Friday 27 April 2018

A busy week - 38 days to go!

It's been a productive week! We had a brilliant meeting about this year's fundraising ball. I'm as excited as I've ever been for a ball after Donna, Catrina from St Benedict's Hospice and myself met Tom, the manager at The Biscuit Factory. This is the fourth ball that I've organised and I think it will be the most radical and fun one yet. There will be more details on that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, save 13/10/18 in your diary. All I can say is that there will be Russian Vodka and suitcases full of currency involved somewhere on the night! 

I established a really good contact in Belgrade who is helping to source accommodation for Chappie and me for the days just prior to the run starting. Nothing to report on that front as yet but thanks to Vladimir for assistance so far and the kind offer of transport from the airport. 

The process of form filling in for the freight of Chappie has begun. It's not as bad as the visa application process so I mustn't complain. Dave at Shenton Creative​ and staff at Communisis have worked hard on getting my leaflet ready for the printer this week. A huge thank you goes to them for their efforts. 

Thanks to Kerry at Synergy Language Services Ltd​ for offering to translate the leaflet to Russian. I can't overstate just how important it will be to have my leaflet in that language. 

The "Goodbye Run Geordie Run" event in South Shields takes place next Friday. Tickets are still available here. It's a £20 all you can eat curry night at Aneesa's. They are providing the food free of charge so the full ticket price is going to St Benedict's Hospice. Thank you to Asif at the restaurant for this very kind gesture. 

In other news, I've managed to book some accommodation for myself and Chappie in the Romanian city of Satu Mare. I'll be spending my  first rest day there and will be able to get what will probably be my first shower after 279 miles and 9 days of running. That will be my last day in Romania before I enter Ukraine on day 11. The image below is what the first 9 days of running looks like. 

With only 38 days to go until the start of stage 5 of the run around the world there is hardly a day left where I won't be arranging this, organising that or booking the other.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has kindly made a donation to St Benedict's Hospice at The generosity of the general public always has and still is amazing.

Please keep checking this blog over the coming days, weeks and months as posts become more frequent due to the fact that there is so much going on to make the Road To Astana a huge success.

Monday 23 April 2018

The Man From Russia Says "Da"

Two bits of excellent news to start the week! Firstly, the overall fund for the Run Around The World crept over the £297,000 barrier and £29,000 for the Road To Astana campaign at the weekend. This was thanks to some kind donations and also ticket sales for next week's Goodbye Run Geordie Run event (tickets are still available by the way). 
My own personal target of £50,000 is going to require a lot of luck and generosity to achieve but I'm confident. 

In other massive news, I have just taken delivery of my passport which contains a bright and shiny Russian visa inside it. It has taken a lot of form filling in and head scratching to get it. I must say though, the Russian Tourist Office in London have been extremely helpful. When you're going to be travelling across the Russian Federation pulling a buggy the question of "Where will you be staying" is a very tough one to answer. 

With only 42 days until stage 5 of the run around the world starts, the floodgates can now open and some major tasks need to be completed. Booking of flights, freight and accommodation in Belgrade head the very long to do list. Donna and I will be working our way through that as we have done for the previous stages around the world. I've always said that getting to the start line of this run will be an achievement in itself. After getting charity sign off last year, the visa for Russia was the next obstacle. The final obstacle is figuring out how to get the buggy back to the UK from Astana after the end of the run. Watch this space for more news as preparations hot up.