Arch (Marble) to L’Arc (de Triomphe) Attempt… With a bit of help Monday 22nd August – Thursday 26th August 2022
The Memories are Everything – #1
For those who generously sponsored my attempt:
I penned postcards of thanks to about 50 (ahead of the event) but then like a whirlwind I found myself on the way to London so I am conscious that with such amazing support there are lots of people who sponsored, pre, during and post the challenge who are yet to receive any thanks or acknowledgement. Below I have penned a report, (complete with summary at the top if you don’t need the full details). It is my intention to get at least a splurge of ink on a piece of card or a personal e-mail to everyone who hasn’t had one of these yet, but please bear with me, support has frankly been overwhelming and there are so many to thank as the fundraising total approaches £80,000, with contributions from so many, and more in the pipeline… It is totally unbelievable. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
For those who want a summary:
3 ½ Marathons (London to Dover) on Monday / Tuesday
14.5 Hours in the English Channel on Wednesday
181 Mile bike ride (Calais to Paris) on Thursday
Was not quite enough to get me into the Enduroman Arch to Arc ‘family’ as I got pulled out of the English Channel with 5 miles and about 6 hours to go (having swum about 16.5 miles) as forward progress slowed to that of a jellyfish!
I gave it everything but came up a bit short, but it was one heck of a journey. Thank you all for your sponsorship – I’m incredibly grateful, as I am for the support of my amazing crew and incredible family.
For those that want a more detailed account:
I received a call, at 10:30 on Sunday, from Eddie (#1), the first man to complete Arch to Arc and founder of the Enduroman. He said: “You start running tomorrow at 15:00”.
Fortunately, I was mostly packed but I had about 1,000 potatoes to boil! Humphrey also had cooking to do; his task, to make fresh pasta, whilst Hannah looked into various train tickets and ferry options for the support crew. Tracy (my swim coach) was at home trying to find accommodation in Dover and Calais (it transpired one had perfect arrangements, the other slightly bizarre, including a loo in a cupboard where you couldn’t close the door!). Furthermore, Geoffrey, team skipper, had literally just finished a 24-hour relay run with his wife Renata around Sandringham (I’d been to see him at 8:00 a.m. that morning and whilst he still looked fresh he had 50 miles in his legs)!
Meanwhile Mum and Dad were re-jigging a Scotland trip and making further plans so they could take our children Olivia, Flora and Humphrey to Paris. In addition, Boycie was trying to find his Ipswich Town strip from the ‘80’s (when they were actually quite good) to provide a bit of motivation when it came to the swim! And, the final member of the crew, Sam, was trying to download maps on to a device (a good idea given his history of map reading).
So finally, after literally years of training, we were on. Geoffrey, Sam and I drove to London, and soon enough I found myself being greeted by JP at his stunning office just around the corner from Marble Arch. I’m not sure the very smart Board Room has ever seen someone in running clothes and compression socks, stretching their glutes!
It was then off to Marble Arch to be greeted by; The Lyles family, Tom Morley, Gus Marshall Andrew, Edmund and Octavia and #1 – Thank you all. A quick final briefing of the rules, a touch of the Arch and we were off. #1 led me out of London on a bike (no mean feat as he had a broken foot – he is ‘hard as nails’).
1) Seeing the sign, “Welcome to Kent The Garden of Eden”, where the green fields were a welcome sight.
2) A 20-minute powernap and then coffee (at about 2:00 a.m.) – this put me ‘back on the straight and narrow’.
4) Seeing the English Channel for the first time.
5) Getting to the top of Folkestone hill on the old Dover Road, the final climb of the run (which really was undulating).
6) Seeing my family and my outstanding crew at the finish on the most stunning of days.
1) The miles! When you take on 87 of the damn things it takes a long time to put a dent into the total, indeed without stating the ‘bleeding obvious’ a marathon is a long run but even after that was behind me there were 60 miles ahead, it takes a long time to reach parity!
2) Vomiting on the side of the road about 10 hours in, I decided to fuel myself on ‘real foods’ rather than powder as I’d be using that on the swim. Potatoes and electrolyte fluid, normally my friends, soon turned out to be detrimental, I’d used this combination on long practice runs but this was very different to a 6–7 hour training ‘sprint’!
3) The drizzle, the heat, the muggy atmosphere. To get cold is a ‘no-no’ as then you seize up, so I used plenty of layers, these made me sweat which in turn meant I needed to drink more of those bloody electrolytes, a fine balancing act, one which Sam and Geoffrey managed brilliantly.
4) Running on the road uphill, through a thick wood, in the pitch black, with just a head torch, wondering whether it was friendly Gruffalo or evil Goblins behind the next tree… hallucinations are not uncommon on these events.
5) 15 minutes before a powernap, Sam and Geoffrey have subsequently confessed that they thought it might all be over. Prior to taking the 20 min shut eye, it had become very challenging indeed.
6) Motorway underpasses, grim! I can now see why some spoofs refer to Kent as “The ‘toilet’ of England”.
The run was a serious test; I’d hoped to take 20 hours but after the first marathon I realised it would be better to slow down. The trade-off was that I wouldn’t stop at all (bar to change clothes or have a proper feed), my crew worked tirelessly with this new strategy. They’d park approximately 2 ½ miles on from the last spot, wait until I was in view and then Sam would walk back to me with the appropriate nutrition and layers which I’d consume / put on as I walked. It made their role more challenging than a stop by the side of the car but meant that I didn’t seize up or waste time.
Geoffrey had the unenviable task of also being ‘matron’ where he would administer drugs (all legal) and document when these were taken. In addition, he’d keep a loo book, it’s very important not only to hydrate but rid yourself of toxins, anecdotally, when I was back home in Little Dunham, I received a text from Geoffrey “Just checking you have been to the loo”! Not only was he incredibly diligent but his humour kept us in great spirits.
He was also in charge of the route, whilst Sam drove, #1 commented that they were a brilliant support crew but he was puzzled as to why Sam always favoured turning right when we were headed South East. To be fair, Sam drove brilliantly and found some incredible ‘parking spaces’ and with 30-45 mins between ‘stops’ the odd wrong turn simply killed a bit of time.
By the morning Mum, Dad and our children had joined the party. I was somewhat confused to see them talking to a couple of traffic cops, who then gave the support car (which only had need to travel at 4-5 mph) a blue light convoy on to the next stop! Seeing all of them out there really did give me an enormous boost, Thank you. The girls had recorded motivational songs, Geoffrey’s being the Jeff Bezos song which was hysterical, mine that anthem from my early twenties: Chambawamba’s Tubthumping “I get knocked down, but I get up again you’re never going to keep me down”… Amazingly apt. The lows and highs, highs and lows of the run were extraordinary (the middle marathon being extremely low), it’s amazing what a sunrise and a change of clothes can do.
So, we got to Dover where I was greeted by a beaming Humphrey, who gallantly walked with me and Geoffrey through the Channel Swimmers statue on Dover promenade, where the boat crew; Hannah, Tracy and Boycie, were armed with recovery drinks and pasta. Mum and Dad looked fairly astonished by the whole undertaking!
I completed the 87-mile run from London to Dover, starting at Marble arch at 15:00 on Monday 22nd August and ending at Swimmers Monument at 13:00 on 23rd August a time of ‘bang on’ 22 hours.
Back at ‘home base’ – I hobbled up the steps to our excellent pad and into a cold water ‘hot tub’… I was very sore and incredibly stiff in the lower body but I felt O.K. in terms of cardio. I slept and ate, slept and ate, slept and ate and before I knew it we were headed to Dover Marina. In the meantime, it had been decided that it would be crazy to start the swim at the intended 21:00 I would have been the only swimmer ‘out there’ when the 10 other boat pilots favoured the 6:00 a.m. tide the following morning. This was a little disappointing as, I wanted to take on the night part of the swim first, (to get the tough darkness and cold out of the way, then then the feeling of swimming into dawn is fantastic for both mind and body) but, it was absolutely the right decision. A force four on the back of an 87 mile run with those legs probably would have seen a fairly swift end to the attempt!
I continue with an honest account, with observations, the facts and feelings. The bottom line is I came up short in the English Channel, absolutely no ‘hard luck stories’, and NO EXCUSES whatsoever.
Whilst I have worked very hard at swimming over the last 4 years, I am far from a swimmer, indeed at school I hated swimming and in the Norfolk superhero I have only ever done heads up breaststroke. Perhaps I am not ‘wired to swim’, being bow legged and bow elbowed is far from perfect when it comes to participating in a sport where we need to propel forward in a lineal way. Tracy has worked tirelessly with me to straighten out the imperfections but we have had to agree that I just have to swim in a slightly unconventional fashion where ‘crossing’ just has to be part of my stroke even though aquadynamics are so much more important than aerodynamics due to greater friction. Anyway, in training this year I have done a good 10 hour swim, an 8 hour, a 6 hour (at a very cold 14 degrees) and plenty of other long swims and so I was certainly ready.
Not only was I ready but I was well rested and I had recovered well from the run. Unlike many who take on this challenge, (where the swim can be overwhelming because they have never attempted such a test), I was excited. Of course, there is always a little apprehension as one has to be respectful of La Manche but I am not scared of her. As a ‘slow swimmer’ it is difficult to be confident that you are going to land it but I certainly felt with a fair wind and, if the body held, up I had every chance.
The positives I took with me were:
1) It was going to be far less rough than my successful channel swim on 6th Sept 2020 which took me 15 hours 25 mins.
2) The water temperature was a couple of degrees ‘hotter’ than last time (though I am not sure hotter is quite the right word).
3) I had a stellar crew on the boat.
4) I had been swimming for 2 more years and could learn from experience.
5) The run was behind me (which was the leg I was dreading the most).
6) The power of knowing that I could make it, rather than not knowing.
1) I was leaner than last time, I’d had to get really fit to do this attempt*, this meant that I carried less fat or ‘insulation’.
2) I had just run 87 miles in 22 hrs with less than a day of recovery.
3) The start time of 6:00 a.m. was not in my favour.
*For honesty and transparency, it is important for me to note (whilst difficult to do so) that, I was not only driven by getting to Paris, but I also wanted a crack at the non-wetsuit record which stood at 69 ½ hours, an incredible time but one which was not out of reach if everything had gone according to plan (20hr run, 10 hr rest, 18 hr swim, 6 hr rest, 15 hr bike = 69 hrs) and certain elements could have been quicker.
I could have taken the view at the outset of my A2A journey that completion was everything, and the desire to get my # should be at a premium to everything else. However, I know, hand on heart, that if I’d been cautious, I might have made it on the score sheet but I wouldn’t have experienced the journey deep into my soul which is what I set out to do. As #1 (who completed it on his 3rd attempt) says, the journey is everything and for me, that journey had to have an element of ‘the race’ in it. This also provided impetus and drive, commitment and fear. Would I change how I approached it now? No. I would however like to congratulate Chris Leek on a phenomenal record, and thank him for his messages out there, I’m just sad I couldn’t push him as close as I’d hoped… the race was done by the time the swim started anyway as it had been delayed by a whole tide.
The first 4 hours of the swim (once I’d overcome leaking goggles) was great, I felt strong, I felt warm enough and I was in great spirits, given my projected speed I started before most of the other boats and held this position (though faster swimmers were closing), I remember thinking “when will I land? Certainly not if I would land”. My crew wrote messages on a white board that were coming in from friends and family, my favourite Dad’s “Illegitimi non carborundum” (don’t let the b******s get you down!) .
Swimming is an amazing sport, rarely do you ever feel more alive, La Manche is a fairly hostile environment but when things are going well it is a truly fabulous place to be. I was feeding quickly, 10 seconds every ½ hour; bang, bang, bang shakalakaboomboom… we were headed for France.
I did find swimming next to Sea Satin (this boat) far more challenging than Masterpiece (last time). Skipper Fred, on Masterpiece, had his window down and I could see into his eyes where he’d look over his right shoulder every 8 seconds, this filled me with confidence. Furthermore, I’d always be by the side of his boat working up it, he’d pull forward a boat length, no more, no less and I’d start again from the back gradually making my way up to the front, and again and again and again… I couldn’t see through the tinted window of Sea Satin, I’d often be 20 yards behind her, then I’d swim up the side and overtake her which I found less than ideal as my only point of reference in terms of direction was the bow of the boat. Therefore, once in front, I was twisting to look behind for that point of reference. Hannah who crewed on both was also a little perplexed by this different strategy.
After about 4 or 5 hours, I started to get a ‘nervey’ pain in the lower back and the hip flexors, these bloody hips have caused me difficulty all summer, to the extent that on a training camp in early June I put Tiger Balm on them, closely followed by the singing of Jerry Lee Lewis’ song “Great balls of fire” – never again!) I think the problem is down to a loss of weight and the body protecting itself from the cold by trying to get in a foetal position whilst I am trying to swim long and straight. Then my shoulders started to feel similar, causing me to drag my hands back through the water on the recovery of the stroke. The stiffness from the run was exaggerating the imperfections in my stroke and in turn this caused a nipping in the joints. Meanwhile my boat crew were amazing trying to help keep my head in the game. Tracy was instructing me and feeding me from the side of the boat, while Hannah and Boycie penned messages on a white board, which resonated with me strongly and gave me great impetus.
We entered the South West shipping lane (which refers to the direction in which ships are headed but is actually on the northern side), where I had plenty of company from container ships… one producing some serious ‘surf’, conditions were ideal overhead yet the Channel currents and tides were proving challenging for all swimmers. My stroke rate never deviated from a cadence in the range of 58 and 54 strokes per minute rate but as the pain set in, naturally it became less efficient. We battled on.
By this stage I couldn’t kick so I was just dragging my legs, I was trying to get my face as far into the water as I could to lift them up and provide buoyancy at the backend of my body. It had become a wrestling match, one which I could just about manage after a bit of pain relief for about an hour or so, but of course the pills can only be administered on an infrequent basis. However much I tried to manage the pain I’d find my stroke slicing the water rather than leaning on it and catching it. We battled on.
In the past I have tried not to articulate pain, once you say stuff it becomes real, if you don’t say it you haven’t admitted and so somehow it is easier to manage. But I had to be honest with the crew to try and find the solution. The odd stretch in the water helped a little but it is difficult to execute this properly. We battled on.
Through the separation zone and into the North East shipping lane. Progress slowed, I started to get colder (through lack of kicking which I use more to heat myself than propel), I was suffering more than I had ever suffered in any extreme event I have ever taken on. We battled on.
1. Massive disappointment.
2. Huge relief.
The sun started to close in on the horizon, pain relief was a long way off, the goblins were now fishlike, I got stung on the ear by the trailing tentacle of a jellyfish; I stared deep into my soul.
Then I heard a voice from the deck “Will, can you come around to the back of the boat”, slightly confused I did as I was told. “Its time to get out, it’s over” Tanya (co-skipper) said. I did not protest; I did as I was told and raised myself onto the boat. I had failed in my attempt to swim to France this time, 14.5 hours swum but I was 5 miles (6-7 hours) shy. I was getting cold and had lost power, forward progress was ceasing, and the tides were turning. Whilst the decision was made by the boat pilots in conjunction with #1 and Tracy, I need to be clear; the swim ended because I wasn’t good enough. They did exactly the right thing at exactly the right time, ultimately I had my chance and I came up short. No excuses whatsoever. I take some solace in being ‘pulled out’ rather than ‘getting out’, but my chimp (Fraser, a rather gnarly Scottish Simeon foe – If you don’t know what I am talking about look up “The Chimp Paradox” by Prof. Steven Peters) and I were, at the time, having fairly hearty discussions about why I was still in the channel when my body was hurting more than ever.
The truth is when the swim was pulled I had two overwhelming emotions in equal measure:
I am penning this exactly a week on from my swim – right now 7 days ago Hannah was sitting on the bow of the boat, alone, looking at me, a moment I will always hold (I do get the greatest affection from my wife when I am in the furnace of hell!) Those eyes and that gentle clap of encouragement, even when the success seemed a long way off, will live with me forever. I know it was tougher for you on board that boat watching me suffer, with dreams being ripped away, than it was, even for me. THANK YOU.
Boycie, in your words, “I didn’t do much on the boat”… you damn well did, you were constantly out on deck, with a wave and a smile sorting out the white board, furthermore, you were there for me to know that Hannah had a friend and confidante who could help her through with distraction and laughter. I would have loved to have landed it for you, but it just wasn’t to be.
Tracy, We’ve come a long way, from that day when I didn’t manage to swim 10 lengths of front crawl in a 20m pool just under 4 years ago. Indeed, subsequently I have become an English Channel swimmer (in ‘training’ for this) it really has been an extraordinary journey. This time about 16 miles across it really was my body rather than anything else that let me down. It’s been a hell of a journey of self-exploration and swimming with seals at sea Palling. We know with open water swimming that there are many things out of one’s control which make certain swims more challenging at different times, and I take heart in the fact that I was one of 4 boats which didn’t make it on that tide and nobody swam the time they expected. Although La Manche looked welcoming on the outside, she was certainly less kind than last time… the mystery is part of her beauty.
And so it was off to Calais aboard Sea Satin, but decisions had to be made. I was recovering quickly. So, I asked Eddie if we could still bike to Paris, this is up to his discretion. 3 factors came in to play:
1) The generous support of all those that donated to charity.
2) The amazing commitment and upbeat nature of my crew.
3) The fact that we had trained, tried hard and didn’t quit until there was no more to give.
So, fortunately, he allowed us to cycle to Paris with his tracker.
Following some unusual sleeping arrangements, 6 of us with 3 beds… we reconvened at Calais harbour, with the bike crew drivers (Sam and Boycie) + navigator and ‘Matron’ Geoffrey. We were waved off by Mum, Dad, Olivia, Flora, Humphrey, Hannah and Tracy and would see them next in Paris.
The tracker was set and on we ploughed. I have never biked over 140 miles in a day but I can honestly say this was the most enjoyable of rides. The French road surface is amazing, the traffic is light and as a national sport they are respectful and safe around cyclists, the countryside in northern France is stunning and the air fresh. The sun was out but not too hot and I had a tail wind on my back. My crew (who I’d given the option of heading home after the swim), remained by my side, undeterred by the previous day’s failure. Stress was low in comparison to the run, what a day!
Shortly after stopping for lunch where 3 of us ordered ‘poulet’ sandwiches only to be given egg, I guess eggs do come from chickens, I found myself shedding a tear on the open road, a combination of a dream unfulfilled and a degree of satisfaction that I was going to finish the job, if not complete it. I was aware by now that the quest was not going to end how I’d visualised it every time that 4 a.m. alarm clock went off over the last 3 or 4 years. Indeed I’d been consumed by the thought of; L’Arc de Triomphe, a beach in France or, 69 ½ hours for so long that I had to quickly work out a positive outcome. I thought of the charities I was doing it for and the people that inspired me; I thought of the friends I have trained with and competed against; I thought of those that had passed me on the Norfolk superhero run, broken, in the heat of the day; I thought of my family whose support was unerring from the start many years ago and I thought of my crew the 3 fellas in the car: Geoffrey, Sam and Boycie, and Hannah and Tracy, now travelling by train… they had done so much for me, more than I could ever ask.
So, we cycled and cycled and cycled, everyone in tremendous form. The roads were flat bar a few steepish climbs out of the odd village (but nothing compared to the ‘mountains’ in Kent, or those in the Dolomites, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia… and plenty of other places I’ve trained with the Norfolk Peloton). As time was no longer the driving force (more the story and the journey), we stopped for a delicious steak and chips, in a fabulous restaurant at about 20:00, another task executed with supreme excellence by Boycie. Geoffrey kept track of the carb and fluid intake and updated me on messages flying in whilst Sam drove with great authority on the wrong side of the road – SCLB really was unbelievable in his tasks not least because he was always up-beat even when things had been grim on the run.
Low bridges (with bikes on the roof), punctures, and lights on the bike all at some stage presented a challenge but the crew always had a solution and ‘pronto’, so we kept hammering on. As we approached Paris, Sam who had done a marathon stint at the wheel moved into the back, with Boycie taking the wheel. Fresh eyes were the perfect tonic to see us through Paris suburbia… Northern Paris is grim at midnight, but Boycie allowed me to glue myself to the car rather like a second row slots into his prop and hooker. To say his driving at times was lifesaving really is no exaggeration… I nearly hit one Parisian who was lying in the middle for the road, stealing wheels off a car (unless he was choosing to change his own wheels on the edge of a dual carriageway, in the dark, using blocks of wood instead of a jack with bolts strewn everywhere)!
And so, finally at circa 1:00 a.m. on the Friday after an extreme few days with 52 hours of cardio, I made it on to the Champs Elysee and rode up to L’Arc de Triomphe… never again will I think the final stage of the Tour de France is easy, ooohhh those cobbles! I was anxious that I should not have the L’Arc in the background of any photos as I hadn’t completed the challenge in hand. That is a particularly special image for “Arch to Arc’ers” who have earnt their #. I hadn’t, and didn’t want to be deemed a fraud or an imposter, so I wanted my finishing photo to be back down the Champs Elysee. In the aforementioned Tour de France, they say “respect the Jersey” and this was my nod to those who have made it all the way.
So it was here in central Paris, after a 15:29 hour bike, in the shadow of The L’Arc de Triomphe that the journey ended with an enormous hug from my family the tightest of which came from Mum and Dad, who had been on their own endurance challenge across southern England, France and up the Eiffle tower with Olivia, Flora and Humphrey.
The emotions are still raw, one never contemplates failure, as to do so, is to concede before attempting. Was I scared for falling short? Yes. Is it difficult to accept? Yes. But do I have regrets? No.
I firmly believe, given other commitments in life, I was in the best physical shape I could be in, (bar having a bit more fat but it is difficult to train hard and eat enough to, net, gain weight). Furthermore, I know, having recovered strongly to bike, that it was neither my cardio ability nor mentally breaking that ended my efforts. Though both at times (cardio on the run and the chimp on the swim) took me into deep suffering, whilst they contributed, I don’t believe either cracked me. It’s easy, sitting here now, to think why couldn’t I just pull through it, but back then the pain was debilitating.
Arch to Arc is said to be the toughest triathlon in the world, I have been asked a few times to compare it to an ironman (2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike, marathon). Frankly, the difference is more pronounced than dear old Accrington Stanley v the current Manchester City. It is an absolute beast of an event. I am in total and utter awe of #1 and the following 49 athletes who have completed it – CHAPEAU indeed. I am also in total admiration of those that have attempted and like me, come up a bit short. It is a huge undertaking, but it was an absolute privilege to participate in it. The event itself is just a small part of the journey, which is an accumulation of hours of solitary training almost every waking moment when not in work or doing family things, sacrifices have to be made, though with the right choices, everyday life can still co-exist – just. It is amazing how much can be achieved around dawn if you are in bed in good time, this was where I gained a few ‘free’ extra hours in the day.
Right now, I’m still tired and sore, hungry and cathartic, aching and exhausted, (I am starting to get the feeling back in my toes!). Sleep is still at a premium and I am eating loads as my body still craves fuel to re-plenish supplies. I have been back ‘up and running’ at work since Tuesday though and I am pleased the recovery will take time, it helps me remember that ‘I went deep into the well’ and that, in turn, helps sooth the mind, where there are very few “what ifs”.
I am so very grateful to so many people… clearly all those listed above who were extraordinary, but also, Jackson Williams (Boxing coach for help getting me reasonably fit), Brutal Claire (website, ‘merch’, co-competitor and friend), my two wingmen from the Lanzarote training camp: Richard (#48) Olly (#next year) – you know the drills.
I know that I should play a bit more golf and perhaps do a little bit more with my family (though this summer we still managed plenty), the truth is at the moment, my head is a bit scrambled. Perhaps if I had completed A2A I could rest easy, but I didn’t. Furthermore, since skippering the Stowe x-country team I have always had a desire to chase the buzz of those endorphins and I never feel more alive, than when I’m competing (albeit as a layman) in events: Lands End – John O’Grotes, biking tours to
European mountain ranges, Norfolk Superhero, White Collar Boxing, Ironman, English Channel, Arch to Arc… Funnily enough I am never more productive ‘work or play’ than when I’m doing them either.
In a day and age when aspirations are curbed by the bubble we live in with things like: health and safety, woke attitudes, the ease of saying ‘no’ not ‘yes’ following those restrictions. I encourage you, your children and your children’s children to DREAM BIG, take a chance, go on an adventure, bite of more than you can chew, find your own challenge… Be driven, commit, and give it everything, but do not fear of falling short, that’s OK, you’ll deal with it in time. The journey is unbelievable and, I believe, hugely positive for you, yourself, and all those around you.
Thank you, Eddie, #1. Thank you Arch to Arc. Thank you sponsors for your extraordinary generosity. Thank you, Geoffrey, (this idea was seeded when we did Ironman Austria together, you have seen it through from that first chat to L’Arc de Triomphe, you skippered the logistics brilliantly and kept your humour when the potatoes were back firing (or not!) your friendship, support, enthusiasm and diligence were unfaltering – as I said to some of our pals – “You were my Goose”). Thank you Boycie (for the laughs the support and the stellar driving in Paris – I love the photo of us on the Champs Elysée), Thank you Tracy (for the time, commitment, dedication, and friendship it’s been an epic journey) and of course Sam Thank you, (we tackle so many of life’s challenges ‘head on’ and your support is always superb). Thank you, Hannah, Olivia, Flora and Humphrey (for your love, patience and unerring support in this massive undertaking). Thank you Mum and Dad (I know it’s not easy to watch your boy take on these things, but my goodness it makes us all feel so alive)!
As #1 said:
The Memories are Everything. The Journey is Everything
What a privilege to have had a crack. I tried my best, I just came up a little short, I guess that’s OK. I just hope I didn’t let you down…
Will Barratt – 01/09/2022
At the time of writing, sponsorship stands at:
Blood cancer UK: £43,104
Norwich Samaritans: £36,025
+ Gift aid.
In addition I have well over £50,000 of pledges in the pipeline, so I anticipate the total will be somewhere between £120,000 and £150,000 for two brilliant charities, which is extraordinary. Thank you very very very much.