October 17 – Oh wow we’ve been planning for 18 months.
I can’t quite believe it’s been 18 months since I dreamt-up this crazy expedition to run a marathon in every country in the world.
We have come a long and it’s all thanks to the team. Everyone that knows me will know I am actually pretty content doing things on my own, and quite like my own company. BUT, this project needed people. People that were excited by the trip, helpful, and genuinely cared about the ‘why’. I’m very privileged to say that this is exactly what I have. Thank you everyone.
Lot’s of people ask me, are you going on your own or will you have a team? The answer is yes. I am going on my own and I also have a team. 6 months into planning the expedition I realised there was simply too much to do and I needed help. From there, it snowballed even further. If you want to check out more about the team there will be a blog post very soon. You can read all about who they are, what they do, and how great they are.
THANK YOU – We’ve already raised over £9000 and I’ve not even left yet. But we need more help from lots more generous people if I’m going to hit the £250,000 target.
No doubt you already know that this expedition is all to raise much needed funds for Prostate Cancer UK. My target of £250,000 will be hit, it’s just a matter of when. And I need your help to hit it fast. Please give what you can. As of a month ago, we have launched the official Just Giving Page for Expedition Running The World 196. HERE. This is where you can give directly to Prostate Cancer UK throughout my expedition. Please share the story with friends, family, and … just share it with anyone.
The plan has always been to raise some cash to get me to the start line. The idea is that we ask for support to raise funds via Go Fund Me to make the trip possible. We needed considerable support. I am pleased to say we’ve had some generous support from individuals and companies around the world. We have managed to scrape enough cash together to pay for the first phase of flights, visas, accommodation and food. I would also just like to point out that I am also using up every penny I have, and some that I don’t have to make everything possible. Having personally invested over £80,000 already, we still have a way to go. But it’s thanks to everyone else that will truly make it possible.
With help from clothing companies like Do Running, kits companies like Life Venture, and Osprey 85% of the kit I need is more or less together. I will be posting over the next few weeks about the various different elements of kit and the way in which I’ll be managing it while I’m away. Once again a big thank you to Pulsin who are providing considerable nutritional support.
What’s been going on over the last month?
There’s been a few significant developments which have ticked off a few more things on the seemingly endless to do list:
Let me introduce you to my fantastic new management agency. Tom and Sam at Red Monkey Collective are great blokes within a great agency. I’m not one to blow smoke, but they’re bloody great… and such I’ve now entrusted the future success of this expedition to them. They will keep an eye on my commercial negotiations and get people, companies and media involved throughout the 550 day trip. You can find Red Monkey HERE… I’m lucky to be along side some great athletes like Sophie, Ross and Gemma. Check them out HERE.
The production of Running The World 196 takes on various different forms, and involves a wide range of highly talented people. An initial doc will be launched to the world through a brilliant midlands based production company called Spark Media. We’ve had a good relationship for some time now. I am pleased to announce that a small Bristol based duo at Touchpaper Productions are supporting Spark Media by producing some short training videos with clips of the planning stages of the trip. Some content will be used in the 90 minute doc and some we’ll release later in the year. A big thanks to both Spark and Touchpaper for collaborating and helping the overall project. I spent the day with Sam and James shooting some training clips last week. Both of which are brilliant photographers and videographers. It was a pleasure to learn some of their techniques too.
Somerset Designs have sponsored £6,500 and waiving a substantial amount of the cost for my new website design. Despite having some skills and developing my own site for the past few years, it was time to let go, time to hand it to the professionals. With increased traffic, and the need for an interactive central hub for everything to do with #RunningTheWorld196 Somerset designs have kindly taken on the task of producing an elegant site. This will be home to all the details surrounding the expedition, such as a user friendly timeline, multi layered world map, a schools portal, and you’ll be able to see where I am and even leave messages throughout the trip. It’s difficult to explain, but give it a few weeks and the website will be up and running to see for yourself.
A big event in the last couple of weeks was spending time with most of the team members to share information and align various members with others. This was the first time the majority of the team got together like this, and it was really successful. Thanks to DS-48 for hosting the day in their lovely penthouse office in Moorgate. I was joined by the legendary Ali my PA, Scott and Bonny from Spark Media who will be producing the documentary, the security team lead by Adam and the brilliant Tessy, Maz from Universal Visas who are sorting all of my visas for me, Laura and Amelia from Premier Foundation who are organising over 180 school visits in the next 2 years, and Tom my Agent. Thank you guys. Having you all there to understand the pieces of the puzzle was great. It was helpful to align those who are looking after me with people who will be getting me into countries. Similarly, it was important to align my agent with my PA and Premier Foundation.
There have also been some additions to the team lately other than Touchpaper and Red Monkey. Evie Serventi has kindly donated her time and expertise as my Psychologist for the next 18 months and will no doubt be witness to numerous phone calls of tears and fears. This element of the trip is no the fun part, but with someone like Evie involved I will have an out, someone to speak to in a time of need that is detached from family or friends whom I can rely on. Thanks Evie.
Sunnto and Pulsin
Sunnto and Pulsin have also been key players in Running The World 196 planning. Sunnto has provided me with a number of watches to keep track of every mile run, and Pulsin, as I’ve said previously, have provided some great nutritional bars and snacks which I’ll be taking out with me. I love to promote brands that support me, not because they ask but because I want to, and Sunnto and Pulsin are two companies that I really believe in. I use the Pulsin bars all the time, even just normal day to day, and the Sunnto watch will have a full review soon, but likewise… I use day to day. A great interface.
New Balance Launch
Besides from the usual hectic day to day planning, the constant trips to London, the various speaking gigs and fitting in the not so interesting stuff like spreadsheets and meetings to talk about sponsorship, there’s been a few more exciting things going on too.
If you follow my Instagram, manofpsort, you will know that the Nevis tourism board and I have teamed up. I will be providing some reviews of the islands in the Caribbean, some trail routes, triathlons, hotels etc… and obviously it’s a great opportunity on many fronts; I get to meet some of the most friendly people in the world, see lovely places and be in the sun, but there’s an extra special reason. The Schools. I’ll talk more about this over the coming months, but briefly, I want to say thanks to CEO of the St Kitts and Nevis tourism board Greg for linking me up with some of the schools on the island. Connecting with kids all over the world is a big passion and something which is prominent in my nonprofit. A separate blog post about this is coming soon.
Prostate Cancer UK Talk
It was a real privilege to speak at the PCUK annual get together in Shoreditch last week. This was actually on the same night as the New Balance launch event at The Village Underground, So just a short trot up the road after speaking at PCUK. Although I stood up and said a few words about my expedition it was so eye opening hearing about the science and where the money goes. Not only did I learn about the different types of prostate cancer but I also met and chatted to so many great supporters of the charity. Naturally Kev was there, and hearing how much he’d raised and through various different methods was amazing. So many great people in one room, and I was there too. Lucky. Thanks to the PCUK team and CEO Angela for all the support so far.
Do Running Video
As you can see there’s been plenty going on in these few weeks and it doesn’t stop there. I met up with two more of the Do Running and Pro Direct team in Bristol to record and shoot some of the final touches to the new Do Running promotional video. It will be out soon so keep one eye on their website. It already looks amazing. Credit to the editors and film makers. What a great video. Watch this space
Speaking at Royal Alexander
Something which is becoming more and more regular in my calendar is speaking in schools, I seem to be visiting schools every week at the moment. I love it. The kids… well, they weren’t kids, they were 6th formers, kept me on my toes with some great questions. Really enjoyed speaking to the 200 or so folk about my up coming challenge. I had about 15 offers of accommodation around the globe, so thanks everyone. A great school and a great day.
What do you do when you can’t run?
Relax in Crete is the answer. Crete was going to be a nice break with some training. I was planning to run every morning for 10 or so miles just to get my legs and more importantly my foot back in shape before heading to Dublin for the Marathon. But my broken foot wasn’t quite done tormenting me yet. I can walk, I can stand and I can feel very little pain, but if I start to run my body can’t help but limp and hurt. So a week to get my body back in gear wasn’t quite what happened. I did though have a relaxing time in the sun. Swimming, exploring, some photography, and amazing food and people. Another example of how wonderful the world is. Thanks Crete.
Writing this in the Airport in Bristol having just flown back from Crete, I have about 4 hours until I fly to Dublin to attempt the marathon in the morning. I haven’t run for 6 weeks, which is the longest time I’ve been off my foot… over 4 years. I must say it’s a little bit of a gamble. We will see. Sleep on the plane, get to the hostel and then sleep until about 06:45. Eat, painkillers, bib on and then hope for the best. Thank to Pro Direct and Asics for providing me with the place. As always between you, you always do a great job. Cheers
So one last reminder to end this post. Please continue to follow me on social, and share this post and others on Facebook. Remember the priority is to raise £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. So please give where you can HERE
If you want to support me directly please give to my Go Fund Me page. We only have 70 days until I embark on my 550 day expedition.
I am excited, scared, and my fingers are crossed that my foot survives tomorrow and then holds up for at least the next 2 years. So many great things to come.
Check out some of the latest photos of my various trips here.
If you want to send me a message and get involved in the trip in any way please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out Instagram https://www.instagram.com/manofsport/