By Philly Royston
May 2022 took me on one of my biggest challenges yet. Five of us from SRC (6 months previously) had signed up to run from London to Paris over five days. Yes, the actual route from London to Paris. Training began, each month we ran four or five consecutive days and up’d our distance each time.
May came and we set off in ‘Bertha’ the mini bus who quite frankly was our HQ for the five days, with our friends and family waving us off thinking how barking mad we all were!
We made our way to London and attempted to get an early night, ready for a 0600 hour start. Needless to say, I’m not sure any of us slept well at all!
0600 hours and the first runner set off, out of London and making our way towards Brighton. I won’t bore you with the route, but ultimately each runner ran a minimum of a half marathon (some up to 18 miles) before handing the baton onto the next runner, so on and so on.
Each night we slept in tents after our evening meal which was provided by the organisers of the event. We were grateful for hot food each evening and even more so for showers each night. (Even if we were eating and showering at 2300 hours having been hungry and smelly all day!)
The final day, we began the run from the outskirts of Paris. One by one, we took each step making us closer to the Eiffel Tower. Our team leader took that last half marathon place by which point the ET was in view and we ALL ran the last mile together, finishing under the Eiffel Tower with the organisers ready for our arrival, finishing line, medals, photos etc.
Is this the point I say how close a team we became? Hungry, smelly, exhausted, we had tears, we had laughter but I honestly believe we have formed a bond that will remain forever. (We’ve already got two other challenges booked for 2023!)