Sunday, 16 September 2018

25th Anniversary Challenge - Day 1

It took me an hour to prepare Chappie for the 200 mile round trip to the Lake District and back. I’m calling this journey the 25th anniversary challenge to celebrate the number of years that I’ve been fundraising.

I started running from Bedlington at a very good pace. It took 01:18:05 to run 10k and 03:01:12 to run a half marathon. I think they may be my fastest ever times with Chappie. I was even more pleased because of the strong headwind that was present for most of the day. 


At the 16 mile point I noticed a huge lorry pulled up ahead. Two men got out and handed over a large tray of bottled water. It was like being back in Ukraine again. Great kindness. I’ve now got enough water to get me to the Lake District. This will save me from stocking up in Hexham tomorrow. 

A little further down the road I stopped to chat to a man out running. He was training for an Iron Man in Barcelona. He took one look at Chappie and said that my efforts were putting him to shame! I’ve got a huge amount of respect for anyone who does an iron man event. It’s on my bucket list. One day. 

I stopped to eat some sandwiches at the 17 mile point. I got going again and it wasn’t long before I was joined by Carlton on his bike. He’d never seen Chappie before. He was supposed to see us off in Belgrade in June but that wasn’t possible due to Chappie being stuck in customs.

Carlton and I had a good chat and he left me at the 20 mile point in Stamfordham. 

The remaining 4 miles were very slow and I stopped on 24 miles for the day very close to the Military Road. 

I finished my sandwiches and setup camp for the night.


Just as I was about to crawl inside Chappie a local couple walked past. I explained to them where I was going and gave a brief overview of my world journey. They kindly asked me if I needed anything. “A coffee in the morning” was something that I politely declined as I have a stash of Northumberland Tea with me. 

I’d forgotten how Chappie attracts all sorts of kindness. I found it very strange, even this long after stage 5 of the run Around The World, having a conversation about my journey in English. There was no need for the customary “Belgrade, Satu Mare, Kalush, Turnopil, Kyiv” style conversation with some sign language thrown in. 

It’s been a great start to this 25th Anniversary Challenge. Some good miles ran and some kindness from strangers shown. There’s a storm due tomorrow which may or may not have an impact on my journey. As I’m writing this blog inside Chappie I do feel very safe and secure. Whatever the weather tomorrow, we’ll be ready. 

As I approach my £50,000 target for the current campaign, please consider making a small donation to St. Benedict’s Hospice at Thanks in advance.