On 27th April 2017, I will attempt to run 100 miles non-stop from New York to the Rocky Steps, Philadelphia. That’s approx 4 continuous marathons, non-stop, no sleep, thru the dead of the night. It’s not an organised race. It’s just Simon running solo with a small team supporting with food/water and using google maps for directions!! Estimated time to complete it: 30-36 hours non-stop run/walk forward motion.
WHY DO THIS:
It all began in January 2013... with a blog called “Simon’s Rocky Road”. It described a journey which began with the idea of running 100 miles non-stop from New York to The Rocky Steps in Philadelphia for my brother's 40th birthday. It described the training/diet, and it travelled thru the ups & the downs of what it would take for one over-weight amateur runner, who had never even ran a half-marathon before, to achieve his ambition in 3 months.
The blog also gave an insight into living with mental health issues:
BROTHER'S CHILDHOOD DREAM:
I did it to fulfil a childhood ambition. As little boys watching the Rocky movie with my older & only brother, Stephen, we always used to play fight pretending we were Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed. We used to dream of being Rocky running up the legendary Rocky Steps in Philadelphia, with the da-da-da-da-dah soundtrack in the background!
NYC to Rocky Steps, April 28th 2013:
100 miles, 29 hours:
Exactly 20 years prior to this my bro had had a mental breakdown. He was just 20 years old when it happened and he’s never since recovered. That evil bastard mental illness has crushed half his life; and cast a huge shadow over mine. That goddamn 100 miles of pure pain to the Rocky Steps was my birthday present to him, a chance to raise awareness for mental health, and time to realise our dream. It was a metaphor of our life as brothers. One half of the run in happy daylight sunshine and one half in the cold agonising darkness as we both have grappled with mental illness – my bro after his breakdown (and subsequent schizophrenia) and myself living with that ‘Black Dog’ called depression since our father cruelly and suddenly died in 2006.
In the process of writing the blog hundreds of people wrote to me. Some of whom I knew as friends/family, but the majority - literally hundreds - were people I did not know at all, from all corners of the globe. But no matter where they came from each individual human being was bound by one common thread. Each one was sharing their own experiences of mental health/illness and how it has affected their own life and their family unity. I realised that I was not alone and that helped me a lot. It was, and it still is, a very cathartic process for me and I plan to keep running to the Rocky Steps each year until we raise $1m for MIND.
We’ve raised over $30,000 so far (more when you add offline donations), and just like Mind won’t give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. I won’t stop until I’ve raised $1M to help them do it. I call it Simon’s Rocky Road.
A few weeks ago my bro sent me a rare and spontaneous text message:
“I went to see Mind staff the other day, I miss them, they were like mothers to me."
THIS IS WHY I RUN FOR MIND:
The people of the MIND charity are there for my brother when I am not, and cannot be, and that makes me cry. I know it makes our Mum cry too.
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
- ROCKY BALBOA
MIND WILL NEVER GIVE UP:
until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both the support and respect they deserve.
100 miles, 29 hours, non-stop from New York to the Rocky Steps Philadelphia.
175 miles, 41 hours, non-stop from London to Stoke-on-Trent home for Xmas.
repeat of the 100 miles NYC to Rocky Steps run in 36 hours non-stop thru the night.
repeat of the 100 miles NYC non-stop to Rocky Steps Philadelphia.
To raise awareness of mental health and $1m for the MIND charity.
Many people say to me that $1m is too big a goal.
But I cannot do it alone…
1 in 4 people will suffer a mental illness at some point in their life. Every family knows this. Simon's Rocky Road is not only for my bro, my mum, my dad God bless. It's for your brother, your sister, your mother and your father too...
I have NO SHAME in begging to raise money for Charity. In fact, I am unashamedly begging for your help and sponsorship to raise $1m. SO DONATE NOW. SHARE THIS NOW. WE CAN DO THIS !!! GET OFF YOUR ASS AND HELP US!!!! WE CAN DO THIS.,,,
It takes 2 seconds to share the just giving link.
It takes 5 seconds to make a donation.
What’s your excuse?
Seriously, WE WANT TO RAISE $1m so please GIVE GENEROUSLY and please send this to every person you know - especially the rich & uber wealthy ones!!!! If we are to achieve this big dream then this message needs to go far & wide.
TOGETHER, WE WILL DO THIS.
Keep moving forward,
I have started to blog for the MIND charity. First one here:
IMPORTANT: the people who support in the run, and myself, pay for all costs ourselves. We do this in our spare time, taking holiday from work. All money donated goes 100% to the MIND charity.