• Tom Crossland

Day 17 - Mental and physical headwind

Skeldyke - Wainfleet 42.92 km (605 km done)

Start Time - 8.40 am

Finish Time - 3.20 pm

Moving time - 5 hours 49 mins

Garmin Temperatures

Average - 15 C

Min - 14 C

Max - 24 C

After the past two weeks of running through a heat wave, I thought the break in the weather would give a welcome respite and I set off today I was in feeling good about the day ahead. My legs are feeling good and I find it hard to believe that I have now run just over 600 km in 14 days of running. Although I have been there for every kilometre I am not sure I really did it. It still comes as a surprise that I am really doing this thing I have been planning for years. It has been in the back of my mind every day since 2018, well the original plan. Thinking about the logistics, kit or what help I need. The idea that it is really happening now is completely bonkers to be honest.

Anyway very quickly the order of the day quickly became wind and rain in the face. Running through the Lincolnshire fens is an interesting experience on the best of days, and today was definitely not the best of days. But even on a day like today I try and take in as such as I can, and appreciate what I am doing.

Running through the fields of cauliflowers, cabbages and kale, being picked by hand by groups of people. I was trying to imagine working in the same conditions I have been and was running in. Then I thought about the people who will be working on a farm somewhere in the area who will not be able to stop for breaks and won't have the right clothing for the conditions and won't be paid a wage for their work.

I then thought about a story that someone who ran with me told me. They needed some extra help in their business, so they went to an agency and got two people to work for them. They were good workers and had been working for them for about five or six months. One day someone from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority came to the work place and asked to talk to them. It was only at this point they found out that the two people who were working for them had only been paid £20 a week, after agency deductions for the whole time they had been working for them. The person explained that there were no signs of this exploitation and the two people seemed happy. They believed they were working with a reputable agency, which was registered with the appropriate organisations. Once they new the situation they immediately offered to employ the people directly so they could be paid a living wage.

This story showed me how important this project is and how much exploitation is hidden in plain sight.

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