What’s’up Dream Team.
Let’s bring you right up to speed with this little adventure I’m taking on.
So you’re running from Rome To Home?
Starting Friday 25th August 2017
And when you say Rome To Home, you mean…
Starting at The Colosseum and finishing at The London Eye. That’s the plan anyway, you can check out the full route plan here and it looks a little something like this:
So just a small jog then?!
It’s approximately 1250 miles in total. Bring it on!
How long do you think it’ll take?
Roughly 65 days, which should have me home towards the end of October.
How far will you be running each day?
Between 20-25 miles a day roughly.
With a support team right?
Nope. Self-supported. Although you’re never 100% self-supported what with the good will of those beautiful Italians and all of you guys with me in spirit! I’m fortunate to have a few mates planning to join me for a few days here & there, but otherwise it’s just me and the backpack.
So you’re carrying all your gear with you?
Yep. In a 30L backpack, carrying nothing but the essentials.
You’re a nutter.
Now we’re talking.
Getting straight to it, I can’t bear to live with the fact that 12 guys under the age of 45 take their own life every single day in the UK, and I feel I’ve got in in me – given my own experiences with Bipolar, depression & suicidal thoughts over recent years – to play at least some small part in bringing this number down, starting with this epic adventure and using it as a platform to share my story.
That’s absolutely my main ‘Why’ behind this epic adventure, but to bullet-point it, I’m running from Rome To Home to:
- Share my story – the euphoric highs, the desperate lows and everything in between, what’s worked for me throughout my recovery, how I manage/harness the condition as best I can, and hopefully to dish out a little hope to others living with mental health conditions that we can absolutely live life to the full with the right love, support and professional guidance in place.
- Raise at least £12,000 for CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) who do unbelievable work in preventing male suicide in the UK by keeping men alive by talking – a cause which resonates with me to my core as you can tell.
- Have an awesome adventure in it’s own right.
I’m also dedicating the Alps stage to the incredible team at Snow-Camp – one of the UK’s most innovative youth charities who have been changing the lives of inner-city young people with snowsports since 2003. It’s been a privilege to have been part of this incredible charity for over 5 years and without their support this adventure wouldn’t be possible. Watch this space when I approach the Alps!
Sweet work. So where will you sleep?
Well, besides wild camping whenever necessary, I’ll be keeping an eye out for the number of amazing voluntary-lead places to stay along the Via Francigena – a stunning pilgrimage route that connects Rome to Canterbury Cathedral which is still celebrated and promoted to this day by the European Association of Via Francigena Ways.
Many of these places (nunneries, convents, churches, hostels etc.) will still take you in even if you’re not on a particularly religious pilgrimage, so that’s just super exciting and I can’t wait to see where I end up each night.
Will we be able to keep track of your progress each day?
Definitely. You’ll be able to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or right here on my website. I’ll have a tracker on me so you can see my progress. Whichever way you’d like to follow me, I’ll be doing my absolute best to keep you guys right up to speed with how I’m getting on. Here’s sample of what you can expect:
And you’re using the #RomeToHome right?
I am, particularly on Twitter. Use this hashtag and you’ll be part of the Rome To Home ‘conversation’ from start to finish.
Very cool. So won’t Italy in August going to be ridiculously hot? What’s the plan?
Well you’re absolutely right. Italy in August will be pretty toasty, so the plan is to set off early each morning (probably around 7am) to get as many miles in before the midday heat. Then it’s all about recharging over lunch (hopefully with a rich Italian coffee in hand) and looking forward those sun-kissed afternoon runs and finishing well in good time each day to find the best accommodation for the night.
Aren’t you going to miss your friends & family? 65 days is a long time.
I really will. But you know those calling’s you absolutely have to honor in life? This for me is absolutely one of them.
I’ve got an incredible family, an amazing Wife who’s been through the whole journey with me for over 10 years now (I know right), and my closest friend’s are the best of the best (you guys included if you’re reading this).
I’ll be in regular contact with everyone, and hey I’m not disappearing to the Antartic. This is only Italy, Switzerland and France after all so I’m not a million miles away. Plus I’ll be back before we know it. What’s 65 day’s in a lifetime huh?!
It sounds like you’re a pretty spirited person Dan?
I am. I feel absolutely blessed to live the life I do and I wouldn’t change a thing. You can read more about me here.
So physically, you’re feeling good?
I am. I’m feel in great shape and I can’t wait to see how I get on out there!
So this is where it gets interesting.
Despite being told that this adventure is by far one of the best ideas I’ve ever had (which is testament to just how nuts some of my other ideas have been in the past), I will need to be paying a huge amount of attention to what my brain’s telling me along the way.
With Rome To Home being such a stimulating adventure, it’ll be all too easy for my mind to get carried away with all that natural adrenaline and dopamine and stimulation that’s comes with the bipolar package; so it’ll be imperative that I keep myself in check on an hourly basis, and to continually have that heightened sense of self & observation turned up to the max, from the first step to the last.
But I’m in a great place. Better now than ever actually and I just feel so blessed to have an amazing team of people around me who have my back.
I’m sold. How can I support you or get involved?
Firstly, it would be amazing if you could spread the word! This adventure is entirely self-funded and I don’t have a huge marketing budget, so any support raising awareness about Rome To Home and the reason’s I’m taking it on would be amazing!
If you’re feeling generous and would like to make a donation towards my efforts, it would mean the world to me.
And for those of you who would like to join me, I’d love to have as many of you as possible running (or cycling) alongside me when I get back to the UK towards the end of October! Check out the Get Involved page to for more info.
Solid work my friend.
You’re too kind. Thank you being part of the adventure, bring it on and let’s blow the roof off this thing!