UK Coast Run

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September 1st 1989, Friday
Miles run today 26.9
Total miles run 2378.7
From Thrumster (A9) to Berriedale (A9)
Map of run

My first run of the day was awful. I just couldn't get going. I had to use all my mental strength just to keep on running. I managed 15 miles passing through Lybster before stopping for lunch. Ted made lunch from our supplies and I made the usual phone calls to try and drum up some support from the media. Every time I enter a phone box I get the urge to pee. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that every phone box smells like a toilet. I have no doubt that men use it as a urinal when they have been caught short on their way home from the pub.

On the second run I passed through Dunbeath and I felt much better, which was good as the route took me up a steep mountain before I finished in Berriedale.

We got accommodation at the Commercial Hotel in Lybster. Mrs Dunnett who owned the place gave us free accommodation and made us a lovely meal of homemade soup followed by steak, potatoes and carrots. It is so amazing how kind some people are. It really inspires me when people help us.


September 2nd 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 27
Total miles run 2405.7
From Berriedale (A9) to Golspie (A9)
Map of run

I worked out the mileage left to run to complete my run around the UK and it means that I would get home around November 5th providing I run 27 miles a day. Ted doesn't want to carry on much after that date as he is getting homesick. I will try my best to run that mileage every day and hope nothing goes wrong.

I ran 19 miles nonstop for the first run and Ted had a few words with me. He said it was too long for him to drive continuously for over 3 hours as his right leg gets sore. I apologised as apart from having his right leg stuck on the accelerator in the same position for all that time, he must also be bored looking at the back of me. After lunch I carried on running to Golspie and marked up having run a total of 27 miles. We found free accommodation at the Links Hotel in Brora.

September 3rd 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 27.1
Total miles run 2432.8
From Golspie (A9) to Upper Ardchronie (A9)
Map of run

The run this morning took me along the A9 passing over Loch Fleet before turning off onto the B9168 to Dornoch. I managed to get free accommodation at the Dornoch Castle Hotel. I carried on running for another 6 miles along the A9 and then we stopped for lunch. Ted and I had more to talk about now as we are able to buy a newspaper in the mornings. While we were in the Highlands we didn't always get a daily newspaper until about 3.30 p.m. so we had nothing to talk about prior to that. On the next run I crossed Bonar Bridge and finished the run at Upper Ardchronie.


September 4th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 27.1
Total miles run 2459.9
From Upper Ardchronie (A9) to Alness (A9)
Map of run

I felt awful in the morning as I didn't get much sleep. When I started running all I wanted to do was go back to bed. I managed a very slow 13 miles to Tain and felt a migraine coming on. For years I have suffered these migraines and the pain is immense. This is why I am able to cope with the physical pain of running because the agony does not come close to the pain of a migraine. Not only do you get intense head pain but the whole body feels sick too. Imagine the worst hangover you ever had and multiply it by a hundred and then you might come close to knowing what it feels like to have a migraine. Not enough research is done into this illness probably because it is not life threatening, but I bet some people have taken their own lives because of the pain, a pain that is like Hell on Earth.

The second run carried on along the A9 to Alness. We managed to get free accommodation at the Kincraig House Hotel (now the Kincraig Castle Hotel).

I told Ted I would get in touch with the TV and newspapers again but he said no one is interested because it is just a run and it is for charity. Part of me knew he was right because when do the national newspapers ever report on charity events. Not often. However, I can't just stop trying and I absolutely believe that people will donate when they hear about my run. I just have to keep banging at the doors of the national media so to speak and hope one of the major newspapers pick up on the story.


September 5th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 27.5
Total miles run 2487.4
From Alness (A9) to corner of A862 Cromarty Bridge
From corner of B9092 to Alves (A96)
Map of run Alness to corner of A862
Map of run corner of B9092 to Alves

My head was still banging from the migraine that started yesterday and I felt sick too. I began the run from Alness on the A9 and run 7 miles to the Cromarty Bridge that crosses the Cromarty Firth. I marked the spot and then Ted drove us 26 miles to the corner of the B9092 on the A96. The reason for this is that we are meeting Maureen Harrison from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Inverness tomorrow so there is no point in running to it today. I started running again on the A96 on the corner of the B9092 and ran through Nairn and Forres before finishing at Alves. I will go back to the Cromarty Bridge tomorrow and complete the 26 miles we have driven today. All very confusing, but we do know what we are doing . . . I think! With today's run complete we drove back to Inverness and Ted fundraised while I went in search of a hotel. I still felt terrible. Every part of my body ached and the feeling of nausea still hasn't gone away. Thankfully the Palace Hotel gave us free accommodation.

I phoned Len Goddard, a work colleague at Ealing Magistrates Court. He had been collecting each month from everyone who worked at the court and this month he had raised £118 for our expenses. It is a wonderful amount and I am really thankful to them all. Without that money we would have struggled to keep going.

A reporter from the Daily Record phoned and he wants to interview me tomorrow at the Kessock Bridge in Inverness.


September 6th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 26.4
Total miles run 2513.8
From corner of B9092 Cromarty Bridge to corner of B9092 near Nairn
Map of run

Ted and I headed back to the Cromarty Bridge to begin today's run. I ran 14 miles to the Kessock Bridge where we were met by a photographer and a reporter from the Daily Record. After that we went to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund shop and met Maureen Harrison who had invited a reporter from the Inverness weekly paper to interview me. After some lunch I started the second run and headed for the A96. Very soon I got a real bad pain in my right buttock (bum). I have had this before and it seems to happen when I am running on flat ground. As I carried on, the pain got worse but I didn't want to stop because a couple of people had inspired me and I wanted to keep going for them. I feel as long as I am running I am helping people with cancer. One lady today gave Ted £5 and said her granddaughter had been born with cancer and she is still fighting it. The lady went on to say that if any of you two get down, just remember you are helping my granddaughter get better. I feel that says what this run has been all about and that is why it is important for us to keep going.

I completed today's run at the corner of the B9092 on the A96 near Nairn. We managed to get free accommodation at the Laichmoray Hotel in Elgin.


September 7th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 27.3
Total miles run 2541.1
From Alves to Cullen
Map of run

Today we returned to Alves, which is where we stopped the day before yesterday. Last night I had a bad night when the whole of my right leg became so painful that I thought I wouldn't be able to run today, but here goes. I kept the run steady over the first few miles and then I felt really weird. All the pain I had left me and my mind completely switched off from the running. It felt like I was floating along and I covered a lot of miles without feeling any discomfort whatsoever. I also had a strong feeling that any concerns I have about the run don't matter as everything will be ok. I also found accommodation in no time at all at the Mill Hotel in Tynet. It was a strange, but nice sort of day, except for Ted who had a right downer. He had a go at me because the hotel wasn't good enough and the weather wasn't right. I hate it when he is in this mood. I ask him each day how he feels, which is more than he asks me. I can't keep up with these mood swings because one day he is really happy the next he is miserable. I am getting so tired now that I am ready to explode. I finished the run in Cullen on the A98 and did an interview for the Moray Firth Radio.


September 8th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 27.2
Total miles run 2568.3
From Cullen to A98 by the B9027
Map of run

At breakfast Ted seemed a lot better. He said he felt really depressed yesterday but didn't know why as there wasn't anything to be depressed about. Well anyone can have an off day, but I wish he would tell me when he feels like this. I couldn't sleep last night worrying that I may have done something to upset him.

It was hard going this morning. My legs ached and I was really tired. After 14 ½ miles we saw the Banff Spring Hotel in Banff and we were lucky as they gave us free rooms. We did some fundraising and collected quite a bit of money due to the interview I did yesterday being broadcast on the radio this morning. On the second run a car stopped and the driver rushed over to Ted and gave him £5 and as he was returning to his car, he turned to me and said, 'Oh shit have a couple more.' He had given me another £2. Brilliant! Further along the route three young men working on a farm rushed over and gave donations. I completed over 27 miles and marked up on the A98 by the B9027.


September 9th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 27.2
Total miles run 2595.5
From A98 by the B9027 to the Gas Terminal near St Fergus
Map of run

Today went really well. I ran 14½ miles to Fraserburgh and on the way a man walking his dog came up to me and gave me all the change he had and wished me luck for the rest of the run. When we entered Fraserburgh there didn't seem many people about so we thought we would sit in the van and have lunch. As we started to prepare our food, people started coming up to us and gave donations. Ted got out the collection bucket and I got some cancer research leaflets and then from nowhere, loads of people appeared and we collected over £100. A man, slightly the worse for drink, came and spoke to me for over half an hour, then thankfully lots of children came and gave us donations. I gave them cancer research stickers, which they loved. On the second run, when I had just completed a total of 20 miles a family came rushing out of their house. The father took photos, the mother gave us a donation and the daughter gave us some fruit. It is a terrific feeling when people do this. I completed the run near a Gas Terminal on the A952 (now the A90) near St Fergus.


September 10th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 27.7
Total miles run 2623.2
From the Gas Terminal near St Fergus to near Drums
Map of run

This morning we met up with Margaret McDonnell from the Peterhead Athletic Club. Margaret gave me a donation of £10 and told me both her parents have had cancer. The two of us started running and covered the 5 miles to Peterhead where Margaret said her goodbyes. It was really nice meeting her. I carried on running until I reached 16 ½ miles. We had lunch and I was so tired I fell asleep. I've been feeling really tired the last couple of days. On the second run along the A975 I felt better.

We got free accommodation easily at the Copthorne Hotel in Aberdeen. I contacted Paul Campbell who will be driving the backup vehicle for me again for a week from September 18th. Ted will be going home for routine checks on his throat. Paul has been working 15 hours a day, so he is looking forward to driving for me again. I also got in touch with Dick Savage from the National Union of Seamen, who we had previously met in Dover. I asked if he could help us out with the sea crossing to Northern Ireland. He said he would certainly try otherwise it will cost us around £150.

I am going to close this diary now as I'm too tired to write. I shall have a bath and go to bed. Cheerio.


September 11th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 27.3
Total miles run 2650.5
From near Drums to Stonehaven
Map of run

I hardly slept at all last night. I had been so tired, but for some reason I just couldn't get to sleep. I ran just over 11 miles to Aberdeen and as we reached the city centre, it reminded me a little of Oxford Street in London in that it was a very busy street. It was quite amazing that we got through without any problems. We setup the van and started to fundraise. A lady traffic warden approached us and she could see immediately we were collecting money for cancer research. The nice traffic warden said we could stay a couple of hours but then we had to move on as the traffic would pick up at around 1 p.m. I left Ted to carry on fundraising as I went in search of a hotel. I must have gone into every hotel in Aberdeen and walked about two miles, but I had no luck in finding free accommodation. I returned to where I had left Ted and he had done really well. People were falling over themselves to put money in our collecting buckets. Altogether we raised £270, which is the most we have raised in any town or city. One o'clock came so we packed up and I started running again. Neither Ted nor I had a chance to rest and as I ran out of the town centre towards Portlethen I felt the worst I have ever felt. My right leg really ached because the camber of the road was so bad and I just couldn't get my running into any sort of rhythm. As I continued through Newtonhill and onto Stonehaven I felt totally wiped out. By the time I finished I was near collapse. I sat in the van for a short time then made coffee for Ted and me. The search for free accommodation took some time but we found a nice hotel tucked away in one of the side streets. The manager of St Leonards Hotel gave us free accommodation. (
Unfortunately the hotel has now been destroyed by fire). Still feeling exhausted I phoned Jane Arnell from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London to let her know how things were going. Jane said she would do what she can to get publicity in Northern Ireland.

September 12th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 27.6
Total miles run 2678.1
From Stonehaven to A92 to near Braehead
Map of run

I slept better last night but I still feel like I have no energy. I had a nagging pain in my right leg that got better as I ran up a slight incline. By the time I reached ten miles near Inverbervie the leg had improved some more.

How I don't know, but I managed to complete a total of 27 miles near Braehead on the A92. The tiredness I feel is immense. I'm not sure how I am managing to keep going. I phoned home and mum said I sounded tired. Both my parents said it didn't matter when I finished, which is great as it takes a bit of pressure off. My only concern is Ted who wants to finish in early November. We got free accommodation at the Central Hotel in Montrose.


September 13th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 27.2
Total miles run 2705.3
From near Braehead to Dundee
Map of run

I took a long time to get to sleep last night so it was a good job I had the alarm set as I would never have woken up. The tiredness was again all engulfing and it was a real effort to run. At one point I thought I was going to pass out. I kept going though and managed 15 miles on the first run passing through Arbroath and stopping a mile outside. We drove back into Arbroath to fundraise for a couple of hours and then returned to the spot where I had marked up. The second run took me along the A92 into Dundee. We had trouble getting accommodation as most hotels were full with business people. If we had arrived at the weekend we would have stood a better chance. We eventually found a hotel but we had to pay.

We went to the local garage to see how much it would cost to service the backup van. I had run over 2700 miles but the van had done more than 5000 driving to and from hotels and to the start and end point each day. We were quoted £40 which Ted said was cheap. However, I felt we couldn't really afford it as we still needed to be careful with the money we had for expenses. Therefore the van, a Citreon C15, would have to keep going until the run was over.


September 14th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 27.1
Total miles run 2732.4
From Dundee to the Bridge of Earn (A912)
Map of run

The route to Perth took us along the A85 (now the A90) which is a dual carriageway. I didn't know the area well enough to use any other route. I found the run hard going as it was so flat. The flatter the course the harder it is for me. After completing 15 miles I marked up and was about to get in the van when two Tayside policemen on motorbikes pulled up. They told us that a couple of people had phoned saying the backup vehicle was going to slow. The policemen were very polite and went on to tell us that I should have obtained permission before running along the road. I explained how far I had run and that we haven't had to get any authorization before, but we were told we had to go along to Perth Police Station to get permission, which is what we did. We spoke to a Sergeant Russell at the desk who gave us a form to fill in. Eventually he gave us the ok to proceed on the A85 as long as the backup van did not follow behind. I felt this was more dangerous as there was nothing to protect me. We were also told we couldn't fundraise in Perth as we needed local permission. If I had known all this before I would have crossed the Tay Road Bridge and missed out Perth altogether. After some lunch we returned to the A85 and I began running from the spot where I had marked up and Ted drove ahead of me pulling in at the nearest lay by. Lorries and cars passed by at 70mph and a couple of times I was nearly knocked off my feet but I made it in one piece. I eventually finished the run at the small town, Bridge of Earn on the A912.

We got free accommodation at the Salutation Hotel in Perth. At dinner Ted told me how annoyed he was that we weren't able to fundraise. I was annoyed too but there was nothing we could do about it.

Dick Savage from the National Union of Seamen has been able to get us a free ferry crossing for Northern Ireland, which is great.

September 15th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 27.3
Total miles run 2759.7
From the Bridge of Earn (A912) to A919 near Kincaple
Map of run

On the morning run, I had Ted and the backup van go one mile ahead of me while I ran on the pavement. We did this until we were outside the Tayside Police district. As we continued on into Newburgh, a bus pulled up in front of us. The driver got out and said the passengers had a whip round and handed me a pile of coins. It was fabulous that they took the time and effort to do that.

I carried on until I reached a painful 15 miles and marked up. As there was no big town on today's route, we drove to Dundee to fundraise. It started to rain just as we got to the city centre but there were still a lot of people about. However people just walked by and hardly any money was collected. After two hours and some lunch, we returned to the place where I had marked up and I carried on running on the smaller roads next to the Firth of Tay. The rain continued and with six miles to go, I was in so much pain. By the last mile my right leg had seized up and I just managed to complete 27 miles on the A919 near Kincaple. While we had been in Dundee I had found the Queens Hotel that gave us free accommodation so fortunately we were able to drive straight to the hotel where I collapsed exhausted on the bed. I was in so much pain and feeling really depressed due to the tiredness.

September 16th 1989 Saturday
No running

There will be no running today as Ted has had to go home for a hospital check on his throat. It is a routine check that he has every so often since his laryngectomy operation.

Paul Campbell will drive for me on Monday while Ted takes a week off, so rather than sit around I decided to take a train to London to see Jeremy Brett in his last performance as Sherlock Holmes at Wyndham's Theatre before the show goes on tour around the country. Meeting up with friends and family was wonderful. We all enjoyed the show and both Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke were superb. I had to leave early as I had train to catch in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Jeremy wished me luck and said he hopes to see me in Hull. He will be on tour in Hull at the same time as I reach it on my run.

The last two weeks of the run has been difficult. I have been getting more and more tired each day, so I was in need of this rest. However, today as been a bit hectic, so it's hardly been restful and I am finding it hard to hold myself together mentally. Everything seems to be such a big effort. I just hope I can hang in there and finish the run.

When I got ready for bed I noticed my right foot had swollen up. I just hope it will be ok.

September 17th 1989 Sunday
No running

Mum told me this morning that she had undergone a smear test and abnormal cells had been found. The doctor has booked her in for laser treatment on Thursday. I pray everything will be ok

I met up with Paul Campbell at Kings Cross station and we took the train to Dundee.

September 18th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 24.8
Total miles run 2784.5
From the A919 near Kincaple to A917 near Kilconquhar Loch
Map of run

I was glad to start running again after two days off. I don't like having days off as I seem to get more aches and pains when I start again. This proved the case during today's run. The strong wind didn't help either, especially as it was blowing straight into me. The route took me through St Andrews along the A917 to Crail, Anstruther and Pittenweem before stopping near Kilconquhar Loch. All in all it was a tough run as after 20 miles my right shin was sore, so I called it a day just before the 25 mile mark.

It is nice having Paul driving for me again. He is a very good driver and easy going.

My father was very emotional saying goodbye to me yesterday. It has been hard for both my parents. They are so very worried about me going to Northern Ireland, but I hope they understand my reasons for going. There has been no publicity from the national media so far, which has been a huge disappointment. Hopefully by going to Northern Ireland they will show some interest and in return more money will be raised for cancer research. I want to finish this run knowing I could not have done anything more and that I tried my very best. So far I've done as much as I can. I've cried so much with the pain of running each day. I know I could have walked around the UK, but I wanted to honour the bravery of cancer victims and this is my way of doing it.

September 19th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 26.9
Total miles run 2811.4
From the A917 near Kilconquhar Loch to Aberdour (A921)
Map of run

The wind was so strong this morning that it took all my strength just to get forward motion. I was taking 10 ½ minutes to run each mile. Normally I take about 9 minutes if I'm feeling good. After 10 miles I was absolutely shattered and feeling a bit despondent. I managed to get to Kirkcaldy for the first run of the day, a total of 17 ½ miles. I did some fundraising for about an hour, but that was all the time I had as I was due at the Imperial Cancer Research charity shop. The lady's in the shop were really pleased to see me, which cheered me up. I then started the second run and ran nearly 9 ½ miles ending at Aberdour on the A921.

The search for a hotel took ages as everywhere was booked. Just when I wondering where we could try next, Paul noticed a sign for the Jacobean Hotel (now the Auld Mill House Hotel) and thankfully the manageress, Anne Marr, who was really nice, gave us free accommodation.

I phoned Ted to see how his hospital check had gone and he told me that his throat was ok but the doctors had a slight concern about his heart and lungs and have given him an appointment for a few weeks time.

September 20th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 25.3
Total miles run 2836.7
From Aberdour (A921) to Alloa
Map of run

It was really hard going again as the wind was still blowing up a gale. I was shattered after the first few miles. I pushed on but I soon realised my spirit to overcome anything that the weather threw at me, was being driven from me by the intensity of a near hurricane force. Time and again I struggled to remain upright as my body was continually buffeted by the violent winds. Eventually I reached the point where I could take no more. I looked up at the Heavens and shouted out in anger, 'How much more am I expected to take? How much more must I give? Isn't it enough that I have been running nearly a marathon every day for weeks on end?' Then the unthinkable happened. The wind ceased and never bothered me again that day. It has amazed me throughout this run, that just when I think I can't take anymore, something always happens. Usually it is a person coming up to me and saying you are helping my daughter, son, father or mother, so please keep going.

After the run I went to the Imperial Cancer Research Offices in Stirling where I was invited to meet the staff. I had hoped some publicity had been arranged, but unfortunately not.

I phoned Ted and he had been to the hospital again as he had been coughing up blood. The doctors told him he shouldn't drive again, but he insists he is going to. I admire his courage, but I am concerned about his health. It made me realise the sacrifice he has made to be my backup driver.

Mum goes into hospital tomorrow for laser treatment. When I went to bed, I closed my eyes and imagined mum telling me that she has been given the all clear. I once read that imagination is the greatest force on Earth. Well I hope the person who wrote those words is right.

September 21st 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 25.5
Total miles run 2862.2
From Alloa to Linlithgow
Map of run

The weather was wet, but there was no wind. I covered 15 miles on the first run and then marked up. Paul drove us to Falkirk where we visited the Imperial Cancer Research charity shop and did some fundraising. Paul gave out leaflets telling people about my run, which worked well as we collected a lot of donations. A lady, who seemed very sad, approached me and said it was a privilege to know someone like me. I was very touched and gave her a hug but that just made us both emotional. The lady had lost someone close to her. Again it is moments like this that remind me of the importance of this run, but at the same time I get annoyed that I could help so many more people if the national media got hold of my story.

I phoned mum and the wonderful news is that everything went well and there is nothing cancerous. I also phoned Ted and he was feeling a lot better, which is wonderful news too.

Some of the hotels in Northern Ireland haven't replied to my letter asking for free accommodation so I have to phone them, which is costing a small fortune.

September 22nd 1989, Friday
Miles run today 25.1
Total miles run 2887.3
From Linlithgow to Musselburgh
Map of run

It was raining when I set off from Linlithgow. I took the B9080 and then the A90 into Edinburgh where I did some fundraising. The weather was so bad that I hardly raised anything as people were in a rush to get under cover. After a couple of hours I began the second run and headed for Musselburgh. It wasn't an enjoyable run today so I was glad to finish. We got free accommodation at the Windlestrae Hotel in Kinross. Tomorrow I meet up with Stewart Cronnie from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. An arrangement had been made for some runners to run with me on a circular route from Kinross, around Loch Leven to Glenrothes and back.

We had free accommodation at the Windlestrae Hotel in Kinross and heard the news on television that the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bombed the Royal Marines barracks in Deal, killing about eleven. Bombing and killing will never bring peace. Talking will! I hope these people see the error of their ways one day.

September 23rd 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 28.8
Total miles run 2916.1
From Kinross to Glenrothes and back again
Map of run

I met Stewart Cronnie from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund at an arranged place in Kinross at 9 a.m. We stood around for awhile and then Stewart said, 'Have you got the feeling no one is going to turn up?' It turned out that no one did turn up and I was really annoyed. I have been in Scotland nearly two months and had been promised by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Scotland that all the publicity would be arranged, but apart from a television news reporter at the border, a radio interview and a few local news reports, nothing else had been organised. I am deeply disappointed with their efforts and today just sums up their lack of support for me.

Rather than stand around and do nothing, I decided to do the run anyway. It was a nice sunny day and it made running a lot easier. I ran along the A911 and did some fundraising in Glenrothes. Then I returned via the B921 and the B9097 which was a total of 28.8 miles. I felt really tired when I finished and upset that events didn't go as planned today.

Picked up Ted from the railway station and it was nice to see him again. We got free accommodation at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh. I entered my room, sat on the bed and sobbed. I feel so shattered that I just wonder how long I can keep going. The effort of running on average 25 miles a day every day, the phone calls, the letters, having to find accommodation, in fact doing everything, it is all too much now. I'm just tired of doing it day in day out. I know I shouldn't feel sorry for myself because I have chosen to do this run, but I am so, so exhausted.

September 24th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 27.2
Total miles run 2943.3
From Musselburgh to West Barns near Dunbar
Map of run

Paul left for London and Ted and I set off from Musselburgh. It was a lovely day so I felt better both physically and mentally. I ran to North Berwick in the morning and we looked for accommodation, but unfortunately it was a golfing weekend so we weren't lucky enough to find a place. I started the second run and headed for Dunbar. The weather was superb and the scenery really nice. We managed to get free accommodation at the Redheugh Hotel.


September 25th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 27.5
Total miles run 2970.8
From West Barns near Dunbar to Burnmouth
Map of run

It was a windy day so it made running difficult. I very nearly got knocked over when the wind blew really hard. There were no towns on route today so we had no opportunity to fundraise and I doubt anyone would venture out in this weather anyway. By the time I ran over 27 miles and reached Burnmouth, I was very tired. We headed for Berwick on Tweed and managed to get free accommodation at the Turret House Hotel (now a retirement home). I didn't think we would get lucky at this hotel as it only has 13 rooms, but the manager was really helpful.

I got in touch with some more hotels in Northern Ireland and I am glad to say we are now booked up for the entire trip. Only one hotel has charged us and that is the Europa Hotel in Belfast. It is a small fee of £7.50 each and would normally cost £73 each. I phoned Dick Savage of the National Union of Seamen and he told me we can pick up our tickets for the ferry crossing at the Port of Stranraer.


September 26th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 25.5
Total miles run 2996.3
From Burnmouth to Waren Mill
Map of run

On the run today we crossed the border into England and we took photos of each other. I then carried on running until I reached 15 miles and marked up. Ted and I then returned to Berwick on Tweed by van to meet a reporter and have a photo taken. I had contacted the local press last night and they agreed to meet us. Ted then fundraised and I went shopping for any last bits we needed for our trip to Northern Ireland. Later I continued running along the A1 until I reached a total of 23 miles and then turned off onto the B1342. I was really pleased to get off the A1 as the traffic had sped along at an alarming rate. After completing a total of 25 miles at Waren Mill I marked up. I used extra spray paint on the mark as I need it to last at least the two weeks we are going to be in Northern Ireland.

I rang Jane Arnell from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London and she told me the Belfast Telegraph will meet us in Larne on our arrival in Northern Ireland.

We had trouble finding a hotel but got lucky at the Buccleuch Hotel in Hawick, Roxburghshire.


September 27th 1989, Wednesday
No running

We set off from our hotel in Hawick at 7 a.m. for our drive to Stranraer. We made good time and got there by 11 a.m. We had a meal at the Bar Pazzerello and met up again with the manager Romano Petrucci. We had met Romano previously when we came to Stranraer before. Later we went along to Sealink to pick up our free tickets and waited for our crossing at 3.30 p.m. The Ferry wasn't packed with people so it was an enjoyable and relaxing crossing. We arrived at Larne at 6 p.m. and waited for a reporter from the Belfast Telegraph, but he failed to turn up so we headed straight for the Magheramorne House Hotel. I was given a message at the reception desk from Mike Gaston from BBC News telling me they would film us tomorrow.

So tomorrow we begin another part of the run. I'm looking forward to meeting the people of Northern Ireland and also running around the country. I am sure things will go well for us.

Ted and I spoke today about how disappointing it has been that we haven't raised more money for cancer research. I feel we have tried out best but without the national media coverage, people were not aware of the run. When we do meet people they always ask, 'Why haven't we heard about you before.' I wish the Imperial Cancer Research Fund had helped more, especially with arrangements prior to us reaching a town or city. My only excuse for them is that they are not used to organising an event like my run. Terry Fox had the same problem on his run across Canada but he eventually got help from Leslie Scrivener, a newspaper reporter. Terry's run eventually raised over 23 million dollars and has since raised so much more through people running fun runs in his honour.

Northern Ireland

September 28th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 24.1
Total miles run 3020.4
From Larne to Belfast
Map of run

I started running from the Ferry Terminal, corner of Fleet Street in Larne at 9 a.m. I felt a bit apprehensive as I'm not sure how the people of Northern Ireland are going to react to the run. The ' Troubles' may well be all consuming and the last thing they need is a crazy woman running around Northern Ireland and demanding money for cancer research. After fifteen minutes of running along the A8 a car pulled over and a young man gave us £5. That showed us that the people of Northern Ireland were strong enough to deal with the conflict and generous enough to give too our cause.

We arrived in Belfast at 2.30 p.m. by the City Hall after having stopped for lunch on the way. The BBC crew turned up shortly after and Mike Gaston introduced himself. He got the crew to film me running and raising funds and then he and I did an interview. My only disappointment was that he didn't include Ted in the interview as I feel he would put across our cause very well. Mike Gaston though was a very good interviewer as he made me feel relaxed. He said he would try and help us more. I hope he does. His mother died of cancer so he is keen to help.

Tonight we stayed at the Europa Hotel in Belfast. I found out after booking in, that the hotel has been bombed on a number of occasions. I thought that was very comforting as I went to my room. In the evening I went out to post a letter and the post boxes had a metal flap on them to restrict the posting to letters only. In the past, there had been parcel bombs sent, so hence the reason for the flap.

Tomorrow we are to do a radio interview at Downtown Radio in Newtownards. I will make sure they involve Ted.


September 29th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 22.8
Total miles run 3043.2
From Belfast to Comber
Map of run

Ran through Belfast toward Bangor on the A2 and on the way, many people had seen the news report on television and gave us donations. Quite a few gave £5 and we raised £40 on the road. After I reached 15 miles I marked up and we headed for Newtownards and Downtown Radio. The presenter only wanted to interview me but I insisted I wanted Ted involved. They agreed which was great. We got over that the run was about raising as much money as we can for cancer research. I started the interview, then Ted came in and I finished it off, but on the final bit I got emotional and couldn't talk anymore. All the frustrations at not raising as much money as we hoped and not getting enough national media coverage got to me and I was too upset to talk. Ted took over bless his heart and by the time he finished talking I was composed enough to finish off.

After lunch we returned to where I had marked up and I ran along the A21 finishing off the run in Comber. We returned to Belfast as we had free accommodation at the Stormont Hotel.

As I reflected on today's events, I couldn't help but think that the run will soon be over and that it hasn't achieved anything like I hoped.


September 30th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 24.4
Total miles run 3067.6
From Comber to Clough
Map of run

The manager, Walter Fallon of the Stormont Hotel spoke to us at breakfast and said he is really impressed with what we are doing. He was really nice and wished us all the best for the rest of the run. All food and accommodation had been given to us free and all we had to pay for was the phone calls.

People on the road were terrific. Two people gave us £10 each and four others £5 each. We then raised money in Downpatrick and had a really good response. A traffic warden approached us and told us there is a race meeting today, so after an hour we headed for Downpatrick Racecourse. A lot of people said they had seen us on television but they also asked why we are not getting any newspaper coverage. I wish I knew! I cannot understand the lack of support from national newspapers.

I finished running along the A25 at the village of Clough having run over 24 miles. We got free accommodation at the Burrendale Hotel in Newcastle, County Down and headed straight there.

The people of Northern Ireland have really shown they care about our cause. A young girl at the hotel reception told me her sister, who is only 16 years old, has just undergone her fifth course of chemotherapy. She is very hopeful her sister will be cured of the disease. I really hope so too.




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