UK Coast Run

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June 1st 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 22.1
Total miles run 585.7
From Lands End to Carbis Bay
Map of run

After taking Ted to Penzance Station we returned to Lands End to begin this morning's run. Paul took over the driving of the backup van and had no problems getting used to the vehicle.

The run took me along the B3306 through St Just towards St Ives and the journey was superb. The views were fantastic and it made it the most enjoyable run so far. The weather changed from sun and rain and back again, which gave me a different perspective of the scenery. After about 12 miles it got really misty and the landscape became eerily wonderful. Further on the rain got heavy and just as I reached the point of being wet through a pub appeared and I signalled to Paul to pull over. As we entered the pub I looked across to people sitting at a table and I realised it was my Aunt and Uncle, Jean and Charlie, Jean's sister Ina and her husband Ron. I couldn't believe we had stumbled across them in such a remote place, but it was great to see them again. Charlie bought Paul and me a sandwich and tea, and as I dried out the barman donated £3. Before I set off again Charlie assured me the route would get easier, but as I found out, it didn't. Paul's humour got the better of him as he took great delight in beeping me and when I looked around he would make a sign that another hill had appeared on the horizon.

I finished the run on the A3074 at Carbis Bay and we managed to find accommodation at St Uny Hotel. The manageress gave us the rooms for free and we had a superb meal.

Paul Campbell

Paul Campbell (Backup Driver).


June 2nd 1989, Friday
Miles run today 21.4
Total miles run 607.1
From Carbis Bay to Blackwater
Map of run

Today's run got boring when we got on the A30, so I ran to Redruth nonstop before taking a break. I went in search of a phone box but didn't have much luck. Eventually found a pub with a phone and called Jane Arnell at Imperial Cancer Research. Jane had booked a hotel for me and Paul but they were charging £24 each for the night. I cancelled the hotel and found a B & B for £10 each. I carried on running and stopped near Blackwater. I want to get the mileage back up to 26 miles a day but my body doesn't feel quite ready yet, so I will continue running about 20 miles a day.

Ron and Ina had invited us to their house for an evening meal with Jean and Charlie. We had a terrific meal of Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding. I phoned my parents and my dad had got in touch with reporters at some of the newspapers in Wales. They were interested in my story because dad is from Wales and we lived there as a family for a couple of years. He had also contacted a reporter at the Today newspaper who said they would also be interested in my story once I reach 1000 miles, so things are looking up.

June 3rd 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 21.3
Total miles run 628.4
From Blackwater to St Columb Major
Map of run

The first run of the day was along the A3075 to Newquay. On the way we had quite a few people donating. We had attached a bucket to the wing mirror and passengers would lean over a put in a donation. One family who overtook us pulled over up ahead, got out of their car and clapped us and gave a donation. It sure helps the morale when we get support like this.

We went to the Imperial Cancer Research shop in Newquay and spoke to a local news reporter. Afterwards I continued my run along the A3059 to St Columb Major. The course had a couple of steep hills and I felt really tired so I was glad to finish on the A39. Paul then droves us back to Newquay where we stayed at the Bella Vista Hotel. The first thing I did was to head for the sea where I dipped my legs in. When I got out my left foot was really sore and I could hardly put any weight on it. My right thigh felt sore also so I decided to shorten the run tomorrow to give my body some recovery time.

June 4th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 14.2
Total miles run 642.6
From St Columb Major to Trelill (A39)
Map of run

My legs felt ok this morning and I ran just over 14 miles nonstop and finished on the A39 just outside a small village called Trelill. During the run I had what is termed a 'Runner's High'. It is a feeling of euphoria and it made me feel I could run forever. I also felt a bond with everything around me and a knowing that life in all its complexities is a truly magical experience.

June 5th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 24.1
Total miles run 666.7
From Trelill (A39) to Bude
Map of run

Ran 9 miles then took a coffee break and run a further 7 miles before taking lunch. My Achilles heal feels sore which is a bit annoying as I feel strong. I phoned the people at Imperial Cancer Research as they had decided to take away the burden of me looking for accommodation and do it for me. However, the hotels they contacted would not give us accommodation unless we were prepared to pay it. I felt annoyed by that as it meant I would now have to start searching for free accommodation.

As I began the next part of the run, I felt upset with the people at Imperial Cancer Research for not trying harder. I tried to understand things from their point of view but it was difficult to find any reasonable explanation for their lack of effort. Just as I began to feel depressed about the whole thing a coach full of people cheered us as they passed by. The driver then pulled over further up the road and walked over to me with a bag full of money he had collected from the passengers. I was so over the moon that I got on the coach and spoke to everyone telling them why I was running, how far and the need to raise money to help bring cancer to a nearer end. When I finished my talk, I got a huge cheer. It was brilliant.

I finished the run in Bude and as my ankle was really sore I went to the first hotel I could find, which was, The Falcon Hotel. The manager gave us an apartment for free and a £10 donation. All the staff at the hotel was marvellous, so the day could not have gone better.

June 6th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 27.6
Total miles run 694.3
From Bude to Bideford
Map of run

Set out from Bude along the A39. The temperature was down on yesterday so I felt a bit cold with the wind whipping around. There wasn't much in the way of towns on the route just small villages doted here and there. We did get a lot of donations from passengers as they passed by in their cars, which was very pleasing. As there was nowhere on route to stop for lunch, Paul and I sat in the van eating crisps and sandwiches and then I set off for Bideford. Four miles from the end, my heal felt a bit sore, but I felt happy that my body stood up to a run of nearly 28 miles.

On reaching Bideford we headed for the nearest hotel, which was the Royal. The reception lady was very nice and told us there were no rooms available but she would phone the Royal & Fortescue Hotel in Barnstable, which belonged to the same hotel group. They had accommodation available and gave it to us free of charge.

My dad phoned Imperial Cancer Research and talked to a person at Head Office and asked if it would be possible to get some volunteers to help with fund raising in the towns and cities that I reach on the route. However, because the charity is split into regions it wants any money raised in that region to remain in that region. I had assumed that any money raised for Imperial Cancer Research in whatever town, went into the same pot! When the run started I had opened an account in the name of my run, 'Keep Hope Alive' and on the completion of the run, the money would be handed over in one big cheque. I did not know that each region was in some sort of competition with each other.

June 7th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 23.5
Total miles run 717.8
From Bideford to Ilfracombe
Map of run

It was a real effort to get going this morning. My legs felt so sore and stiff. The run took me from Bideford on the A39 (now the B3233) to Barnstaple and onto to A361 passing through Braunton to Ilfracombe.

Paul was whining a bit today. It must be driving behind me at about 6 mph for a few hours a day that stresses out my backup drivers. I previously had Ted moaning and now Paul. Paul has been great up to now so I'll just put it down to him having a bad day. I know the days can be a bit monotonous but they just need to remind themselves that they are helping to raise money for a great cause.

Dad had a phone call from Joan Cooke at the Imperial Cancer Research Head Office who asked an incredulous question.
'Do you think Linda wants to continue the run?'
Where that idea came from is anyone's guess but to say my father was furious would be an understatement. Joan Cooke went on to say that Imperial Cancer Research could not help any more than they are doing. Well at least I now know the level of support I can expect from them so I will keep on running and hope the national media takes an interest and we raise loads of money.

I spoke to Jeremy Brett in the evening and he said, 'Do not worry about the money at this stage as that will come later. Just remember the people you are helping who have cancer and their relatives. They will be comforted that someone is willing to run and run to raise money for a disease that has to be beaten. Also by donating money to you they know they are helping to bring to an end a disease that has caused them so much pain and suffering and by cheering you on, they are encouraging you to carry on and touch other lives.'

I was touched by what Jeremy had said and thankful at the workings of fate that had bought us together.

June 8th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 24.6
Total miles run 742.4
From Ilfracombe to Countisbury near Lynmouth
Map of run

It rained most of the day and the course across the edge of Exmoor was very hilly. Just outside Lynmouth at Countisbury Hill on the A39 there was a sign saying 1 in 4, so to say it was steep was an understatement. The section of road has a famous story regarding the Lynmouth Lifeboat. As I battled up the hill I had to stop four times to get my breath back. Each time I thought I was going into cardiac arrest. What didn't help was the migraine that had come on earlier. I had taken aspirin to help alleviate some of the excruciating pain but because of the immense effort I was putting in getting up the hill, it caused me severe indigestion and a taste of blood in my mouth. The backup vehicle was also struggling and Paul had to use all his driving skills to keep the van going at such a slow pace. How we both made it to the top I'll never know. By the time the run had finished, I was totally washed out.

We spent ages looking for accommodation as no one would give it to us free of charge so we settled for a B & B at £8 each. However once the owner, Mrs Jones knew more about my story she charged £7.50 each and gave us a £5 donation. Mrs Jones told me her mother had died of cancer and that what I was doing was terrific. We spoke some more and I could tell the sadness of losing her mother was still evident even though many years had passed. It is moments like this that my determination to keep going is increased.

My sister, Helen has made some really good posters and these will be sent to the regional offices of Imperial Cancer Research who will distribute them to the charity shops on route.


June 9th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 21.6
Total miles run 764
From Countisbury near Lynmouth to Bilbrook (A39) near Old Cleeve
Map of run

The run today took me further along into Exmoor and to an approximate height of 1300 feet. I knew that my accent up Countisbury Hill yesterday would mean I would have to descend at some point today and that came near the town of Porlock. It was impossible for me to run straight down the hill as the pressure on my knees were immense, so I ran zigzagging my way slowly until I reached the bottom. The hill was notorious for accidents when the brakes of vehicles had failed and they had crashed into walls. As I levelled out Paul beeped me to let me know a number of cars had backed up behind and I needed to pull over to let them pass. The first car to pass the backup van however, pulled over to where I was waiting and the passenger called me over, emptied the contents of her purse into my hands and said, 'Anyone who runs down that hill deserves something.'

The rest of the run took me through Minehead and a finish in the small village of Bilbrook.

I was pleased at the way I coped with the running over the last couple of days. It has been really hard going and very tiring. I don't think I will encounter a steeper hill anywhere is Britain. The hills might be higher, but without such a steep incline.


June 10th 1989, Saturday
No running.

No running today as we needed to meet John Gilbert in Taunton. John's mother had died at the age of 48 and he had volunteered to help me on my run when he read my appeal in Running Magazine.

June 11th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 22
Total miles run 786
From Bilbrook to Bridgwater
Map of run

I had so many pains in my legs this morning from the right side of my right knee to the Achilles heel. What doesn't help is the camber of the road which means my right leg hits the ground at a higher level than the left. If I ran in the middle of the road, which is not possible, it would be more level and maybe I wouldn't get all these aches and pains in my legs. Anyway the pain I am going through is a lot less than cancer sufferers so I should stop whinging and just get on with it.

We found a hotel in Williton called the White House. The manager, Dick Smith was superb. He very kindly gave us the rooms free of charge plus breakfast and dinner.

June 12th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 24
Total miles run 810
From Bridgwater to Congresbury (A370)
Map of run

The run started really well and my legs felt good. After reaching 12 miles I stopped for a quick coffee and at 15 miles we stopped for lunch. We got a few donations by the side of the road along the way. There were children with their parents, which is always nice to see.

During the afternoon run, John joined me and ran the last six miles. It was really hot and humid so we were both glad to finish. It was nice having company while I ran as it took my mind off the pain I felt when I was running.

In the evening we met Pete Vincent, the Imperial Cancer Research Regional Manager for Devon and Somerset, who had helped previously. He has arranged for the press to meet us at the Imperial Cancer Research shop in Bristol.

We were lucky again to find a hotel in Weston-Super Mare and the manager, Mr Mercer, kindly gave us free room and meals at the Berni Royal. He also got in touch with the New Inn in Gloucester and got us accommodation for tomorrow night.

June 13th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 24.3
Total miles run 834.3
From Congresbury (A370) to Alveston (A38)
Map of run

Left knee felt sore but the run went ok and I reached Bristol in time to meet the press at the Imperial Cancer Research shop. However, we waited and waited but the press didn't show. Pete Vincent felt just as annoyed as I did. Why don't the press just say they are not going to show instead of wasting everyone's time? We were consoled by the warm welcome we got from the staff and visitors to the shop. One visitor told me she had skin cancer and wished me all the luck in the world with my endeavour. There are so many people with cancer and so much pain. I just hope this run will be the success it is capable of and raise thousands for Imperial Cancer Research.

Later I continued the run along the A38 to the village of Alveston. Mr Smith of the New Inn gave us a warm welcome when we arrived and did not charge us for accommodation or food.

June 14th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 15.1
Total miles run 849.4
From Alveston (A38) to Eastington (A38)
Map of run

It was hot and humid again and after ten miles I felt sick. I managed to complete fifteen miles and called it a day in the village of Eastington on the A38. Richard Dixon, a previous backup driver, has arranged a few things in Gloucester and we needed to be there by midday so we drove the rest of the way. I would return to Eastington tomorrow and continue the journey.

We arrived at the Imperial Cancer Research shop just in time. The shop had been decked out in flags and the Mayor of Gloucester, Eric Eve, greeted me with a warm handshake. He told me his wife had died of cancer and he is really impressed with what I am trying to do. Richard then took me to 'Gloucester Sports' shop where I got to meet Martin Daykin, holder of several world long distance records and Dave Dowdle. I was also presented with a pair of running shoes donated by Gloucester Sports.

After lunch at Richard's house we went to Radio Gloucester for an interview with DJ Mike D'Abo. As well as me, both Paul and John were interviewed. Paul made me laugh when every time it was his turn to speak, he put on his sun glasses. The interview lasted 45 minutes and I spoke about why I was doing the run and how important it is to raise as much money as we can. Mike D'Abo was really nice and I remembered him from his days as a solo singer and in the group Manfred Mann.

Richard has been a real star in organising today's events. I can't thank him enough.

The New Inn in Gloucester again gave us free accommodation for the night.


June 15th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 21.8
Total miles run 871.2
From Eastington (A38) to Newnham (A48)
Map of run

As I set off from Eastington it was yet another hot and humid day. When we passed through Gloucester we met the Mayor going to work. He beeped us from his car, waved and wished me luck. What a nice man.

A number of people had heard our radio broadcast the day before and we managed to get a number of donations.

I had a few dizzy spells during the run today. It could be that I'm not drinking enough water.

I managed to get free accommodation, this time at the Victoria Hotel in Newnham-on Severn. It was the first hotel I tried too. Some days I have to try a few hotels and if I don't get lucky, I then try the B & B's. After running twenty odd miles it something I would rather do without.

I phoned my dad and he told me Ted Rayner wanted to pull out and not drive the backup vehicle any more. Even though Ted wasn't due to drive again until June 23rd, I immediately phoned him and he said he wasn't keen on going to Northern Ireland because it could be dangerous due to the ' Troubles'. As I hadn't set a date for going to Northern Ireland or made the definite decision to go, I did not see this as a problem just yet and told Ted so. Ted was also concerned about the lack of funds for the cost of accommodation, food and petrol. I told him that was my concern and besides we had been quite lucky getting free accommodation and food from the hotels during the last few days. I finished the phone conversation feeling a bit uneasy and a sense that there was something more behind Ted's concerns, but I pushed it to the back of mind thinking I was being a bit paranoid.

June 16th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 20.2
Total miles run 891.4
From Newnham (A48) to Mathern (A48)
Map of run

It was so hot today that it felt like I was running in a desert, but I pushed the heat to the back of my mind when people gave us donations. We made £40, which included one donation of £20. As I continued my way along the A48 through Lydney and towards Chepstow and the Welsh border, I thought about my father, Robert who had been born in the town of Abertridwr near Caerphilly in South Wales. Abertridwr was a mining town and like a lot of Welshman my father began his working career as a miner. He was just fourteen years old when he started and he would have been destined to work there for many years except he made the decision to move away and look for work in London. He talked his way into an engineering job, but told me years later he didn't know anything about engineering. Obviously he was a good talker because he remained an engineer for the rest of his working life. My dad was a union man through and through and if he thought he was being underpaid by a penny he would fight his corner. On one occasion he started a new job and talked the bosses into giving him more money than the workers who had been there years. Of course when they found out it nearly caused a strike, but then they were all given a pay rise so he did everyone a favour.

After I finished running at Mathern, we drove to Caerphilly to meet a reporter and a photographer who took photos of me outside Caerphilly Castle. I hope it ends up in a newspaper otherwise it will have been a wasted effort.

In the evening Pete Vincent had arranged for us to attend a Cheese and Wine Party in aid of Imperial Cancer Research. Pete gave a speech, introduced me and I told people about my run. I collected £30 and met a lot of very nice people.

Today we collected £70, which gave us a total of £3,000 raised so far. It isn't a vast amount after two months of running (minus time off because of injury), but it is £3,000 more than Imperial Cancer Research had before.


June 17th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 21.5
Total miles run 912.9
From Mathern (A48) to Lower Machen (A468)
Map of run

A hot day again and a painful right knee but I made the 15 miles along the A48 to Newport and the railway station. It was time for John Gilbert to return to Blackpool after his week helping Paul with the backup driving. It was great having him along and it was a shame he couldn't have stayed longer.

After we waved goodbye to John and had some lunch I continued the run, but by now the weather was even hotter. I kept drinking as much as I could but it didn't stop me getting dehydrated. I began to get dizzy and really fatigued so I stopped when I reached Lower Machen on the A468, a total distance of over 21 miles.

Free rooms and breakfast at the Kings Hotel in Newport.

June 18th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 11.5
Total miles run 924.4
From Lower Machen (A468) to Cardiff
Map of run

The 11 miles I ran in the morning took us to Cardiff via Caerphilly. I felt really rundown and tired and the intense heat did not help. A part of a tooth broke off so I need to find a dentist. We had a donation from a lady today who had lost her husband to cancer, but now she is waiting to hear from the hospital if she has cancer also. It makes what I am going through insignificant, so I must keep trying.

As Paul needed to catch the 11 a.m. train back to London I finished running early. Paul has been brilliant throughout the time he has been with me. I liked the way he protected me with the backup van when I ran around roundabouts. Paul would manoeuvre the van alongside me instead of behind. The sense of humour he had helped a great deal too. Like John, I felt sad at his departure.

My mum and dad, Joan and Robert came to see me and it was lovely to see them, but it did make me feel homesick. We all went to meet my new backup driver, Elizabeth Lancaster who arrived at Newport Station from Bradford. It had been a long journey as the train had been delayed, so we headed for a Berni Inn as we were all hungry. Elizabeth will be with me for a week. We got on well straight away.

Elizabeth Lancaster

Elizabeth Lancaster (Backup driver).

June 19th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 20.2
Total miles run 944.6
From Cardiff to Bridgend
Map of run

Went to the South Wales Echo in the morning to do an interview and a photographer took photos of Elizabeth and me.

Mum and dad left for London and although I was really pleased to see them, it makes it harder for me now they have gone.

I didn't start running until 11 a.m. so by then it was really hot. My right knee started playing up and I got a really bad pain in my right buttock! I am thankful that I don't suffer from blisters. I have got hard skin on the tips of some of my toes, but because the Reebok running shoes are so comfortable, they don't cause any friction that would result in blisters. The heat again took its toll and I didn't feel well at all.

Elizabeth is really helpful and has offered to take some of the workload away from me, like asking for hotel rooms; making calls to national newspapers, banking donations and shopping for food etc. However, as I am used to doing all these things and have been doing them since the run started, so it is hard for me to let someone else takeover. I feel I should be doing something instead of relaxing.

Because I have a woman along, and we need only one room, I hoped our search for a free hotel room would be easier, but that wasn't the case. We searched all over Bridgend with no luck, so we had to drive to the next nearest town, which was Porthcawl and fortunately the Seabank Hotel gave us a free room.

June 20th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 20.5
Total miles run 965.1
From Bridgend to Swansea
Map of run

I started running early due to the heat. My knee seemed ok, so the paddle in the sea yesterday must have helped. I ran just over 13 miles before taking a break. At midday I ran a further 7 miles but it was so hot, I got the early stages of heatstroke. At the moment I can only run about 20 miles a day due to the heat.

It took us two hours to find free accommodation. We went from hotel to hotel, B & B to B & B and eventually got lucky at the Pantycelyn Hotel in Swansea.

Elizabeth understands how hard the running is for me because she has trained for and run a marathon herself, but she feels it is made all the harder because of all the other stuff I have to do. I wish I could have some help on my run like Ian Botham has on his walks for Leukaemia Research. I bet his backup crew has got everything in place like accommodation, fund raising, food etc. Ian Botham was a fantastic cricketer and a hero to many. He earned his celebrity status with years of hard work and it is brilliant he is using that fame to raise so much money for Leukaemia Research. The difficulty for me is that not enough people know what I am doing and I am not famous enough to get my story in the national newspapers and appeal for donations for Imperial Cancer Research.

With the Pantycelyn Hotel right on the beachfront, I took a walk to the sea and had a swim. The water was really cooling and my aches and pains eased.

I will need to find a dentist soon as the broken tooth is getting painful.

Pete Vincent from Imperial Cancer Research informed me that BBC Wales wanted to film us tomorrow.

June 21st 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 22.4
Total miles run 987.5
From Swansea to Llanddarog (A48)
Map of run

Today was cooler but I still felt poorly for the first few miles. I felt better as time went on but I ran a bit slower to conserve energy. I usually run a mile in about 9 minutes but now I run it in around 10 minutes. When I reached the 16 miles mark my left hip got extremely sore but I couldn't stop as a film crew from BBC Wales turned up to film us. I ran another six miles before the film crew called it a day and by then the pain had got excruciating.

After I marked the finishing point, Elizabeth drove us to Carmarthen where we looked for accommodation. We couldn't get anywhere for free so we paid £25 for a room. We then went in search of a dentist who filled my tooth. I didn't feel any pain as I was more concerned about my hip. The dentist charged me £10 for the filling.

I phoned mum and told her about my latest injury. I couldn't help but get upset. I am so sick of all the pain and injuries I get. It would be wonderful if I had one day when I'm not in pain. I will make a decision tomorrow whether I am fit to run. We are due to meet the Mayor of Haverfordwest in a few days so there is pressure on me to run.

June 22nd 1989, Thursday
Injured, no running.

When I woke up in the morning, I saw a lump the size of a golf ball on my left hip. There was no way I could run, but before I could get too upset, Elizabeth took me to the West Wales Hospital in Carmarthen. I was sent to the Physiotherapy Department and the Physiotherapist decided I needed treatment with ultrasound, but because the hip was so swollen, a second opinion was had. The doctor had no doubt the injury was due to wear and tear and the only way to heal it was with ultrasound and ice.

Once I finished the treatment at the hospital, Elizabeth drove us to the Pembrey Country Park in Llanelli. It had a terrific beach and we chilled out for the day while I recuperated.

I phoned Jeremy Brett in the evening and we spoke about how well his stage show, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, was doing at Wyndham's Theatre. We also spoke about my latest injury and he told me not to worry about it as sometimes problems arise for a reason. It may mean that I am being held up so that the people who can help me the most are available to me at the right time. It sounded a good theory and I hope Jeremy is right.

I spoke to my dad and he gave me a good talking too. I needed it as I was getting so stressed out that when my parents had come to visit me, I had taken out all my frustrations on them. It was unfair of me as they have done so much to help. This latest injury has given me time to reanalyse everything and to appreciate the people who have helped me the most.

Wyn Thomas of the Stradey Park Hotel gave us free accommodation and food.

June 23rd 1989, Friday
Injured - no running

I spent the morning at the West Wales Hospital so that I could get further treatment on my hip. After a report appeared in the South Wales Echo yesterday a lady recognised me, so we chatted about the run and cancer.

We found accommodation in Tenby at the Giltar Hotel where we were given free accommodation and breakfast. Tenby is a lovely seaside town with a wonderful beach. It also has a huge church called St Mary's and I spent a half hour there reflecting about whether the run was achieving my expectations. So far it is falling short of the amount of money I had hoped it would make, but I know it has the potential to achieve far more. All I want to do is to help in some small way to bring cancer to a nearer end.

Ted arrived today to take over the driving from Elizabeth who leaves on Sunday.

June 24th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 11.6
Total miles run 999.1
From Pembroke Dock to Haverfordwest
Map of run

Woke up in the morning and felt I needed another day off to make sure the hip injury had healed, but a meeting with the Mayor of Haverfordwest had been arranged so there was a need for me to run. To fit the run around today's visit, I moved the run forward and started at Pembroke Dock. I would run the rest of the route from Llanddarog on the A48 on another day. After five miles we reached the village of Steynton where we stopped at a pub called the Horse and Jockey and the landlady kindly gave us a donation. I then carried on running to Haverfordwest but my hip felt really sore and it was a huge effort to get there. I just about made it before my leg gave way.

The meeting with Councillor Dewi Pritchard, Mayor of Haverfordwest and Councillor George Grey, Chairman of Preseli Pembrokeshire District Council went really well and they presented me with a donation. We then met Norman Jenkins who took us to the Fishguard Arms and a meeting with the landlord Ed Lucas who gave us lunch free of charge and later dinner. We were also given permission to collect donations in the pub.

Because any further running was out of the question today, permission had been granted to set the backup van in the Town centre and to collect money from the general public. Although I was disappointed that I couldn't run anymore, I felt pleased that we had collected quite a few donations.


June 25th 1989, Sunday
Injured - no running.

The hip was again too painful for me to run. I felt so frustrated.

Norman Jenkins met Elizabeth, Ted and me at 11 a.m. and we went to St Brides Bay, Newgale to have some photos taken. Norman said he would send these photos to the national press saying I had reached a thousand miles. I was 9/10th short, but it didn't really matter.

It was time for Elizabeth to return home so we headed for the train station. I so much enjoyed having Elizabeth along and it would have been great if she could have been with me most of the run. The help she gave me meant a lot and it certainly made things a lot easier for me. It was nice to have a woman's company too as it meant we could have girlie chats. As Elizabeth boarded the train she asked me if I had anything she could read as she hadn't had time to buy anything. I had a copy of Running Magazine and handed it to her not realising it was such a significant move, as the reader will find out later in the diary.

Linda Pritchard, Elizabeth Lancaster, Ted Rayner

Me, Elizabeth Lancaster & Ted Rayner.

June 26th 1989, Monday
Injured - no running.

I really wanted to run but I knew deep down that my hip wasn't a hundred percent right. It was a hard decision to come too and in my mind it would be an easier choice to run. But as I have learnt, there is a thin line between bravery and stupidity and I needed to be brave, and come to the difficult conclusion not to run.

I spent another morning at the West Wales Hospital getting treatment. Afterwards we used up three hours looking for accommodation and had to settle for a B & B at £15 each. I was exhausted from going into all the hotels and B & B's asking for free accommodation. Elizabeth was being missed already because she had done most of the asking over the last few days. Because of his laryngectomy operation, Ted said he felt self conscious about his voice and yet everyone he met along the way understood what he was saying. I felt it would help his confidence if he at least tried to ask, but he absolutely refused to.

I had another migraine today which made me cranky and miserable. I'm angry that I have got injured again and I'm trying to believe that God has his reasons for the latest hold up.

June 27th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 10.3
Total miles run 1009.4
From Llanddarog (A48) to Sarnau (A40)
Map of run

It was a real windy day which made the running hard going. I ran six miles, then took a little break and ran four more. The hip felt good, but I was very conscious of it so I called it a day after ten miles.

I spoke to Jeremy Brett who told me not to worry as I had plenty of time to finish the run. That wasn't quite correct as it was beneficial that I finished before winter set in. However, his support meant a lot to me. He did have a great knack of boosting my spirits whenever I felt down. I do miss seeing him though and I look forward to meeting Jeremy again when I get home.

June 28th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 15.1
Total miles run 1024.5
From Sarnau (A40) to the A477 near Stepaside
Map of run

It was really hard going in the morning as it was raining and a tad windy. I felt very tired, probably due to the migraine I've had over the last couple of days and the aspirins I have taken to limit the pain. I stopped after just over seven miles at a transport cafe. The lady who served me with a sandwich and tea recognised me from a newspaper report and gave them to me free. It's great when something like this happens as it shows people care about what I am trying to do.

The second run of the day was more difficult because the wind picked up quite a bit making it near impossible for me to run. I nearly fell over twice when the wind blew really hard in my face and then side on. As my hip felt ok I carried on until I reached 15 miles. I marked the road where I stopped with yellow paint so I would know where to start running from in the morning. As we were in the middle of nowhere I made a bigger mark than normal so I would find it.

Ted and I then made our way to Saundersfoot to look for accommodation and pretty soon we found a car park to park in while we went in search, but no sooner had we got out of the car, the ticket warden, whose name was Tom, came over and gave back our entrance fee. Tom told us he had seen us in Haverfordwest a couple of days ago and it was great that we were raising money for Imperial Cancer Research. Tom was a really nice bloke and when we told him we were looking for a B & B he recommended one to us. On our arrival, the owner Bob and his wife recognised me and they gave us a room each.

Ted has been very quiet lately and it has been difficult to have a conversation with him. I asked if he felt ok and if everything else was ok but I got no real response.

June 29th 1989, Thursday
No running

After breakfast, we both walked out of the door of the B & B and then Ted dropped a bombshell. He told me he no longer wanted to be my backup driver. I was completely thrown by this and it took me a moment to clear my head and to ask him why. Ted explained that the run wasn't raising anywhere near the amount of money he had hoped and it certainly wasn't getting enough publicity. I tried to explain that the run had enormous potential and that at some point we would get the publicity needed to raise more money.

We talked for ages but Ted's mind was made up. I asked him when he wanted to go, expecting him to give me time to get another backup driver, but he said he was leaving immediately. Before I could reason with him, he picked up his bags that had presumably been packed the night before, and was gone. I realised then it had not been a quick decision and this really upset me.

For a moment, I stood on the pavement outside the B & B in total disbelief. I was dumbfounded. Why leave me stranded like this?

When I got my wits about me I went in search of a telephone box and phoned my parents. My mum was angry that Ted had left me without a moment's notice. I than rang all my previous backup drivers to see if any of them could drive for me but they couldn't get time off from work. I then went in search of a hotel as I needed to ring more people and to have a phone number people could phone back on. As I didn't have time to search for free accommodation I took the first hotel that had a room. Sitting in the bedroom of the hotel in a forlorn state I became desperate and wondered if I could dump my stuff in a rucksack and run on roads without protection from the backup vehicle, but I soon realised that was a crazy idea. It would have been alright if I could have run on pavements all the way around the UK, but some roads don't have pavements, so I was stuck.

Mum rang and told me she had spoken to Ted's wife Betty who was very upset and said she would talk to Ted when he got home.

Further phone calls produced no results and by 8 p.m. I still hadn't been able to get anyone who could commit themselves to being my backup driver. I decided to contact Norman Jenkins who I met in Haverfordwest and I told him what at happened. He gave me the phone number of David Allen of BBC Wales who agreed to film me tomorrow.

Jane Arnell of Imperial Cancer Research phoned at 10 p.m. and told me Ted had phoned her last night to say he was unhappy and that I wouldn't discuss anything with him. Now I was really angry because Ted had not spoken to me or said how unhappy he was.

As I laid in bed with my head pounding and my thoughts in turmoil I tried desperately to understand Ted's point of view. I know we both wanted very much to raise as much money as possible for an important cause, but so far we hadn't achieved expectations. I still have hope that we can raise more money, but Ted has obviously become totally despondent. Why didn't he discuss his feelings with me? I tried to remember if he had attempted to explain how he felt, but I couldn't recall any moment. Was I to absorb in my own feelings and didn't notice his? I usually sense something when other people are unhappy, but I certainly missed Ted's discontent.

Round and round the thoughts went in my head and eventually I fell into a restless sleep.

June 30th 1989, Friday
No running.

I awoke totally depressed but a little less angry. Despite what had happened I was grateful to Ted for giving up his time to be my back-up driver. It was a monotonous job and not an easy one.

The phone rang and it was Ted. He had spoken to his wife Betty (or she had spoken to him) and he said he wanted to come back. I accepted of course because I had no other option, but I was concerned that he might leave me again in the future.

Later that morning David Allen from BBC Wales phoned and said he had put out an appeal for backup drivers on the radio. He also wanted to film me for BBC Newsroom South East. We filmed for a couple of hours and the theme of the report was that I needed backup drivers because Ted had left to have cancer treatment. I know Ted said he was coming back but I couldn't risk him disappearing suddenly again and I decided it would be best to have another person along. It would mean extra cost, but I would find the money from somewhere.

The report was shown later that evening and I got a number of calls from people offering their services for a few days or a week, but one man, Nigel Smith said he could drive from July 23rd until the run finished, so he was the one I chose.


Video report shown on the BBC Newsroom South East.


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