12th April 1989, Wednesday
Miles run that day: 26
Total miles: 26
From Greenwich in London to Gravesend in Kent
What a fantastic day at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. It could not have gone better. The Mayor of Greenwich, actor Jeremy Brett, family, friends and people from Imperial Cancer Research were all there to see the start of my 'Keep Hope Alive' run around the United Kingdom. Jeremy and I did a couple of radio interviews and a camera crew filmed the start for local news. My sister Helen made a brilliant billboard, which we will use to advertise the run when we stop off to raise funds.
Saying goodbye was the hardest of all. My parents cried, I cried and even Jeremy shed a tear. As I set off on this journey of a lifetime I waved goodbye to everyone. Ted was in the backup van behind me and the camera crew was ahead of me. I followed them on the roads away from Greenwich. It was really emotional and I was wiping away tears as I ran. After a few minutes the camera crew left and Ted and I were left alone. For a moment I wasn't sure where we were as it was not the route I had planned to take. I therefore followed the first road sign to navigate our way from London and went a bit wrong. We eventually got on the A2 but it was frantic with traffic and Ted beeped me to stop. He told me he was concerned for our wellbeing and we made the decision to leave the A2 as soon as possible. I then made a few mistakes after that, which added extra miles to the route. We had intended to make Rochester but when I had completed 26 miles, we had only reached Gravesend. My only excuse is that city road signs can sometimes be confusing. I'm sure I will be better when we get into the countryside where I'll have fewer roads to navigate.
A few word of warning . . . don't any man say women can't read maps because there will be trouble. It is not my fault that there are one way streets, road works, road signs that offer an alternative route etc. Anyway, that's my excuse. Moving on . . .
We had been given two free rooms for the night at a hotel and it was wonderful to chill out. I felt no pain after the 26 miles because I was still in a euphoric state of mind after today's events. In the evening while Ted and I were having dinner, a man approached us after seeing us on the early news, and gave us £20. He told us two of his relatives had died of cancer. If ever I needed a reminder as to why I was doing this run that was it.
News report shown on BBC Newsroom South East on April 12th 1989.
13th April 1989, Thursday
Miles run that day: 26
Total miles: 52
From Gravesend to Faversham in Kent
Map of the run
Today's run was much harder as my legs felt really sore. However, Ted and I were given encouragement by the people we met on route who gave us donations. When we stopped for lunch at the Little Chef one person gave us £10, another £5 and a mother with a child £7. Our lunch was also paid for by a diner.
The next part of the run was a real slog. Gone was the euphoria of yesterday. I was now having to dig deep to ignore the pain and tiredness and grind out the miles.
After reaching Faversham we made our way to a Youth Hostel. The YHA had offered us accommodation at a number of places we would arrive at on route. Unfortunately Ted found the accommodation a bit too public as he had to share his room and cleaning facilities with other people. Ted asked me if we could find alternative accommodation as he found it uncomfortable cleaning the area in his throat where he had the laryngectomy operation done a year ago. We looked for a hotel that would offer us free accommodation but we were unable to find one and settled for a charge of £25 at the White Horse Hotel in Broughton. This money would come out of the £1,500 I had saved for the trip.
In the evening I spoke to my parents about the day's events and they sympathised with Ted's predicament regarding the accommodation at the Youth Hostel. I wanted Ted to be comfortable after a hard day because it was tiring for him as well as me. He had to keep his right foot rigid on the backup vans accelerator to keep to the speed I was running at. Although I split the run into two sections, Ted was still driving for around 4 ½ hours in total. The problem however was that if we didn't use the YHA we would have to pay for a hotel or spend a lot of time looking for free accommodation.
14th April 1989, Friday
Miles run that day: 31.4
Total miles run: 83.4
From Faversham to Broadstairs
Map of the run
Ran 9 ½ miles in the morning and felt awful. We stopped in Canterbury to do a radio interview with Steven Banyard on Invicta Radio. Steven interviewed me outside the studio because he wanted the sound of me running. The interview went really well and by the afternoon we knew it had been broadcast as we had a lot of people in their cars beeping us and waving.
At lunchtime I rang Jeremy. He was pleased the running was going ok, but he said he had spoken to my mother and she had mentioned the problems Ted was having with the facilities at the YHA. Jeremy then informed me he had won ' Pipe Smoker of the Year' for his role as Sherlock Holmes and the prize money was £3,000. He wanted us to have this and use it to get accommodation if the YHA facilities were not suitable. I was flabbergasted and so was Ted. We really appreciated Jeremy's help.
I ran a further 22 exhausting miles until I reached the Castle Keep Hotel in Broadstairs where I was met by the manager Mr. Cannavo who had given us free accommodation for the night. The view from the hotel was fantastic, but I was too knackered to fully appreciate it. However, I couldn't feel sorry for myself for too long as I had a number of phone calls to make. I phoned Jane Arnell of Imperial Cancer Research who told me there had been a lot of response to my run and I was to phone Alan Clarke of TVS ( Television South), Jane Harbige of the Dover Express and Dick Savage from the National Union of Seamen. Dick Savage said he would help with publicity on part of my route. It turned out that Jeremy Brett had contacted him and asked him to help me. Jeremy met Dick Savage months earlier when he asked Jeremy to help raise funds for the families of strike workers.
15th April 1989, Saturday
Miles run that day: 28.1
Total miles run: 111.5
From Broadstairs to Dover
Map of the run
Mr. Cannavo manager of the Castle Keep Hotel presented us with a cheque for £400 this morning, which was terrific.
As I got set to begin the morning run we were met by members of the National Union of Seamen. They followed Ted and me through the town in their cars beeping aloud and waking a few people up no doubt. After a couple of miles they left and Ted and I carried on our journey. When I reached about 12 miles a motorcyclist came up to us to say he was from TVS and that they wanted to film us in Sandwich. I told him I would meet him there, but no sooner had he left, we were pulled over by a policeman in a patrol car. I thought we were going to be told to get off the road but he had been told by TVS to look out for us.
After filming we continued another six miles and had some much needed lunch.
Three miles from Dover we were met by Dave from the National Union of Seamen who took some photos and then guided us into the town. On part of the route there was a very steep downhill section and I picked up speed. I wanted to show how fast I could run and really went for it, but showing off is a fool's idea of glory (words once said by the legendary Bruce Lee) and I didn't do myself any favours because my legs were really sore when I finished. After the run we were met by Dick Savage. He promised to help get me some publicity.
That night we stayed at a Youth Hostel, which was ok except there was no bath to rest my aching muscles. The warden, Doreen gave us £10 from the staff for our cause.
16th April 1989, Sunday
Miles run that day: 26
Total miles run: 137.5
From Dover to Old Romney
Map of run
Ted and I have read in the newspaper this morning that there was a terrible incident at Hillsborough, the home of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club yesterday. It was the semi-final of the FA Cup between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and many fans at the Liverpool end of the stadium have got crushed. Over ninety people have died. It is shocking news and very upsetting.
The first run of the day was really hard as I had no energy, but that was of little concern as I kept thinking about those poor people who have died and how devastated their families must be.
After lunch the weather changed to rain and after a couple of miles my left foot became very painful, but I did not let it bother me as it was insignificant to today's tragic news.
We stayed at the Flackley Ash Hotel where the manager Jeanie Bennett gave us free accommodation and an evening meal.
17th April 1989, Monday
Miles run that day: 26
Total miles run: 163.5
From Old Romney to Hastings
Map of run
Today the weather was pretty lousy with drizzle and a cold temperature. My left foot was really sore early on, but when I went uphill, the pain improved!
I feel depressed today. I don't really know why. I do miss my family and friends but this run is what I have chosen to do and I'm doing it for a worthy cause, so I'm not sure why I feel like I do. It could be that I feel alone sometimes. Ted isn't making conversation and he doesn't tell me how he is feeling. It isn't that long ago he had throat cancer so he is probably not feeling great all the time, but I wish he would open up a bit.
18th April 1989, Tuesday
Miles run that day: 26.5
Total miles run: 190
From Hastings to Seaford
Map of run
My legs felt really heavy this morning like they had huge weights attached to them. The first run was 13 miles and took us along the A259 to Eastbourne. I managed to find accommodation at the Lansdowne Hotel and I also phoned Jane Arnell at Imperial Cancer Research to let her know where we would be tonight.
After lunch I set off from Eastbourne along the B2103 until I rejoined the A259. The run towards Beachy Head proved no problem at all and I enjoyed the rest of the run. When I got back to the hotel my left foot was still sore and my right hamstring, but considering I have run 190 miles this week, I have no complaints at how I feel.
No sooner had I got to my hotel room a person from the BBC phoned and asked to do an interview tomorrow and film me running. Also an interview was arranged for a radio station in Brighton.
19th April 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today: 24.5
Total miles run: 214.5
From Seaford to Worthing
Map of run
We spent the first hour of the day being filmed and interviewed by James Trollope of the BBC. By the time we finished it was 10 a.m. and I had the radio interview in Brighton at midday. We were 13 ½ miles away from where we needed to be so I had to push it to get there on time. The interview went well and we were told it would be on the radio tomorrow.
The second run was really hard going because my left ankle was really sore and I felt sick. I called it a day after 11 miles, which I meant I still completed 24 ½ miles today.
Spoke to dad on the phone and he felt I was putting a lot of strain on my body and I should consider splitting the running into three stages. I would see how tomorrows run goes before making a decision but I have to remember I have months of running ahead so the less strain I put on my body now the better.
20th April 1989, Thursday
Miles run today: 26.1
Total miles run: 240.6
From Worthing to Bosham
Map of run
Started the run at 8.30 a.m. and reached the A27 in no time at all. After three miles we hit a traffic jam, which was caused by an accident further up the road. Ted suggested I get in the car and we take a detour and rejoin the A27 further up the road. This meant I would miss a section out of my planed route around the UK. I felt a bit annoyed that he proposed this as I had told him on numerous occasions that I intended to run every single step around the UK out of respect for people who fought hard to beat cancer. Therefore to miss an inch out of the route let alone a couple of miles, would in my mind, dishonour them. We bided our time and the traffic jam eased and we carried on our proposed route.
The report we did with James Trollope from the BBC yesterday was shown on the news tonight. Let's hope we get some response from it.
News report shown on BBC South on April 20th 1989.
21st April 1989, Friday
Miles run today: 27.1
Total miles run: 267.7
From Bosham to Southampton
Map of run
The wind was constantly blowing in my face this morning, which made it tough going. The morning runs are so much harder as I'm stiff and sore from the previous days run and have the thought that I have got 26 miles ahead of me. It is then that I remind myself about the pain cancer victims go through and how hard it is for them when they are having chemotherapy, and I shouldn't really complain. However, when the pain of running is so very bad, I do feel sorry for myself and I do get emotional.
After awhile we joined the A27 and the scenery became boring along the dual carriageway. I covered 14 miles in the morning. During the second run the wind eased. We stopped at the garage to get fuel for the backup vehicle and the manager recognised us from the television news the night before. He gave us £5 for our cause.
We went to the Youth Hostel but Ted wasn't keen on the accommodation so we looked for a hotel. No one would give us free accommodation so we settled for the Southampton Park Hotel which charged us £15 each. We were so tired and dirty that we accepted their offer.
Tomorrow we will meet up with my mum, dad, sister and a few friends. I can't wait to see them.
22nd April 1989, Saturday
Miles run today: 27.4
Total miles run 295.1
From Southampton to Highcliffe
Map of run
We got up at 5 a.m. as we needed an early start to meet up with friends and family. After running a mile my right thigh began to get a few twinges. I pushed it to the back of my mind with the one determined thought that I wanted to get to Highcliffe so that friends and family would see me run. After several miles the pain caused me to limp. As people in their cars were stopping to give donations I carried on running. There is a saying that there is a thin line between being heroic and stupid. My mind was telling me to stop, but my heart was saying don't let anyone down, so I stupidly carried on. Mile after mile through the New Forest the leg became ever more painful, but my stubborn illogical streak kept me going. When I finally reached my destination and met my family and friends, I hid the injury from them and didn't tell them about the horrendous pain I was in until we had talked for an hour or two. I didn't want them to miss out on their excitement at seeing me.
Later I went to the hospital and when I took off my tracksuit trousers I realised how bad my leg was. It had swollen to double its size. The doctors at the hospital were very busy as it was a Saturday night, so my leg was bandaged up and I was sent on my way. As I left the hospital I cried so much because deep down I knew the injury was bad and I didn't know when I would be able to run again. When I went back to my family and friends I kept a brave face on as I didn't want to upset anyone.
We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast that night and I prayed that my leg would heal.
23rd April 1989, Sunday
I woke this morning and knew immediately I wouldn't be able to run. The pain was immense and the thigh still swollen. I cried until I couldn't cry anymore. I felt absolutely devastated and the feeling I had from letting so many people down was unbearable. Why had I been so stupid? I should have stopped when the injury first presented itself. My family and friends did what they could to console me, but the disappointment outweighed their best efforts.
I phoned Imperial Cancer Research but Jane Arnell wasn't available. The person I spoke to wanted to know how long it would take me to get over the injury, but I couldn't give an exact time. All I could say was that I would give it a few days and then try again. The person sounded a bit peeved because it meant they had to phone around news reporters to tell them I couldn't make the planed schedule.
Ted suggested we go home to his place in Salisbury and rest there. When we arrived, Betty, Ted's wife, could see the bitter disappointment in my eyes and opened her arms to me and gave me a big hug. Betty felt that with a bit of a rest the leg would be ok in a few days and then I could try again.
24th April to 26th April 1989, Monday to Wednesday
The next three days merged into one as they followed a similar pattern of concern for my leg, tears, prayers and anger for not having the courage to stop when I was in pain. I also couldn't understand why the injury had happened anyway. I had trained so hard for this run and ran something like 5,000 miles in training over a 14 month period. Surely the body should have coped after that amount of running. I looked back over the days since the run started and maybe I had been trying too hard to fit everything into the day. When I was training everything was planned out. The time of day I ran, the distance so it fitted around my work and plenty of rest in between. Now I have to fit the running around any meetings with the press and TV and because of this I sometimes run further and faster than I intended to do. On the way to Broadstairs I ran further on the second run then I intended. In Dover I ran too fast because I was showing off, so in all honesty I only have myself to blame.
Before I could fall into the pit of self pity, Jeremy Brett rang to give me some moral support, which helped to lift my spirits.
27th April 1989, Thursday
Miles run today: 6.1
Total miles run 301.2
From Highcliffe to Wick
Map of run
Ted and I returned to where I had finished the run on Saturday. We always knew the exact spot as we marked it with yellow paint. Before I started to run, I would always step a few yards back behind the mark to make sure I covered every inch of the route.
I tentatively took the first steps and although the thigh was still swollen and stiff, I had high hopes it would be ok. I have had injuries before in training, and normally the pain and stiffness would ease after a short period of time. However, after a few miles, I knew I was doing more harm than good as the pain grew progressively worse. I carried on a bit further praying for a miracle but I knew it was pointless. I had to stop. I signalled to Ted to pull over. Ted took one look at my face and knew what I was going to say. As I spoke, the words were broken with sobs of anguish.
'Ted, I can't go on. It's all over.'
I was inconsolable as Ted drove me back to his home. I phoned my family and they were as devastated as I was. My sister, Helen suggested I stay with her. I agreed as I didn't want to go home because the only time I wanted to go through my front door was when I had finished the run.
28th April to May 15th 1989
In the morning I couldn't walk down the stairs. The thigh looked like it had swollen even more and my leg couldn't take any weight on it. I visited the local doctor who took one look at my injury and said it would be 3 months before I could run again. He didn't offer me any treatment except for telling me to rest it.
In the days that followed, I was grief-stricken. There seemed no light in the dark recesses of my mind and no hope that would raise me from the chasm of self pity. My mum and dad came round to offer their support.
'You have always been a fighter,' my dad said. 'Even when you were a child you wouldn't give up on anything. I remember when you were playing with some building bricks; you were putting one on top of the other trying to build them as high as you could. They kept falling down but you kept on trying. When they fell down one too many times you banged your head on the floor out of frustration, but after the tears you carried on until you done it. Where is that same determination now? You mustn't give up when you still have something left to give.'
'Dad, I'm not giving up and never will. But the doctor said it will be months before I'm fit enough and by then it will be too late. The run will have lost its momentum and no one will know what I'm trying to do and no money will be raised. I need to get back on the road in two to three weeks and for that to happen I need some divine intervention and a miracle.'
My mother interrupted by showing me the local paper where a church was holding a faith healing session. If I wanted to go she would come with me. I looked at my parents faces. They wanted so much to help. I agreed to go as I had nothing to lose.
The church looked like something out of the dark ages and had a mystically strange feeling about it, but in a good way. It gave off a feeling of calm and serenity, which is what a church should feel like. Unfortunately some of the newer churches have no character or aura about them.
I was determined not to give any indication where my injury was so despite the pain I had walked in without a limp and sat down on the first chair of a row of four. My mother sat next to me and we waited. After a few minutes a number of people walked in. I wasn't sure who were the healers or who were the sick people, but very soon a bearded man with long hair, who I can only guess was in his mid thirties, came over and asked me my name.
'Linda,' I said. 'What is your name?'
'Peter,' Came the reply.
Recalling my days at a catholic school, I was sure one of the Apostle's was called Peter. Maybe I am going to get some divine help after all!
Peter showed me to a chair that was positioned in the centre of the floor. Again I didn't limp as I moved to the chair. I sat down and Peter stood behind me and put his hands, palms down above my head. After a couple of minutes I felt warmth on the crown of my head. The warm feeling moved down my body and stopped at the injury. I so wanted the healing to work so I visualized the muscle healing itself. After a few minutes, Peter stepped back and told me the leg would feel much better soon and wished me well.
'How did you know it was my leg?' I asked
'I sensed it the moment you sat down. Normally it takes a few minutes before I can pick up the energy from the sick part of the body, but in your case it was instant.'
I thanked him for his help, but left wondering if the healing would work.
The next day the leg did feel a lot better, but I wanted to do more to heal it. I decided to visit the local Hospital with the hope that I would be treated at the Physiotherapy Department. Under normal situations I would have gone to my GP who in turn would have sent a letter to the hospital to get me an appointment. But I knew that would all take time and time was something I didn't have.
On arrival I told the receptionist my story. At first I thought she would tell me to follow procedure and not give me an appointment, but instead she told me about her brother who had cancer.
'He fought so hard,' she said emotionally. 'But he died not too long ago. It was exactly a year after my mother died of the same disease.'
As I listened I saw her eyes glaze over as the memories came flooding back. Oh how I wanted for the pain to end for this lady and how quickly I wanted to get back running again to raise money for cancer research.
'I'm sorry for going on about my troubles,' the receptionist said. 'But let me see what I can do. It is not normal practice, but I will go and have a word with our physiotherapist and ask if she will fit you in. Her name is Lisa and she has just started working here today.'
Within minutes the receptionist came back and told me Lisa would see me now. I thanked the receptionist for her help and followed Lisa into a room so she could examine my leg.
'You have torn muscle fibres in your quad muscle. But I'll get you up and running in no time,' Lisa said positively.
Her optimism gave me hope. A candle had been lit and I saw a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. During the next two weeks, Lisa healed my leg with ice, ultrasound and exercise. She also advised me to do a lot of stretching before I started to run.
On May 12th, I decided it was time to see if I could run again and I set off from my sister's home and headed for the pathway beside the Grand Union Canal. Although a little stiff the leg felt good and I began to enjoy the run. Just when I thought everything was going well, my right foot caught the back of my left heal and I fell flat on my face. Due to the embarrassment, I got up quicker than I went down. I had grazed my arm and hand, but thankfully my thigh was ok. When I got back to my sister's house I told her what had happened. Helen could not stop herself making a drama out of it and phoned my parents to tell then I had gone for a run and injured myself. Helen omitted the part that it was my arm and hand and not my thigh that I had injured. Their hearts missed a beat as they thought that my run around the UK would definitely be over this time. The sense of relief when Helen told them what really happened was huge.
A few days later I returned to the south of England to continue my run around the UK.
May 16th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 15
Total miles run 316.2
From Wick to Lytchett Minster (A35)
Map of run
Nineteen days after I stopped running on April 27th in Wick near Christchurch, I was ready to resume the 'Keep Hope Alive' run. I had healed much quicker than the doctor had first diagnosed. Whether it was due to the physiotherapy or the faith healing is something I'm not sure about, but both Peter and Lisa had played a part in getting me fit in record time.
As Ted needed a skin graft on his throat, he wouldn't be driving the backup van for a week so Richard Dixon would drive instead.
After plenty of stretching and making sure every muscle in my legs were warmed up, I ran the first few steps from Wick with some trepidation. For the first time ever I was nervous about running. Every step was taken with concern that the injury would reoccur. Every twinge was magnified out of all proportion and every ache made me worry that it could be a start of another devastating injury. As suggested by my father, I altered my running style a little by keeping the lift of my legs lower with the hope that it put less pressure on my thigh muscle. It seemed to work and after a few miles I started to regain confidence. I began to enjoy the run and felt happy that there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I was doing what I really wanted to do in life and that was to help in some small way to bring cancer to a nearer end. I'm not saying that my run would initiate a definitive answer or cure to cancer, but hundreds of people around the world die each day from the disease, just think how many could be saved if cancer was cured one day earlier than it was meant to be. If the money I raise contributes to finding a quicker cure, then I have done something to end the suffering of others.
Because I didn't want to put too much pressure on my leg I only ran ten miles in the morning and a further five miles after lunch. Later I met Pete Vincent from Imperial Cancer Research. He has arranged for me to meet the local press at the Imperial Cancer Research shops on route.
Had a good chat with Richard over dinner who told me his mother had died of cancer and consequently that is his reason for helping me.
May 17th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 10.3
Total miles run 326.5
From Lytchett Minster to Tolpuddle (A35)
Map of run
After a short time my leg felt sore and after a few miles the pain got worse, so I only ran ten miles. I asked Richard to drive me straight to the hotel so I could get some ice to put on my leg. I feel devastated that my leg is not holding out. I have prayed so hard and I can't understand why I am being stopped from helping others. If I was doing the run for myself I might have some understanding of it.
May 18th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 15.8
Total miles run 342.3
From Tolpuddle to A35 near Long Bredy
Map of run
I woke at 3 a.m. and my leg felt sore. I began visualising my leg healing and then I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew it was 7.30 a.m. The leg felt a bit better with just a dull ache as a reminder.
To my surprise I managed to run 16 miles with no problems at all.
In the evening I phoned dad and wished him Happy Birthday. My mum said she had prayed for my leg to be ok and I told her it must have worked.
May 19th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 17.5
Total miles run 359.8
From A35 near Long Bredy to Lyme Regis
Map of run
The run today was very hilly, but at least my leg held up well. We stopped off at Bridport at the Imperial Cancer Research shop where the staff were really pleased to meet us. One of the ladies called Judith said if they had known about out visit earlier they would have arranged a brass band and got in touch with the press.
Tonight we stayed at the Devon Hotel in Uplyme. I had a swim and the cold water helped ease the aches and pains. There is a wonderful Church nearby and I spent about half an hour walking around it and the surrounding area.
May 20th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 16.8
Total miles run 376.6
From Lyme Regis to Sidmouth
Map of run
The route was very hilly and a couple of times I went dizzy. The hot weather didn't help. We visited the Imperial Cancer Research shop in Sidmouth where we were given coffee and biscuits. It was all very nice but my concern is that hardly any money is being raised. Time would be better spent having a few volunteers to help with fundraising in the town. Also publicity is important to let people know in advance about what I am doing.
I am going to have an easier day tomorrow as I feel I need it. I want to ease my leg in gently and not overdo the running just yet. The week has been quite hard, so I need to be careful.
May 21st 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 10.2
Total miles run 386.8
From Exmouth to Exeter
Map of run
I ran from Exmouth to Exeter today as a reporter from the Exmouth Journal wants to meet us in Exmouth at midday tomorrow and we need to be at the Imperial Cancer Research shop at 2 p.m. that same day.
It was so hot and humid today that I drank a lot of water. My legs felt like lead weights but I am pleased at the way things have gone this week. By tomorrow I will have run 100 miles in a week, which isn't bad after my injury.
I phoned Jeremy Brett in the evening. He was really pleased that everything is going ok. He met my friends today and I did wish I could have been with them. It gets really difficult when I know I won't see my family or friends for six months, but then I remind myself why I am doing this run and how important it is to raise money for Imperial Cancer Research and bring the disease to a nearer end.
Free accommodation for two nights at the Exeter Court Hotel.
May 22nd 1989, Monday
Miles run today 19.2
Total miles run 406
From Sidmouth to Exmouth and Starcross to Teignmouth
Map of run Sidmouth to Exmouth
Map of run Starcross to Teignmouth
Ran from Sidmouth through a nice little village called Otterton and then through Budleigh Salterton onto the A376 where we met a nice lady photographer from the Exmouth Journal. After finishing the morning run in Exmouth we headed to Exeter by van as I had already run that part of the route yesterday. When we got to the Imperial Cancer Research shop, the shopkeeper didn't know anything about our visit so Richard Dixon and I drove to Starcross and from there I ran to Teignmouth. Later I found out that the press and manageress of the Imperial Cancer Research shop were waiting for me in the back room! Why the shopkeeper wasn't informed is anyone's guess.
May 23rd 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 17.9
Total miles run 423.9
From Exeter to Starcross and Teignmouth to Paignton
Map of run Exeter to Starcross
Map of run Teignmouth to Paignton
Ran 5.9 miles to Starcross in the morning and met Pete Vincent from Imperial Cancer Research. We then headed back to Exeter by van to meet the staff and two local newspaper journalists who we should have met yesterday. This was followed by an interview with Robert Wallace at Radio Devon, which went really well. Pete Vincent had done very well organising local press and radio.
Richard and I then drove to Teignmouth so I could begin my second run of the day to Paignton. It was 12 miles of nonstop running as I had to be in Paignton by 3.30 p.m. to meet the staff of the Imperial Cancer Research shop and a reporter from the local press.
Jane Arnell from the head office of Imperial Cancer Research had booked us hotel rooms over the next week but I decided to cancel them as they were asking £25 per room, which meant a cost of £50 each night. Although Jeremy Brett gave us £3000 for accommodation it would not last long at this rate. We need to budget to £100 a week, which includes accommodation, food and petrol for the backup vehicle. It is going to be hard but we need to do it.
Tonight we stayed at the Livermead House Hotel for free.
May 24th 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 20.1
Total miles run 444
From Paignton to Ermington (B3210)
Map of run
It was really hot today and made the run difficult. My left foot was sore, which didn't help. We had a lot of people waving at us from coaches and cars. It made me feel really good to know they cared enough to give me a wave. A lady came out of her house and gave me £5.
We stopped off in Avonwick and had lunch with a soft drink at the local pub. After about 45 minutes I set off along the B3210 towards Ermington. After a very short time I thought I had gone deaf as I couldn't hear the backup vehicle behind me. I looked around and Richard and the backup vehicle were nowhere to be seen. I stopped running and waited a few minutes until Richard and the van re-emerged from wherever they had been. I started running again and Richard and the van continued their short distance behind me. When we finally reached our destination Richard told me he had reversed the backup vehicle into a stationary lorry. Richard said he never saw it. However, I had seen it parked up in the pub car park at Avonwick. In fact you couldn't miss it as it was so large. Richard told me there was no damage to the lorry but the backup vehicle now had a dent in it. I was a bit miffed he hadn't told me about the accident until now, but at least there was no damage to the lorry or Richard and thank goodness he only had a soft drink in the pub.
We stayed at the Bolt Head Hotel in Salcombe and the staff gave us £10. Salcombe is a really beautiful place and it has a nice beach. I went for a walk in the sea to cool my legs down. Later I phoned Dick Savage of the National Union of Seamen (NUS) and he told me he would try and organise some publicity.
May 25th 1989, Thursday
Miles run today 10.9
Total miles run 454.9
From Ermington (B3210) to Plymouth
Map of run
It was hard going today as I ran the 10.9 miles to Plymouth nonstop. The weather was so hot again, but I was cheered up by the support from people in their cars. One car, which beeped us, had a woman and a young boy inside. They waved and then stopped ahead of us. The young boy gave me £10. It is moments like that, that keep me going.
Richard had to leave today to return home to Gloucester. It was nice having him along and I was touched when he gave me £100 for Imperial Cancer Research. He is a really nice guy with a good heart.
Later I met Ted at the coach station. It was good to see him again. While he was away he had been doing some figures and he worked out that it could cost us £7000 for all the costs we will incur over the next few months. Jeremy had given us £3000 and I had put in nearly £1500, which was all the savings I had. My work colleagues at Ealing Magistrates Court were having monthly collections and contributing £200 a month, so that would be a great help. However we needed to be careful with the money as I didn't want the run to end because of lack of funds and I certainly wasn't going to dip into any money raised for Imperial Cancer Research. Every penny donated would be given to the charity. A bank account had been set up and at the end of the day; any donations were taken to the bank.
We got a parking ticket today, which I was really annoyed about. It was a pay and display car park with one ticket machine that wasn't working. I guess the charity posters on the van showing we were raising money for Imperial Cancer Research meant nothing to the warden who gave us a ticket.
May 26th 1989, Friday
Miles run today 21.3
Total miles run 476.2
From Plymouth to Liskeard
Map of run
Dick Savage phoned in the morning and said he had pleaded with a reporter at TSW ( Television South West) to film us, but they chose not to. The national press are not interested in my story either. It is so annoying because this run has so much potential to raise so much money for Imperial Cancer Research. However, I must not lose heart as there is still a long way to go and sooner or later, the media will hopefully respond.
There were some hard hills along the A38 from Plymouth to Liskeard so I stopped at 14 miles and had a couple of hours rest before continuing on. When we finished I marked the road with yellow paint to mark the exact spot I stopped at so that I would know where to start from the next day.
Ted and I searched Liskeard for accommodation but there was none to be had. Most places were full as it was a Bank Holiday weekend so we headed for St Austell. We hoped to get a couple of night's accommodation but we had no luck at all. We eventually found a small Bed & Breakfast for one night. We then went in search for somewhere to eat but all the eatery's had shut at 6 p.m. so it took us ages to find some food. Afterwards I had to make a lot of phone calls but the B & B had no phone so I had to look for a phone box. All this just makes me so tired and even if I get a decent night's sleep, I am exhausted before I start running in the mornings.
May 27th 1989, Saturday
Miles run today 20
Total miles run 496.2
From Liskeard to Lostwithiel
I made a complete error with the route out of Liskeard. There was so much holiday traffic that I thought it would be best if we took a detour. Well the first 8 miles of the run were spent on a hilly course going around in circles near St Keyne, which is south of Liskeard. Eventually we found ourselves back near the spot we had started from and this time I took the direct route along the A390 toward Lostwithiel. Thankfully by then the traffic had eased and the route was straightforward.
Later in the day Ted and I decided to chill out and went to the beach in Par where there are some caves and wonderful sands. I hope this 'time out' from the difficulties of a normal day will cheer Ted as he seems a bit despondent lately. He feels not enough is being done to get the publicity needed to raise money for Imperial Cancer Research. I could see his point but I am hoping that the publicity will come in time. I spoke to Jeremy Brett in the evening and told him how we were feeling. He told me that we must be patient and give people time to become aware of what we are doing. Also to have faith in the 'Powers That Be'.
May 28th 1989, Sunday
Miles run today 12
Total miles run 508.2
From Lostwithiel to Sticker (A390)
Map of run
Ran 12 miles along the A390 in the morning passing through St Austell and stopping at a small village called Sticker. As the muscle above my right knee was really sore, I decided to call it a day. Ted drove us to Pentewan Beach so I could apply some sea water to my leg. We had a look around the village and bought a couple of Cornish pasty's.
I made a few phone calls and managed to contact Paul Campbell who will be my next driver. I had got a bit concerned as I have been ringing him for days and I couldn't get hold of him. I told him I needed him in Penzance on the 31st and luckily he can make that day.
We had no trouble finding a B & B at the Conifers Guest House in Truro, run by Linda Gibbons.
May 29th 1989, Monday
Miles run today 12.4
Total miles run 520.6
From Sticker to Truro
Map of run
My right leg was still really sore and I didn't want to risk making it worse, so again I called it a day after 12 miles.
We met up with my Aunt and Uncle, Jean and Charlie who were in Cornwall on holiday. They took us to St Agnes in North Cornwall to see a Country Fair and buy us fish and chips. Ted enjoyed himself, which was great because he has been miserable since returning from his break a few days ago.
Ted wanted to return to the same B & B we stayed at last night. It meant him driving an extra 40 miles to get me back and forth to where I stop and start running, but if it makes him happy, than I'm more than pleased to do it.
May 30th 1989, Tuesday
Miles run today 22.2
Total miles run 542.8
From Truro to Breage (A394)
Map of run
I walked into Radio Cornwall in Truro and managed to get the broadcaster to interview me. Then I set off from Truro along the A39 where the route seemed to be constantly uphill. The road became winding with trees each side, which didn't help my morale as I couldn't see anything other than the trees. After 13 miles we stopped at a cafe. The waitress gave us tea for free and a £5 donation so my spirits picked up no end. Ted was really quiet and I couldn't get any sort of conversation going with him. I carried on running to Helston where we stopped for lunch. Ted's mood changed and he seemed much happier.
In the afternoon I ran a further 4 miles to Breage (A394) but my leg got really sore so I stopped and marked the road ready for tomorrow's run. I had managed to complete over 22 miles in total, so I was really pleased. I decided I needed to dunk my leg into the sea, so Ted drove us to Carbis Bay near St Ives. The beach was stunning and the view fantastic. The water was freezing but my leg felt so much better. I then realised that I had been paddling in the Atlantic Ocean and it reminded me of the time Terry Fox had dunked his leg into the Atlantic Ocean before beginning his run across Canada.
May 31st 1989, Wednesday
Miles run today 20.8
Total miles run 563.6
From Breage to Lands End
Map of run
The first 10 miles along the A394 were enjoyable as there was a slight downhill most of the way. After passing through Penzance and onto the A30 the route became hilly and with a strong wind, it made the run a bit more difficult. We reached Lands End at 2 p.m. and we were given free access to the theme park. A number of people approached us and gave donations and I was even asked for my autograph.
We met Paul Campbell at Penzance Station. He seems a nice guy and I am sure we will get on well. Ted goes home tomorrow and won't return until June 24th. By then I will have reached a 1000 miles, and hopefully the publicity will have improved resulting in more donations, which will make Ted and me a lot happier. My family are doing all they can to drum up support.
I have had numerous déjà vu feelings since I have been in Cornwall. I keep sensing I have been to Cornwall in another time and experienced something, although I have never visited the area before in this lifetime.
Tomorrows run will be tough and I am expecting steep hills. I hope my leg stands up to the pressure. If it does, then it will cope with anything.