UK Coast Run


Go to content

JULY'89

July 1st 1989, Saturday
No running.

I phoned Jeremy Brett and we talked about recent events and Ted leaving. Of course Jeremy was philosophical about my predicament and told me setbacks happen in life and we never know why at the time as we cannot see the bigger picture. A part of me knew he was right, but it didn't stop me feeling frustrated at yet another hold up.

I went to Carmarthen Station to meet Ted. In our own way we both decided not to discuss what had happened in case we inflamed the situation. However, Ted did say it was wrong of him to leave so suddenly.


July 2nd 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 15.7
Total miles run 1040.2
From A477 near Stepaside to Pembroke Dock and Haverfordwest to the A40 near Haverfordwest Aerodrome
Map of run Stepaside to Pembroke Dock
Map of run Haverfordwest to Haverfordwest Aerodrome

Set off on the A477 near Stepaside and headed for Pembroke Dock. We collected quite a bit of money on route as many people had seen me on television. The largest donation was £5. After reaching Pembroke Dock, I got into the car and we drove to Haverfordwest. I had already run from Pembroke Dock to Haverfordwest on June 24th. I then continued the run for another couple of miles to Haverfordwest Aerodrome on the A40 and marked up. I wanted to run further but my hip was still playing up, which is annoying because I thought it would be ok after 3 days off.

We went to the Fishguard Arms in Haverfordwest to meet Norman Jenkins. I felt he had helped me a lot so I bought him a drink.

I phoned David Allen from BBC Wales to thank him for his help and he was pleased I phoned as he wanted to film us again tomorrow.


FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 3rd 1989, Monday
Miles run today 15.3
Total miles run 1055.5
From the A40 near Haverfordwest Aerodrome to Fishguard
Map of run

I got a phone call from David Allen from BBC Wales who said he would meet us on the A40 toward Fishguard. I had run about 3 miles when the BBC camera crew found us and they filmed us for the next few miles. After they left David Allen turned up and wanted to do an interview in Fishguard as soon as possible. As Fishguard was another five miles away, I decided to mark the spot where I had stopped running and drive the five miles to Fishguard to save time. The interview went really well and David and the camera man Tom gave us £10 each. Ted and I then drove back to the spot where I had stopped running and I continued the run to just outside Fishguard on the A487.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 4th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 17.6
Total miles run 1073.1
From Fishguard to Cardigan
Map of run

It is my birthday today so I want to run well but my right hip and thigh feels sore. As I started running I thought I would be lucky to run 6 miles but I managed to keep going along the A487. Just outside the village of Newport I saw a sign for the Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber, which dates back to around 3,500BC. As I carried on, the pain in my thigh and hip caused me to limp on occasions and I felt concerned that I might do lasting damage. I got to Cardigan and called it a day. It would be really nice if I could run one day without any pain.

I spoke to Jeremy Brett later and he wished me Happy Birthday and told me he was going on the Derek Jameson Show. Jeremy said he would make sure he gave me a mention - Good man.

I have been thinking hard about how this run is going and I wonder if I am in control of it, or God is. I like to think I have control otherwise life would be a predetermined path, which for me would be unthinkable. To not be in charge of your own destiny would mean that dreams and wishes would have no point or purpose. It is having those two ingredients and freewill that makes life so magical. It would be easy for me, after having a number of setbacks, to give up my run around Britain. But I know deep down that the feeling of achievement only comes if hardships have been overcome. There is a saying, 'Iron ore may think itself senselessly tortured in the furnace, but when the tempered blade of finest steel looks back it knows better.'

FullscreenBackPlayNext

Jeremy Brett's Appeal on the Jameson Show
4th July 1989.

July 5th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 20.9
Total miles run 1094
From Cardigan to Llwyncelyn (A487) near Aberaeron
Map of run

The route along the A487 from Cardigan was hard going today and it was really hot too. When we arrived in the village of Sarnau, we were invited to the home of a family for tea. The family consisted of the mother and two young men aged about 19 years. The father had been working in Saudi Arabia and was returning home that day. It was really nice of them to invite us in.

I continued running along the A487 before stopping for lunch. I went into the pub to get us both a drink while Ted helped himself to the lunch supplies we bought yesterday. I hoped Ted had made me a sandwich at the same time he had made one for himself, but he hadn't. I wish he would help more other than just driving. He won't ask for accommodation because he said he is self-conscious about his voice after his laryngectomy operation, but I think he should try. It hasn't stopped him when he has been interviewed for television.

After I finished running at Llwyncelyn on the A487 and marked up, we made our way to New Quay to see if we could get free accommodation. The first place we tried the owner told us to get lost in no uncertain terms, despite the fact he had cancer himself ten years earlier. It was incredible how rude this man was. A simple 'no' to our request for accommodation would have been enough for us to move on, but he had to make a drama out of it. I guess it takes all sorts of people to make the World go around.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 6th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 20.5
Total miles run 1114.5
From Llwyncelyn (A487) near Aberaeron to Aberystwyth
Map of run

It was a very humid and hot day and the route was very hilly, so it made it really hard going. After 7 miles I started to dehydrate, so when I reached the next town I stopped for a short time and drank loads of water. I continued on to Aberystwyth and the last half mile took me up a very steep hill. I had just enough energy left to get up it.

We found accommodation at the Marine Hotel in Aberystwyth. Mr & Mrs Evans only charged us £5 each.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 7th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 20.3
Total miles run 1134.8
From Aberystwyth to Pantperthog (A487)
Map of run

It was a real effort to run today and I could just about lift my feet off the ground. I felt so tired after only a few hours sleep due to the humidity. After a number of miles we stopped at a restaurant but Ted didn't want to eat as he felt tired and wanted to rest in the van. I asked him if everything was ok but I didn't get much of an answer. I really do wish he would open up and tell me if he is not happy instead of going all quiet.

On the second run I felt a lot stronger and with no pains in my legs, my spirits were lifted. When a group of army lads clapped and cheered me on, my spirits were lifted even more. It must be really tough in the army so when they encourage me, I feel honoured.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 8th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 20.1
Total miles run 1154.9
From Pantperthog (A487) to Ganllwyd (A470)
Map of run

The first six miles was uphill. It wasn't a steep hill, but enough to make it hard going. After 8 miles I had to rest because I felt so shattered. Ted just sat in the van and didn't offer to get me a drink. I made myself a coffee and felt like crying because I was in so much pain. I told myself not to feel sorry for myself because I should be happy that I am able to run and don't have an injury. It is so frustrating when I am giving everything and we are still not raising enough money for Imperial Cancer Research. The report that David Allen did for the BBC appeared on television, but produced no response. It could have been that it was more like a news update rather than an appeal for donations.

The rest of the run was more enjoyable because the scenery was superb. We were unable to get free accommodation so we settled for a B & B in Machynlleth.

July 9th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 16.1
Total miles run 1171
From Ganllwyd ( A470) to Penrhyndeudraeth
Map of run

We set out from Ganllwyd, passing through Trawsfynydd on the A470. I felt good on the 16 miles I covered this morning and it was made easier by the route being mostly downhill. We stopped off at a Little Chef restaurant and a charming gentleman bought us lunch and gave us a £5 donation. Afterwards, Ted and I made our way to Bangor Railway Station by van to meet a friend of mine, Jenni, who will be joining us for a week. Jenni is also good friends with Jeremy Brett.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 10th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 23.2
Total miles run 1194.2
From Penrhyndeudraeth to Caernarfon (A487)
Map of run

Feeling really good, I covered 10 miles in the morning and enjoyed the scenery along the way. After lunch I ran a further 13 miles, but it wasn't always easy as Jenni made me laugh with her humorous comments. Trying to run and being doubled up with laughter is not a good combination.

Jeremy Brett gave me the phone number of Peter Maires at Granada Television in Manchester. Granada Television is the makers of the Sherlock Holmes series that Jeremy has appeared in. Jeremy said Peter should be able to help with some publicity. When I phoned Peter, he said he might be able to get a film crew to me on Friday and to ring him again on Wednesday with the proposed route.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 11th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 20.3
Total miles run 1214.5
From Caernarfon (A487) to Llanfairfechan (A55)
Map of run

Made my way along the A487, passing the Menai Strait on my left to Bangor. It was a nice run and when we got into Bangor, Ted parked up the van and he and Jenni did some fundraising. I went off to search for accommodation but everywhere I tried, there was no accommodation to be had. It was the holiday season and most hotels were full up. After two hours of searching, I managed to get us a B & B but because of the cost, the money that Jeremy Brett gave us at the beginning of the run is dwindling fast. My parents, family and friends have all tried to get sponsorship for me, but no company is willing to part with any money. When I returned to Ted and Jenni they had done fantastically well and raised £113.

The next part of the run took me from Bangor to Llanfairfechan along the A55. The weather got really hot and by the time I finished, I was completely wiped out.


FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 12th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 20.1
Total miles run 1234.4
From Llanfairfechan (A55) to Abergele (A548)
Map of run

The run in the morning was made difficult due to road works. I had to send Ted, Jenni and the backup van ahead so I could navigate my way around all the problems in the road. I eventually completed 14 miles and reached Colwyn Bay where a meeting with the Deputy Mayor had been arranged by Imperial Cancer Research. The Deputy Mayor kindly gave us a £5 donation.

Before continuing with the second run of the day we drove to Llandudno to see if we could get free accommodation and thankfully we got lucky at the St George's Hotel. We then made our way back to Colwyn Bay and I continued running to Abergele on the A548.

Since Jenni has been with us, Ted has been more proactive and has done really well with the fundraising. I think it has been Jenni's willingness to help that has rubbed off on him.

I rang Peter Maires at Granada Television to let him know the route I will be taking into Manchester on Friday. He told me that unfortunately Laurence Olivier had died yesterday and it would be impossible to organise any filming on Friday as this is the day of his funeral. He suggested instead that I contact Piccadilly Radio in Manchester when I got there. On hearing this news I rang Jeremy Brett. I knew he would be upset as Laurence Olivier had been his mentor in his early days as an actor at the Old Vic Theatre in London. Jeremy was subdued and saddened by the news, but he was appearing in, 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes' tonight at Wyndham's Theatre and as Jeremy said, 'The show must go on.'

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 13th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 23.2
Total miles run 1257.6
From Abergele (A548) to Flint
Map of run

Ran 9 miles in the morning passing through Rhyl to Prestatyn where we stayed for a couple of hours fundraising. After lunch I ran 14 miles to Flint and then we began our search for accommodation. It took us 3 hours of searching until we finally found a hotel at 7.30 p.m. We couldn't get free accommodation but we were able to get the cost knocked down to £10 each. We all fell exhausted into our rooms as it had been a long day, but before I could take a bath, I had to ring a person at Imperial Cancer Research in Scotland. We would reach Scotland by the end of the month so I needed to get a few things planned before we got there. Previously this person had informed Jane Arnell of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London that everything would be done when we got to Scotland, but as I talked to the individual it became clear that the only thing that would be arranged is the publicity. I was informed that we were not allowed to raise funds without a permit and that we would need one for every town on route. Also that accommodation would not be arranged as it was the holiday season and I was told I should have done this myself. I informed this person it was difficult when you are running and fundraising for most of the day.
As previously mentioned in this diary, laptops and mobile phones were not freely available in 1989. The individual also mentioned that a group of soldiers had already run around Scotland and raised £10,000 and that it was highly unlikely that we would collect much more than that and besides, lots of other people were raising funds for the charity. It sure sounded to me that we were not wanted in Scotland. I wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that any money we raised would be given to the London Office of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and that this person felt we were taking money away from the Scottish region of Imperial Cancer Research. However, as far as I know the money goes to research so it doesn't matter which region raises the money.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 14th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 20
Total miles run 1277.6
From Flint to the A54 near Kelsall
Map of run

The first thing I did in the morning was to ring Jane Arnell at Imperial Cancer Research in London, but I was told she wouldn't be in her office until later in the morning. I started running from Flint and after a few miles; I rang Jane again from a phone box. I told her all about the conversation I had with the person from the Scottish Region of Imperial Cancer Research. Jane was very annoyed, but told me not to be upset by the comments as everyone at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund regional office in London and Head Office appreciate what I am doing. To save any more arguments I did suggest that any money I raised in Scotland could be given to the Scottish Regional Office, but Jane pointed out it would still be easier if I continued putting the money in the 'Keep Hope Alive' bank account and then give one cheque addressed to Imperial Cancer Research Fund at the end of the run.

I continued running and when I got to Chester, Ted parked the backup van in the main street and he and Jenni fundraised. I went off to find accommodation but again I had no luck finding anywhere for free so I settled for a B & B. By the time I got back to Jenni and Ted, they had raised £140, which was another brilliant effort. I had a quick sandwich and then it was time to get back on the road. The last couple of miles I felt shattered but I managed to complete 20 miles for the day and I marked up on the A54 just short of Kelsall.

Later on Ted and I went to meet Sonia and Percy who will be my next backup team. I explained to them both that I would be going to Manchester and taking a day off from running to drum up support. I needed to talk to as many people in the media as I could with the hope we can get some sponsorship and donations.




FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 15th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 20.5
Total miles run 1298.1
From the A54 near Kelsall to Bucklow Hill near Mere (A556)
Map of run

Ted and Jenni left by train from Chester Station. I was sad to see them go as they had both worked hard as a team.

Today's run took me from Kelsall on the A54 to the A556. We then turned off and entered the town of Northwich and resumed the route on the A556 eventually finishing off at Bucklow Hill, which is just outside Mere. Percy's driving was good and Sonia did great when she went into a pub and asked for donations.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 16th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 21
Total miles run 1319.1
From Bucklow Hill near Mere (A556) to Walkden (A580)
Map of run

I felt really tired this morning and had difficulty getting out of bed. I just managed to run the 13 miles to Manchester along the A556 and the A56. Unfortunately Sonia's navigation let us down and I had to run an extra mile before we managed to get back on route to Manchester. Of course this didn't make me happy as I was so tired out. Sonia then suggested we should go to the Old Trafford Cricket ground at around 4 p.m. and ask if they will let us collect donations. If we were going to get back in time, I would have to start the second leg of today's run earlier, but if it meant more donations for Imperial Cancer Research then I would do it. I completed a total of 21 miles and felt completely wacked out. When we got to the Cricket ground we were told we couldn't raise funds as they needed notice, so it was a complete waste of time. We then went in search of accommodation and we were given free rooms at the Copthorne Hotel, Clippers Quay, Manchester.

I spoke to Jeremy later that evening and he didn't seem himself. I wondered if it had anything to do with the death of Laurence Olivier, but I didn't get a chance to ask him as he was due back on stage. However, he did say that I should go and see Peter Maires at Granada Television tomorrow.

July 17th 1989, Monday
No running.

As suggested by Jeremy I went to Granada Television to speak to Peter Maires. When I arrived, Peter told me that Jeremy had spoken to him earlier and asked him to help me. I was advised to go to the offices of Manchester Evening News and BBC Radio, where I had an interview and my photograph taken by a reporter of the Manchester Evening News and Andrea Parr at the BBC got me a slot on GMR (Greater Manchester Radio) at 11.30 a.m. tomorrow.

For lunch we went to Olivers Coffee Shop and got spoilt rotten. We had all we could eat for free.

In the afternoon I went back to Granada Television and met Peter Maires, Michael Cox the Producer of the Sherlock Holmes series and Neil Marland a photographer from the Press Officer. I had my photo taken with a deerstalker on my head on the set of Sherlock Holmes, which was great fun. This was followed by a tour of the set of Coronation Street.

I phoned Jeremy later to thank him for his help, but again I sensed something wasn't quite right even though he said he was ok.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 18th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 21.4
Total miles run 1340.5
From Walkden (A580) to Kirkby
Map of run

Went on Great Manchester Radio and did an appeal for sponsorship and donations. I just hope I get a response.

We had difficulty getting out of Manchester and finding the start point. It is lucky I mark the road so I know the exact spot to start from. By the time I started today's run it was 1 p.m. and the weather was really hot. Most of the run was on a dual carriageway of the A580 and it wasn't long before we got stopped by the police. They insisted the backup van had to go ahead and wait at the next lay-by. I was allowed to carry on running but it meant I had no protection. Luckily there was a bit of a pathway beside the road and I ran on this. However, the pathway soon disappeared and Percy, Sonia and the backup van were nowhere to be seen. I had no choice but to carry on running. I eventually caught up with them after about a mile. My reaction when I spoke to them wasn't good as I was so angry that they left me unprotected. They protested that they only did what the policeman had told them to do. I felt that once the policeman had gone they could drive the van behind me again and if we got arrested, it might make the newspapers. My way of thinking was that any news may generate some donations.

In the evening I explained to Percy and Sonia that when I get annoyed it is nothing personal. I am just annoyed at the situation and not them. They both said they understood which was nice.

We got free rooms at the Greyhound Inn in Leigh, Lancashire.

July 19th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 12.4
Total miles run 1352.9
From Kirkby to Burscough (A59)
Map of run

Before running we drove into Liverpool and went to the Liverpool Echo. A reporter met me and he was really interested in my story. He took some photos and then told me his wife is dying of cancer. Everywhere I go somebody has a story about how their lives have been affected by cancer. It makes me realise that cancer is so huge that it is like an epidemic. When a national disaster happens around the world, we are all saddened when a couple of thousand people are killed and thousands are made homeless. As a nation we always give millions of pounds to these causes and rightly so. But because people with cancer die every day we don't see it in the same way as a national disaster and yet thousands upon thousands around the world are dying daily. Millions of friends and relatives live with the concern for their loved ones and the same people have to cope with the overwhelming sadness when the cancer becomes too powerful and cause death to those they love. It is time for this to stop. It is time for cancer to end. I must try harder to help in some small way to bring this disease to an end. I don't care what obstacles come my way.

We decided to visit the Marie Curie Hospice in Sunnybank, Liverpool and we were given a warm welcome. It was really hard for me not to get emotional when I was taken around to meet cancer sufferers. There was no hope of a cure for some of these patients, but they were so well looked after by the nurses and staff.

It was 3.30 p.m. before I begun running towards Preston. I was suffering from yet another migraine and really didn't feel like running. Despite feeling so awful I managed just over 14 miles reaching Burscough on the A59.

July 20th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 20.5
Total miles run 1373.4
From Burscough (A59) to Broughton (A6)
Map of run

I didn't feel at all well in the morning. The migraine was still there and I also felt sick.

I phoned Jeremy Brett because I had been sensing that all isn't well with him. He told me he was ok, but his blood pressure was high and he was to undergo some tests. Jeremy's heart had been affected by Rheumatic fever in his teenage years when he caught an infection after swimming in the River Thames near Eton College. Therefore, high blood pressure was not a good thing and I was very concerned for him.

It felt like the hottest day of the year when I ran today. The route took me through Preston and after completing 20 miles, I called it a day at Broughton on the A6.

The radio and press interviews I done in Manchester produced nothing in the way of sponsorship and I'm wondering where I am going to get the money to continue. It was suggested to me by a member of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund to take the money out of the donations we raise during the day, but there is no way I am doing that. Every single penny we collect will go to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. If I can't get sponsorship, I'll use my credit card and pay it back when I finish the run and got a job.

I spoke on the phone to Diane, a friend of Jeremy's and was told he has had to quit the show, 'The Secret of Sherlock Holmes' for two weeks. My intuition had been correct and now I was really worried about him as he would have to feel really bad before stopping work. It would also be difficult to contact him as he had gone away for complete rest. All I can do is pray that he gets better soon.

Free accommodation at the Barton Grange Hotel, Preston.

July 21st 1989, Friday
Miles run today 20.7
Total miles run 1394.1
From Broughton (A6) to Blackpool
Map of run

Ran the 18 miles along the B5269 from Broughton to Blackpool nonstop as I wanted to get into Blackpool early so we could raise funds. Unfortunately I didn't do myself any favours as I was exhausted at the finish and my right thigh was really sore. We fundraised for a few hours but we didn't collect much money at all. I then ran another couple of miles making it a total of 20.

After we found accommodation, I left Percy and Sonia at the hotel and went for a walk on the beach. I wondered how Jeremy was and got upset because I didn't know how he was feeling or whether he was getting any better or not. Despite all the holidaymakers, I felt very alone walking along the beach.

July 22nd 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 10.3
Total miles run 1404.4
From Blackpool to St Michael's on Wyre (A586)
Map of run

Ran ten miles this morning to St Michael's on Wyre along the A586. It was hot again today.

After marking up we returned to Blackpool as I had a lot of accommodation to find. I would be staying at John Gilbert's house along with a couple of friends of mine, Diane and Lisa, who had come up from London to see me. John Gilbert had been part of my backup team in June. I needed accommodation for Percy & Sonia who were leaving tomorrow and Ted Rayner, who is arriving today to take over the backup driving tomorrow. Later on Diane, Lisa and I went for a walk on the beach and we decided it was time for us to chill out and we went to a pub.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 23rd 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 16
Total miles run 1420.4
From St Michael's on Wyre (A586) to Lancaster
Map of run

After having such an enjoyable time with Lisa and Diane last night, I woke up not knowing where I was. I did have a couple of drinks, which may account for it.

I drove Percy and Sonia to the station to catch the 10:15 a.m. train to Chester and then went back for Lisa and Diane and took them to the bus station. I was really upset to see them go.

By the time Ted and I had got to the start point of today's run it was 11.30 a.m. and getting hotter. My right thigh gave a few painful twinges, so when I reached Lancaster I stopped for the day after completing 16 miles. It took quite a time to find free accommodation and we eventually found it at the Elms Hotel in Morecambe. Later we met up with my former backup driver Elizabeth Lancaster. It was great to see her again. Elizabeth had 3 pairs of my running shoes with her, which she had got re-healed for me. I am going through a pair of running shoes every couple of weeks and can't afford to buy new ones. I had about ten pairs with me, which had been donated by Jeremy Brett and everyone who worked at Wyndham's Theatre in London. At 7:45 p.m. we went to Lancaster Station to meet Nigel Smith who will be accompanying me and Ted until September. My first impression of Nigel was his sense of humour, which he will need on a journey like this.

FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 24th 1989 Monday
No running.

No running today as Ted, Nigel and I drove back to Manchester to do a radio show on Piccadilly Radio. As the show was about cancer and not about my run, Ted spoke about how he felt when he was told he had cancer. It was very moving. Later in the day I contacted the Daily Star and the Sun newspaper but neither was interested in my story.

A person at the Imperial Cancer Research in Scotland has said they will arrange for Television and press to meet us at the border crossing at Gretna Green. It is going be a tough week if I'm to make Gretna Green by next Monday.

July 25th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 24
Total miles run 1444.4
From Lancaster to Lindale (A590)
Map of run

The first run of the day took me to Milnthorpe, which was 14 miles from Lancaster on the A6. Nigel drove the backup van and Ted kept him company. When we stopped for lunch they both appeared happy, so they must be getting on.

Not long after I set off on the second run, we came across, The Blue Bell Hotel in Heversham. I went in to see if I could get accommodation. The head waiter came over and told me he had seen me on the road that morning and would speak to the manager on my behalf. The manager was only too pleased to give us rooms for the night.

As I continued on my journey, I kept thinking about how Jeremy was feeling. He has done so much for me and I really appreciate his efforts. I just hope he gets well soon. The rest of my run went ok except for the last couple of miles when I felt really tired. I ran 24 miles today, which I am pleased with.

Mum and dad are really working hard trying to get me sponsorship and publicity. I'm really proud to have them as parents.

July 26th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 20.3
Total miles run 1464.7
From Lindale (A590) to Broughton in Furness
Map of run

It was hard going in the morning and I just managed 11 ½ miles before stopping for lunch. The outside of my right thigh felt sore so I put some ice on it. On the second run we were stopped by some American tourists who wanted to take photos of me and the van. They were really nice and they gave us a donation. By the time I reached 20 miles my right thigh was really sore so I stopped and marked up.

We tried to get accommodation in Broughton in Furness but didn't have any success so we headed for Millom. We couldn't get free accommodation there either so we got a B & B at £12 each.

Nigel drove ok today even though his right leg was sore after yesterday's drive. It is hard going keeping your leg on the accelerator in a fixed position.

I spoke to my father and he feels that I should consider cutting short the route in Scotland as there are not many big towns the further north we go and because of that, we won't get many donations. I could see his point because the main purpose of this run is to collect as much money as possible. However, I would see how the journey goes before making a final decision.

July 27th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 20.3
Total miles run 1485
From Broughton in Furness to Ravenglass (A595)
Map of run

During the night, my right leg felt painful and I wondered if I would be ok to run the next morning. When I woke up the leg was still very sore, but I made the decision to run and hoped it wouldn't get any worse.

The route took me along the A595 and around the edge of Black Combe Fell. It was a hilly course with more ups than downs. In a way it helped me to forget about the pain in my leg as I had to concentrate on getting up the steep hills. After twelve and half miles we stopped at a village called Bootle. There was nowhere to eat so it was lucky we had some supplies. There was a nice little church nearby, so after lunch I took a ten minute rest in there. After being in Bootle for an hour and a half I began to run again and no sooner had I turned the corner I saw an elderly lady sitting on the steps of her house. The lady called me over and told me her daughter had informed her that we were on our way and would pass through the village shortly. But because of our lunch break, the lady had waited an hour and a half for us. After she gave us a donation, I stopped and talked to her for a few minutes and I felt privileged that she had waited for us.

Again we had difficulty getting accommodation so we settled for a B & B a couple of miles from Ravenglass.

July 28th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 20.1
Total miles run 1505.1
From Ravenglass (A595) to Moresby (A595) near Whitehaven
Map of run

I phoned Radio Cumbria first thing in the morning and spoke to a man who had previously interviewed me in Cornwall. I told him I would be running through Whitehaven and he told me there is a studio there and to get there for 2 p.m.

The first run of the day took me from Ravenglass along the A595 passing the B5344 that leads to Seascale and the Sellafield Nuclear Power Plant and onto Egremont, where we stopped for lunch. I wasn't feeling particularly well so I was glad when we stopped after 12 miles. As we were getting low on sponsorship money we didn't eat in any restaurant and made sandwiches and coffee instead. After ninety minutes I got back on the road as I still had five and half miles to go before we reached Whitehaven. When we got to Radio Cumbria I asked if Ted could be interviewed as well and they agreed. We spoke for about ten minutes and it seemed to go fine. While we were on radio, Nigel took the van to the shopping centre in Whitehaven and after Ted and I finished we joined Nigel and between us, we managed to raise £140.

In the evening I informed Ted and Nigel that it is important that we all try and get sponsorship and not just leave it to me. Funds are getting low and we need to cut costs. Therefore, we can no longer have lunch in cafes and restaurants but instead use food we have either bought from the supermarket or taken from the breakfast bar at the hotels we stay at. If there are any tea or coffee sachets in our rooms, we take those too.

My dad made an appeal in the Ealing Gazette.

Free accommodation at the Blackbeck Bridge Inn near Egremont.



July 29th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 21.3
Total miles run 1526.4
From Moresby (A595) near Whitehaven to Aspatria (A596)
Map of run

After my talk last night about lack of sponsorship, Nigel took the van to Whitehaven and went around a couple of clubs and raised £75 late last night. That's what I call initiative. However, as he used an Imperial Cancer Research collection tin, the money will go to them. Sponsorship money will have to be found another way.

Ran six miles to Workington and headed for the shopping centre. We had to go up a one-way street, the wrong way, and of course we got spotted by a traffic warden who took great delight in telling us what we had done wrong. Ted told the traffic warden he was concentrating on me and didn't see the sign. Somehow the story was accepted and the traffic warden kindly pointed out where we could park. We stayed for two hours collecting money and then set off for Maryport where Ted and Nigel did some more collecting and I went off in search of accommodation. I was lucky enough to be offered free rooms at the Waverley Hotel in Curzon Street. I then went off for a much needed hair cut and after telling the hairdresser I was running around the UK for the Imperial Cancer Research, she gave me the haircut free of charge.

The final run of the day took us to Aspatria. It is a strange name and it has been running through my mind all day. Before I got there I had feeling that I had been there before, but of course I hadn't.


FullscreenBackPlayNext

July 30th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 21.5
Total miles run 1547.9
From Aspatria (A596) to Carlisle
Map of run

It was raining when we set off from Aspatria along the A596. I felt awful, no energy and every step was an effort. I decided that when I get to Wigton I will stop for a rest. About half a mile before I got there a man, woman and their son gave us £1. The boy got out of the car and asked if he could run with me. As I needed all the help I could get, I was more than happy for him to run alongside. His name was Bryan Turner and he was 14 years old and an athlete. He was going to an athletics meeting in Carlisle that day. I told him all about my run and why I was doing it, so all in all we had a good chat. After about half a mile he left.

We stayed in Wigton for about an hour and a half and then I set off running again. We hadn't gone far when Bryan's mother, Christine pulled up in her car and said she had spoken to the organisers of the Athletics meeting and they said it would be ok for me to do a lap around the track and for Ted and Nigel to collect money from the crowd. I told Christine I would reach Carlisle by about 2.45 p.m. Christine and Ted went ahead to let the organisers know when I would be arriving. Feeling a lot better, I made it to the meeting on time. I ran around the track and an announcement was made over the public address system about what I was doing and everyone clapped. It felt great and we raised £60. Afterwards Bryans father, Ian bought us coffee. Bryan won his event the 400 metres in 64 seconds. He hopes to be in the 1996 Olympics and on that time, I'm sure he will. Ian was once manager of Ealing Rugby team and was also in the police force. They were a wonderful family and it was thanks to them we raised £60.

Free rooms at the Swallow Hilltop Hotel, London Road, Carlisle.

Scotland

July 31st 1989, Monday
Miles run today 22.9
Total miles run 1570.8
From Carlisle to Annan
Map of run

Today the 'Keep Hope Alive' run would reach Scotland. I wondered how well we would be received, especially after a person at Imperial Cancer Research in Scotland gave me the impression on July 13th that we were not particularly welcomed.

I left Carlisle along the A7 and headed for Longtown, once there I turned off onto the A6071 to Gretna Green, which is near the border crossing into Scotland. We arrived at noon and were met by Stewart Cronnie from the Imperial Cancer Research. Stewart told me he had contacted the media all along our route, but he advised me to do the same. BBC News was due to turn up and film us, so while we waited, we took photos of each other. A group of cyclist arrived who were on an expedition with Operation Raleigh and one of them recognised me from the newspapers. We had a good chat about sponsorship and the young lady told me they would go into cafes and restaurant as a group and ask for free food. I had always thought we stood a chance at getting free accommodation, especially from the big hotel chains, but I never thought of asking for free food.

After waiting around for quite some time we decided that the BBC reporters were not going to turn up so we got ready to leave. Just as I was about to start my next run, they arrived and asked if they could film us crossing the border. We had already done this, but I was happy to do it again. An interview was arranged in the Old Blacksmith shop, which went well. Barry, the cameraman gave us £5 towards petrol and once we finished, I ran on towards Annan. During the run it poured with rain and got very cold. Any colder and I would have got hypothermia. My right leg is taking a lot of punishment due to the camber of the road. I want to increase the mileage but I have to be careful as the last thing I want to do is cause an injury.

Free accommodation at the Queensbury Arms Hotel in Annan.

< BACK NEXT >

FullscreenBackPlayNext

HOME PAGE | INTRODUCTION | DIARY | APR-MAY'89 | JUNE'89 | JULY'89 | AUG'89 | SEP'89 | OCT'89 | NOV'89 etc. | TED’S STORY | NEWS REPORTS 1 | NEWS REPORTS 2 | LETTERS | TRAINING | JEREMY BRETT | SHOP | CONTACT | Site Map


Back to content | Back to main menu