Wednesday 22 June 2016

Progress so far on day 53

The faint blue line on the "heat map" below was generated using data from my GPS watch uploaded to Strava.

As you can see, I haven't exactly taken the direct route across Europe with a mostly northerly direction taken from Lisbon. Once I hit the first antipodal point near La Coruna it was a case of turning due east across the top of Spain. 

The next challenge was the Pyrenees where the likes of the Col de Marie-Blanque, Col d'Abisque, Col du Soulor, Col du Tourmalet, Col d'Aspin, Col de Peyresourde and Port D'Evalira (The highest one) were some of the many climbs that were undertaken. 40,000 ft of uphill running was done in the Pyrenees over 303 miles.

I soon made my way to the Alps for a further 345 miles involving 46,000 ft of uphill running over 10 days. It all started on Mont Ventoux and I was only to get stronger and quicker running up d'Alpe d'Huez, Col de Parquetout, Col d'Ornon, Col du Glandon, Lacets de Montvernier, Col du Chaussy, Col de la Madeleine and the Col de l'Iseran.

It was so cold up the Col de l'Iseran that the RV wouldn't start. Once we waited for sunshine, having slept up there at -3 celsius it was a case of running 9,600 ft downhill into Italy. 

I felt really strong coming out of the Alps so I decided to delay the rest day for a day and run to the other east side of Turin. That's where I'm writing this blog from on the rest day having:
  • Ran 1,765 miles
  • Burned 271,000 calories
  • Climbed 149,000 ft
  • Lost 4 stone
Remarkably, I'm still on schedule. Nobody, I know thought that would be the case after 5 days never mind 53 days. 

There is still a lot of difficult running to do, however. There are many challenges to face and overcome. The biggest challenge I've faced so far is homesickness. I've used that to my advantage through. I live with the daily fear of falling behind and not getting home on time. It's the main reason that I'm still on schedule.

Now for some well deserved thank yous to everybody who has made this run possible and worthwhile.

Firstly, my main sponsor SOS Group together with Chapman Ventilation, Fresh Freight Group, Cherry Active, D-Line, Virgin Money, Brooks and Sport Newcastle have been very generous with their support. In fact, they have been so generous that they have not only paid for the run but the surplus thousands have gone to The Children's Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. 

Finally, thank you to everyone who has made a donation to The Children's Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation via I get to see the donations made and read the messages left on an almost daily basis. 

As ever, I'm truly humbled by the generosity of the general public, family, friends and colleagues alike. I've set a fundraising target of £50,000 for the run across Europe. Just like the running, there is still a long way to go to achieve the goal.

That's all for now. Expect more blog posts now and again and daily updates on the Facebook page as data becomes more limited.

Since I'm in Italy, I'll close with a paraphrased proverb from these parts. "Tutte le strade portion a Istanbul".