Author Archives: Fraser Hart

Lessons learned from the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

With only 5 months to go before the start of the Great Pacific Race, we (and I’m sure all of the GPR crews) have been avidly following the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge which is currently underway, taking crews from the Canary Islands off the north west coast of Africa to Antigua.

14 crews left La Gomera 32 days ago only to be hit by weeks of storms and heavy seas which saw numerous capsizes, resulting in shaken crews, cuts and bruises, equipment loss and failure and in a few extreme cases, teams have had to be airlifted to safety, leaving their boats bobbing around in the Atlantic.

Crews have had to spend days locked in their hot, humid and cramped cabins with their parachute anchors out to keep safe from the seas. Emerging from the cabin when the weather permitted would find them having to reclaim lost miles.

Following along with the highs and the lows of the Atlantic crews really does put things into perspective. It’s very easy to get lost in the romance and excitement of 5/6 weeks at sea rowing from California to Hawaii. My mind is filled with thoughts of celebrations at achieving milestones, the sun rises, the sunsets, the starscapes, the pods of dolphins following us for days, the whales breaching next to us, the banter with 3 good friends and all the other highs we will experience as we chase the sun west. It is good then, that we are brought back to reality so we don’t get carried away. We are reminded that it won’t all be joyous. We’ll experience sores all over our hands, feet and bodies, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, unbearable heat and cramped conditions. At times we will even be in fear of our lives.

A capsize, now seems a probability rather than a freak 1 in 1000 occurrence as I previously perceived it to be. I don’t think there is a single crew on the Atlantic Challenge who hasn’t experienced one yet. With the capsizes, along with equipment being lost to the sea, many of the Atlantic crews are reporting electrical failures due to water getting into the systems.

An electrical failure has now moved from completely off my radar to my current biggest worry. If the electrics fail, we won’t be able to make water. If we had no water we’d have to pull out of the race. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not much of a handyman, if we needed to start rewiring the electronics to get the watermaker functioning, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start.

Luckily, we have a manual for our wiring system on board. I’ll surely be spending a lot of time on the boat with a knowledgable friend to show me at the very least the basics before we set off.

One of the teams has even reported being attacked by a shark (or possibly swordfish) a few days ago. It seems the shark attempted a few taster bites before realising that the boat was inedible and moved on. Not before leaving a hole and one of it’s teeth in their hull. Any of my friends who have been swimming with me in the sea will tell you that I’m the first one to race back to shore if I see anything on the sea floor that isn’t untouched sand.

Following the Atlantic race really has been an eye opener. I’ve been glued to the race tracker and eagerly read each of the crews’ blog updates the second they fall into my Feedly account. The event organisers have done an amazing job with the coverage of the race and I look forward to similar coverage of our race.

Despite all the harsh realities that the Atlantic Updates have brought, they have also made me even more excited and impatient to make that first push off from the pontoon in Monterey.

235km in 24hrs. Our static row in London’s Leicester Square

The day started at 2.30pm when I met Sam in a rainy Covent Garden. Sam was waiting under cover wearing just a pair of shorts and his Team Pacific rowers t-shirt and was fully loaded with a bevy of items we would need for the 24hrs. I was also laden with equipment, though between us, we didn’t have a tent. The inventory James was bringing with him in a few hours was also void of one. Our stuff was going to get soaked.

We set out to trawl around Covent Garden’s many outdoor shops for a cheap ex-display or returned faulty tent but it seemed just as summer had gone, so had the supply of tents. It was looking unlikely that we’d be able to get our hands on even a brand new tent until we were met at the door of Jack Wolfskin by the very helpful Si. We explained to Si who we were, what we were doing and what we were looking for. He disappeared off down stairs and very quickly came back with a choice of 2 very high quality tents that he generously offered to lend us. We opted for the freestanding dome tent, thanked him and made our way over to Leicester Square to pick our spot.

Once in Leicester Square our spot was obvious.. right in front of the Empire cinema and casino. We had a chat to the doorman at the casino and he generously offered to watch our bags while we ran over to the Strand to pick up the rowing machines that Fitness First had agreed to lend us for the weekend. The lady on the front desk at Fitness First couldn’t have been more helpful. She showed us where the machines were, let us fill up our water bottles and gave us a few spares and within 10 minutes we were wheeling 2 Concept 2 rowers the half mile to Leicester Square.

Sam and I transporting the rowers

Sam and me transporting the rowers

Within moments of putting the rowers down, the rain had stopped and we had gained some interest from Conrad and his Dad Marc. Conrad fancied trying out the rowing machine and he set off rowing at the same time as Sam started the first of his 4 2hr shifts while I got our pitch set up. Marc offered a hand with the pitch, which in the strong winds proved invaluable. I don’t think we could have got the banner rolled out and the tent put up without his help. Cheers Marc!

Fast forward an hour and 15 minutes, the pitch was up and Conrad was still going and had clocked over 10km!!! Still full of energy, he reluctantly left the rower and he and Marc left for a curry house.

Conrad rowing with Sam

Conrad rowing with Sam

Sam rowed on for another 45 minutes then I took over for my first 2hr shift, during which James turned up laden with more stuff for the next 20 or so hours. James had brought a table and chairs which, in the strong winds, proved invaluable. We were able to move the gear supporting the banner into the tent for extra weight to prevent another episode of it lifting off the floor in the wind and attempting to fly to the other side of Leicester Square.

I rowed my first uneventful shift and was glad to hand over to James to give my behind a rest. Even with the memory foam cushion I had brought from the boat, it was still very uncomfortable.

Colin's viewpoint in Auckland

Colin’s viewpoint in Auckland

During my shift, we got a message from Colin from over in New Zealand. While he wasn’t able to be with us in Leicester Square, he was doing his part in Auckland at his local gym. Clocking 4.5 hours to add to our 24.

By now, darkness had truly fallen and the witching hour was approaching. We rowed on and on through the night squeezing in rest in the tent when we could but with the alcohol fueled activity going on around us, it was hard to relax and get any real amount of sleep. I managed around an hour the entire night.

James Rowing with Forest Gump

James Rowing with Forest Gump

The overnight hours brought some, let’s say, “interesting” characters and situations; more Halloween zombies than you can shake a stick at, the Hare Krishna party in front of us for half an hour or so, the cowboy hat wearing thai chi performer who sat with us for an hour and then threatened to beat Sam up because he wouldn’t let him row while claiming he could row much faster than Sam and throwing a few un-PC insults at the time. Luckily the situation was resolved peacefully and he was on his way.

Camping in Leicester Square

Camping in Leicester Square

After the hour’s sleep I did get, I awoke to be told of an incident with a lady sporting a broken bottle in each hand, blood covering each arm, wearing a blanket. She stopped at our notice board for a while and walked away to be apprehended by the police.

We also met a couple of complete gems in Kadesha and Dwayne. They came over around 1am to see what we were doing and ended up sticking around until around 5am. A couple of very bubbly and entertaining characters, they kept us amused and in very high spirits with chaos going on all around us. They were also a huge help in our fund raising efforts, shaking buckets and talking to folk about what we’re up to. Massive thanks to those 2 guys (follow them on twitter: @RihannaNavyLdnX @DwayneOfficial).

Kadesha and Dwayne

Kadesha and Dwayne

Shortly after Kadesha and Dwayne left us, the streets got quiet and the sun came up. We were happy to see the start of the new day. Footfall gradually increased and at around midday we saw our friends from the start of our row, Conrad and Marc. They were on their way to the science museum before flying back home to Germany and Conrad wanted to come for another row. He rowed like a total boss for another 5km.

James' shift just after sunrise

James’ shift just after sunrise

By now we were on our final shifts. Sam was out first, then I finished my final 2 hours before handing over to James to smash out the last shift of the 24hrs which he did casually in a pair of jeans.

Film maker extraordinaire Jannicke

Cinematographer extraordinaire Jannicke

We counted down the final 60 seconds with a number of revellers and then cracked open the beer to celebrate.

We were truly humbled by the kindness, generosity and sheer interest from the people in London this weekend.

235km rowed in 24hrs.

Huge huge thanks again to Jack Wolfskin Covent Garden for the tent, Fitness First on the Strand for the rowers and the Casino at the Empire for the use of the facilities and for watching our bags!

Oh… and I got pooped on by a pigeon and some of it landed on my nose.

Celebrating the end of the 24hrs

Celebrating the end of the 24hrs

24hr Static Row in London’s Leicester Square

At very short notice, Sam, James and I (Fraser) are putting the final pieces of preparation together as we head in to central London to begin our 24hr row-a-thon.

The idea of a 24hr static row was something Sam put to us in the very beginning of our campaign as a great way to gain publicity and raise funds for our expedition. We all agreed that it would be a great idea and a few dates were thrown about but nothing was settled on and the idea fell on the back burner.

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 9.28am 1

Then out of nowhere a couple of weeks ago, I got an excited phone call from Sam’s inner 12yr old on Christmas saying he’d put in an application to the council to do a row in the first weekend of November. We slowly started putting a plan together on the off chance that our application was granted and then on Wednesday, we got the official word that we had the go ahead. Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Leicester Square were thrown up as possible locations. We had our minds set on Leicester Square – for the footfall and lively atmosphere – so when the council agreed, we couldn’t have been happier.

I’m meeting Sam in Covent Garden at 2pm and from there we are to head over to Fitness First on the Strand who have kindly offered to lend us 2 rowing machines. James has a marquee which he will be bringing at 7 when he arrives so we should have a nice little set up. We’ll also have pictures of our boat with us so come for a sneak preview before our official unveiling.were ecstatic. The banner was ordered for next day delivery and the wheels were put in motion.

We’ll be alternating the rowing between the 3 of us (Colin, being in NZ will not be able to attend – though he has promised to punish himself on an ergo in Auckland) on a single rower and we’ll be offering the chance for members of the public to have a go and face off against each other in sprint challenges on the second machine.

It would be great to see a lot of faces down there so if you are in the area, come and have a chat and challenge your friends at a sprint race.

I’m off to try and find my cycling gloves and camera mounts and then get myself into central London.

See you there.

Pacific Rowers September Update

It’s been a while since we have updated our blog but things have been going feverishly behind the scenes here. Over countless hours of Skype meetings, we have finally decided on our sponsorship packages and are in the beginning stages of sending proposals out to a select few companies who we would like to get involved in our campaign. Check out our sponsorship pack here.

On the media side of things, we though it would be fun to commission a song to be written and recorded for us. The somewhat… interesting… result can be seen below with a video we created to go with it. Seems there was a bit of miscommunication between ourselves and the artist. He read “British” as “Jewish”. Not ones to grumble though, we think it’s pretty amazing.

We also had an ad go out on a US based sports podcast. You can listen to the ad here:–nfl-ncaa-football-mlb Click through to 13:20.

More excitingly than all that, we’ve been checking out a number of boats to carry us across the Pacific. We’ve narrowed our options down to a couple and within a few days we should have big news!

Before signing off.. here’s a picture of James practicing sleeping on board one of the boats:


Sleeping on an ocean rowing baot


How much plastic do we use in a week?

Regular readers may remember just under 2 weeks ago I posted about my Plastic Free Challenge, well, a few days late due to some forgotten commitments, unusually good British weather prompting a few big bike rides and an impromptu game of squash here I am with my first follow up post.


I used this much plastic in a week

My first week was a control week in which I would collect every piece of plastic I consumed rather than throwing it in the rubbish or the recycle bin and I have to say, I was shocked at just how much plastic I did use in just the week. I’m just 1 person and it’s for less than 2% of the year. I like to think of myself as a fairly low level offender when it comes to plastic but I made some of the even most fundamental mistakes during the week. In my week’s collection, I have plastic grocery bags and water bottles. I carry a reusable water bottle and I have a drawer full of canvas shopping bags but they still crept into my life during the week.

Today, I started my plastic “free” week. While I am acutely aware that it is not going to be possible to cut out plastic from my life 100% – walking the aisles at the supermarket reveals very little not wrapped in plastic – there are definitely areas where it could be greatly reduced. The fundamentals I mentioned above will be strictly adhered to and I will be taking active steps to drastically reduce if not completely cut out plastic from my life.

I’ll report back in a week with how I got on.


Plastic Free Challenge

Plastic_AquaticA key motivator for our entry in the Great Pacific Race is our desire to raise awareness of plastic in the worlds’ oceans. Less than a quarter of all of the plastic used in Europe and the US is recycled. The rest is destined to spend eternity sitting in landfills or will end up in oceanic gyres such as the Great Pacific garbage patch.

We humans take plastic for granted. It is a key component in just about everything we touch, consume and do. Sitting here on my bed writing this, just about everything I have in my eyesight either contains plastic or came packaged in plastic. I’m tapping away on plastic keys on my laptop, the insides house yet more plastic, my bedding came packaged in plastic, my bike has many plastic components, my windows are plastic, even my chili plants are reliant on plastic; the soil came in a plastic bag, as did the seeds and the pots are plastic…. I won’t go on, you get the idea. This plastic will exist long long after I’m gone and will end up in the previously mentioned places and/or on/in wildlife.

I have decided to set myself a small challenge (in the grand scheme of things, to be just doing this for a week initially, it is a VERY small effort) to see how much I can and how easy it is to reduce my plastic consumption. I am under no disillusions that I will be able to cut plastic out of my life completely and while currently I do try and limit my plastic consumption, I feel if I am not actively taking every step possible to shave as much plastic out of my life as physically possible it makes me somewhat of a hypocrite to be rowing for this cause.

Starting tomorrow morning (Thursday 11th July 2013), for a week, I will live my life as usual, collecting the plastic waste of everything I buy, eat and use. Then, the next week, starting the following Thursday (18th July), I will cut out as much plastic as I am physically able, if something runs out, I will replace it with a plastic free alternative. I will collect everything and compare the waste from the 2 weeks to see just how much plastic we can cut back on with a little thought and effort.

I’m expecting this to be very, very tough. Big concerns for me are:

  • Milk – I love milk but I can’t think of any alternative ways of getting milk on my cereal without heading out into the country, chasing a cow through a field, rugby tackling it and spraying it’s milk onto my breakfast directly from the cow’s udders.
  • Pasta – Being a pretty terrible cook; an easy meal option for me is pasta. I eat a LOT of the stuff. Thinking to the supermarket shelves I can’t think of a single way that pasta comes not in plastic. Even the fancy pasta in the cardboard boxes has a plastic window.
  • Toiletries – Toothpaste, shower gel, shaving foam, deoderant, toothbrush – if these run out, or my housemates “borrow” them, as they are prone to, I’m not sure what I will do. Couple this with a week of cycling and I could end up a very smelly man!
  • Meat/Fish – I eat a lot of canned fish (see above about my cooking skills) which is fine – but ~3 times per week, I will have chicken, beef or turkey. Supermarkets are obviously out so I’ll need to locate my nearest butcher.
  • Bread – I’m crossing my fingers that the bread bags from the bakery at my local supermarket don’t have plastic windows or I’ll be seeking out my local bakery….. or going without bread.

If anyone has any suggestions to help me out on the above concerns, any websites I should read or any other tips to help me dramatically cut down my plastic intake, I’d love to hear them and would ask you to post them in the comments below or let me know over twitter (@pacificrowers).

I’ll post again next Wednesday evening with the control week results.

Fraser’s 30hr, 100km London to Brighton Trek 2013

This weekend, I took part in the British Heart Foundation’s London to Brighton Trek, an annual fundraising event put on by the charity which is a 100km (62 mile) Trek from, unsurprisingly, London to Brighton.

After being asked by my friend Danny a few months back if I fancied taking part, I signed up under the mindset of “it’ll be easy, It’ll be challenging but it’s only walking and it’ll be fun to spend some time with the lads doing something a little different”. Up until this point, the longest walk I’d ever been on was in the region of 15 miles.

The first time I mentioned the walk to my Dad, an avid hiker, while hugely supportive, expressed concern and called me bonkers for signing up and repeatedly told me over the next few months that I should be training more (not too dissimilar to his reaction to my signing up to the Great Pacific Race). This should have caused alarm bells, but, despite being in the best shape of my life from all the cycle and gym training, I flippantly went into the walk with only 2 training walks under my belt, the longest of which was 17 miles and neither of those 2 walks were within a month of the start of the event.

8 Bananas, 8 chocolate bars, pack of beef jerky, 3 packs of sugary sweets, tube of hydration tabs, 2 water bottles, paracetamol, anti blister spray, blister plasters, 4 changes of socks, adhesive padding, nut and raisin mix, head torch, walking poles, batteries, laser pointer, rain jacket, running shoes (which I decided to leave behind), camera

8 Bananas, 8 chocolate bars, pack of beef jerky, 3 packs of sugary sweets, tube of hydration tabs, 2 water bottles, paracetamol, anti blister spray, blister plasters, 4 changes of socks, adhesive padding, nut and raisin mix, head torch, walking poles, batteries, laser pointer, rain jacket, running shoes (which I decided to leave behind), camera

On Friday night after work, with my bag in which I’d packed with everything for the walk, I headed to Sevenoaks train station bound for Sunbury where I was to meet up with Danny, Mike, Tom, Stuart and James in the hotel we had booked for the night before the start. We had a low key evening and had all retired by around 9.30 to get an early night for the following morning.

After convening in the hotel lobby just before 7am, we headed over to Kempton Park Racecourse to register with around 500 other walkers and get ready for the off. In traditional English fashion, the weather was overcast and there was light, sporadic rain.

After registration, we found ourselves in the first group, scheduled to leave at 8am. At just after 8, at the gates to the racecourse, we joined in the countdown for the most anti climatic start to any event ever – the start of a walk is never going to be an explosive event – and headed off towards Brighton.

The first part of the course headed out through the suburbs towards the river Thames which we flanked for a few miles before meeting the river Wey(?), along which we walked til Guildford. Our first checkpoint was at a pub on the river 15km from the start which we reached in around 3 uneventful hours. By the time we reached the first checkpoint, I’d noticed my left heel was starting to get quite sore, I wasn’t sure if I was just imagining it as I spent the majority of the time walking looking for sore points as I was petrified of getting any blisters which would end my challenge. At the checkpoint we grabbed a coffee, ate some snacks, aired our feet and I reapplied anti blister spray and we headed off towards checkpoint 2 at a pub Guildford, another 15km away.

We arrived in Guildford after another uneventful stretch, both feet had some pain but nothing too bad. A couple of the guys in particular were having quite severe problems with blisters at this stage so they did what they could in terms of foot care. I aired my feet, ate a burger and had my first sock change. We had friends come out to meet us in Guildford as well as Mike’s mum, dad and sister who walked with us for a couple of miles after the checkpoint.

From Guildford, we set off headed for the halfway point. A few miles before we go to the checkpoint it had started getting dark and I was getting a lot of discomfort in my right knee, right behind my knee cap, which sent shooting pains down my leg when putting weight on it on even the slightest decline. The back of my left knee was also causing me some grief. This prompted me to crack out the poles.

By the time we made it to the halfway checkpoint around 9pm, we were all noticeably fatigued and in pain and by the faces and body language of the other walkers, they were too. We spent about half an hour here. Socks were changed and snacks were eaten before we reluctantly got to our feet to start the 12km to the next checkpoint where we were to get a meal.

Almost immediately after leaving the halfway mark, my left knee decided it wanted join in with my right knee and I got the exact same pain but much more severe. I was now using the poles as hand held crutches, putting as much of my weight onto them as I could. Things looked pretty bleak for me at this stage but I took a couple of pain killers and forced myself along. Around 3 miles from the next checkpoint, where we were to be fed, I had got a burst of energy and with Danny, we pressed on ahead of the others – both Danny and James seemed much less affected than the rest of us at this stage – it didn’t last long though; the pain in my knees heightened and forced me to slow down to barely a snails pace after a couple of miles of charging, leaving Danny up ahead on his own. Before I reached the checkpoint the others had caught and passed me.

When I arrived at the checkpoint, I found the others in the dinner hall tucking into their food. I queued for my lasagne and took a seat with them. The second I sat down I started to feel feint and I was very hot and started sweating profusely. I took my jumper off and had to put my head on the table as I felt I was going to pass out. A worker in the dining hall took notice of my condition and called a medic over who advised me to eat some food. Seeing as I hadn’t eaten anything other than energy gels and chocolate for the last 10hrs I was likely just running on sugar and it was running out, he said. I very forcefully took a couple of bites of garlic bread down and very quickly started to come round.

By now everyone was suffering with blisters. 2 of our team moreso than the others and after an hour or so and a lot of attention from paramedics, they were unable to continue due to their pain. The checkpoint was like a military hospital during war time, there were people being carried into the back of ambulances and medics treating people everywhere. We heard an unofficial statistic from one of the marshalls that less than half the people who started the race made it past the checkpoint.

James and Danny who were faring better than the rest of us decided to push on ahead. After we had filled our water bottles, taken our complimentary massages and stocked up on as many pain killers as the medics would allow us, Stuart and I crawled out of the checkpoint fully expecting the following 38km to be too much for us.

We stumbled on through the night in the rain through fields and woods as quick as our damaged legs and feet would carry us – Not very fast. We spent the night talking about how much we were looking forward to the sunrise and the morale boost it would give us, convincing ourselves that seeing the natural light would trick our tired bodies into waking up and giving us the energy we so very much needed to get ourselves to Brighton racecourse. We tried to calculate what time we would finish the walk. Each time we made the calculation, the ETA was later: 11am, 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm…….. By the time the sky started to lighten – around 4am we were both getting very delirious. I recall after every sentence that came out of my mouth thinking “what you just said was a load of [rubbish]”.

I remember earlier in the walk thinking something along the lines of “it’ll be amazing when we get to the 70km mark. It’ll be the home stretch. Getting to the end will be a piece of [cake] from there”. When we actually got to the 70km mark, the sun was coming up and I remembered that thought from the day before. It initially perked me up but then I started doing the calculations that had been my way of passing the time during the night: 30km remaining. We were walking at an absolute maximum of 4km/h. This equals 7.5 hours. 7.5 hours is still a whole working day. And that was without taking into account any breaks and any inevitable further drop in speed.

Along with the sunrise I discovered that my hopes of my circadian rhythm kicking in and bringing me back to life were dashed. This was the start of the lowest point for me on the walk; The pain in my knees and feet was excruciating and I could have very easily just curled up on the gravel path and fallen asleep – I was having to stop very regularly to sit on anything that could be turned into a makeshift chair and I told Stuart numerous times that I’d had it and couldn’t go on any further but each time he gently talked me into “just the next checkpoint” so on I trudged, forcing myself to eat and drink as I went.

I finally got the second wind I was hoping for and out of nowhere sprang back to life. I was still delirious, I was still in excruciating pain and I was still very tired but I suddenly got the drive I was hoping for and was feeling a lot more positive about making it to the end. It was around this time that Stuart started to go through what I had been suffering with and as he had done for me, I did all I could to talk him through it and persuaded him to stay on and he did good and was able to keep going.

We pressed on to the South Downs with heightened spirits knowing that foot of the hill marked 10 miles to the end… We tried to shut out the fact that this meant, at our slow pace, 5 more hours.

Heading up the South Downs was much less of a hardship than I had been anticipating, the poles allowing me the luxury of palming a good amount of the strain from my feet and legs to my upper body which was faring much better than my lower extremities. It was coming down the other side into Hove that was the tough bit, the pain in my knees not letting up and reminding me with every step that they didn’t want me to be doing this. I was this close to the end though and they were being ignored.

We made it down the other side into the narrow alley ways of Hove, littered with broken bottles and cigarette butts, which were to be our path to the checkpoint on the sea front. From there it was to be a short walk to the racecourse for the finish. When we arrived at the checkpoint we found out we still had another 7km to go to the racecourse. This was like a kick in the stomach, we were practically in Brighton and we still had another 2hrs of walking to endure.

We dragged our feet along the coastal path with the wind at our back. I was trying to make the poles carry as much of my weight as I could, eyeing up the pier and constantly trying to work out how long it would take us to make it there. There were motivating moments when passing members of the public (who were going the opposite direction – at this stage there was zero chance of us overtaking even the most casual of coastal strollers) cheered us on or we heard comments from behind us along the lines of “they’ve been walking all night”. I also got a very motivating call from my dad who was, at the time, in the midst of a leg of his coast to coast walk up north.

When we finally reached the pier after just over an hour we’d lost sight of the direction signs so I got my phone out and plotted the shortest route to the racetrack for the finish line. 1.2 miles remaining. We’d be finished within an hour… we followed the blue line on my phone inland and uphill using the last of our energy. Looking down at the phone every couple of seconds to confirm that we were in fact getting closer to our target. Eventually, the racecourse came into view and we saw the red jumper of a BHF marshal coming towards us to tell us that we’d missed a turning and were approaching the racecourse from the wrong direction. Expecting to be sent back to join the “correct” path we were happy to hear that we had covered the same distance and just needed to go round to another entrance to the stadium so we could walk the official route to the finish line where our friends and my sister were waiting to cheer us in. It was 3pm, 30hrs after we had started. I grabbed the nearest chair I could find and sat down.

l-r James, Mike, Tom, Danny, Me (Fraser), Stuart

l-r James, Mike, Tom, Danny, Me (Fraser), Stuart