It’s taken over a year of planning and preparation. This year alone I have spent 300 hours on the trails training for it. And now, finally, in just under a week Tom & I will set forth on the epic quest that is CoastPathRun.
When we leave Minehead on the morning of June 17th we will have 1,014 kms of never-ending ups and downs stretching ahead of us before we reach our final destination, the far end of the South West Coast Path at South Haven Point, two weeks hence.
Those ups & downs will be both literal and metaphorical. The physical reality is an endless succession of climbs and descents totaling 70,000m of altitude gain & loss, the equivalent of climbing Everest from sea level 4 times. The psychological battle will also be a roller coaster affair. There will be great highs and terrible lows as we revel in our surroundings and the challenge itself, while also fighting the inevitable fatigue and pain.
The run is itself a metaphor for the battle that so many people face when confronting mental health issues, that awful roller-coaster journey that so many of us seem so ill equipped to deal with. And this of course is why we are taking on this crazy challenge. We not only want to help break down the stigma that surrounds mental health issues but also encourage, by example, the use of goal-setting and exercise as a means of maintaining mental wellbeing. Both Tom and I use trail running as a means of maintaining our own equilibrium and both know its power to heal the mind and restore perspective to life, so the fit between the challenge and the cause is a very strong, positive one.
So while what lies ahead is a daunting prospect we approach it in a very positive frame of mind, determined to succeed and determined to make just a little bit of a difference in the world. The rewards will be massive, the journey will be incredible and the pasties and the pints will make the pain just a little more bearable!
I hope you will follow our progress, which you can do in one of two ways:
- via our website www.coastpathrun.co.uk (click on the ‘live updates’ tab to see exactly where we are); or
Your messages of support during the two weeks that we’re out there battling whatever the English summer throws at us will be massively appreciated.
And if you haven’t already donated you can do so via our fundraising pages. Every cent counts and 100% goes to the charities that we are supporting, so please consider giving something – no amount is too small to make a difference.
I am raising funds for the Mental Health Foundation (NZ) – donate here
Tom is raising funds for Mind (UK) – donate here
“Only those that risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”