Story

Hello, my name is Simon Whitehouse.

 

This is my dream to run 100 miles non-stop, no sleep, from New York to the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia.

 

This is Simon’s Rocky Road

 

#simonsrockyroad

 

In January 2013 I started writing 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 Philadelphia. It described the training and the 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 less than 4 months.

 

The blog also gave an insight into living with mental health issues.

 

www.simonsrockyroad.blogspot.com

 

I did it to fulfil a childhood ambition. As little boys watching Rocky with my bro, Stephen, we always dreamt of being Rocky Balboa running up the legendary steps. On 28 April 2013, after hypothermia, hallucinations, sun-stroke, sleep deprivation and 29 hours constant forward motion I finally reached those goddamn Rocky Steps. It was my brother’s 40 birthday.

 

You can see the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRoyooiHxNo

 

Why did I do this? 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 really recovered since. Mental illness has crushed half his life; and cast a huge shadow over mine. That goddamn 100 miles of pure pain 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 myself living with that ‘Black Dog’ called depression since our father cruelly and suddenly died.

 

This is why I run for MIND, the UK’s largest mental health charity.

 

INSTAGRAM:

#simonsrockyroad

@simonsrockyroad

 

All the training and the 100 mile run took it’s toll on my body. In October 2013 while training for an attempt to run non-stop from London 175 miles non-stop to Stoke-on-Trent home for Xmas (yep, that’s like 7 marathons non-stop) I ruptured a ligament in my ankle. My running partner, Marathon Mike, went ahead with the 175 mile run while I walked & biked next to him. It took 41 hours non-stop. Our friend Anne also ran her first 50 mile ultra. It was the shortest day of the year with 16 hours of darkness as well as the worst storms in the UK for over 25 years. Again, we went thru hallucinations, hypothermia, emotional breakdowns and sleep deprivation - but we finished it all the goddamn same.

 

You can see the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uux6iUmx2k

 

In March 2014 I had major surgery to reconstruct my ankle and since then I’ve done so much physiotherapy (and quite a lot of crying). During the last few months I’ve been quietly recovering (#quietlyrecovering), and more recently I’ve just sucked it up and began training harder (#shutupandtrain) - all with one goal in mind:

 

To go back to New York and run those 100 miles non-stop to the Rocky Steps in Philadelphia.

 

Y’see, 2 years ago I reached those goddamn Rocky Steps but I did not run all the way. At mile 78, after about 24 hours non-stop running I suffered a complete emotional, physical, mental shutdown. I couldn’t move anymore - I just lay there crying on the lawn of a crumby gas station just outside a goddamn dump called Trenton. I couldn’t move anymore. The pain was too much I swear to God. This is the poignant part for me, the metaphor of life and of human will... when you are lower than your lowest ebb, do you quit or can you just stand up? MILE 78.


Eventually, from somewhere I found the will to stand up. And once I stood up I could move forward again. It was slow and painful but I kept moving forward. I walked maybe 3 hours maybe 7 miles, my thigh splitting open in agony. It was approx. mile 85 when I made the call to cycle the final 15-20 miles so at least we could meet the group of people already waiting for us at The Steps, and that Mike & Janie in our support crew could get back to New York in time for work the next day!

 

So, it’s true, I went the distance. All that way from New York to Philadelphia. I did that 100 miles in 29 hours non-stop, no sleep. We wished my bro a Happy Birthday and we raised a lot of money for MIND. It’s true, I went the distance but because of this'n'that I didn't run all the way. Y’see, I didn’t beat it. I didn’t win. This is what plagues me. This is why I’m going back. I need to run it all the way no matter how hard, no matter how many hours it takes.

 

I’m going back to mile 78 and I'm going to go thru it again. Then I’m going to finish it. No time pressures, no celebrations at the end, no work the next day.

 

If I can’t run I will walk. If I can’t walk I’ll crawl. But mark my words:

 

I WILL BEAT THOSE 100 MILES.

 

This is human nature. We must always advance. We must never give in.

 

This is why I run for MIND - because I know that they will never give in until the stigma of mental illness is broken.

 

MIND will never give up until everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both the support and respect they deserve. In a nutshell, that’s it. MIND is there to help and support my brother when I am not and cannot, and that makes me cry.

 

This is why I run for MIND. 


Keep moving forward – never never never give in,

 

Simon x

Updates 0

Raising money for

Mind - The Mental Health Charity

Mind - The Mental Health Charity

Charity Registration No. 219830

We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We’re here for you. Today. Now. Whether you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis. We’ll listen, give support and advice, and fight your corner.

Raising money for

Run by Mind - The Mental Health Charity

Charity Registration No. 219830

Donations 303

Go Rocky Whitehouse! Keep running for your meaningful cause. We'll always support you! With Love.

Donation by Your DBG Team on 29/04/14

Donation by Anonymous on 02/02/14

Sorry it's late but well done on the Christmas run to Stoke, incredible achievement!

Donation by Tom Finn on 02/02/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Congrats!!!

Donation by katie mitchell on 15/01/14

$100.00

Donation by Martin Spitaler on 11/01/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 06/01/14

$50.00

what an amazing achievement!!

Donation by Caroline James on 03/01/14

Donation by Anonymous on 02/01/14

Very inspiring - well done Simon!

Donation by Pablo Sueiras on 02/01/14

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

You absolute nutter! Amazing effort. Well done. See you very soon. Massive Si Hugs xxx

Donation by adr on 01/01/14

£50.00

+ £12.50 Gift Aid

Well executed, happy new year

Donation by Costas from The Business Fashion on 01/01/14

Amazing achievement!!!

Donation by Charlies mum on 30/12/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Damn fine work. You made it 'appen.

Donation by Rick, Emma, B&J on 29/12/13

well done - extreme achievement i would say, good cause.

Donation by dan whitaker on 29/12/13

£10.00

+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 28/12/13

Well done on such an incredible achievement, mate. You're an inspiration

Donation by Stu on 28/12/13

£15.00

+ £3.75 Gift Aid

Well done!

Donation by Anonymous on 27/12/13

£5.00

+ £1.25 Gift Aid

What you're doing is unbelievable. I am so proud of you. Mental Illness has affected my family also. I am so grateful to people like you. Sorry I cannot afford to donate more.

Donation by Joanna on 24/12/13

Donation by caroline greer on 24/12/13

£50.00

Donation by Anonymous on 24/12/13

Donation by Anonymous on 24/12/13

Donation by Anonymous on 24/12/13

Donation by Anonymous on 24/12/13

Well done guys. Quite incredible. Get eating some turkey!

Donation by D Button on 23/12/13

£50.00

+ £12.50 Gift Aid

Donation by Steph Jackson on 23/12/13

£20.00

+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations$17,891.68
  • Offline donations$0.00
  • Text donations$0.00
  • Total raised$17,891.68
  • Gift Aid$1,825.12

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