On Saturday morning I set off on a 35 mile Pledgeit challenge to run from my flat in Wandsworth to visit my Granddad at the Phylis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham armed with no more than a ruck sack full of water, a fully charged ipod and my smart phone for directions.
Having run from John O'Groats to Lands End a couple of years ago, I was confident of being able to complete the challenge when I set it up on Thursday. However that confidence dropped considerably in the build up to the run when I considered the weather forecast and the fact that the furthest I'd run recently was 11 miles in preparation for the Berlin marathon!
Fortunately the extreme heat never materialised and 40+ miles, three counties, 8 and a half hours and one severely bruised toe nail later, I made it to the hospice in time to see my Granddad before he had his dinner. He was delighted to see me although I don't think he fully understood the lengths I'd gone to to get there when I surprised him on the ward.
The challenge was much more difficult than I expected and I would never have been it without the support of my Dad and sister who joined me for the second half of the run (if you can call it that 20 miles in) from Cobham through to Farnham. They ensured I was kept fully stocked with water and snacks when I began to tire and also ensured that I didn't get lost when my smart phone ran out of battery!
Remarkably, the toe nail and a few aches and pains aside, I was fine on Sunday although did spend most of the day unable to move from the sofa. However, that was nothing compared to my sister who ended up covered in cuts and brusises after the chain came off her bike on one of the stretches, flinging her head first into the brambles.
Challenge completed, it's time now for me to put my feet up and relax whilst the pledges come in! Thank you so much that's did made a pledge so far - your support and the prospect of an ice lolly got me through the last few miles and has helped raise £190 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Reasearch.
For those of you who are interested, there's still time to make a Pledgeit donation for Andy's Challenge and help him raise even more money for the charity. Together we will beat blood cancer.