June 30th 2016

Day 21 of the run

Day sponsored by Pete Edwards

Today I started and finished in Bridport…my home town once upon a time.

AND today I had son George, 16, with me, Pete driving the support car, and Diamond Images alongside taking his fab photos.

Knee okish…supports on…and off we went to the sound of Bridport Town Crier and the presence of Bridports’ Mayor…thank you so much both for dsc_0006edcoming!…and for the locals who donated their spare change into the buckets.

The run started off for the first 14 miles as a really tough run, taking in Eggardon Hill and its valleys in between; what beautiful views though and so well worth the climbs. George and I were really tired at one point and decided to try Michael Macintyre’s Skipping technique…whoooo…it certainly makes you move faster and is far more fun than running! The only trouble was that I was laughing so much I virtually fell into the hedge alongside…so back to serious running on Dave’s advice!

Powerstock…and the Three Horseshoes Inn…HUGE thanks for the wonderful refreshments and the hospitality. I remember going here on many occasion as a teenager having walked the hills from Bridport so memory lane for me and lovely to introduce the HNT team to my younger life.

Off I then ran alone…George needed a rest, so he , Pete and Dave set off for coffee and cakes….Dave had to go on to another photoshoot in West Milton…Cider!!!!!…but his wonderful photos will be for all to see later this week.

An easier run now with less hills….another 8 miles in and I reached Waytown where the very kind landlord of the Hare and Hounds saved the day by producing drinks and a donation…thank you sir, we will be back. The garden here is worth every second that you can afford, the views are to die for and the food/drinks prices exceptionally good!

On to the final 5+ miles and into SYMONDSBURY estate…where we stumbled across the amazing tea rooms/shop and more…a wonderful find at the end of a hard day. I have to say that I was absolutely shattered…every ounce of me had gone into shut down and I knew that back in Bridport I would need to rest my knee and try to sleep on the way home. The 21 days were catching up with me…only 5 more to go now!

On return and after feeding the family etc…George has said that he is as tired as he has ever been…but well done him as he must have covered 20 miles today!

The tracker has given a reading of 27.3 miles so again over my 26 miles! NO wonder I am rather tired…

Tomorrow…a hard run again from Gillingham home…sponsored by Glencairn House Sherborne…who are out and about to set me off and welcome me home again! Do see their website as they off all sorts treatments!

HUGE thanx as usual to Dave, Pete and my family who are really coping with tired mum each eve;

TO DATE…21 days completed…

ESTIMATED mileage was going to be approx. 546 miles

ACTUAL mileage is 569.3 miles which averages out at 27.1 miles per day!

Rachel

June 29th 2016

Day 20 of the run

Day sponsored by Olivers Coffee House, Sherborne

Guess what…heavy rain predicted yet again and already raining at 7.30….so off to Oxley sports Centre AGAIN to do the run. Fed up as the treadmill really makes my knees sore, and so LOTS strapping required; BUT a better option than getting drenched like I did yesterday. This would not be sensible given the final 6 days ahead which are really tough runs including runs on the coast, and runs with plenty of steep hills such as Hambledon and Hod, the Cerne Giant and Maiden Castle.

A fast 1/2 marathon to start with in under 2 hours…tried to take a photo of the mileage and speed but my camera had run out of memory. The trouble is that, once I stop for a break, I really don’t want to get back on the machine…the thought of pounding a further 14 miles [not 13 as I wanted to cover 27 miles again today to keep up the daily average mileage] is just so horrid! My knees suddenly hurt, my ears don’t want any more music in them, and the motivation just goes. In fact, the motivation to do anything but go home, eat and sleep has gone. AAh…the thought of just chilling for the afternoon watching Wimbledon…a bit of Federa playing our English lad Willis would be far more fun and exciting!!!

BUT…I said I would complete the 27 miles so I did…hating every minute of it but thinking ahead to tomorrow when I run in sunny Bridport. Did I just say SUN! Well, according to the BBC weather, the rain will be coming in off the sea by midday or so tomorrow, sweeping right across Bridport and that bit of the South Coast. I think there have been 5 days tops when I have not had rain….flaming June; well it certainly is that!

BUT…tomorrow the t-shirt will be seen in Bridport and the surrounding villages. I used to live in the town and the support last year from the locals was amazing. I do hope some get out to see the off…from Bucky Doo Square at 9am. You will see the car as it will be parked at times through the day on the square itself. Pete is driving the car again, Diamond Images is coming to take some wonderful pictures, and son George who has just finished his GCSEs will be running with me. We hope to stop in Powerstock for refreshments at the Three Horseshoes Inn…eta = 12.15…before running the final 13 miles back to Bridport… eta = 5ish at Soulshine Cafe.

Do come and join in the fun if you can and throw those bits of loose change into the collecting pots…it will be day 21…then only 5 to go!!!!!

Rachel

June 28th 2016

Day 19 of the run

Day sponsored by Diamond Images

Today…on waking…I was filled with anxiety after yesterdays knee issues. This I felt was going to be possibly the breaking point and end to the run. That would mean disaster as I just want to get as much awareness re the SEN kids and the Opportunity Groups as possible across the 2 counties and beyond, and of course bring in more funds for them.

The weather forecast was fine for the initial couple of hours and then HEAVY  showers; I had no support driver, and I was due to start and end in Shaftesbury…sometimes 13-14 miles away from my car.

Having spoken to others and getting good advice, it was decided that I needed to run locally again, leaving the car at The Oxley Sports Centre. At least this end I knew lots of contacts that could potentially rescue me if necessary and drive me home. Also, if the weather came in really stormy and wet there was then the fall-back of running the last few miles on the treadmill.

Double knee support on, off I went…firstly to call in to see my Personal Trainer Simon…SPfit- Sherborne…and then on towards the outlying villages to Sherborne. If you see the route that I am due to do tomorrow…well, that is what I did today!!

HUGE thank you Simon for getting me fit enough to do this challenge; I am not an amazing endurance athlete that has run marathons for years so he has had his work cut out!

1/2 marathon in and a HUGE thank you to Gail and staff at The White Hart, Bishops Caundle who were surprised to see me a day early, but fed and watered me well!

If you have not been there…it is a lovely pub, full of atmosphere, great food, and able to cater for all ages and numbers of people. There is also  a garden with fantastic views, and a safe, fenced area for the little ones complete with garden toys. I am definitely going back sometime in the summer after the run!

I also must give a plug to Bishop Caundle Village Stores and PO who stock everything from food and drinks to local crafts and cards. They too have a small area outside where goods can be consumed in the sun [if it ever comes out!!!], and it is easy to pull in to so holiday makers can stock up en route to their destinations! Thank you for the cold drink which kept me going for the rest of the run today!

I digress…1/2 marathon today in about 2 hours 20, so taking it much slower…but my knee was holding out thank goodness. The second half was also good…although the final 6 miles was in heavy rain…yes the forecast was correct. So, I arrived back at The Oxley Sports Centre drenched and with shoes filled with water.

Thank you Oxley for letting me stop and use your showers etc….I even dried my shoes out using the hairdryers!!!

Thankfully my knee, despite being sore, is ok…just hoping that it will put up with 7 more days of pounding. It has been a problem for so many years [due to intense long jump training from a young age] and is not irritable due to this run; I know that once I stop it will settle down fairly quickly again.

So, I have survived another day…tomorrow brings another local run with me also leaflet dropping at the schools on the route, and then off to Bridport on Thursday for a real challenge! Fortunately the support car will be alongside then with Pete at the helm.

Thank for all your support…pls encourage people to donate through the Just Giving Page on the website as every penny will go to HNT…

Pete [based in Southampton] who does my website, drives the support car, keeps me motivated and smiling and is really the “silent other 1/2 of HNT”,…

Diamond Images who has come along from Poole to take amazing photographs, and has been carting my children too and from school at times and even cooking them brunch, and makes me laugh when my legs are hurting,…

Glenn from Jurassic Auction House down in Wyke Regis, who has put on welcoming events, is donating 10% of his profits to HNT this year, promotes HNT continually, and generally makes sure I am ok and not in need of anything,

…all 3 above, as I do, take nothing from the raised monies. They do all this out of the kindness of their hearts and I love them all to bits for this as HNT would not be what it is without them.

Rachel

June 27th 2016

Day 18 of the run

Day sponsored by Keith Foy

Sadly a dreadful run after several days of fast runs.

I started and ended at Yeovil Opportunity Group…a special place for me as this was where my little girl went pre-school, and they gave her the most amazing help.

So, off I went in the sun…yes, it has shone nearly all day!…but within 3 miles realised I had a problem with my right knee again. This time it appeared to be more consistent and serious…and by 10 miles in I was hobbling. A real disappointment after flying through the last 2 marathons with ease.

Yesterday I had slipped a couple of times on the coast path but thought nothing of it until I reached Lulworth with a painful and swollen joint. This morning it niggled but nothing too bad, but the road running has just finished it off.

I actually don’t know how I managed to get back to YOG…but I did and 26.8 miles clocked. It was a horrible experience as I had no support driver and was worried that my knee would literally go bang and I would not be able to move.

However…now strapped, iced, not time for elevation as I need to get little Peter to his area athletics match…fingers crossed that I will somehow be able to get through the next 8 days and complete the challenge.

At the end…a picnic with the YOG families and staff…and lots of photos which I will share with you once received. A definite lifting of spirits after that!

Rachel

June 26th 2016

26th JUNE 2016…

Day sponsored by Keith Foy

This was DAY 17 of the run…that means tomorrow I have only 9 more marathons to go; back into single figures!

The run route diary would have explained why I had to change the route today…catching up on the coastal run from Ferry Bridge, around the perimeter of Portland, through Weymouth and ending at Lulworth Cove.

I set off with a hug and wave from Glenn Chadwick from Jurassic Auction House…a very windy start across the Causeway and up onto the East Wearesdscf0765 coast path. BUT…my absolute favourite part of the run from Church Ope Cove to Portland Bill lay ahead so I was really excited! No sign of Sid the seal today or the dolphins sadly.

HUGE thanks to The Lobster Pot Café for breakfast when I arrived…pictures will be on Twitter in the next few days.             I will no doubt be back again with the children for our usual 10 or 11 visits in the next few months!

Then, on to the West Weares Coast path…again very windy and parts of the path inaccessible which meant detours.      Such wonderful views and the path so different from that of the other side of the island.

On to Jurassic Coast Auctions where I was given an enormous welcome by those attending the auction today, and donations fell into the HNT pots…thank you all who work there, especially Glenn, who yet again ensured my arrival was so special, and helped promote HNT. As many of those at the auction today were from all over the country as they were staying in the area on holiday, the needs of SEN kids will be spread far and wide…just what I wanted!

A fast run down into Weymouth and met at the Jubilee Clock by Lee Dolbear who is promoting HNT through his media work…thanks Lee! I need all the help I can get to continue to drive HNT forwards again into 2017…so your help is truly appreciated!

And WHAT a lovely surprise when I suddenly was confronted by some of Leweston School girls…calling out and asking how I was getting on! They had been doing a mini biathlon…well done girls and thank you for making me smile!

Off for a quick picnic with Pete and little SEN daughter…Pete was driving the car again today and I was so grateful as the weather was starting to look unsettled AGAIN! The last 10 miles would be out in the open coast paths to Lulworth which can be very bleak if driving rain ensues. So, off I went towards Osmington…very muddy!…and then on to Ringstead…a little less muddy, and finally up on to White Nothe …very windy!

Feeling ok and realizing there were only 4 miles to go I felt confident that I would reach Lulworth well ahead of schedule..this was not going to be as I had forgotten just how high some of the hills towards Durdle Door are! And even more importantly, how STEEP a descent 2 of these hills had…almost sheer at certain points. It slowed me up no end but in a way I did not mind. I was totally alone on the path from just past White Nothe and through almost to Durdle Door. Eerie in a way but at the same time peaceful. The views are superb…a must for anyone to see if you can cope with the walking.

Durdle Door…very very busy; a stark change from the quiet into bustle! Lots of folk there clambering up to their campsites; some going back to Lulworth Cove…and many commenting on the t-shirt.

Lulworth Cove…by now I had had enough, the rain was driving, and it was time to get home to the children.

Another day completed and I am still in one piece thank goodness…DAY 18 tomorrow when I will be including a visit to the Yeovil Opportunity Group which I am really looking forwards to. My daughter attended YOG and it is thanks to them that she has progressed so well. Without the group, she would not have reached the milestones that she has…thank you all!

I have had a lovely day…wonderful views, being able to access remote areas, chatting to locals and holiday makers…but it makes me realise that many families with SEN children just cannot do this for a number of reasons. By keeping the Opportunity Groups going, and ensuring that they have the funds necessary to support the children on all planes [physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, educationally] many of the children will be able to access activities that they had never dreamed of.

Eg: A day seeing Sid the Seal and Portland Bill…may be SUCH a treat for some of the children and be a totally new experience. Providing funds for more staff, more mini buses etc is immensely important!

PLEASE continue to support HNT and help make SEN kids thrive and meet their full potential!

Rachel

June 25th 2016

Day 16 of the run

DAY SPONSORED by DIAMOND IMAGES…who has been taking the fantastic photos that will appear on the website after the run finishes in a separate library for all to see…thank you, Dave!

I awoke today from another phone call from the vet…Diddy had not improved and so an endoscopy and more tests were going to be required. I was glad that I had decided to stay and run from home, but now wanted to be in a position to jump into the car if necessary and drive to the surgery.

So…another change of plan…I ran on the treadmill at the Oxley Sports Centre…totalling up another 26 miles with phone in hand awaiting updates. Fortunately the vet knew what I was doing and so was prepared for the heavy breathing down the phone as I answered his calls!

I wanted to do the 26 miles as fast as I could, hoping to cover it in about 4 hours before I needed to get to the vets. Although I can run fast on a treadmill my knees definitely don’t like it and so it was a bit of a gamble and I am now a little sore, but the shoes and socks that Running Free donated have really helped…specialized to my running gait and more cushioned. Thank you Oli!

So…1/2 marathon in just less than 2 hours, a short 10 min break, and then the second half…managing to complete it in just over 4 hours. The break almost finished me off however…it is never easy getting going again after stopping!!!!

BUT, the biggest thanks is to my wonderful vet from Southill Vet Practice [ Milborne Port/Wincanton] who was so kind on the phone, and who has ensured Diddy is well enough to now be at home again…all sorted!! Thank goodness for that as the children and my other Springer [Diddy’s Mum] were so mopey!

DAY 16 completed albeit a little further away from Beaulieu than anticipated. Tomorrow, back to the coast and the second hardest run…Ferry Bridge, around Portland [stopping at The Lobster Pot for breakfast], on to Weymouth, through to Osmington and finally on to Lulworth Cove…30 miles of coast paths which are no way as steep as those on the Stonebarrow to ferry Bridge run, but still challenging!

Tomorrow has been sponsored by Jurassic Auction House again…and I will pop in on the way to Weymouth to see them all during the auction which starts at 10.30!

Hoping the weather is sunny and the terrain not as wet and slippery as 3 days ago…and I am looking forwards to meeting up with lots of people on the way…locals and visitors…to help spread awareness on what the SEN kids across the counties so desperately need.

Rachel

June 24th 2016

Day 15 of the run

Sponsored by Jurassic Coast Auction House, Wyke Regis

After the disruptive day yesterday, Pete and I had hoped that today would be easier, my Spaniel would be springing again, and that I would be completing the Ferry Bridge to Lulworth run of 30 miles. How wrong we were…poor Diddy had to be taken into animal hospital first thing for extensive tests, drips etc…and was having to stay in at least until tomorrow!

SO…not wanting to be too far away from the vets, the decision was made to do the 26 miles from home rather than be miles away down at the coast.

The good news is that this was completed, and the coast run has been rescheduled for SUNDAY JUNE 26th. I will be at The Lobster Pot Café, Portland Bill between 10 and 10.30 am, and then at Weymouth Jubilee Clock at between 12 noon and 1.30. Then a short stop at Osmington Mills before the final few miles down into Lulworth. Do see the run route for today on the website for timings and come and see what HNT is all about/donate etc. It would be good to see lots of people!

Despite the awful weather at the beginning of the run, the treacherous paths, and the sudden illness of my dog, I have been able to complete the miles and change run routes fairly easily. AND…I have heard that Diddy, despite being pretty unwell, is responding to treatment and that there is nothing more sinister going on!

LOTS of photos will be posted at the end of the run here on the website…some are being posted again tonight on twitter…wonderful photos from the great Diamond Images…HUGE thanx Dave!

Rachel