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Done but not dusted

It’s been a strange week without the Wall! But life goes on and so do we!

David’s gone to Dorset with Vic to have a post Wall holiday and I’ve returned to the normal training regime at the Sands and the Sheepmount!

However, I got a shock when I looked at the blog statistics, like the geek that I am (in an ‘unbeard’ way). Anyway, here’s why:-

Thanks again to everyone who has supported us, either with a donation or in other ways.

Special thanks to the following:-

  • David (Dick) for planning everything and for a lifetime of melding strangeness and vermooten
  • Jo Beattie for organising the PR and helping our mutant mugs find a way to ‘reach and teach’
  • Stu ‘Wasp’ Windsor for pushing me to leave my comfort zone and get fitter

And if you fancy making a late donation, here’s the link:

Isn’t it!


Leg 7: Next?

And so we’ve finished Hadrian6in6, so what do we do next?

Firstly, I just wanted to share some of the lessons I’ve learned (beginning with the training for and running of 6 half marathons on six consecutive days over some dodgy and splodgy ground)!

Running Tips

  • Keep your toenails and feet in good condition
  • Get some decent trainers
  • Use good quality socks
  • Make sure you use breathable tops
  • Warm up before the run and stretch each day after the run
  • Take regular drinks/refuel with gels/jelly babies
  • Find a comfortable pace that you can sustain
  • Watch your footing to minimise risk of slipping
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest
  • Positive thinking
  • Get a pure weapon of a trainer like Stu ‘Wasp’ Windsor and u’ll be reet

And then there’s work!

I spent a lot of time thinking about Carers Matters and Developing Communities during the Hadrians Wall week.

Regarding Carers Matters, there is so much work to do! But it’s all good! Being a carer is a challenging role and my commitment to playing a positive part in making carers’ lives easier, in whatever small way I can, has strengthened.

The internet offers a great opportunity to access information to help with the role and also to connect with other carers, to name but a few of the things you can do.

But it requires the right approach to work effectively! And that entails the right hardware, alongside the skills and confidence, to use the opportunity to its maximum potential!

For further information see below (you may be surprised by what you find):-, email:, twitter #carersmatters

Is this the promised end?

We shall not cease from exploration…have we known the place for the first time?

Well it’s over, and what an action-packed week it’s been; we’ve overcome injury, shocking weather and the odd badly packe…badly signed path. And hats have to be doffed for Andrew Storey aka Stoz aka Yickoo Sometimes for having the necessary self-belief and self-motivation to run almost all of this enterprise single-handed (if one ran on one’s hands ha ha zzzz).
Today began early with taking two cars to Bowness-on-Solway then on to the Civil Centre, where we paid a visit to Mr Mayor. And most encouraging Mr Barry Earp proved to be! A few kind words, a few snaps and we were on our way, starting from the site of one of the most realistic cinematic robberies with violence, under Eden Bridge. Stoz set off like an unpolished rocket, and, perhaps spurred by his spurt, or his Sprouts, or summat, I decided to test the knee by jogging for the first mile. I was dressed appropriately, Sprouts at the ready and lightly backpacked; the first mile was pain-free so I carried on…and on…and on. Soon the realisation dawned that I could at least end this thing as I started, as we intended: by running. I know I’m overdramatising somewhat, but it meant something that I was able to run this final stretch, after 4 days of mundane walking.

Today proved to be a challenging one, not least due to the residual water that has accumulated from the past couple of days heavy rain!

We’d already run this one when training, so I knew where I was going and where the particularly difficult bits were. However, I hadn’t bargained on some of the flooded areas that were going to confront me.

This certainly broke up the run as it simply wasn’t possible to run through these areas, I had to stop and negotiate a way round of sorts!

I was surprised at my energy levels but I needed every ounce as this is a long run of 17 miles that I divided into phases of ‘pre’ and ‘post’ Brampton to help me judge the distances I’d covered.

The weather improved the closer I got to Carlisle which was a real bonus, even allowing me to take off the waterproof. Once I got to Crosby on Eden I knew I was nearly home and it was a wonderful feeling.

By this stage my legs were starting to get quite tired and ‘heavy’ but the prospect of getting home kept me going and after a slowish phase my pace increased again.

Hitting Rickerby Park and I knew I had another mile to go, so I took my time and savoured the feelings of elation as I finally reached my destination of Eden Bridges.

It is really odd starting each leg with Daoud and then going our separate ways via different ‘means’. Not part of the plan at all, but we’ve managed to find a way that works. Daoud has completed every mile, as have I and, in some ways, it must have been a lot harder.

A lot of ‘lesser’ people would have given up, but he hasn’t and has turned in some amazing times for speed walking without a speed mouth (tribute to our lost fwend, the legend that is ‘S’)

And for me, his presence and participation has been a real source of inspiration when ‘running on empty’. Without it, this experience would have been much harder!

Rain yesterday and rain today. Rain forecast for the morn and all. We are now proofed against the wet, come fall rain it matters not a jot. Would be nice if we had a bit of sun before the end though but (to use a bit o’ Geordie, y’knaa)

Thursday saw us catch the AD122 at the Courts and via a somewhat circuitous route the bus fetched up at Once Brewed an hour and twentyfour mins later with me getting a mite impatient with the pensioners who did not appear to have the right change. I was on a tight schedule. Topics of conversation on the bus included the concepts of the camel toe and the badly packed kebab.

Anyhoo, as Andrew went to micturate I sallied forth, knowing he would soon be overtaking me, fleet of foot that he is. He is of corpse running whereas I have to ambulate as well as I can. I had with me today my trusty Leki walking pole, for ease of movement and to skewer any ‘Nuts in May’ couples, retired headmistresses with grating voices, or pillocks with Stetson-style ‘Drizabone’ headgear.  That tight schedule: I had 2 hours and 42 minutes to walk the 9.7 miles to Birdoswald, so I could catch the 13.37 bus back yam. I will not bore you with the details, but I did it with 7 minutes to spare (and it was 9.9 miles) Rockin’ good news. As I can’t run, I am setting myself daily targets; tomorrow, however, I am just going to amble, saunter and stroll as I have no bus to catch. It’s also the longest leg (17+ miles) and I’ve got a blister coming on.

Undulations, quagmire and cowpats were the order of the day today. Andrew is on tiptop form with the running and seems to be taking it all in his stride. I am a mite jealous as we are both supposed to be running, but, as the Arabs say, malesh (never mind, not to worry)

Well the pattern has been set and Dick walks and I run. Bit of an odd arrangement but it’s working and we’re getting the job done!

Today the weather was horrendous, just to add to the drama, but we both completed the leg without any mishaps and tha’

The run begins with a long slow ascent out of Chollerford before the usual undulations kick in. For me, it’s all a bit of a blur as I just got my head down and toughed it out.

Getting cold and wet is no fun at the best of times, but these challenges are what define us. My mind is dragging up some very odd things, but it’s never dull!

Today of all days I actually ran too far and unwittingly carried on running for maybe 2.5 miles past the bus stop. Luckily I met some people who explained I was well past it.

This meant I had a frantic run back to catch the bus which I managed to catch with seconds to spare. The alternative would have been 1.5 hour wait for the next one!

Dick had also managed to make it, so we went back together, comparing notes and flooding the bus.

We are now following Plan B of necessity. My poorly knee: I ‘kneed’ direction. Stoz the Intrepid is flying solo, giving me a 9o minute start today and enabling me to attempt to solve one of those old-fashioned mathematical problems: if one man leaves Heddon on the Wall at 08.25, travelling at 3.65 miles an hour for the first hour and 3.63 miles an hour for the second, and another man leaves at 09.45, travelling at an average of 6.14 miles an hour, at what time will they meet?

I was quite happy for the first 3 hours or so (Stoz drew level at about 12.00) but then the descents became, shall we say, problematic. I was even walking backwards at one stage, and not for Christmas. 16 miles later, Chollerford was reached after 4hr 55 mins of walking, and I was very glad to see my sister Lindsay and my nephews Rory and Jamie. One relaxing bath later, I continue to recuperate, and Stoz has gone into Hexham for some Deep Heat and a tubular bandage.

Shunned by Scooby


Well we’ve completed the first leg and after a bright and breezy start, Dick’s knee problem returned! However, we took our time and still managed to get here on schedule (ish).

The views and transitions are amazing along the route from urban angst to stunning countryside, pretty much all along the Tyne. It gets a bigs thumbs up from us

We’ll do photos and stuff when we’re back as it’ll be a lot easier to do things once we’re done with this.

Dick is giving his knee ice treatment and hopefully when he wakes up his knee will be good to go again. Otherwise we’ll have to have a rethink. Creative solutions are us! There is ‘knee’ way we’ll be giving up, like! We will vanquish this! Mother found the glass!

Well the day has finally arrived and we meet at Carlisle station to catch the train to Newcastle and then to Wallsend to start!

The weather’s not great but I’m sure the adrenalin will soon warm us up.

We’ll update the blog as frequently as we can, but will probably tweet more in the first two days with snippets of our progress.

We would just like to thank everyone for all the support and good luck wishes. It really does make a difference!

If you’d like to make a donation, just go here You will be supporting a great cause.

Ok time to go and get sorted!


ZANY: Bowness-on-Solway 25.06.11

We’re in the local press!

The miles are piling on as last Saturday we practised Day 6: Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway, which, according to my new Garmin fing, was 14.49 miles. No real difficulties with the route, but will we be saying this on 13/08 when we do it for real?

I was on strike yesterday so we went from Halton Shields to Heddon on the Wall and back: 16.86 miles. Slight blister trouble at the end for Andrew but the presence of Scooby Doo saw us through the rain. This will constitute part of Day 2 and I have memorised the distances each day:

Day 1 – 15; day 2 – 15.9; day 3 – 12.9; day 4 – 9.7; day 5 – 17.7; day 6 – 14.4. These wiil be checked in a middle-aged and pedantic way on the Garmin Forerunner.

You will see some anomalies there but it’s the best we can do logistically, using the AD122 bus. Oh and we’ve got our 3-day ‘Rover’ tickets.

John has gone from a definite maybe to a provisional yes.

This is where we are staying on the first night:

Saturday sees a dry run of Day 5, the long 17.7 mile ‘descent’ into Carlisle from Birdoswald.

Scooby Schnax

Running around…
Oh and to read that story of our intrepid local heroes, misattributed quotes and all, go to:

Here it is in full:

Carlisle men plan to run six half marathons in six days

Last updated at 13:15, Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Two Carlisle men are taking on a challenge when they run six half marathons in just six days.

The pair are partly inspired by Eddie Izzard’s epic marathon challenge around the UK for Sport Relief and aim to raise awareness of men’s health issues.

Andrew Story, 48, from St Aidans, and David Graham, 49, from Stanwix, will run 84 miles along Hadrian’s Wall in August, starting in Wallsend on August 8 and finishing in Bowness-on-Solway on August 13.

They have been friends since their school days at Trinity.

David said: “For most of my adult life, I have not looked after myself and I had a real wake-up call in 2006 when I was diagnosed with angina and had an angioplasty, which is two stents inserted into my arteries to keep them open.

“It was time to give up smoking and drinking after which I then took steps to tackle my weight. Fell walking became my passion and then I gradually got into running. I have built up my running and have taken part in half-marathons, 10km races and have one marathon under my belt.”

Andrew said: “Like David, I used to be a heavy smoker, but managed to give up about seven years ago.

“I have always enjoyed fitness training but used to kid myself that smoking didn’t make any difference to my performance. Since I quit smoking, I have had a lot more energy. I have not run these kinds of distances before and so I wanted to take myself up to another level and completing this will be a major achievement.”

The two also want to raise £1,000 for the Katie Piper Foundation, which is helping people to live with burns and scars. This can be done through their ‘Just Giving’ page –