Sunday, 14 December 2014

£10,000 barrier broken

It has been a great weekend of fundraising! The £10,000 barrier for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation was broken on Saturday night. 

Things got off to a great start on Friday with 2 talks given in local schools in aid of the 2 charities. I really enjoyed talking about my journey so far and I got some really pleasing feedback after both events. The first talk was at a PE conference held at Cramlington Learning Village. The 2nd was a 6th form awards presentation at Harton Technology College. Both slots were 20 minutes long and, as ever, it was a real challenge to get the story told in that short time.   

On Saturday night along with members of the Run Geordie Run support team, I was a guest at my sponsor, SOS group's, Christmas party.  


Director's Andrew, John and George are pictured below. These guys have been so supportive from the outset and I was particularly surprised at the mock up of my new kit with the SOS logo in pride of place.


I addressed 100 party goers on the night with a very short version of my story so far and announced that SOS Group were the headline sponsor for the European segment of the run Around The World. This news went down very well and the audience were generous enough to not only donate £1000 but also buy the surplus Run Geordie Run t-shirts and hoodies. 

The fundraising on the night didn't stop there as I later found out that a very merry member of SOS Group staff (pictured below) took her hoodie around the party tables and asked people to sign it for a minimum donation of £5. I've got to give this lady 10 out of 10 for originality and her efforts yielded £150 for the 2 charities.


The excellent news is that, with fees for talks and the proceeds from SOS group's Christmas party, the fund for The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation absolutely smashed through the £10,000 barrier. 

It's only been 53 days since the announcement of the run Around The World and to say that the fundraising has hit the ground running is an understatement. It has taken a lot of generosity from the general public but the foundations for this great start were firmly laid by SOS Group. 

Thank you yet again to SOS Group and everybody who has bought a t-shirt/hoodie or made a donation. The current overall charity fund stands at an amazing £223,285.80. 

There is so much more hard work to be done and many many miles to be ran to break through the quarter of a million pound barrier. With this kind of start, however, that total is not beyond the realms of possibility. That said, I'm never one for taking people's generosity for granted. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other, confronting many difficult situations and share the journey with whoever would like to read, hear or watch it. 

If the previous 6,358 miles are anything to go by, the remaining 13,642 miles around the world promise to be an incredible ongoing journey. 


I'll end this blog post on a festive note and news of a £10 donation from the farmer who sold us our Christmas tree. 


While picking a tree (it was tagged Jimmy for some reason incidentally), we got talking about my running. I was pleasantly surprised when he knocked £10 off the price of "Jimmy" and asked that I donate it to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation.  Happy Christmas indeed!

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Around The World Ball

Following the huge success of the Run Geordie Run USA Ball in 2011 (over £10,000 was raised for the 2 charities) it has been decided to host a similar event in 2015.


The AROUND THE WORLD BALL will be held in Newcastle (exact venue to be confirmed) on October 10th 2015. If you would like to be kept informed as to when tickets go on sale in the new year then please fill in the form below.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

SOLD OUT! UPDATED (29/11/014)

Thanks to everyone who bought a Run Geordie Run Around The World t-shirt or hoodie. I'm pleased to report that all stock allocated for online sales are now all sold out.

Thanks to the printer producing more many items than originally asked for, there are a few XXL t-shirts and a very small number of M, L and XL hoodies left. Please email sponsorship@rungeordierun.com if you would like one.

£2643 has been raised so far from sales with £360 worth of stock left. We are looking good to break through the £3000 barrier for t-shirt and hoodie sales.


Thanks to SOS Group Ltd for paying for production costs, all proceeds go to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation. That's every single penny!

The snazzy design was produced by Dave Shenton of Shenton Creative who gave his services free of charge.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Run Geordie Run Support Team News

Without the very best support team, the run Around The World and in particular the European segment will be very difficult to complete. With that in mind I was pleased to add another quality person, James Childs (pictured below), to the team that will see me safely across Europe during the Summer of 2016.

Just like, Carlton and Colin, James is one of my colleagues at Virgin Money. I've worked with him for a number of years and we have the advantage of being able to hit the ground running in terms of familiarity and camaraderie.  


James, as with the others on the team, has a strong work ethic, has that much needed sense of humour and is very conscientious. He has considerable experience of driving in Europe and, like myself, has a keen interest in maps and navigation.

James Said "The story of Run Geordie Run is a compelling one. It is one which pulls you in and connects with your own similar life experiences. I am surrounded by close relatives and friends who have fought against illness, not always with a good outcome. 

The two charities supported by Run Geordie Run do some incredible work helping people fight illness. I cannot begin to contemplate the physical demands of running around the world - what I can do is support Run Geordie Run on his unbelievable journey in any way I can (including emptying his toilet!).".

Regular readers will know that James joins Carlton, Jason and Colin as confirmed support team members. There really isn't a weakness there. It's a strong foundation of support and the search continues to add equally willing and able volunteers to the team. Watch this space in the coming months for further support team news.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Run Geordie Run Support Team News

Recruitment for the European segment support team continued this week with the acquisition of another quality person. Regular readers will be aware that the support team already consists of Carlton Fletcher (previously on the USA and Australia support team) and Jason Stobbs (previously on the Australia support team). 

Added to the current line up of experience this week was Colin Hillier (pictured below on the right), who, together with Carlton (pictured below on the left), is of my colleagues at Virgin Money. Colin had hoped to be on the Australia support team but with a baby on the way that just wasn’t possible. 


Colin brings a strong work ethic, an attention to detail and a wicked sense of humour to the team. These are all attributes that are an absolute must for anyone hoping to have a successful tour of duty on the support team. It's a very difficult job (so I've been told). 

Making sure the RV is running at maximum efficiency, cooking, cleaning, getting supplies, washing kit, drying kit, keeping me motivated and entertained, looking for safe places to stop during the day and stay overnight, logging mileage, monitoring how much mileage each pair of trainers has done, dumping the waste from the RV, filling the RV's water systems (even when there is no obvious supply such as in the outback), taking photos, spreading the word to any passers by or locals cover about 10% of the support team's duties. It's a full time job that requires maximum commitment and a realisation that nothing else matters other than a successful outcome for the runner and the 2 charities. 

I've said it many times that, while the brand Run Geordie Run implies that there is only one man who makes the run a success, it could not be further from the truth. The support team are the unsung heroes of the run Around The World. Unpaid volunteers giving up their spare time on foreign shores with the hope that they are making a difference to the community of the North East of England. And oh what a difference they have made, with almost a 1/4 million pounds raised so far for local good causes.  

Having Colin, Carlton (pictured below right) and Jason (pictured below left) on support duty on the European segment means that, so far, the team is a very strong one. Speaking from experience, there really isn't a weak link there at all. These are guys that I have worked with before, trust 100% and am confident that we'll continue to work well together. Not forgetting, of course, my wife Donna (pictured below). We are both currently working very hard behind the scenes to make the next segment a successful one. After a traumatic solo 5 weeks on the team in Australia, I'm sure she will sign up again for a tour of duty. That decision is going to take months of doing dishes, cooking and washing clothes on my part however! In other words, I'm working on her. It feels like payback for the time she spent in the RV at 38 celsius surrounded by thousands of flies!      


I hope to add more people to the team over the coming weeks. They must be of the same quality as those on the team already. It's not going to be easy to find the right people but I hope to share further support team news soon.

European segment start point

My search for a suitable start point on the European segment of the run Around The World came to a successful conclusion this week. Like the previous runs across the USA and Australia, I looked for somewhere that would allow the start to be in an ocean. This, of course, means that my runs can be truly classified, beyond any doubt, as “coast to coast”. 

I intend to find a corresponding end point in Shanghai, some 10,000 plus miles later, in due course. Meanwhile, back to the start point in Portugal, which I’m very pleased to announce is Guincho Beach (pictured below). 


Guincho Beach, situated 20 miles west of Lisbon is popular with tourists and is regarded as one of the best windsurfing locations in Europe. It was used as a location in the James Bond movie “On her Majesty’s Secret Service” where Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (played by Diana Rigg) is rescued by James Bond (played by George Lazenby).


From Guincho Beach, I'll be running due north before crossing into Spain and hitting the first Antipodal point in La Coruna some 430 miles later. I'll talk more about the subsequent route east in the coming weeks. It is important to remember that La Coruna, Spain is the exact opposite (antipodal) point on the planet to Christchurch, New Zealand. Regular readers of this blog will remember that running through those 2 opposite points of the planet and running over 18,000 miles are part of the Guinness World Record criteria that I'm following. I don't think I'll be setting any records, of course!