Wednesday 4 November 2020

Stage X - The route

Today is the 32nd anniversary of my Dad's death following a battle with cancer. It seems a fitting day as any to announce details of a special stage, which I've referred to as "Stage X" of my run around the world.

The image below is the route I'll be following for my Stage X. Of course, this special stage has been dreamt up while the world is in turmoil and as a result of not being able to run from Kiev, Ukraine to Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan as planned next year.

It will all kick off on the 12th July 2021 at Bamburgh Castle and here's the twist - I just so happen to turn 50 years old that week and that number has influenced this special stage in a huge way. Long time followers will remember when I ran 40 miles during the 3100 mile run across the USA on my 40th birthday. I always suspected that my next significant birthday would involve a similar feat.  

So I'm very pleased to announce that Stage X will involve 50 miles of running every day for 5 days while following the “Northumberland 250” tourist route in a clockwise direction. Stage X will start and end at Bamburgh Castle and will involve 15,000 ft of elevation. The daily start and end points are as follows:

Day 1 - Bamburgh to West Woodburn
Day 2 - West Woodburn to Allendale Town
Day 3 - Allendale Town to Kielder
Day 4 - Kielder to Kirk Yetholm
Day 5 - Kirk Yetholm to Bamburgh Castle (via Holy Island) 

The final day promises to be fun with the safe crossing time off Holy Island (at the 34 mile point that day) ending at 6.20 pm!

The aim of Stage X is to raise funds for St. Benedict's Hospice and hit an overall charity total of £350,000. The current around the world total is £332,981.13 giving Stage X a target of £17,018.87 for the Hospice.  

The daily mileage is huge and the chances of success not great (I always say that!!). I believe it promises to be a very interesting journey to follow and it’s local for once!!! This will be one of the simplest events I've done in terms of logistics but one of the most difficult to actually run. There's hardly any margin for error. Is there even any margin?

Running against a backdrop of beautiful Northumberland, a place where I spent all of my childhood holidays is going to be very special. I vaguely remember exploring Bamburgh Castle as a 4 year old with my Mam and Dad. Donna and I were married there in 2014. To start and finish this route in such a special place is just how I'd like to be spending my 50th birthday. I'm not one for gifts and parties. Hitting the fundraising target for the Hospice will be all the gift I really want. 

Whatever the state of the world next summer I truly believe that this won’t have to be cancelled. I will have a small support team at best. The worst case scenario is that I will run it unsupported. So whatever the rules/tiers/bubbles etc I'm optimistic of being allowed to run the 250 miles round Northumberland.

The level of difficulty means that I'm certain that Stage X is definitely worthy of sponsorship. 250 miles in 5 days is quite a task. 

I’ll be trying to recruit commercial sponsors and hopefully the general public will show their generous side too. All costs associated with this run will be paid for by myself. That will likely only be food, fuel, insurance and accommodation (if there’s time to sleep). Every single penny raised will be in aid of St. Benedict’s Hospice.

There’ll be much more detail to follow in the coming days. That’s all for now and if you’d like to make an early donation then please visit #rgrstagex