LEJOG - Summary

Land's End to John O'Groats in 9 days

9 - 18 June 2004

Well, Lee Hargreaves has got a lot to answer for! It was his story that interested me in doing a 9 day LEJOG in the first place. You should check out all the stories on the Ultimate Links List of Land's End to John O'Groats Trips site. I wanted a route that meant I would be away from home for the minimum of time and be a challenge to go up against. In fairness, Lee did warn of the hardship of such a route but you tend to gloss over that bit. He replied to an email from me and signed it "keep pedalling", I thought this was a friendly signature note but he really meant it! The thing is, you soon realise if you stop for too long, or pedal too slow you will not reach your destination until midnight. There is always a hidden pressure to keep going, 100 miles a day, keep going...

So if, like Lee & Gibbo after him, I was to do it again it would be a 70 mile max per day job. At around 70 miles each day of my ride I would feel like stopping for the night. For me, doing the ride alone was not a big issue. There were not too many points where being alone was the main issue for not wanting to go on. Company was always welcome though.

My motivation was my family and my son Zac. A close friend described what I was doing as "the tip of the iceberg" for our family and I know what they mean. It is not to belittle my efforts, but to put into context the ride and how we live our family life. My wife Lou is such an energy force and motivator and the reason the ride was possible. She gives 110% to all of us, all of the time. What I have done by way of a physical challenge, she does everyday, always sacrificing her own needs and putting those around her first. For Zac, she cares for his every need as a mother and as the manager of his educational therapy - she has no days off. A truly amazing person!

Our other children, Zara, Freya Aphra and Sam all give Zac so much with their love, care, play and patience. Zac's therapists, Fran, Cath, Vicky and Clare are helping to make such a difference in his life now and in the future. Thanks to my sisters Helen and Kate (& Mikey), you are wonderful! Our friends Esther, Carly, Sue and many others form such an important part of our family unit too. My work colleagues were great in supporting me in training and during the ride - thank you! Thanks go to Paul McLaren of Harlow Business Directory who created and hosted the original web pages and daily updates whilst I was on the ride.

I was lucky that Lou and everyone had organised a big welcome home party for me which made it an even more special day to come home. This ride was a big personal achievement and I thank everyone who has supported us, but those who know us, will realise it really is just the tip of the iceberg!