The Start (UK 2012 Challenge)

What a mad trip it’s been from South Africa. I awoke on Monday morning at 4, a friend of mine was going to Johannesburg on the early flight, so he offered me a lift to Cape Town international airport. I boarded the 6 o’clock morning flight to Durban, I still had to do 2 presentations that morning in Durban, then fly to Johannesburg and then only catch the evening flight to London Heathrow. Then the next morning catch a flight to Edinburgh, landing there at 11:40. Andrew and Darren were then to meet me there and we would do the 500km drive to John O’Groat’s to the start of the run.

What a trip, 30 hours of travel I finally got the end of the UK and our beginning.

That night before is always a very nervous time for me, getting my mind right and just preparing myself for what lies ahead and the twists and up and downs that a journey like this has and I can promise you they are always there. It was parking, unpacking sorting the van out and gear for the next day – finally exhausted I collapsed in my bunk.

It must have been about 2 in the morning that I awoke screaming in pain, bewildered and confused, not knowing where I was or what was happening I lay with the worst cramp that I have ever had in my life. My right calf muscle was exploding with pain and my foot twisted in an unnatural position. I desperately tried to get out of my bed, but the space was small and I was stuck on top of this I was disorientated. Eventually I got to the ground and slowly stood on my foot, straitening it and stretching out the cramp. It was bad. I must of cramped for about 2 minutes, I knew I had done some damage.

I got up the next morning and my heart sunk, I could hardly walk my calf was so sore; I slowly walked around stretching it. I then went for a warm shower at the camp site and this helped. I walked over to the guys and said we must do it, lets get started. The drive to the lighthouse seemed to take forever as I just sat there thinking of what damage I had done and how I was going to cope with the run and manage the injury. I turned to Andy and said, You are going to have to be patient with me today, I need to feel my way into the run – he looked at me and gave such a shit answer that only he can that I just burst out laughing, I was ready for this and I knew he was behind me.

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