My son, Jack, has been present on the support team from the early days during John O'Groats to Lands End and also more recently during the run across the USA. He's pictured below together with support man Steve Harrison and myself running in Missouri.
I was always very curious to find out exactly what Jack's reaction would be when he learned of his Dad's plans to run 20,000 miles around the world. It's not every day that you get to break that kind of news to your son!
I wasn't surprised that his initial thoughts were for my safety. Wild animals, hydration problems and running thousands of miles away from civilisation in some countries that had seem troubles in the past were his main concerns.
Once I sat him down and explained, just like I had previously to the 2 charities, about the route and all that I was doing to make it as safe as possible, his worries eased and soon turned to excitement. He was even more elated when I said that, by the time I got to Japan and New Zealand, that he would be old enough to drive the support vehicle!
Running around the world is as much a sacrifice for Jack as it is for me. I'll be spending 1 year and 8 months in total running around the world. Apart from the few weeks spent with Jack on the support team, that is a long time away from him.
One of the positive byproducts of what I hope I'm doing, through, is that it sets a good example to Jack. I'm trying to teach him 2 things. Firstly, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Yes, it takes a considerable amount of effort, sacrifice, good fortune, support and generosity. But with all of those things, anything is possible. Secondly, that it's important to do deeds in life that are for the good of others. I know that Jack is beginning to understand those important messages.
I'm so proud and pleased that he is determined to be present on the support team during the segments in Japan and New Zealand. It is very fitting that my son, who was present with me at the start line in John O'Groats will be there at the finish line in Slope Point, New Zealand.