Running North

Remember a month or so back I mentioned Sarah and I had a big challenge planned forJune?  If not, you can read about it here. Well, I’m finally ready to announce it!

On 1st June, we’ll be fastpacking (basically running slowly with all our stuff in rucksacks) from the most westerly point of the UK at Ardnamurchan to the most northerly point at John o Groats.  Sound simple?  Well, we decided to make it a bit more interesting and instead of going the shortest route, we’re going to follow the coastline.  It’ll mean covering around 700 miles and even more scarily, around 80,000 feet of ascent which is nearly three times the height of Everest!  We’ve cleverly named it Running North!

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Luckily, we’ve got the TGO Challenge kicking off on 9th May which gives us chance to test out all of our kit and prepare ourselves for six weeks of wild camping and self sufficiency. The route we’ve chosen is one of the most desolate in the UK, passing through very little civilisation.

I am honestly a little scared…

However, this is the most amazing opportunity and something I could never have undertaken while I still worked my full time job as an IT Project Manager – mainly because I couldn’t take that much time off!  I do feel incredibly lucky to be able to spend the summer basically just going out to explore Scotland and do something I love with one of my favourite people.

This is by far the biggest endurance challenge I’ve ever undertaken and it’s going to be interesting to find out how I manage (survive?)…

We’re really excited because we’ve partnered up with Sealskinz for this adventure; Sarah and I are both ambassadors for them and the waterproof kit they provide is just perfect for slogging across the Scottish Highlands!  In addition, Crewroom are providing us with our clothing for the run – and some of it is pink!!

When we first starting planning this, I was having a few quiet worries to myself about how Owain and my family would react, firstly to me being away for six weeks and secondly, to such an extreme challenge.  Well, no worries there!  The complete lack of anything other than ‘oh right, sounds like your sort of thing’ demonstrates that all family are now completely desensitized to anything big news I throw at them! Maybe now is the time to tell them about the Arctic Ultra I found…

As well as wanting to explore the Scottish coastline and push ourselves to the limit, Sarah and I are both fundraising for charities that mean an awful lot to us personally.  I’m raising funds for the Stroke Association.  If you’ve read my blog for a while, you’ll know why.  If you’re new, then it’s because my husband Owain had a stroke 6 years ago, aged just 30.  Luckily, he’s made an amazing recovery but if it wasn’t for the FAST campaign televised across the UK (Face, Arms, Speech, Time to call 999) and the support of the Stroke Association during his recovery, things would have been very different.  I’d love it if you could spare a few pennies and sponsor me here.

Sarah is raising funds for Yogability, a Glasgow based charity offering free yoga to children and adults with special needs, as well as their carers.  This provides relaxation and serenity to those who truely need it.  You can contribute to their GoFundMe here.

So, there it is.  One hell of a challenge.  But, before I can even think about Running North, I’ve just got the small matter of a 200 mile bike ride from London to Paris in under 24 hours this weekend, then a 200 mile hike across Scotland.

I must be mad…

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