The beginning…

I think everyone considers or completes one major fundraiser in their life. This is mine…

I thought about a skydive (I’m terrified of flying) or hiking the Great Wall of China or a million other ideas, but I didn’t want people to begrudge sponsoring me for something they’d love to do themselves. I decided if there wasn’t a challenge out there, why not create one myself.

And so… in September 2017 I will be embarking on the Coast 2 Coast route. This popular 190-plus mile challenge is tackled in several days on bike, or in about 12 days on foot.

I’m taking it one step further and aim to complete it in six days… and my last 13.2 miles (plus however far the hotel is from the start!) will be the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields on day seven. I think – and exact timings, routes etc are yet to be confirmed – it will be about 195 miles in total. Route above is very rough and yet to be confirmed following expert guidance! Admittedly this is a slight bastardisation of the traditional route, but one I’m sure Wainwright would approve of, given the circumstances.

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I will be walking/running more than a marathon a day. Some days as many as 35 miles. It won’t be fun. It won’t be enjoyable. But I figured a challenge shouldn’t be fun! I’m going to be pushing myself to my limit in the hope that you will dig deep and donate to the Brain Tumour Charity, a cause which is so underfunded and so under-researched.

400,000,000 to one.

Those are the chances of two siblings having a brain tumour. It’s also the snappy title of the fantastic blog by the inimitable Rach.

She, and her brother Graeme, are the reason behind Heads Up! 2017.

Ten years ago last October, Graeme Turner lost his battle with a brain tumour.

In the worst twist of life possible, one month before the Turner family marked this heartbreaking anniversary in September 2016, his younger sister, his only sibling, Rachel was diagnosed with a brain tumour of her own. 400,000,000 to one.

If ever you need proof of the sheer irrationality of life and the goddamn unfairness of it all, then her family is it.

And yet despite this, they go on.

Despite going from a grade 2 tumour and the chance of years to spend with her children despite the terminal prognosis, to a grade 3 tumour and the fear to even ask about life expectancy.

Despite spending Christmas with her one-year-old boy and four-year-old girl knowing that every memory needs to last them a lifetime.

Despite her parents facing their own personal hell for a second time.

Despite all this, Rach, her husband, her ‘rents, the children and their amazing circle of friends and family manage to get up each day and carry on.

This is for them.

And so any sponsorship (monetary and otherwise), help or advice will be greatly appreciated. Click here to sponsor me!

Here goes nothing!

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