Sunday, 23 September 2018

25th Anniversary Challenge - Day 6

Without much cloud cover it was absolutely freezing up on Hartside Summit overnight. I got out of Chappie at 0915, packed up and made my way to the temporary Cafe. The picture below is the view back to the Lake District.

I ordered two bacon sandwiches and a cup of tea. Katherine, the owner, was kind enough to make a donation to St. Benedict’s Hospice.

As I was eating my breakfast, I got talking to two bikers called Tommy and John. They couldn’t work out what Chappie was so I told them all about our travels. They were kind enough to make a donation. I knew that I would lose my mobile phone signal 100 metres down the road so I promptly paid all of the donations in to

It was a nice to start the day running purely down hill. Despite the sunshine, it was a very chilly morning. I made my way towards Alston and reached the front street after 6 miles of easy downhill running.

I didn’t have a data signal so was unable to navigate my way to my old colleague’s Mam’s house. I’d been promised a bacon sandwich and a cuppa. To my surprise, as I headed out of Alston, I passed the street where I knew she lived. Five minutes later and I was drinking coffee and tucking into a bacon and mushroom sandwich. It was great to see Elaine again after so many years and her Mam was lovely too. They are both keen followers of my Around The World Run. It was nice to chat to them about it.

 I left with a snack and a sports drink for the onward journey. Thank you to Elaine for her donation to St. Benedict’s Hospice too. I think I’ve cost her a lot of money over the years as she has sponsored me since the very early days of my fundraising. She was also very kind to me after my Mam died and I remember having some nice meals and a chat at her house.

The road from Alston to Nenthead was quite undulating and while I warmed up on the climbs, I struggled to keep warm on the descent. It made for a very uncomfortable and, at times, cold afternoon of running.

I stopped at The Miners Arms at Nenthead for a chicken burger. It was very good. My meal was well timed as there was a downpour while I was eating.

I was just about to get back on the road when Dave the owner of the bike shop asked me about Chappie. I told him about my journey. He’d also been having problems with body temperature while cycling.

Another man (John) asked about my journey. He gave me the last of his change and I paid his and Dave’s donation in to

I was stopped by some ladies a little way up the hill out of Nenthead. I was surprised to learn that the lady on the left (Adele) was in fact the Sausage Sandwich Lady from day 4. She’d first seen me in Hexham on day 2 and was one of the drivers who were cheering me up the hill. She caught a glimpse of the wording on Chappie that day and after a bit of Googling found my Facebook page.

Back to today and Adele handed me some home made cookies wrapped in tin foil. I had them later on the 16th mile. They were delicious.

The climb out of Nenthead was long and steep (see the elevation profile below). I just had to keep on putting one foot in front of the other and get on with it. Various cars, cyclists and motocross bikes waved as I climbed the hill and this really helped.

That climb out of Nenthead was the steepest that I’ve tackled since Ukraine. Just like all of the other climbs on this tour, I was really pleased with my fitness and also my attitude to getting stuck in.

I reached the summit after almost 2 miles of steep uphill. I was very warm with my 5 layers on!

One motocross rider passed and then turned back. He saw the “Run Geordie Run” on the side of Chappie and said he’d check it out later. There was also a mention of a donation so I’ll look out for that on

As I ran past Killhope Lead Mining Museum I could feel myself getting cold again. There were also some dark clouds approaching from the north.

I ran through Lanehead and Cornriggs and decided to stop for the day at a roadside inlet near Cowshill. I was quite happy with 18 miles for the day. The priority was to get warm and change into fresh kit.

Just as I was boiling the kettle for a cup of Northumberland Tea a couple called John and Lillian Shepherd pulled over in a classic car for a chat. I apologised that I couldn’t make them a cuppa as I only had one mug!

They made a donation to St. Benedict’s Hospice before they left. It was really nice talking to them. It was also nice to end the day with in the same way it started. i.e. with donations to St. Benedict’s Hospice.

I had a full strength 4G signal so I paid John and Lillian’s donation to the Hospice via while I drank two cups of Northumberland Tea. Incidentally, I later found that John is the cousin of my Sister in law’s husband. What a small world.

I setup camp and climbed inside Chappie. The view out of Chappie’s starboard window was a really great one.

Today’s low point of elevation was Alston. The climb after that looks very impressive.

There are now only 42 miles left to St. Benedict’s Hospice. I’ve decided to end this challenge there which was always my original intention. It will be a fitting end to the first 25 years of fundraising. I’m going to try and get someone with a van to give Chappie and myself a ride home to Bedlington. 

Despite me not really doing this 25th Anniversary Challenge as a fundraiser almost £300 has been raised this week for St. Benedict’s Hospice. The current total is a very pleasing £273.80. Thanks so much, once again, if you’ve made a donation via

As I’ve been typing these closing lines a police van has just pulled alongside. Ah, they’ve left now. Hopefully they’ll have made a note of my Virgin Money Giving page.