Only those who will risk going too far…. can possibly find out how far one can go, – T.S.Eliot
London -Rome draws ever nearer. 40 days and 40 nights to be precise until we set off from Marble Arch in the early hours of June 10th. Preparations are well under way.
This week we welcomed Paul Grindrod onto our team. Paul retired from the police force last year and will share driving, navigating, cooking, cleaning,filming, media work etc etc with John Saunders whilst Alex and I get on with the relatively straightforward task of putting one footin front of the other hundreds of thousands of times. Paul will be with us from 10th-26th June (London to Zurich). We will then be joined by my son Sam, fresh from another winter ski season in the Alps, for the remainder of the route. Sam is an experienced ultra distance support crew man, having supported me through a Deca Ironman, 9 Triple Ironman races, 2 Double Ironman races and numerous other events. It will be wonderful to share this amazing journey with him.
The task we have set ourselves is truly immense – the work on the precise detail of the route has brought this home to me. Jane Mockford, a quality performer in the orienteering world, has spent hours on our behalf working on the fine detail of the route. The main cities and dates are all established, but it is a painstaking task to find paths, trails, canal banks etc that are suitable—– and there are 1836 miles to check out!! Jane has spent hours in Paris and Chester bookshops identifying relevant ordnance survey type maps to finalise our route from Calais to Brussels to Paris to Strasbourg. This week she has even despatched her partner, Nick Campbell, to a Belgian bookshop in Brussels to find the best maps for the Belgian section.
Then there’s our route across the Alps from Zurich to Chiasso!!! Wow! Take a look at the profile of the ST Gotthard pass! We will be crossing the Alps after some 16 days of constant running. So we really are going to find out the limits of our endurance capabilities.
This is certainly no ’3 times round the school field sponsored walk!’ We will finish the route to Rome by following an ancient Pilgrims route from Milan to Rome (The Via Francigena), including a detour off the path to take in the delights of Florence.
Please continue to tell friends and colleagues about our epic journey. We have chosen such an incredibly arduous challenge as this is the best way to maximise publicity for the cause. The more we can raise awareness, the more chance there is of a cure being found for Parkinson’s disease.
I’ve been adapting to life in my new home in Chester. I couldn’t dream of living in a more wonderful place and am enjoying the vibrant company of my housemate, Kate. The 3 crazy hounds also provide great entertainment and company. The positive energy around the place and the regular visitors are a truly welcome addition to life. Kate runs the local award winning Deli in Chester, see www.delikate.co.uk. I’ve found some great runs through the estate and along the Rive Dee.
More details of London-Rome coming soon………. watch this space