Over 29 days in October and November I am attempting to circumnavigate the world running six internationally recognised marathons on six different continents. Where this questionable idea originally came from is now somewhat unclear but the cold reality is that I’ve now told too many people to back out. Thankfully the opportunity to expand a school in Lera Town, Ethiopia, provides an incredible motivation to try and succeed in this undertaking. Your help would be hugely appreciated. If you want to know more about what I’m doing, why and the how you can support read on…or failing that just click on donate. Thank you!
The intercontinental challenge that is Phileas Jogg (think planes rather than trains and trainers rather than tweed) commences on the 7th October in Buenos Aires at South America’s biggest marathon. Via Chile and New Zealand I then find myself lining up in Melbourne on 14th October in Oceania’s most well attended dose of 26.2 miles.
From there Asia beckons and, via Bangkok, the stifling heat of Jordan at the Amman Marathon on Friday 19th October. The heat though should put me in good stead for Kenya and the Nairobi Marathon on Sunday 28th October. What it won’t prepare me for is 5,500 feet of altitude and the thought of lining up against the greatest marathon running nation on the planet.
Thankfully there won’t be time to lick my wounds as I’ll be too pre-occupied by the terrifying reality of having to run another marathon the next day (29th October) in Dublin with only an economy flight via the Middle East by way of recovery.
The challenge then concludes back in the same time zone it all started at the world’s greatest mass participation marathon – New York – on Sunday 4th November. 29 days. Six Marathons. Six Continents. 28,000 miles. 16 inflight meals.
To ensure Phileas Jogg isn’t accused of being a one trick pony there will be a range of further challenges to be attempted between marathons. While these are still being finalised Australia’s Great Ocean Road is due to be cycled, Mount Kenya (Africa’s second highest mountain) to be climbed and New York to be reached on a bicycle from Boston.
You might not get sponsorship value for money like this again.
As I was fortunate enough to get a few weeks off work and having spent a number of years working on London 2012 I felt compelled and inspired to make this time count and concoct my own once-in-a-life-time-challenge for a fantastic cause.
This is not something I will ever be doing again and, while I have run a few marathons previously, all have been with months rather than days or hours to recover. The thought is genuinely scary, not least as the last marathon I did in June took 4 weeks (or about 29 days) before I felt able to run any distance again.
I have though got an incredible reason to be undertaking this. Vicky was someone much loved by many who was killed by a lorry while bicycling to work on the 17th October 2006. Vicky had spent much time in Africa studying water development and part of this time was with the incredible charity Action Aid in Ethiopia. Following her death, through the incredible efforts of friends, family, Action Aid and the community in Ethiopia Vicky’s Water Project was opened in 2010 providing clean running water to over 20,000 people in and around Lera Town, Ethiopia.
Thanks to the funds raised to date, in addition to running water, we have also managed to expand the school to house some of the children that no longer spend their days collecting water. However there is still a desperate shortage of classrooms in the area and for that reason we’re attempting to raise £49,572 to build and equip a further four classrooms and provide the necessary sanitation to help support 2,075 children each year.
Thanks to the enormous generosity of so many it now seems possible that I could raise beyond my initial £10,000 target from Phileas Jogg and make an even more sizable dent in the urgent funding required.
Every penny will make an enormous difference…
£10 can support the construction of new toilets meaning improved sanitation for girls and boys, improving their health and hygiene
£10 can provide the essential building materials needed to construct new classrooms blocks for children in need of an education
£20 could provide a school desk and chair to help improve a child’s concentration and ability to learn
£37 could provide a blackboard and noticeboards for new classrooms at Lera High School
If you want to see exactly what has been achieved to date in Lera Town and where anything you can contribute will be going then please click here.
I am predicting some fairly dark and lonely times on my global running and inflight meal odyssey and would be hugely grateful for any support I can get in providing the motivation and obligation to keep going.
If you are able to sponsor me I would be hugely grateful. Anything will make a difference and my fine employers, as well as granting me the time to take on this challenge, will match your donations (let this be an incentive to give twice as much as you were going to rather than half as much). If you want to build classrooms and buy school tables and chairs then this really is the best money you will spend today.
In addition to this though there is also the opportunity to take on your own Jogg for Lera Town. I have two spots in the London Marathon in April 2013 and ten VIP spots in the Great North Run in September 2013. So if you’re thinking that if this Subo look-a-likee can do six then what’s stopping me doing one or half of one then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any and all support is hugely appreciated. Thank you so much.
If you want to bear witness to my physical disintegration over the course of 29 days then I’m hoping to provide updates on my journey and the various, and no doubt growing, levels of pain. I’ll be looking to try and check in regularly on the blog part on this page as of 2nd October.
In addition, for those on Twitter (new to me too), follow @phileasjogg for a slightly more real time 140 character insight in to the trials and tribulations of the trip.
In both cases any support, abuse, advice and comments are most welcome.