Please donate generously to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11
Date : 17th January, 2019
Time : 1h 10”
Number of runners (total to date) : 50 (3256)
Total distance run to date : 1610 km + 80 km in the UK
Run map and details : https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3310026747
Can you combine Kabul, Tehran and Islamabad in one trip? And what about Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, Samoa, US Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands, New Zealand and Tuvalu? Are there scheduled flights into Libya? And do I really have to include every country from the last ten years on my Russian visa application?!?
These, and many more questions, needed to be discussed with Luke ‘the ever patient travel agent’ Fenn – who happens to work for Trailfinders on Guildford High Street. I also need a will and my bank recommended Stevens & Bolton – whose offices are a few hundred metres away from Trailfinders.
A trip to Guildford was therefore obviously in order. And, these days, when I go somewhere, I also try to run there. So we got in touch with Neil Boosey, Chairman of the Waverley Harriers Racing Club which is based in Godalming.
It then transpired that Luke, who lives in Godalming, had previously run with the Waverley Harriers. And that Harriet Irving, who works at Stevens & Bolton, is the club’s Senior Team Captain.
To use a cliché, it’s a small world. (Though I can promise you it doesn’t feel small when you’re ‘island hopping’ in the Pacific…)
We all – there were about 50 of us including Luke, Neil and Harriet – met at the Wilfrid Noyce community centre in Godalming on a distinctly chilly evening. After a few words from Neil, Harriet and myself, and a group photo or two, we set off.
I wish I could tell you all about the route but, frankly, it was a dark night and I didn’t have clue where I was.
What I can tell you, based on my conversation with various runners, is that :
- The club has c 200 members and accommodates everyone from ‘Couch to 5kers’ to social runners to racers to ultra-runners
- Club members really enjoy both the running and the social side of the club
- It was cold!
We ran at a decent pace, stopping every so often to concertina the group and make sure we didn’t lose anyone along the way. (The time above doesn’t reflect the pace because I don’t usually pause my Garmin at stops – having learnt from bitter experience that I often forget to click on ‘resume’ after a stop. Meaning that I then I have to run extra meters so that the Garmin – which is my ‘proof’ that I’ve completed 10 km in each country – shows the correct distance.)
Eventually we made our way back to the Wilfrid Noyce centre for a few final photos and a somewhat prolonged effort to get back into my car due to a frozen car fob & fingers.
It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Neil, Harriet, Luke the Waverley Harrier, Dave and all my fellow runners for the support, the welcome, the company and the donations. And, of course and as always, a special thank you to Luke – the best travel agent I’ve ever worked with. Next time you put me on yet another a flight at 3 am in the morning, please bear in mind that I often have to do 7 of these runs in a week!
Finally, if any of you can make it, then I’d love to see you in London on July 4th 2020 for the UK, and final, leg of Run the World!
If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dan-Thompson11
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