Monday, 18 July 2011

Day 78 - Emotionally tough!

Make no mistake about it, day 78 of the run across the USA was the toughest day yet mentally and emotionally. It was Steve's last day on the tour as well as that of my wife Katy and son Jack. Steve has been brilliant over the last 2 weeks. He's positive, very motivating and has ran many many miles with me. He is going to be a huge miss on the team. His contribution has made such a massive difference to my run across the USA.

Katy and Jack dropped me off at the start line in their "Rennal Car". If you've forgotten where that term came from here is a reminder of how Dave Fairlamb introduced it to the tour 2 weeks ago: "Dave was pulled over by the State Police for "possibly breaking the speed limit". The Officer asked Dave (in a strong American accent which I will attempt to recreate) "Is this a Renall?". "Sorry?" replied Dave. "Is this a Renall?" said the Officer. "No" said Dave. "Yes it is" said Mark. The Officer asked one last time "Is this a Rental?". "No" said Dave "it's a Nissan". Dave had clumsily thought that the Police Officer was asking if he was driving a Renault. Comedy gold!".

Meanwhile, back to the start line where I said my goodbyes to Katy and Jack. They drove off and I had only ran a matter of yards and quite simply broke down. I don't mind admitting that I was hysterical and in in floods of tears with my head in my hands. I saw the car pull over and I sprinted to it with Katy and Jack making their way towards me. I hugged them one last time, sobbing my heart out. They drove off and I spent the next 10 miles crying while I ran. The pain was unbearable. I couldn't look up at the road as by doing so reminded me that their car had gone out of sight and they had left.  I remember a similar feeling when I ran from John O'Groats to Lands End. I blogged about it here and here. That was 4 years ago and the sentiments are just the same. Each step I take now is not just a step towards the finish line in New York, it's a step closer to returning to Katy and Jack. The feeling I had today for those first 10 miles was far worse than the one in 2007. It was very similar to when my Mam used to drop me off at school when I was 4! In fact, not similar, just like it. A horrible, horrible lonely and empty feeling.

I was mentally and emotionally drained after 10 miles. I had nothing left to give on an absolute scorcher of a day. I was aware, however, that today's miles were dedicated to the memory of Adam Docchar. I managed to run another 14 miles to take the total daily haul to 24 miles. The day had been partially saved. Running only 10 miles would have been a disaster.

Thanks to everyone who has made a donation so far. The fund for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation currently sits at £43,873 (That's 70,642 dollars for my US followers). Your generosity is really appreciated and I will get round to thanking everyone via email when I return to the UK.

If you would like to sponsor my run then donations can be made in a number of ways. have introduced a brilliant new free donation method. Did you know that you can now donate to the 2 charities using your mobile phone?

To donate an amount to St Benedict's Hospice, please text your desired amount and the following code RNGR98 to 70070:

To donate an amount to The Children's Foundation, please text your desired amount and the following code RNGR99 to 70070:

Donations can also be made direct to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation using the following links to

(St Benedict's Hospice)

(The Children's Foundation)

Finally, a donation can be made via cheque payable to 'The Children's Foundation' or 'St Benedict's Hospice' and sent to the following addresses:

FAO Libby Nolan
The Children's Foundation,
PO Box 2YB,
Sir James Spence Institute,
Victoria Wing,
Royal Victoria Infirmary,
Queen Victoria Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
NE99 2YB.

FAO Sylvia Stoneham
St Benedict's Hospice.
Monkwearmouth Hospital,
Newcastle Road,
SR5 1NB.

Thanks in advance for any donations. Thanks also to Chris Bushell for sponsoring today's breakfast, dinner, tea and dump of the RV waste (incident free according to Shelli).