Saturday, 18 August 2007

Day 43 - What a result!

I now go into today's lap of honour round the pitch at half time with the fund for St Benedict's Hospice currently at:


This makes the shin pain, hamstring pain, exhaustion, blister pain, the mental pain, not seeing my family, running on my birthday, running in the wind, running in the rain, running in 29 degree heat, not drinking for 8 months, all the training, missing 2 home friendlies, missing the Bolton game, dressing up as Borat, dressing up as Batman all worthwhile.

Don't forget that I got to beat a mackem work colleague who challenged me to running a marathon distance in the Cairngorms on day 7 of the big run. Despite him being 10 years younger, 5 stone lighter and me having run 160 miles already I still managed to destroy him and win the challenge. I hear on the grapevine that his confidence has been shattered and he hasn't ran since. He did manage to raise £1500 sponsor money in his own right though! This is separate to my total and will also be going to St Benedict's Hospice.

The Pennine Challenge, undertaken by Northern Rock staff who joined me on day 16, also raised sponsor money in it's own right. At present, this is estimated to be in the region of £3000. This is also separate to my total and will also be going to St Benedict's Hospice. There were some pretty nasty injuries to some of the Northern Rock staff as a result of that run on what was a very very difficult course. One lad is due to have an MRI scan on his knee soon and Ian "The Coach" Glasgow hasn't managed a decent run since. Also due to a knee injury.

The above total, standing at a very proud £25,120, would not have been possible without the publicity given to me by Niall and Biffa at NUFC.COM. Oh and by the way, as a little bonus from the tax man, the Gift Aid that the £25120 fund attracts is in the region of £5000.

When I asked the 2 lads to publicise the run I expected a short piece on their site for a few days. Much to my amazement and utter gratitude, they stuck with me day after day on the run and kept you, the readers, up to date with my shenanigans. The run finished 5 days ago and I'm still on the site! Brilliant! Crikey, I hope, they remove me after the Villa game! I've been on there more times than Marcelino had injuries.

I'd like to think I've been a good ambassador for the Geordie Nation. It's very fitting that the vast majority of pledges have been made by fellow Geordies, both at home and abroad. What a superb message this must send out about the wonderful people in our region and those who have moved away from it.

I'll be accepting pledges, right up until the cheque is handed over to the Hospice on 27th September. News on this evening of gratitude, congratulation and cheque presentation will start filtering though on this site starting next week. We still need a venue, Geordie band, PA system and all sorts but we should manage to put on a do that is fitting for cheques of this magnitude.

To say that this event has been a success is an absolute understatement. I set about achieving a certain result and boy did I deliver (with a lot of help from a lot of people). Not bad for putting one foot in front of the other a million and a half times in 37 days!

As the sign post read at Lands End, Geordie Pride indeed!