I'm very pleased to report that with just less than 8 months to go until the run across Europe starts, I now have a full support team. It's a hugely strong team of individuals from many different walks of life.
Amongst the ranks we have a software tester, company director, forensic scientist, podiatrist, project manager, personal trainer, sports therapist, software developer and both current and retired police officers (including a 1st responder).
It's a mixed bunch but a quality bunch. Of that I'm sure. 5 of the 15 strong team have previous experience on tour. Carlton and Dave were with me in the USA and Australia. Donna and Jason were with me in Australia. Steve was with me in the USA.
I spent approximately 15 hours over the recent bank holiday weekend working on the support team plan for Europe. This involved putting support team names against each day of the run across Europe. One moment saw me working on the plan and another saw me contacting each of the team to check and double check their availability.
Since the plan was created things have really fallen into place. I only had 11 team members at the time so there were a few "tbc" in the plan. I'm very relieved that the plan contains the full compliment of 15 names.
There will be 2 people on the team at any one time and the support rota is as follows. The run starts in Lisbon with Jimmy and Donna on duty. They will see me all the way to the Spanish border at Vigo where Andrew and Phil will take over. Patrick will take over from Andrew and join Phil in Dijon. They will then both leave the tour in St Jean Pied de Port when Alison and Dave will see me through the Pyrenees to Andorra. Malcolm and Nickela will then take over and hand over to Jason and Louise on Mont Ventoux. Giles will join Louise and take over from Jason in Turin. They will stay on the tour until Munich where Steve and Dave (for a 2nd stint) arrive. Phil will arrive for a 2nd stint with Richard in Ljubljana, Slovenia. They will take over from Steve and Dave. Donna and Carlton will then take over in Belgrade and will be joined by Jimmy for a 2nd stint in Sofia. The 3 of them will stay on the tour all the way until the finish in Istanbul. They will be joined by Andrew for a 2nd stint in Greece. Donna will fly back to the UK the day after the run finishes and it will be up to Carlton, Andrew and Jimmy to drive the RV to Amsterdam before we set sail for Port of Tyne! Phew! I hope you kept up there!
I'll talk more about the individuals in the team in the coming months. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to getting the team together on the 27th September for our 2nd team meeting at The Jury's Inn on Gateshead Quayside.