Monday, 22 September 2014

First major milestone passed on the road to 2016

The kinds of trans continental runs that I participate in carry a high degree of danger and risk. To date, I've ran through some of the most dangerously challenging and inhospitable places on the planet. The Mojave Desert, Death Valley, various US Interstate Roads, The Rocky Mountains and The Nullarbor to name but a few.

I've ran at all times of the day and night in all kinds of conditions from 50 Celsius down to minus 9 Celsius in torrential monsoons, sweltering record temperatures and amidst spectacular thunder storms. Flies, stray dogs, spiders, snakes, huge road trains, drug dealers, gangs and armed members of the general public; The support team and I have had to endure a great deal during the runs across the USA and Australia.  

Together with whatever support team I've had with me, we've always had a good stab at mitigating each risk as it's presented to us on during the long trans continental journeys. To date, we've not had a single casualty or been involved in a major incident. I really do say with a huge hint of relief that, I'm very pleased with that record.

My next major run, to be held during the British Summer of 2016, will undoubtedly see the support team and I be presented with more of the previously encountered risks and, in certain areas, some of an entirely new and unfamiliar nature. It is my honest belief, however, that with the same meticulous approach that has served us well in the past, we will be able to maintain our good record of delivering a successful run without major incident.

It goes without saying that there will be huge amounts of physical and mental exhaustion and the possibility of further damage to my feet. In the same token, these are incredible journeys and for every blister there is a tale of human endurance to be told. This is very much the reader/viewer/listener/social media follower's  journey as it is mine.  I think the general public buy in to it with such amazing generosity and a lot of feedback I've received over the years suggests that many people really do feel a part of the run.

I'm very protective of my brand and so are the 2 charities that I raise funds for of theirs. I'd never  want to put the charities in a position that they don't want to be in. My fundraising events, whatever the level of risk, must never show The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation or The Children's Foundation in a bad light.

Today saw the first major milestone of talking through the details of the 2016 run with the 2 charities and attempting to demonstrate the risks involved and how I intend to mitigate those risks. I must admit, that it wasn't as straightforward as I thought and I found myself having to answer some very good searching questions. The exact details of the route, the current and anticipated state of my feet, support logistics and my mental welfare (I should point out that was relating back to the final traumatic weeks in Australia. I'm not actually going mad!) were all brought up. I could mention a few other things but that would let the cat out of the bag as to where I'm running next.

We talked for over an hour and I'm very relieved that both The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation are the 2 charities that I'll continuing to raise funds for until 2016.

I was very pleased with the reaction of both charities. There is no doubt in my mind that the general public are going to be blown away when they hear what is in store for 2016. It's going to be another incredible journey that I intend to share as frank and as fully as I can with whoever cares to watch, listen or read.

I'll close this blog post reminding everyone how incredibly proud I am to represent such worthwhile, well ran charities that make a genuine difference to life in the North East of England. It's not a responsibility that I take for granted and I feel very lucky to do what I do and share that experience with 1000s of other people.

I'm 100% convinced that, while it's going to take an unprecedented amount of effort, it's all going to come together nicely in 2016 as I attempt to raise at least another £50,000 for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation. More than ever before, I'm up for the challenge that lies ahead.