Monday, 9 July 2018

Day 33 - Back on the road

The first task of the day was to pack my supplies and kit into Chappie. I’d been given a few gifts by the kind people of Kalush but fortunately I had plenty of space. It was then time for a final breakfast with Ira, Mikola, Viktor, Olah, Patricia and Hryhorii. We had soup, French toast, salad and coffee.


Mikola and Ira (the owners of the hotel) packed me some bread, meat, syrup, tea and honey. It was the kind of package the Hobbits had when they left the Shire in Lord of the Rings. You’d really struggle to meet a kinder bunch of people.

Both Mikola and Ira have worked tirelessly this week to ensure that the veterans and their families have had a relaxing time.

We said our goodbyes and I made my way down he stone track from the camp site at 0930.

I walked the first half mile with Viktor. He’d been responsible for hooking me up with the local and national media who were present again for my departure. Despite not speaking English I’ve had some good laughs with Viktor. They have mainly centred around a funny Google Translate outcome where he’d cooked sausages on a BBQ. The Facebook post translated to “I make sausage for Mark”. Yes it’s childish but I now refer to Viktor as Lord Sausage or Viktor, King of Sausages. Don’t be surprised to see Viktor setup a sausage making business in the near future!

After I left Kalush, there was a very steep climb that last for just over a mile. What happened on that section was nothing short of extraordinary. There were many people pulling over in their cars to ask for a photo and to make a donation. I kept the local currency and paid the equivalent in sterling to St Benedict’s Hospice via while I continued up the hill.

It was so profoundly brilliant that on that hill east of Kalush a lot of kindness was shown that ultimately benefits people in St Benedict’s Hospice.

News of my departure from Kalush had obviously spread. I’ve noticed many new Ukrainian followers of the Run Geordie Run Facebook page.

I stopped at a shop in Bodnariv for water. The lady in the shop would not take my money and insisted on me having the water.

Soon after the couple in the image below asked if I needed any help. They also gave me some water and a bottle of juice.

I had my “standard conversation” with the people below who seemed very interested in what I was doing.

After 13 miles I didn’t feel very well. I decided to pull over and climb inside Chappie for a “tactical snooze”. That’s the term that I first used during the run across the USA where a tactical snooze was an almost daily occurrence. Today’s snooze was only the second of this stage. I slept solidly for a whole hour. I was out like a light. I must have needed it. I had another light hour and didn’t start running again until 1700.

As I ran through Komariv a group of lads asked for photos. They’d seen the recent publicity from Kalush. A mile after that a guy cycled alongside me and gave me a bottle of water. I’ve definitely got enough to last to Ternopil now. He didn’t speak a word of English and he still cycled alongside despite a heavy downpour of rain. I put my waterproof and poncho on and it was enough to stay comfortable. He turned back to the village and I continued on my way.

When I reached Halych I was in a lot of discomfort. There was a sharp pain in that ligament underneath my left lateral malleolus. I hobbled across the Dnister river and found a place to setup camp with Chappie.

Despite the late start and snooze, I was very pleased with a haul of 24.5 miles today. If I’m able to make it to Turnopil in time to see the football then I need at least 30 miles tomorrow.

I only need to average 23 miles to make it in time to Zhytomyr next week so today has been an excellent start to this particular stretch.

Thanks to everyone for the donations to St Benedict’s Hospice today. The fund for this campaign is currently sitting very close to 37k at £36,912.39. Absolutely brilliant. If you’d like to make a donation then please visit

Finally tonight, I received a message (in English) from the young lad I met at the campsite. He’s called Dima. He always sat next to me at the dinner table and was very polite. He is the proud owner of one of my sponsored caps and is a real credit to his family. He’s also one of the few people who have had a go at towing Chappie.