July 8th 2016


This blog is divided up into 2 sections…

What is happening at the moment post run.

The results from the fundraise and 2015 run in terms of where the money has gone and what it has been used for.

Plans for 2016/7 HNT year…will be blogged later tonight!!!

So…having completed the 26 marathons I was in having an assessment 2 days later…full check to ensure I was ok. Nothing to worry about…only 5 lbs lost and some body fat, otherwise all ready to go again in the studio with Simon from SPfit. His regime had certainly worked…LOTS of strength training rather than huge mileage in preparation for the run; LOADS of stretching pre and post run days, and PLENTY of encouragement! Thank you Simon…I would never have survived the 26 days without your help!

The plan now is to taper off gently but to remain flexible, strong and motivated over the summer…then another assessment early in September when the new challenges will be looked at and the training regime set in place.

I ran a 10K last Thursday…3 days post run…oh my word! If I had not been watching the tennis on the screen in front of me, I would have given up…it goes to show that if you set your mind to run, even if really tired and on day 26 of 26 marathons, you will do it; but if there is no need to carry on…motivation slips and you can give up so easily!!

Another 3 days off to get over a chesty cold, and then back to SPfit studio and personal training today with Simon. REALLY need some one to one sessions to get back into the studio and regain strength…so again, thank you Simon for making me laugh when it hurts and giving the right input just at the right times so that my drive does not slip.

As for my diet…well, that never changed during the run except that I ate like a horse! Need to cut down on the cake now tho otherwise I will never do the challenges set for 2017!!

Knees and neck…well; nothing too serious; just inevitable repercussions from previous injuries and neck break last year. All settled down now…the key is to strengthen areas as much as possible over the following few months. The run certainly has not had a negative impact on anything thankfully!

LAST YEAR 7 marathons in 7 days…and the start of HNT. I was going to fundraise for just 1 year for the preschool groups, but the response was enormous from parents all over the UK and beyond. They felt it was something that should be built upon in future years and the figures said it all too…

Within the initial 3 months, I had seen a local county councillor about HNT just asking for his support. I asked if he would visit Dorchester Opportunity  Group and see their financial difficulties and why I was fundraising.

This he did, and literally within a few hours of seeing how desperate the group was in terms of funding and supporting the children and their families,  he had been to speak to Children’s Services and had OVERTURNED £17,000 of cuts that was about to happen to that group! WOW!!! That was all because I waved a leaflet about my newly set up Trust at him!

The Fundraising…well, £10,000 is about to be given to the 4 Opportunity Groups any time now from last years run. Somerset Community Foundation took on my accounts last year and are also able to match-fund monies going to Somerset SEN groups. They will continue to be dealing with the finances, the next financial year for HNT being from September 30th. I also have Charity status through them…see their charity number on the leaflets and website!

I also had about £3,000 from the fundraising going towards expenses…initial outlay for t-shirts, banners, leaflets, and advertising. HOWEVER…these resources are all recyclable and so the expense was not needed this year!

SO…2015 brought in at least £30,000 if you include the cuts that were overturned…HUGE thank you to all involved!

Pete Edwards also became really the other 1/2 of HNT from July last year, taking on the website, designing the leaflets, helping me at events, promoting HNT and basically just being there on a daily basis. HNT would not be still going if it was not for his amazing drive and input; ensuring that my vision for a better deal for the SEN kids and their families actually happens. SO…THANK YOU!!!

INTO 2016…

The plans for the 26 back:back marathons had been set in stone back in September 2015. ALL I had to do was to “wing it” somehow!!!

The reason…so that HNT could be seen all over the SW region, spreading the word about what it was about and engaging others to help fundraise. I also wanted everyone to think more about what SEN is about…spreading awareness about how to access information and therefore ensuring people had better tools when it came to communicating with those with SEN.

I was really thrilled when others came on board and promoted HNT and also did mad things to help raise money for HNT…if you see my Just Giving Page on the website you can see some of the fundraisers, but schools, individuals, runners, MPs, children, churches, and more all helped in whatever way they could.

Businesses sponsored individual run days, had buckets in their shops, and one is even giving 10% of their profits to HNT over their financial year. Carnival committees invited me to collect during processions for HNT, the Rotary Club that I belong to…along with Mayors and Town Criers have all been so supportive, and locals in the community have donated into the HNT pots, fed me on my run days, and ensured that the word of HNT was spread.

I was donated my GPS tracker, thanks GPS Tracker Shop…which logged every movement and mileage during each day on the computer screen which was checked every few moments down in Southampton or on his various gadgets by Pete…driving the support car. It certainly worked as when I pressed the alarm accidently on day 1, Glenn from Jurassic Auction House who had also been watching the tracker immediately rang to see what was going on…Thank you to both for being so “on the ball!”

My kit was donated by Running Free, Whey porridge by Give it Some OOmf, and go pro by Jurassic Auction House.

I cannot also thank Dave from Diamond Images enough for his input…he spent hours out of his own time coming up from Poole and taking amazing photos…we will put them in a gallery for all to see in the near future. AND, like Pete and I…Dave takes no wage or even expenses from HNT so HUGE thanks!!

FROM AN AWARENESS CAMPAIGN ANGLE…this year has been amazing. Schools and businesses have asked me to visit in the near future and talk about HNT, why I started it and what the SEN children across the counties and their families need in the future.

AS FOR THE MONIES RAISED…I will only know once accounts are in at the end of September. The 4 Opp Gps will be applying for this money and then will use it for very specific resources that the SEN children can use. MORE on what it has been used for will be posted later once they know just how much money is coming their way!

I am hoping to have raised MORE than in 2015, but for that to happen ….


PLEASE carry on spreading the word, direct folk to the website and continue to donate. There are lots of ways to do this and of course there is still time to do a fundraising event however small!

Son William, just 13, has completed nearly 35 miles with me on my runs and has his own Just Giving Page…he is ONLY a few pounds away from his target so PLEASE make his day and donate via his page!! It would make him feel so good!

PLANS for 2016/17…

THESE WILL BE BLOGGED LATER TONIGHT FOR ALL To SEE, so do watch the website and twitter feeds. It will be an exciting year involving the children themselves, schools, businesses, local communities, sports men and women, and HOPEFULLY some faces that MANY of you will recognize!

REMEMBER…in the 2016/17 year if you work with SEN children and their families in Dorset and Somerset, you can apply to myself/HNT for funds from the years campaign!

Visit http://www.hiddenneedstrust.org for contact details, see what’s happening and see how you could help Hidden Needs Trust and children with Special Educational Needs



July 5th 2016

WELL…the last day! I cannot believe that nearly a month has gone by since I started the run…time has gone so quickly and yet some of the days have seemed so long and hard!

Today started with 6 miles and then off to Cerne Abbas …Abbotts Tearooms for breakfast and to also meet with Cerne Brewery…both sponsored me massively last year and it was great to catch up again!

Then…on to do the next 20 miles or so across the fields…in a nutshell, got lost, was chased by herd of cows, needed retrieving in the support car…and then finally arrived at Bishops Caundle. dsc_0028ed

With Dave loitering near the primary school with cameras at hand, the staff came out to see who he was…when he explained they were fully on board. I went into the school, found the whole school finishing lunch and did an ad hoc mini talk with the children and staff re HNT. Brilliant…all engaged and then a prayer from them to help me on my way! AND…another school enjoying the sudden interruption to their normal day and wanting me back before the end of term!

Leaflets again going to another set of parents…good!

On for the final few miles and glad of the support on the way as sadly there was a car slowly following with a man and camera to hand…last day and I was being followed! What a shame…but I was always at risk of some one  following for the wrong reasons.

BUT…arrived in Sherborne to the sound of pipes and lots supporting…thank you to all!


I do so appreciate all the support…the whole campaign has been a huge success as SO many schools have been proactive and have come on board for the next year…thank you!!

More to come in the next few days with photos and plans for 2016/7

but for now…BBQ finished and bed soon needed…


July 4th 2016

Day 25 of the run

Day sponsored by Dimond Images…who ALL of the SW knows and who has been so supportive! MOST of the images you will see on the 2016 run picture gallery [put on the website later this month] are his!!!

Support driver and photographer today was Dave accompanied by his fiancé Donna…huge thank you to both!

Pete as usual was at the end watching the computerised tracker readings, which amazingly show everything from mileage, where I am, miles per hour, and more. Again, huge thanks to you, P!

From The Wishing Well, Upwey…up around the villages and on towards Maiden Castle and then to Dorchester Opportunity Group to meet the children, staff, trustees, and Mayor!

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AND…this is what it is all about…seeing the children and getting a greater understanding of what they need in terms of preschool interventions. The Opportunity Groups are absolutely vital to the lives of these children and their families…HNT aims to support them to help the children reach their full potential.

It also gives me an idea of where the funds that the Opportunity Groups receive go, how much more funding is required, and where this extra funding would be used…in the short and long term.

The children were so enthusiastic…they had made a wonderful banner and flags, and were very keen to chat…trying on my glasses, getting me to hoola hoop with the Mayoress, and being even more interested in having their photos taken by Dave. One little boy, as soon as the camera appeared, automatically cried out…”cheese” and gave a big grin!!

The photos in the gallery, once published later in the month, will show just how lovely these children are and show that, despite their disabilities [ some of which are obvious; many of which are “hidden”] they all can achieve!  We all can play a part in ensuring that this happens by donating and learning what SEN is about so that we can support them in the future.

Onwards after lunch towards Bincombe, Broadway, Nottington, Buckland Ripers, and then back to the Wishing Well. The tracker stated 25.1 miles at the end of the run today….Dave nearly threw me out of the car coming home when he heard to complete the last 0.9 mile! AND…so Dave of Diamond Images…rather than be accused of not completing the full 26.4 miles of a marathon today…I have now done so in Sherborne!!!!!!

In Sherborne, little voices and excited girls from Leweston appeared again…thank you girls for the encouragement and natter! They had been a part of the group running down the drive when I set off on DAY 13 of the run from their school. It is lovely to see such confident children just automatically coming and starting a conversation about how HNT is going etc. Confidence is something that many children with SEN lack sadly…HNT help is not just about helping them with education but also about them feeling positive within.

SO…another 26 .4 miles conquered today…tomorrow the very last marathon. On the website it states that I am starting at 10.30 from Cerne Abbas and covering 17.5 miles. WELL…this has changed and I will be covering a further 9 miles in the morning at least prior to breakfast at The Abbotts Tearoom in Cerne!!!

This will mean a total mileage over the 26 days of nearing 700…come to the end of the run at 2pm, top Cheap St tomorrow and join in the fun, donate, and see ACTUAL breakdown of daily mileage and total for yourselves!


July 3rd 2016

Day 24 of the run

Day sponsored by The Cricketers, Shroton

Another early start with the 2 youngest children in tow and Pete driving the support vehicle. I was so glad as I awoke to inflamed glands, a sore throat, and generally feeling full of cold. I think a mixture of a summer cold and tiredness is paying its toll now and I am so looking forwards to a day without having the pressure of a marathon and fitting it around normal home life.

So…Hambledon Hill, followed straight on to Hod Hill…which were pretty tough but the sun was out!!! As per usual, I decided to clamber up the steep unmarked path to get the best views from Hambledon, avoiding the official gates and tracks. At the top there were cows plus young calves, and so not running I made my way through carefully, florescent jacket in hand not wanting to scare them.

AND, thank goodness I did as when I reached the far side and gates a large poster displayed…BEWARE; BULL IN FIELD!

Not wanting to chance an encounter with the bull, I quickly ensured my return route would avoid the beast…but this probably would mean a bit of a detour.

As Diamond Images and partner said later…”You would have run really fast tho wouldn’t you!” …thanks you two!!

On to Child Okeford for a quick drink, then on towards Sutton Waldron and Fontmell Magna.. A lunch stop was needed so the finding of the village pub was a relief. [The FONTMELL] As the support car parked, the manager of the pub started to be interested in the logos …leaflets were given and after a long chat about his son with Downs Syndrome, he was enthusiastic to take a mound of leaflets to the 2 schools his children went to…Yewstock School and Clayesmore School.. With his help I am sure that I could help them fundraise for HNT, and maybe deliver assemblies and workshops in the autumn term. A really good day therefore today re spreading the word about HNT and finding 2 other schools with different ideas on how to educate SEN kids.

The pub itself is gorgeous…modern and olde worlde combined, the food is superb and a wonderful menu. A must to go back to for more than just soup!

On to the second 1/2 of the day…retracing my steps but this time avoiding the bull at the top of Hambledon.

A HUGE thank you to The Cricketers who not only took the leaflets but put them out on each table, displayed the poster for the day, and then have said that they will donate a meal for 4 [before 25th September] into an HNT auction…so let me know your bids by the end of August!!!

A good day despite my not being on top form…hoping to feel a little better tomorrow when I will be in Dorchester. Do see the run route for DAY 25…the penultimate day…for details and come and join me on the route.


July 2nd 2016

Day 23 of the run

Day sponsored by Keith Foy and Spfit-Sherborne

I arrived at the studio dreading today…day 23 and I was due to run with SPFit’s running club who were all good runners and of course fresh, unlike me who is not an endurance runner and tired!

I was plastering my feet up ready and felt emotionally and mentally exhausted, almost in tears at the thought of the run, and facing one of the fastest runners of the group! Oh dear…how to look stupid rather quickly!! BUT, kind words from Simon of SPFit, and stern words from Diamond Images who had come along to take more superb photos had a positive effect! Of course I would complete today…physically I was running in autopilot even if mentally I felt a bit down. My legs would do the work even if negativity had set in…after all, that was what all the months of training was there for!

Tony, the runner with me at the start was also aware that my pace had to be THE pace…and in fact it was son William aged 13 who set the pace in the end. We covered the first 10 miles within 90 mins, with a short drinks break at The Crown Inn, Sherborne. I then set off for the next 10 miles with 3 more of the running club in tow…again making good time in about 90 mins.

This time I stopped for lunch…courtesy of The Crown Inn…delicious…before heading down to SPFit studio to meet the great Matt Miller. He founded Broga, trained my Personal Trainer to put us all through our paces on a Wednesday eve, and is an international bodybuilder! What a lovely man…photos of him and I and William will be on the photo gallery at the end of the run, plus photos of him putting the spfit clients through the gruelling Broga session this afternoon! My third few miles of 8 seemed a lot easier than staying for the Broga…this type of strength yoga is a must for anyone; it has certainly been the hardest part of my training to date!

SO…another 27.5 miles completed…and a lovely day with so much support. Dave and I talked through plans for HNT in 2016/7 over coffee and cakes!!!! before taking my younger boys to Simon’s house for a fantastic BBQ! What a way to celebrate Day 23 of my run…with the man who has been the focus of my training and his lovely wife [and whose studio is celebrating a year of opening!!!], with other SPFit clients who have supported HNT from the start and been fundraising off their own backs, and with the brilliant Diamond Images who has taken on HNT as official photographer. And of course…running again with son Will, who has now racked up nearly 40  miles of running with me!

Thank you all so much…HNT would not be the same without you all…


3 more days and it is over…already 620 miles on the clock!!


July 1st 2016

Day 22 of the run

Day sponsored by Glencairn House, Sherborne

I cannot believe that it is now July and that I set out on this challenge 3 whole weeks ago! So…only 4 days to go!!

I started at Gillingham Station today…and had a lovely send off! The Mayor of Gillingham was there, causing much interest from the Gillingham Primary School children who had joined us. The group of children all had SEN and in particular struggled with speech and language to some degree…just up my street as a Somerset Total Communications Coordinator!

They were such a wonderful group, laughing and joining in the fun, being really interested in myself, Pete who of course had the support car and banner, and the Mayors Chain! They gave me plenty if hugs, have been fundraising with their families and are keen for me to visit the school before the end of term.

ABSOLUTELY…this is just what I would like to do more of; taking assemblies and talking about HNT, why I started it and what it is all about; working with the children and schools so that the children learn more about SEN and therefore have a better understanding about others and ways to communicate with others; working with the children, parents, carers and teachers to find ways of fundraising all together for HNT and determining ways that HNT may be able to help them in the future.

It is vitally important that this next generation of students not only reach their maximum potentials, but also are able to help others less able than themselves to do the same.

Who knows…one day I may just be talking to a child that in the future decides to go into politics and can carry through into that career the motivation to make some positive changes for SEN children!

Back to the run…after a great cheer from the children off I went…to the car for coffee whilst the rain disappeared!

Really hard today to get motivated…everything seemed to hurt and in fact I have slightly pulled a hamstring which is now sore and tender. A bit of a blow at this late stage but I think that after 21 days my whole body is just almost going into shut down…all my joints seem especially tired and now I am looking forwards to Tuesday when I do the final marathon. BUT…onwards and upwards…I still have 4 more days to go after this and these days will be tough ones.

I was chased by big black clouds most of the way back to Sherborne, and in fact got caught several times in the rain, but did survive most of the heavy downpours. Glencairn House gave me a lovely welcome on my return…and the osteopath was even at hand later on if I had needed a tweak or two. Would have loved him to check out my hamstring and back alignment but sadly no time as my Springer needed one final check at the vet! So…a quick sip of water, and then into the car to collect Diddy and off to the surgery again.

HUGE thanks Pete for driving the car again, finding me when I got lost…somewhere between Templecombe and Henstridge!!…tracking every step on the GPS tracker, transporting me to the vets and back at the end of the day, and who is now in Southampton working on the total mileage/mph and other details for the day on the computer from the tracker readings. He does all the technical stuff…I just do the running bit!

Tomorrow…what an exciting day it will be…day 23, some of SPfit Sherborne will be running parts of the marathon with me [as will my 13 year old William!], it is SPfit Sherborne first anniversary and so the amazing Matt Miller [internationally renown Brogan founder and  expert and international bodybuilder] is coming at 2pm to take a brogan session with us all, and then some sort of fun in the SUN!!!! with SPfit to celebrate Simon’s success.

DO look out for us running in loops around Sherborne…donate at The Crown Inn where there will be refreshments all day, come and see Broga at its best at the SPfit studio, and come and make me laugh as I will need cheering up if my hamstring is still this sore! Details of tomorrows run can be seen under the run route under DAY 23!