Jones officiated the game. Jones if he hasn’t already looked back at the game will realise he made two big mistakes. And those mistakes proved costly for the Baggies.

Being a referee is a tough job don’t get me wrong and I wouldn’t like to officiate a game. Referees will make mistakes but these mistakes are occurring too often and we need to see consistency. Although goal-line technology will be coming, why can’t football embrace technology?

If cricket, rugby and tennis have been able to benefit from using technology, why can’t football use it? Why can’t the referee ask the fourth official to view video replays to assess major incidents? It might take time to look at a replay but by viewing replays you would end up making more correct decisions than wrong ones.

Home fixtures

West Brom have two massive home fixtures coming up and winning those games will edge the Baggies closer to the 40 point mark. However they won’t be easy games.

West Ham have performed exceptionally well this season and for me they have exceeded expectations. Their second half display against Chelsea was terrific and Sam Allardyce deserves credit for the way his side have played this season. Allardyce always has a habit of keeping sides up and I still can’t understand why Blackburn got rid of him. Blackburn’s loss and West Ham’s gain.

In Kevin Nolan, the Hammers have an excellent leader. However losing Mohamed Diame for up to 12 weeks is a huge blow.

Albion will be in for a tough game against West Ham but the Upton Park outfit will also know they will be in for a tough encounter at The Hawthorns. It will be a close game but I can see the Baggies just about coming on top in this game.

The last time these sides met at The Hawthorns, the game ended 3-3 with West Brom having been 3-0 up at half-time. If that game is anything to go by, we are in for a cracker.

Norwich City will be up next for the Baggies after West Ham. The Canaries are on a roll with their latest victory coming against Swansea at the Liberty.

I did fear for City when they lost 5-0 against Fulham and were beaten 5-2 at home by Liverpool. However Chris Hughton has turned things round and Norwich are playing some great stuff at the moment.

Grant Holt seems to be getting back to his best, Sebastian Bassong is chipping in with vital goals and Norwich City will definitely provide a stern test for Albion. Norwich may not have world class players but they are a team that have plenty of spirit and have players who can cause plenty of problems. Robert Snodgrass, Bradley Johnson and Wes Hoolahan are some names that spring to mind.

Now is not the time for Albion fans to panic. Now is the time to get behind the players and be the 12th man in these next two home games and for the remainder of the season. There are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic and things will look a lot better if Albion can win their next two fixtures. The next seven/eight games will determine where West Brom are going into the second half of the season as Steve Clarke rightly said on Saturday after the game against Arsenal.

The Baggies have winnable fixtures coming up and I am confident Albion will get back to winning ways ASAP starting against West Ham. Keep the faith and lets get behind the West Brom players.

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