That’s how far Simon Clark ran after setting off from Ecologia’s base in Moray to run anti-clockwise around mainland Britain to raise £20,000 in aid of our work (as of July 5th, 2017).
Personally, we can’t imagine running even a single 26-mile marathon, but Simon has completed almost 200 times that distance!
That’s how much he values our work and the youngsters we support in Kenya, Russia, Uganda and Myanmar.
We were curious to find out more about what kept him going and what were the strangest and most memorable moments of his journey. Here is what we discovered!
Days on the road: 341
Days off on the road: 46
Nights spent wild camping: 143 (42%)
Most miles in one day: 33
Average mileage per day: 17.5
Average speed: 3.1mph
Nights spent indoors courtesy of others: 140 (in places ranging from hotels and B&Bs to sofas, barns, a campsite laundry room, and vans. 105 were through friends / friends of friends, and for 35 he found friends the day he needed accommodation)
Nights in paid accommodation: 61 (18%) (Mainly in Scotland early on)
Total spend on accommodation: £1,648
Total spend on food: £6,650 – average £19.50 a day. (Paid for by Simon out of his own earnings, so that 100% of the money you donate goes to support Ecologia and the children at our projects. He also paid for his own equipment and running gear.)
Total spend on other items: £1,431 on computer and phone technology, £1,566 on new kit, including 9 pairs of shoes, £277 on donations to other causes, £295 on massage, £814 on other things.
Country borders crossed: 4
Gates and kissing gates opened and closed: Approx. 3000
Brief encounters noted: 1,900+ (people I’ve had a conversation with in which they’ve learnt what I’m doing and I’ve learnt a bit/a lot about their lives)
Bridges crossed: Approx. 1,500
BULLOCKs talked to: 500+
Which donation really stands out for you and why? Old timer fishermen in Morecambe Bay £1 (the occasion, preparing to run over long railway bridge – feeling nervous, they had no money then found a coin)
What’s your basic daily routine? There is no pattern, never has been. It depends where I stay: if I camp then I’m usually off at sunrise looking for breakfast. I usually sit in a cafe for 2-3 hours or so if there is one. In Scotland I ran a lot in the evening, now I tend to stop between 6-7pm. If I stay with people I tend not to leave until 10-11am because of chatting.
Most amazing encounter with a non-human creature: Coco the deer, the fox in the night at New Quay, and the horse on my shoulder near Swansea (see below).
Best moments: the exhilaration of falling down a wooded cliff-side having lost my footing and being out of control. A horizontal, fallen tree caught me. It was also the costliest moment – I lost my uninsured iPhone!; waking to find Coco the tame deer next to me; an extraordinary sunrise at 4am on the Crinan Canal, Kintyre, in June; a horse’s head laying on my shoulder, us cheek to cheek, on the Gower Peninsular; the staggering beauty of the Summer Isles across the estuary on a bright summer’s evening; feeling magnificent running to Carlisle after crossing the border into England on my 100th day; running in the rain and wind in Pembrokeshire knowing a hot shower was waiting; sleeping on the loch shores in the warm June sunshine south of Skye; boating with a fisherman from Ullapool early one morning; any moment when the sun shines…
Most unexpected moment: Meeting Bernard Hill in pub in Dodbury. It’s 5.30pm, I’ve run 16 miles, rain is forecast tonight and the air is very cold; my sister is anxious I’m dry and warm; the Exeter Inn is full and I sit by their fire phlegmatic about camping. A guy then walks in, looks at me and exclaims ‘Simon Clark – clacker.’ I look unmoved – ‘Bernard Hill’ he continues. Instantly I remember him from secondary school; we weren’t in the same gangs but we remembered each others ‘house’, his Celts, mine Saxons. The next twenty minutes are spent in delirious increduality. He lives 100 yards up the road with his partner Pauline, who soon arrives and together we spend the evening in reminiscence and I a blessed sense of God on my side.
Worst moments: the few days after returning to the road after a break south of Skye – everything hurt and I felt I’d lost my purpose; the night camping after I’d completed 2000 miles, soaking, miserable and sleep-deprived; times feeling lonely and bored.
What is your favourite terrain to run on? Cliff top open fields with expansive views around undulating, in and out (jiggardy!) coasts. Whilst I love dangerous paths, big ups and downs, edgy cliffs, I kinda like the ease of a field.
Did you ever want to seriously give up? (What happens?) The time when I was struggling with back ache and sore ankles – my new rucksack helped re-energise me at Campbeltown; the times when I get drenched – the next day comes and all is ok.
What kept you going? Commitment and perseverance: my determination to raise £20,000 for Ecologia and the children who benefit from their work; keeping my commitment to the children, to what I set out to do and to all those who have supported me and donated so far!