Archive | David Harris’ Blog

Custard-filled wellies?

My back hurts. My back hurts because my hamstrings are tight, a consequence no doubt of failing to stretch enough after my run last night. The reason why this information is being included on a blog on the CAT Magazine website is because I was out running last night as part of my training for the London Marathon which I’m running along with three other members of the CAT team: sales manager Martin Lee, salesman Jonny Whitehead and former editor Emma Butcher.

We are doing this to raise money for BEN, and quite frankly, I find myself wondering if there aren’t easier ways of doing this. Running in the current cold temperatures is a long way short of fun, and moderating ones alcohol intake on a Saturday night isn’t simple either, though it does make the long run on a Sunday morning a bit more manageable.

I completed the London Marathon in 2002 in a shade under four-and-a-half hours. Back then I was younger, fitter, lighter and hadn’t had the cartilage in my knee damaged by a hockey ball. While I would love to set a new personal best, I realise that the 26.2 miles on April 22 will represent an exercise in survival and that simply getting round while the sun is still above the horizon will represent a successful day.

Ultimately, this blog post is here to direct you to our fundraising page. We’d like to try and raise £10,000 from our endeavours and for that we must rely on the generosity of others, so please take a moment to remember that last Sunday when you were sat in a pub watching the football and enjoying a nice meal you saw some hapless idiot jog past the window. That was us. When you were on your way home from work and drove past someone jogging slowly through the remains of the snow. That was us. When you ask ‘what sort of idiot runs 26 miles through the streets of London?’ That will be us.

So here is your opportunity to help us raise money for BEN, and for those of you with a wicked side, humiliate me. For the right sized donation I am prepared to do pretty much anything on the day. I might draw the line at running the marathon in custard-filled wellies but I am happy to pimp myself to provide corporate exposure. Have you got a branded costume or outfit? Large sandwich board? Comedy foam hands? If your donation is large enough then your brand name could adorn the pages of this magazine, not to mention increase the chances of me being stopped for an interview on Tower Bridge. ‘So, why are you dressed as a dual-mass flywheel?’

Thank you in advance for your kind donations. If you want to have a laugh, humiliate me, and give your company some amusing exposure, then please get in touch.

I’m off for a run.

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CAT Awards 2011 at Twickenham: I know, ‘cos I was there


How to try and match the success of the 2010 CAT Awards? A pretty tough act to follow but our guests at the 2011 bash tell us they had just as good a time.

The venue – Twickenham Stadium – was fantastic. The Live Room provided a great backdrop for lunch and the awards ceremony and the Members Bar overlooking the pitch was the perfect setting for the after-event celebration.

It was particularly entertaining to see so many guests sneaking down the steps for a pitch close-up and wandering into the tunnel for a sneak around the changing rooms.

And, being a CAT event, it of course ended with Twickenham security politely asking a group of aftermarket heavy-hitters to please vacate the England changing room.

Former publisher Jim Foster has gone on record pointing the finger of blame elsewhere and insisting he was merely following others and was in no way whatsoever, at all the ring-leader in the mischief-making.

Jim did a great job last year as compere, and that was one area I knew he would be too tough an act to follow so I was happy to delegate that task to a professional. Star of Radio Le Mans and Goodwood, Henry Hope-Frost did the honours on stage and conducted a highly entertaining interview with our Lifetime Achievement Award winner, John Haynes OBE.

I took it as a thumbs-up for our choice of winner as guests sat captivated by his account of how the Haynes Publishing empire was founded and the growth it has seen over the last 50 years. Haynes also generously donated copies of their book commemorating the company’s first half century – and a great many of our guests took the opportunity to get their copy signed by the man himself.

At this point, I need to say a big thank you to the guys from Haynes, not just for providing the books as a gift to our guests but also for managing to persuade John to attend under the pretext of being interviewed on stage in lieu of a speaker.

None of the award winners knew beforehand that they would be successful, and that’s the way it should be. I’m also really grateful to the number of finalists who travelled long distances and in some instances, had to close their business for the day in order to attend.

CAT is also indebted to the Awards sponsors: Castrol, Corteco, Denso, Euro Car Parts, Haynes, Motaquip and TRW. Without their support and backing we wouldn’t be able to make the day a fraction of the event it has become.

A big thank you also goes to Silverstone Circuits for generously donating a Silverstone Experience track day as the raffle prize, won by Wyn Jones of GMF (he had quite a successful day!) which helped us to raise £770 for BEN.

All the feedback we’ve had from the day was tremendously positive and we look forward to making the CAT Awards 2012 even bigger and better.

You can read about all the winners in the forthcoming Awards issue of CAT Mag, and also here

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