Sunday, 23 September 2007

Day 79 - Random acts of kindness (Part 4).

I've said it many times before that one of the most important types of kindness during the big run was the appearance of special (and often unexpected) guests en route. I talked about such appearances during the first 15 days back in August. I'd like to continue my tribute to those individuals who helped me along the way.

Day 16 of the big run was probably the most special day of the entire tour. This was the day that 16 of my colleagues from Northern Rock joined me for a gruelling 22 miles in the North Pennines. The day was called the "Pennine Challenge" and what a challenge it turned out to be.

I'd had horrendous shin pain for 4 days up until this point and to see so many familiar faces was just the boost I needed. More importantly though, these staff raised over £3300 for the Hospice. Amazing!

In the first picture are supporter Jimmy Bell and runners Mike Lewis, Paul Jackson, Colin Moore, Patrick Aynsley-Smythe, Chris Cowan, John Brettell, Me, Ian Glasgow, Micheal Dunn, Peter Maddison and Jonathan Jobe. The second picture is 14 miles into the run with cyclist Jim Patterson joined by runners Paul Jackson, Chris Cowan, John Mallon, me and supporter Jimmy Bell. The third picture sees cyclists Mike Paul, Michelle Paul and Rob Caffrey at the top of a very steep hill! Not pictured are cyclists Hayley Hunt and Julie Rowles (They were there! Honest!).

Three of the team (Chris Cowan, Paul Jackson and John Mallon) stuck with me throughout the run in Peleton formation. I could tell from their words and actions that their primary objective was to see me safely to the finish line in Middleton-in-Teesdale. This came as a great surprise as I had expected to be at the back of the pack, running in self preservation mode. Jimmy Bell and his wife were also to be seen at every water stop offering valuable support.

Of course, I made it safely to the finish line that day, passing the 400 mile mark in the process. The next 474 miles would get lonelier in comparison to this day but there were still a few more appearances. To be continued....