• Tom Crossland

Run to Refuge is a go

What a year it has been. When I reflect on the last year and consider that, I was still planning on starting in Athens on the 1st of May and confident that COVID-19 would not really cause too much disruption to my plans. How wrong I was!

Since then I have continued to train and remained committed to my goal of helping TRIBE Freedom Foundation to support survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking. I have taken part in the Great Run Across Tennessee, covering 1000 miles in four months whilst working full time and been part of a team that have circumnavigated the world in less than sic months. Having these goals has kept me going and motivated.

As well as completing virtual challenges, I have been planning a new run, over about the same distance and time but UK based so that I am less effected by international travel bans and border crossings. I think it is too risky to try and cross 11 countries in the era of COVID-19.

I now have a route set and after the publication on the road map in England and hopefully a similar timeline in Wales, I am confident that I can start Run to Refuge on the 1st June this year.

The route will now start from my home, in Oxfordshire, following the Thames to the east coast of England, I will then head north around East Anglia and up to Newcastle. From Newcastle I will run across the country following Hadrian’s Wall, a journey I have wanted to make for a long time. I will then head down the west coast of Cumbria and Lancashire, through Liverpool and into Wales. I will then continue on the Welsh Coastal Path all the way around the coast of Wales back into England. From here, due to distance I am heading south, and missing out Devon and Cornwall and the south west coast path. I then head along the south coast to Brighton (or maybe Hastings to see some friends) from there, its back north to London to rejoin the Thames and to Oxfordshire. All in all 80 marathons in 80 days.

I’ll be running for five days a week with two days to rest or make up any delays. The days I’m running are between 45 km and 56 km, with the total distance of 3045 km and a relatively small 11000 m of ascent. My start and finishes for each day is available here. Have a look and let me know if you want to meet me and run or crew for any of the run.

There will be a virtual challenge running alongside my challenge. This will be available for teams of 5 or 10 people to run or walk the distance in the same amount of time, or 1 person to complete a multi-sport challenge (bike, run, walk or any other human powered method). We are ironing out the final details of this and will launch this very soon. All proceeds will go to TRIBE Freedom Foundation.

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