Run The World : UK Tour

UK RTW 2

I was in a meeting with Denise ‘Da Bees Knees’ and we were discussing how we could increase Run the World’s impact. In particular, how we could increase fundraising, do more talks, get more people running and generally promote the RTW message (‘Get out there ; be active ; live healthily. It’s good for you and you’ll enjoy it!’)

Denise turned to me and said, “Perhaps you should do some more runs in the UK?”

Hmm…more runs…just what I need…

We mused and mulled and consulted. We thought about the logistical and physical demands of more runs. We cogitated some more. Are there enough hours in the day? Will anyone be interested? I am truly, truly sick of all the travel – could I bear to spend time waiting for mysteriously cancelled trains and stuck in endless motorway tailbacks?

In the end we decided to go for it. I’ll be doing 45 runs in the UK’s biggest built-up areas (please see below for more detail.)

That will take my global total to 250 runs. Which is equivalent to running 2 500 000 metres. That’s a metre for every cancer sufferer in the UK.

The first runs will be in the North-East (Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Newcastle) in the w/c May 22nd  with the Newcastle run planned for Saturday May 26th. Please get in touch if you can join any of the runs – or you have any local friends and contacts.

If the North-East is a success, we’ll raise lots of money for cancer research, help encourage people to be more active – and end up with a good night out in Newcastle at the end of it all.

If it’s not a success, I may have to go into embarrassed hiding. And you wouldn’t – I hope – want that!

Finally, please also get in touch if you’d like to join in / help elsewhere in the UK.

1 Greater London Built-up Area 9,787,426 1,737.9 5,630 London BoroughsHemel HempsteadWatfordWokingHarlowSt AlbansBracknell
2 Greater Manchester Built-up Area 2,553,379 630.3 4,051 ManchesterSalfordBoltonStockportOldhamRochdaleBuryTraffordTameside
3 West Midlands Built-up Area 2,440,986 598.9 4,076 BirminghamWolverhamptonWest BromwichDudleyWalsallSolihull
4 West Yorkshire Built-up Area 1,777,934 487.8 3,645 LeedsBradfordWakefieldHuddersfieldDewsburyKeighleyHalifax
5 Greater Glasgow Built-up Area 1,209,143 368.5 3,390 GlasgowPaisleyClydebank
6 Liverpool Built-up Area 864,122 199.6 4,329 LiverpoolBootleLitherlandCrosbyPrescotSt. HelensAshton-in-Makerfield
7 South Hampshire Built-up Area 855,569 192.0 4,455 SouthamptonPortsmouthEastleighGosportFarehamHavantHorndean
8 Tyneside Built-up Area 774,891 180.5 4,292 Newcastle upon TyneGatesheadSouth ShieldsTynemouthWallsendWhitley BayJarrow
9 Nottingham Built-up Area 729,977 176.4 4,139 NottinghamBeestonCarltonWest BridgfordIlkestonHucknall
10 Sheffield Built-up Area 685,368 167.5 4,092 SheffieldRotherhamRawmarsh
11 Bristol Built-up Area 617,280 144.4 4,274 BristolFiltonPillFrampton CotterellKingswoodWarmleyMangotsfieldWinterbourne
12 Belfast Urban Area 595,879 BelfastCastlereaghGreenislandHolywoodLisburnNewtownabbeyMilltown
13 Leicester Built-up area 508,916 109.4 4,653 LeicesterWigstonOadbySystonBlabyBirstallNarboroughEnderby
14 Edinburgh 482,005
15 Brighton and Hove Built-up area 474,485 89.4 5,304 Brighton and HoveWorthingLittlehamptonShoreham-by-Sea
16 Bournemouth/Poole Built-up area 466,266 131.0 3,559 BournemouthPooleChristchurchFerndownNew MiltonWimborne Minster
17 Cardiff Built-up area 447,287 102.3 4,370 CardiffCaerphillyPenarthPontypridd
18 Teesside Built-up area 376,633 108.2 3,482 MiddlesbroughStockton-On-TeesBillinghamRedcar
19 Stoke-on-Trent Built-up area 372,775 103.9 3,588 Stoke-on-TrentNewcastle-under-LymeKidsgrove
20 Coventry Built-up area 359,262 81.3 4,420 CoventryBedworth
21 Sunderland Built-up area 335,415 83.5 4,018 SunderlandWashingtonChester-Le-StreetHetton-le-HoleHoughton-le-Spring
22 Birkenhead Built-up area 325,264 88.2 3,687 BirkenheadWallaseyEllesmere PortBebington
23 Reading Built-up area 318,014 83.7 3,800 ReadingWokinghamWoodleyCrowthorne
24 Kingston upon HullBuilt-up area 314,018 82.6 3,802 Kingston upon HullCottinghamHessle
25 Preston Built-up area 313,322 82.4 3,802 PrestonBamber BridgeChorleyFulwoodLeyland
26 Newport Built-up area 306,844 84.2 3,643 NewportPontypoolCwmbranBlackwoodRiscaYstrad Mynach
27 Swansea Built-up area 300,352 87.6 3,431 SwanseaNeathPort TalbotYstradgynlaisPontardawe
28 Southend-on-Sea Built-up area 295,310 71.8 4,111 Southend-on-SeaHullbridgeRayleighRochford
29 Derby Built-up area 270,468 64.1 4,219 DerbyBorrowashDuffield
30 Plymouth Built-up area 260,203 59.7 4,356 PlymouthPlymstockPlympton
31 Luton Built-up area 258,018 50.7 5,088 LutonDunstableHoughton Regis
32 Farnborough/Aldershot Built-up area 252,397 78.5 3,217 FarnboroughAldershotCamberleyFarnhamFrimleySandhurstYateley
33 Medway Towns Built-up area 243,931 52.2 4,677 GillinghamChathamRochester
34 Blackpool Built-up area 239,409 61.3 3,908 BlackpoolLytham St AnnesPoulton-le-FyldeThorntonCleveleys
35 Milton Keynes Built-up area 229,941 62.5 3,678 ‘Milton Keynes’,[b] BletchleyNewport PagnellWoburn Sands
36 Barnsley/Dearne Valley Built-up area 223,281 59.7 3,739 BarnsleyWath upon DearneWombwellHoyland
37 Northampton Built-up area 215,963 57.9 3,731 NorthamptonCollingtree
38 Norwich Built-up area 213,166 61.9 3,444 NorwichTaverhamCostesseyCringlefordColneyHorsham St Faith, Queens Hills, Thorpe End, Trowse with Newton
39 Aberdeen 207,932
40 Swindon Built-up area 185,609 47.1 3,945 SwindonHaydon WickStratton St. MargaretBroad BlunsdonBlunsdon St AndrewWroughton
41 Crawley Built-up area 180,508 58.1 3,107 CrawleyHorleyEast GrinsteadCopthorneCrawley Down
42 Ipswich Built-up area 178,835 49.1 3,639 IpswichKesgraveWoodbridge
43 Wigan Built-up area 175,405 43.8 4,009 WiganSkelmersdaleStandishInce-in-Makerfield
44 Mansfield Built-up area 171,958 48.4 3,556 MansfieldSutton-in-AshfieldKirkby-in-AshfieldMansfield Woodhouse
45 Oxford Built-up area 171,380 37.4 4,585 OxfordKenningtonWheatley

 

 

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Run 137 : Cape Verde – Praia

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Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/

Date : 20th January, 2018

Time :  1h 6’ 26”

Number of runners : 7

Total distance run to date : 1370 km

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2452288855

There’s a sense of relief when you hit the finish line on the final run on one of these trips,. All the running is done, most of the travel is done, and it’s not too long until you see the family again.

It almost feels like time for a party. A small one mind you. There are still plenty of countries to be run.

It hadn’t felt like that at the beginning of the day. I flew in from Guinea Bissau at about 2.30 am. You can’t get visas in advance for Cape Verde so you have to queue for them in arrivals. Where some guy, who thinks its OK to alleviate his personal boredom by chatting and joking with the other border guards (who are sitting round doing nothing), eventually gets round to taking your money and putting a stamp in your passport.

My pre-arranged taxi then failed to show and I wasn’t in the greatest of moods when I arrived at my hotel shortly before 4am. Only to find they’d overbooked and the only room left was a tiny one containing a couple of kids’ bunks. And not a whole lot else.

A short sleep later, the Cape Verde experience started to improve considerably. Lee, a Brit working for the US Embassy, picked me up and off we went to meet Leonardo who runs the Cape Verde National Olympic Committee (NOC). Much as I love watching elite sport, what interests me professionally is anything that helps and motivates the general population to be more physically active. And Leonardo is doing some great work in this regard, leveraging the NOC’s position to support grass root initiatives in Cape Verde.

He’s also got Olympic paraphernalia (the picture’s not very clear but that’s a petal from the London Olympic cauldron between Leonardo and Lee)

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and pins from just about every Olympics ever

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in his office. And what could be better than that?

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Lunch and a snooze later, Lee picked me up for our run. There were 7 of us on the run

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and the route, put together by Lee, featured a series of loops next to the ocean. It was a ‘not too shabby’ (as we like to say in the UK). I’ll let the picture do the talking.

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Lee’s a serious runner (he’s a 2:24 marathon man) but this was his first run after almost a year out with injury so we didn’t take it too fast. There was time for a natter and many protestations from Lee that there was no way he was going to complete the full 10 km. But even I knew that wasn’t true. And I’d only met him that morning.

And then there it was. The 7th and final run of the West African trip was over and it was time to relax and enjoy the final evening.

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Dinner was tuna cooked on hot stones with Lee, Becky (Lee’s wife), Paul from the run and Gigi.

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Lee is one of those are people who, when you say that you love the Pistols’ version of ‘Roadrunner’ on The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, knows what you’re talking about. So it was no surprise when the conversation turned to everyone’s favourite music.

Gigi, as befits a proper singer with Carnegie Hall on her cv, opted for jazz and classical. Lee loves the Floyd – who doesn’t – but plumped for Joe Walsh’s ‘Life’s Been Good’ as his favourite track. Obviously ‘Alternative Ulster’ is actually the greatest track of all time but ‘Life’s Been Good’ is a decent pick, so here it is for your aural pleasure.

After dinner, we headed off to a roof top bar where Zerui were showcasing their new album ‘Abrasu’.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was a top show – made even better by the fact that seemingly all the audience were able to sing and dance (your truly excepted of course.) The video’s well worth watching.

It was a great end to a great day. Thank you Lee and Becky for the fantastic support and hospitality.

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And thank you to Paul, Paulo and my fellow runners for the company. Much appreciated.

I said at the beginning of the blog that there’s a sense of relief when you hit the finish line on the last run. There’s also a tinge of sadness that another trip’s over. If you’ve read any of the blogs from this trip – Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau – I’m sure you’ll understand why.

Please like Run the World on Facebook to receive notification of future blogs and news about runs, races and running clubs across the world. And also just to show your support because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

And please donate to Cancer Research if you’d like to help fight the global scourge that is cancer.

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Run 136 : Guinea Bissau – Bissau

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Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/

Date : 19th January, 2018

Time :  1h 9’ 34”

Number of runners : 12

Total distance run to date : 1360 km

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2452288827

Media : National television ; national radio

Ever since Denise ‘Da Bees Knees’ Williams joined the team she has taken the line that I should never run alone in any country. Which is great because running with people means that I’m much more likely to fundraise and get across the Run the World message about an active, healthy lifestyle. It’s also a lot less painful running another bloody 10 km if you’ve got some company.

But Guinea Bissau proved a tough nut to crack. Denise tried all the usual channels with no result. We appealed for help on social media. Lots of responses but, again, no result. Denise then instructed to me to talk to everyone I ran with in West Africa to see if they had contacts. Still nothing.

And then, just when it looked like I’d be running on my own, she was introduced to the legendary Jan van Maanen. Jan is a 69 year old Dutch citizen who’s also part-time British consul ; part-time Dutch consul ; part-time importer / trader (“of anything and everything legal”) ; part-time local media magnate ; part-time ‘famous foreigner’ ; and full time great character.

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Jan, who’s lived there for 39 years, knows everyone in Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau (‘Bissau’ was added to the country’s name to distinguish it from the various other ‘Guineas’ in West Africa.) Including a number of Prime Ministers (the President has something of a revolving door policy when it comes to Prime Ministers so they are relatively thick on the ground.)

He’s also very well connected with the media and national television came down to interview me before the run and, apparently, there was a seven minute piece on national news the following evening. (Unfortunately I haven’t been able to track down a copy – which has at least saved me the usual agony of watching myself and wishing I looked and sounded better on telly.)

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There were about 12 of us at the start of the run  including a couple of people from Jan’s team and a group from a fitness class. And a number of Brits who were taking part in the ‘Plymouth to Dakar’ rally. This is a slightly less glamorous version of Paris- Dakar and involves buying an old banger for no more than £500. And then seeing if you can drive it from the UK to Dakar.

Our intrepid banger drivers didn’t do much of the run – with most of them heading off for a beer after about 200 metres – but they did donate £100. Thank you guys!

We ran from Praca do Imperio, down Avenida Amilcar Cabral (Cabral was a nationalist leader in the struggle for independence from the Portuguese), past the post office

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and main cathedral

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to the docks area.

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From there we ran along Rua Guerra Mendes past footballers until the cross roads with Estrada da Granjo do Pessube. Where Jan had arranged of us to speak to national radio. Which was the first time I’d stopped part way through a run to do media but you know what they say. When in Guinea Bissau, do it Jan’s way!

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We also rehydrated with the plastic bags of water you see all over West Africa. For those who aren’t familiar with them, you tear off the corner of the bag with your teeth, drink the contents and then drop the bag on the ground. Or at least that’s what happens to millions of them. Which is pretty similar to what happens to plastic packaging all over the world. Surely we can all do a little better…

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Right, off my plastic high horse and back to the run. From the cross roads we walked through the crowds past the roadside market

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and then back to Praca do Imperio for a stretch,

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commemorative medals for everyone (courtesy of Jan who thinks of everything)

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before a quick(ish) turn around and back to Jan’s place for dinner.

One of Jan’s loves is middle of the road music (needless to say, he used to own a middle of the road radio station) so, after dinner, we watched DVDs of Roger Hodgson, ex lead singer of Supertramp, performing all their old classics. (Emma Reuss, you would have loved it.) And then some Bee Gees.

Sadly I had to leave at 11pm to start the long and painful trip to Cape Verde but it was a brilliant evening. And a top day and run in Guinea Bissau. Jan, I can’t thank you enough. In recognition of all your help and support, here’s Roger Hodgson and ‘Give a Little Bit’. And if that should prompt you, dear reader, to give a little bit to Cancer Research, then so much the better!

Finally, thank you to my fellow runners for the company. Especially the couple who ran hand in hand for a kilometre or so which I found very touching

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Please like Run the World on Facebook to receive notification of future blogs and news about runs, races and running clubs across the world. And also just to show your support because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

And please donate to Cancer Research if you’d like to help fight the global scourge that is cancer.

 

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Run 135 : Mauritania – Nouakchott

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Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/

Date : 17th January, 2018

Time :  1h 3’ 34”

Number of runners : 10

Total distance run to date : 1350 km

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2452288778

Flying into Nouakchott, the capital of Mauritania, it’s immediately obvious that it’s different from much of West Africa. The countries I’d visited earlier in the trip – Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea – look green from the air. Whereas the countryside around Nouakchott is arid scrub land, bordering on desert. (Much of Mauritania is covered by the Sahara desert.)

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Mauritania also all feels very empty. There was only one other plane on the vast concrete of the airport ; the road in from the airport was virtually deserted and, even when you get into Nouakchott, there were none of the traffic jams that I’d encountered elsewhere in West Africa.

None of which is very surprising when you consider that Mauritania is big – over 1 million square kilometres ; not far off twice the size of France – and has a relatively small (4.3 million) population. It’s one of the least densely populated countries in the world.

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On the other hand, Mauritania did share one similarity with the rest of my trip. I was very well looked after. The lovely people at the American International School Nouakchott (AISN) had arranged for me to be picked up and whisked to my hotel where, after a quick change, Meghan picked me up and took me to the start at Nouakchott’s Olympic Stadium.

As an aside, it never ceases to surprise me how many Olympic stadiums there are around the world. Especially when you consider given how carefully the IOC control usage of anything even vaguely associated with the Olympic brand. For example, during the 2012 London Games, a butcher in Weymouth had to take down a sign displaying 5 rings made of sausages.

Even further off to one side, in the lead up to the 2012 Olympics / Paralympics a few of us set up an Olympic and Paralympic themed charity challenge which we originally thought about calling the Olympic Challenge – but then had to rename the Gold Challenge. (To be fair, LOCOG – the London Organising Committee of the Games – and the BOA – the British Olympic Association – were then both very helpful and helped us to reach our target of 100 000 challenge participants.)

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Enough of the digression and back to the run.

As luck would have it, British Ambassador Thomas Reilly (who’s normally based in Rabat) happened to be in town and, along with Vinay Talwar (Head of the UK Office in Mauritania), was good enough to come along and officially start the run. And even joined us for the first 200m.  (This is where I say, for the nth time in these blogs, just how much I appreciate the support Run the World receives from British, and American, diplomats abroad.)

There were about 10 of us who took part in various stages of the run and we ran from the stadium, past the dolphin fountain and towards the airport for 5 kilometres. Helped along by plenty of chatter and a little Bob Marley sing along.

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The second half was little more focused in terms of the running vs chatting ratio but there was still time for a bit of filming as we passed the dolphin fountain for the second time at the 8.5 km mark

before finishing back at the Olympic stadium.

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The next day I had the privilege of talking to both the senior and junior schools at the AISN. Great fun as always – the more of these talks I do, the more I understand why teachers love their jobs. I hope the students also enjoyed them and got something valuable out of the talks!

It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Meghan, Ambassador Reilly, Director Craig, Vinay, Erna, Jordan, Erin, Papis, Besma, Agustin and Daniel for a memorable run and time in Mauritania!

Please like Run the World on Facebook to receive notification of future blogs and news about runs, races and running clubs across the world. And please donate to Cancer Research if you’d like to help fight the global scourge that is cancer.

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Run 134 : Guinea – Conakry

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Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/

Date : 17th January, 2018

Time :  1h 1’ 20”

Number of runners : 25

Total distance run to date : 1340 km

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2452288755

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with how grateful I am for the support I receive from British Embassies and High Commissions around the world. And the embassy in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, was no exception.

Ambassador Catherine Inglehearn and her husband Chris looked after me extremely well. There was a hot meal and a bed for the night waiting for me when I arrived at the Embassy. And a great run followed by breakfast the next morning. If only all the countries could be like this…

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We met at 6.30 am in a local park – the Jardin 2 Octobre (Guinea obtained its independence from France on 2nd October 1958.) It was still dark aka cool which, given the wilting in the heat / melanoma on the face problems I’ve had in the past, is always a good thing.

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We set off a sensible pace which gave me a chance to talk to the other runners amongst the group who mostly hailed from local embassies, NGOs and the EU. Plus a few rugby players (who didn’t seem particularly convinced when I told them I used to play rugby. Something to do with my physique apparently….)

Regular readers will also know that I can’t help noticing as I travel round the world, that women seem to do more than their fair share of the actual work.

Which isn’t to underestimate the importance of the contribution we men make. After all, someone needs to sit round with a coffee/beer, discuss the football, engage in witty banter, and generally put the world to rights.

However, it’s also true that someone needs to do all that tedious earning money, cooking, cleaning, looking after the kids kind of stuff. And, more often than not, that someone tends to be female.

It was therefore fascinating to chat with Cedric from United Purpose about their programme to support women building  non-timber forest products (NTFPs) businesses. At least part of the rationale for which seems to be a hard-nosed financial assessment that supporting women entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to develop and grow the economy.

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Guinea was my 134th country and its conversations like this, and a number of others that I had with my fellow runners (though perhaps not the one with the rugby players..) , that get me through these runs.

Or at least they got me through the first 9 kilometres. I ran the last kilometre or so with Chris (he was on his 11th or 12th kilometre by this point) at the more invigorating pace of 4’ 20” / km. For some reason, my conversation didn’t flow quite so smoothly (nor did my running…)

Eventually we hit the 10 km mark and it was time for cakes

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provided by Andre / Damier restaurant

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and some final photos.

Thank you Catherine, Chris and all my fellow runners – full list below – for the great run, the company, the cakes, the hospitality and the donations. Run the World T shirts are on their way!

Els Mortier

Sergio Dantas

Cedric Martin

Helene Martin

Lamah Fidele Bakoly

Caroline Kolawae KAYEA

Julien Netzer

Mathieu Jacquet

Andre Chapron

Fabrice Pilka

Patricia Renaud

Esperanza Arrizabalaga Vena

Mathieu Merino

Gerald Hatler

Amal Alnabwany Saloum

Florent Perignon

Jean-Christian Duquesnois

Helene du Grandpre

4 young rugby players

Please like Run the World on Facebook to receive notification of future blogs and news about runs, races and running clubs across the world. And please donate to Cancer Research if you’d like to help fight the global scourge that is cancer.

More photos below:

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Run 133 PS: Sierra Leone – British International School

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My experience is that schools usually reflect their leadership and the British International School in Sierra Leone, founded and run by Jenny Condron, is no exception.

Sitting high above the frenetic, freewheeling city of Freetown, it’s an oasis of calmness and serenity. Even the air up there is different – cleaner and clearer and affording great views over the city. It feels like a great place for students to learn and develop.

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I was there because I was giving a talk to the senior school about Run the World and the importance of an active healthy lifestyle.

The students were exactly what you’d hope for – responsive and engaged. Very engaged in fact. The post talk questions ran on for the best part of an hour. Hopefully this reflected interest in the subject matter rather than just the students delaying returning to their classrooms…

After the talk I was shown round the school, before beginning the descent back to Freetown and the next stage of my West African trip to Conakry in Guinea.

Jenny, it was a delight and an honour to talk at your lovely school. I hope the students got something of value out of it all and, as long as they remember their BEANS, the chances are they’ll live longer, healthier, happier lives. And do better at school!

Be active

Eat sensibly

Avoid alcohol and sugary sodas

No smoking

Sleep well

Please like Run the World on Facebook to receive notification of future blogs and news about runs, races and running clubs across the world. And please donate to Cancer Research if you’d like to help fight the global scourge that is cancer.

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Run 133 : Sierra Leone – Freetown

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Please give generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/Dan-Thompson11/

Date : 15th January, 2018

Time :  1h 8’ 38”

Number of runners : 15

Total distance run to date : 1330 km

Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2452288952

Not everything goes to plan when you travel, and run, round the world. For example, I wasn’t expecting the Sierra Leone National Paralympic Committee to arrange a big welcome for me. But they did. And I was honoured to meet them and some of the country’s para-athletes.

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We had a great chat about both the NPC’s situation in Sierra Leone (if any potential donors read this than I’m sure they’d appreciate the extra support) and about a global initiative I’ve been discussing with the international Paralympic Committee to raise funds for the Paralympic movement and to inspire grassroots activity. (More on that in a later blog if it turns into anything concrete.)

I also hadn’t expected Emad to arrange a separate 10km for me in addition to the usual hash he organises on a Monday evening. But he had. And there were about 15 of us at the start line.

Unfortunately the terrain – steep, rocky dirt tracks – weren’t appropriate for wheelchairs but it was great to have a number of the para-athletes at the start line.

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Led by Abe we then proceeded to run around west Freetown – mostly on dirt tracks and mostly up and down hills. Not that you’ve got a lot of choice in Freetown – it’s pretty much all on hills.

Thankfully the pace wasn’t brutal and there was a chance to chat, observe the globally ubiquitous chickens and plastic and, at one stage, pick up a retinue of kids. Who promptly snapped to attention when I turned to take a photo.

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About 8 of us made it to the finish including one of the para-athletes.

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We them met up with the rest of the hash, rehydrated in traditional fashion and made our way to the biggest circle I’ve ever been part of. (If you’d like to know more about circles, and hash traditions generally, then I’d recommend the Ghana and Estonia blogs.)

There must have been about 60 of us and, after hearing from Mismanagement (Emad),

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it was time for the down downs (punishments mostly involving drinking beer.)  One for a hasher who’d been late and one for a hasher who’d committed the heinous crime of getting married on a Friday – and then aggravated the sin by not inviting the rest of the hash to the wedding.

I was then introduced to the circle and given no more than 1 minute to talk about RTW. (Believe me, I kept to my time limit – anything to avoid a down down!)

Before being presented with Freetown Hash t shirt.

We ended with a stirring rendition of ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot‘ with all the (in)appropriate movements. [I do have video of this but decided that, sometimes, what happens in the circle, stays in the circle!)

It was a very fine run and evening all round. Thank you Emad, Unisa, Abe, Sheka, Danielle and everyone else from the Freetown hash! And thank you to the NPC and all the para-athletes (full list of names below) for the support and the great welcome!

Unisa Deen Kargbo, NPC President.

Alexander Thullah, NPC  Sect Gen

Mrs Pamela Williams, NPC Executive Member

Mrs Zainab Wilson, NPC Executive Member

Benjamine Pratt,  NPC Executive Member

Alex Lansana Klaye, NPC Executive Member

Alhassan Kargbo, Athlete

George Wyndham, Athlete

Munda Kamara, Athlete

Mohamed Kamara, Athlete

Sorie Kamara, Athlete

Ibrahim Fofanah, Athlete

Obai Dumbuya, Athlete

Ansumana Daramy, Athlete

Umaru Jah, Athlete

Alusine Denkeh, Athlete

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rtw SL 24

 

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