Sunday, 8 August 2010

I am who I am because of everyone.

3 years ago, I was arriving in Lands End having run 874 miles from John O'Groats in 37 days raising £34,108 for St Benedict's Hospice.

This time next year, if all has gone to plan, I will be crossing the finish line in Coney Island, having run 3100 miles from Huntington Beach, California.

The amount raised by then will be anybody's guess but given the generous nature of donations so far I'm quietly confident of raising at least £50,000 for the two amazing charities that are The Children's Foundation and St Benedict's Hospice.

The feeling that I have now is not that dissimilar to how I used to feel as a wee bairn about Christmas Day in October. I'm very very excited about setting off from Huntington Beach in California next year. Even more so, given the amount of support I've got on Twitter, Facebook and out there in the real world.

The support, at times, is overwhelming. For me, it really does pay to, once in a while, take a step back and have a think about that level of support. Sheeesh! Yep! Amazing and humbling all in one. All that remains is for me to perform good enough next year to warrant that support.

I've come to realise recently that Run Geordie Run is no longer the fundraising efforts of one overweight lad from Newcastle. Run Geordie Run is now a team effort consisting of me the runner, hundreds of well wishers and good folk willing to spread the word about the run across the USA. Don't forget about the people who serve to inspire me such as the staff at St Benedict's Hospice and those involved with the projects at The Children's Foundation.

More recently I've been inspired by other fundraisers such as Ivan and Nadine Hollingsworth and Andrew Sinclair (more on that later this week).

Add to that the companies and individuals who have given so generously and I soon realise that the fundraising efforts of Run Geordie Run is only made possible by one huge (almost unquantifiable) team effort.

Finally, after 3 years, I realise what record breaking round the world cyclist Mark Beaumont's (pictured with yours truly) advert for Orange was really saying:

I am my Mother Una and my sisters Heather and Hannah,
I am my Grandfather who gave me a heavy bike one Christmas,
and the neighbour who took the stabilisers off,
I am my friend Bobby who helped me through my training,
I am the school kids from Dundee who raised money for my trip,
I am the woman who knocked me off my bike in Louisiana,
and her son who fixed it,
I am the people of the Nullerbor who gave me water when I needed it most,
I am Mark Beaumont and this year I broke the round the world cycling record,
I am who I am because of everyone.

One day, I'd like to pen my own version of that. The full advert can be viewed here.