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Things To Do Before I Turn 50

  (also known as my "TA-DA" list as opposed to a "to do" list) It was my 49th birthday a few days ago and this got me thinking. Any birthday that ends with a zero always feels a bit like milestone or a landmark and, when I hit the big "five-o" in 2022, I don't want huge parties or celebrations but I would like to have ticked a few things off my low-effort bucket list.   I see these things as a way to improve my mental and physical health, plus a few slightly off-the-wall experiences that would make for great memories.  Start running again and include the following: Lead a C25K group again  Participate in parkrun EVERY week where possible  Visit local landmarks whilst running  Train for a long race - building up from 5k > 10k > 10 miles > half marathon, with a couple of longer trail races mixed in  Lose a lot bit of weight Post more on Instagram or give the blog a bit of a reboot < ongoing Look at new a career path or additional income stre

Grand National Opening Day

One day, I'm going to attend the Grand Opening Day at Aintree so I can get dressed up and wear a big hat. I understand it's an atmosphere that has to be experienced in person because of the live music and entertainment alongside the actual racing. In the meantime, I've been enjoying these weird and wonderful facts

1.  The first race was held in 1839 but started two hours late. The winning horse was called "Lottery"

2.  The fastest winning time is 8 minutes 47 seconds, run by "Mr Frisk" in 1990 (the slowest ever time was the previously mentioned first race in a time of 14 minutes, 53 seconds)

3.  Red Rum is the most successful horse. He won in 1973, 1974 and 1977.
4.  Charlotte Brew was the first female jockey and she raced in 1977. Since then, female jockeys have participated in 18 Grand Nationals
5.  In 2011, the then owner of Blackpool Tower, Trevor Hemmings, owned the winning horse "Ballagriggs". This was his second win as he also owned the 2005 winner "Hedgehunter"

It's a family tradition here to "pick a horse" for the Grand National but we very much select based on name and colour rather than performance (something that I'm guilty of in real life too!). 

I've actually won money in the past using this method - I think the maximum amount was £12 though. The thrill of the win was worth more than that, for sure.  If you want to plan ahead for the 168th Grand National you can check out the Grand Opening Day betting odds at William Hill. You HAVE to let me know your method though - is it the same as mine or do you actually study form? Can you give me any tips?

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