Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Starting to think about the logistics.

I dedicated last night's free time to pricing up flights to and from the US, looking for a hotel in LA and New York and starting the VISA application process. I didn't have too much luck I'm afraid. 

The departure date is too far in the future for flights and hotel bookings. More annoyingly though was the fact that my online VISA application session "timed out" mid application.

When the session timed out, I was at the point in the application where it asked "Where will you be staying"? "Hmmmm, ermmm, arl owa man like"!. Which for readers outside of Newcastle translates to "All over old chap".

I'm going to leave the VISA application until I can book flights and a hotel. Most sites won't allow you to book more than a year in advance so it looks like this is a job for May 2010.

I then decided to issue an appeal to the 1360 members of my Run Geordie Run Facebook group and to my 300 followers on Twitter. The appeal was for anyone who had access to discounted flights and hotels in LA and NY to get in touch. I've had a couple of good replies but I think it's appropriate to mention one particular person at this point.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the latest member of the Run Geordie Run team; Shelli Tench Mayfield. Shelli lives in the USA and with her best friend being a Geordie she knows what people from our region are all about.

Shelli is currently in the process of creating a PR plan for me "stateside". I don't want to go into any details at this early stage, needless to say that I'm very excited about her plans and even more so with her dedication and effort so far. Aside from PR, it's very comforting to have a good contact in the USA. All of a sudden the whole thing seems a little less daunting than before with access to local knowledge such as Shellis'.

Thanks to Shelli and thanks to all of those folk who have written to me with advice on various aspects of the run and also on fundraising and publicity. The virtual community of helpers and advisors is growing by the week. It's great to have you all aboard. I've said right from the start that the USA 2011 run will be a team effort. It's me putting one front in front of the other a few million times but I'm sure a lot of credit will go to those people behind the scenes who contribute, advise and help out.