Raising money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust and Colman Rehabilitation Centre
The Final Total!
£6000 A HUGE thank you to all who have contributed and helped along the way. Outstanding work!
The Story Behind The Run
Matt and Chris
The Story Behind The Run On the 1st October 2009 Chris Taaffe's (28) life was literally turned upside down!
Chris was involved in a serious motorbike accident which left him in a coma for many weeks. He is a very good friend of mine and I, and his many friends, found this very hard to cope with especially as five or six weeks earlier he and I were canoeing in the Lake District blissfully unaware of what the future had in store.
Thanks to the rapid response of the East Anglian Air Ambulance he was given the best possible chance of surviving his horrific crash. The first 24 hours were crucial and everyone waited with baited breath to hear any news. It is impossible to imagine what his family went through that night. Chris was flown to Addenbrookes Critical Care Unit in Cambridge where he was given round-the-clock care and treatment by the best possible team of experts. He was there for a few months and then moved to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and then to the Colman centre for Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation. He is still there now and progressing well thanks to the amazing rehabilitation scheme and care that is in place for him.
I am writing this to ask for your help. I need to raise local support and awareness for my run in August/September from John o' Groats to Lands End to raise money for the three main organisations that helped get Chris through his ordeal. Without the expertly trained staff and medical teams involved in the organisation many people, including Chris, would die or have little chance of recovery. It's time to give something back.
I am an experienced runner having completed two London Marathons, I've also run Hadrian's wall (Newcastle to Carlisle) and now I plan to run the length of Britain to raise a significant amount of money to keep the Air Ambulance, Addenbrookes and the Colman Centre open for those suffering now and for those who may suffer in the future.
The run will be long, tough and emotions will run high but with your help and the help and determination of the six volunteers who are providing back up and planning, the goal will be achieved and we will raise many thousands of pounds to save lives...........................maybe even yours.
If you can help to promote or sponsor this worthy cause or provide funding towards the cost of the venture, I and my team will be very grateful indeed.
To donate please use the buttons on this page or send a cheque using the information provided.
Many many thanks
JOB DONE! Monday 13th September at 12:19
Matt crossed the finish line at Land's End!
After 28.5 days and no days off! He had a small deputation to greet him and was interviewed on radio Norfolk just before 1PM.
Dear all, the total raised so far for Matty's Run is
Thank you all so very much. Money is still coming in which is great but we would like to have a final figure soon so we can get the money to the charities. So, if you have sponsor money to give to Matt could you please get it to him, or me, as soon as possible.
Thank you once again for you generosity.
"The Queen has asked me to thank you for your letter of 13th September.
Her Majesty was most interested to learn that your son recently completed a run of 873 miles from John O' Groats to Land's End in order to raise funds for the various charitable organisations which supported his friend, who had a serious motorcycle accident in 2009.
I would be grateful if you could convey to Mr. Matthew Harrison The Queen's warmest good wishes and congratulations for having successfully completed the run, and Her Majesty hopes that his friend recovers quickly from his injuries.
Your thoughtfulness in taking the time and trouble to write as you did is much apppreciated.
Mrs. Sonia Bonici
Senior Correspondence Officer"
And his certificate of completetion from the End To End Club:
Money is still trickling in but we are heading for around £5000. If you have sponsored Matt or promised a donation, could you please get the money to him as soon as possible so we can present it to the charities.
Thank you to everyone for their support and donations. The big 'homecoming' event managed to raise £1076.30 on the night, and the grand total is still being added to. Thank you to Colin for organising the event and Debs for the super food! The auction for Matt's smelly, unusable size 9 trainers, raised £100!
Keep looking in from time to time for updates on the total raised..........
Matty Hit the Finish Line at Land's End!!!! YEEEEEE HAAAAAAA
more later...we are in Bristol on the way home.....................
We finally got back around 10:30 ish in the evening....travel weary...........and very quiet....
It's a strange feeling when something that you've planned for for months, and Matt's trained for and gone through the pain of achieving, suddenly comes to an end. Relief, certainly, HE'S DONE IT!! But tinged, for me anyway, with a little sadness.....it's all over, no more routine, no more getting MM breakfast in bed, easing his aching muscles (for that he will be eternally grateful I'm sure!)...hopping from one layby to the next...........hey but WHAT an acheivement.
Corinne and Jan and David (Matt's brothers' father-in-law, were there to see him get his final 'stamp' on his transit verification form......to prove he'd done it. A proud moment.
We've met many people along the way, from the cyclists, also doing the same journey (for all different reasons) to the people in lay-bys offering money .....to the people who have very kindly opened their homes to us......if I've forgotton to mention anyone's name, please forgive me. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to each and every one of you. For you too, have helped Matty on his way. The baths and warm beds kept him going. We can't thank you enough. And also thank you to EVERYONE who has donated, or will donate, to the 'cause'. A truly great achievement for Matt, but let's not forget why he went through this pain (and pain it certainly was). Let's help him once more; to raise lots of money for the three charities that helped Chris Taaffe and saved his life.
Our blog is at an end.....................but should Matt ever want to do anything like this again, wherever it may be.................count me in!
We spent a nostalgic last night in the tent with Corinne and Jan. somehow it seemed like home as we haven't camped since Preston. MM had run just too far to make our last booked accommodation feasible, so we went for the camping option. A dry and fairly warm night and not too much condensation.
Matt started his day in the 'traditional' camp way, with breakfast in bed...I do spoil him so ! Porridge and maple syrup. Then on the road and running by about 08:15. Only 16 miles to go so he is taking it easy. He's extremely tired now, and still won't relax until he's over that line......
The camp and tent is all packed away....for the final time..............and we are now all off to catch up with speedy and await his appearance at Land's End. It all seems pretty surreal. With any luck we should be home some time tonight......
As soon as I get a chance I will upload photos of the finish....YAY!!!! Rock on Matty Moon...........Run Forest RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MM was running at 08:30 this morning. The sun is shining and all bodes well for a good days running. He had a good calf massage last night and an ice pack on his lower shins. Very stiff this morning, but usually once he starts running things settle down a bit. Not long to go now..........46 miles to Land's End!
Sitting in tent with MM, Corrine and Jan drinking wine and having a good old chat about the run!!
Today Matt saw Nigel the one tooth wonder.......who was overwhelmed about what Matt was doing and kept shaking his hands.........Today Matt saw Land's End on the sign post.........Today...we saw the sea for the first time since Scotland............Tomorrow.............Matt will have reached his goal..............
~Ironically......................today there was a charity run by 1,400 bikers, an annual event. Unfortunately the road was closed for a while because one of them came off and got hurt...................it just brought home the reason why Matt is doing this run..............he had to run past the guy in the road..............please give as much as you can............every little helps...........
My word...nearly lunchtime already!
A nice little quote from Dan (MM's Brother) to start the blog today! It came out in conversation last night..........you had to be there..........but it does sum things up nicely....if Matt doesn't get rained on and his feet aren't wet, the day is a whole lot better.......naturally.
Well...had a visit from Fran and Jo today, on thier way home from hols in Polperro....probably spelt that wrong.....it was great to see them. Fran ran for a couple of miles with Matt..............pictures to follow.
We've just passed the sign for Jamaica Inn on the top of Bodmin and MM's already reached the point where he should stop today (because he's been doing extra miles). So...bonus miles from now on, and all is looking good for the finish on Monday. It feels very strange......very strange indeed. We've met some super people......only an hour or so ago I met up with a support vehicle for some chaps on bikes, that are doing a charity thing for soldiers...not the 'Heroes' thing....the cyclists came in, had a whip round and put some dosh in the bucket.....THANK YOU. And again a great big THANKS to everyone who has offered and opened their homes to us two weary travellers, who nobody knows from Adam, and for making us so welcome.
More later....time to move on and catch up with speedy..............
Coming up to the end of another days running for MM. We had a later start today (9:30), so it's 'just' the 30 miles today! However, because he's still got miles in hand, this still gives him a head start on tomorrow.We've finished up almost to Indian Queens I think.......MM's legs are feeling the hills a bit today, some very long climbs and slopes;......a good old sort out with the thumbs should get him moving again....and an ice pack or two......he's going to hate me for life! He'll soon be running again...............in the opposite direction when he see me coming!
I'm not sure if I'll have WiFi tonight, but will upload the pictures of today if I do. Another traveller in a layby gave some more money to the cause today too. I think I forgot to mention.............Matt has taken to wearing my clothes!!!!!...A very nice little red number......he calls it PINK....but it's IS RED.....long sleeves......matches his ginger beard completely...NOT! Don't worry......it was earlier on in the trip when we got cold and wet and he needed a long sleeved top..........he blatantly refused the high heels though......said they weren't good to run in or something....can't think why............
Well, strike a line through Saturday...only Sunday and Monday left.....Whoop, Whoop!
Let's start with some Thanks
Thank you to Ellen at Selby House, Wellington, Taunton, for a lovely B+B and kind donation to the cause.......We recommend highly her B+B and friendly welcome, if you are ever in the area, this is the place to stay.
Thank you to Amanda, who booked and paid for the above B+B and ran with Matt yesterday. She is thinking of doing the JOGLE challenge herself, we wish her a good trip.
Thank you to Dan and Kath (MM's brother and co) for a lovely night's sleep! Haven't slept so well in ages......
Thank you to the man behind me in the same lay-by who just gave some money for the cause.....he is supporting a cyclist doing the same thing as us.....
Matt started running about 08:30 and has now covered approx 11 miles so far today. His leg is looking much better but the ups and downs of the hills are starting to play his knees up. But...his head is down, his mind is focused and he's planning to finish on Monday evening. We'll take a few pics then jump in the Landy and drive straight home......
Matt again did brilliantly today and covered 35 miles.
We are now on the A30.....the last road, and over the border into
Cornwall, the last county. Just 77 miles to go...............just...Matt won't talk about 'getting closer' or 'nearly there now', until he crosses the line...then, and only then will he relax.
Dan, MM's brother joined him today after he'd been at work all day, and ran with him for 3 miles.....Well Done Dan. Then he drove with us to our overnight stop to show us the way. A good move, as I don't think we would have found it otherwise. It's a beautiful old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, with lovely quirky walls and floors. The kind of place I've dreamed about for years, but is a nightmare to decorate......but that doesn't matter because it all adds to the charm. Thank you Daphne and David (Matt's brother's in-laws) for inviting us into your home..(well me in particular).....eternally grateful.
Well, it's time for bed now....and sleep....if only I could stop coughing......always gets worse at night.........tomorrow's weather is looking good......Run Forest Run!!!
But before I nod off, here's a selection of photos from the last couple of days......
The loneliness of the long distance runner....
Spot the Hi Viz...
Devon cows off to milking........and some Devon hills....
The sun is shining!! It's looking to be a good running day for MM! We pummelled his poor legs last night and that's the first time in ages he's had to stifle the screams....he's really hurting, people. We put freeze spray on his ankle this morning and wrapped it in a cooling compress bandage. Once he gets running it seems to ease off a bit. So fingers crossed. I would like him to actually ENJOY the last few days of his run! He's gone a bit quiet on me again, which usually means he's in a lot of pain or is struggling with the day...........it could also mean he's not talking to me any more because I got my evil thumbs out again!
I've managed to get some medication for my chesty cough and so, hopefully it will soon mend and MM won't be in mortal fear of getting ill any more.
We will be staying with his brother tonight somewhere in Exeter. If any body knows of someone in the Okehampton area who would be willing to give us a bed for the night, please do let us know.
OK...MM just checked in with his running partner Amanda. Re-sprayed and dressed his leg and he is off again......what a trooper! Now off to the next rendezvous point.......................................
A couple of shots of Matt running with Amanda this morning
Devon hills and skies!
And some 'Welsh Wales' from the other day...
The Clifton suspension Bridge
He's still running, we are through Tiverton and now on our way to Crediton...the boy just can't stop!! Go Matty GO my son!!
Sorry for the delay for all you early risers out there.....been doing other things today. Cleaning and tidying the Landrover for instance, and trying to find safe places to park...no hotspots or phone signal doesn't help any either.
Well, i8t has just started raining after such a lovely day. we have just gone through Bridgwater and North Petherton and MM is just polishing off a few extra miles before we finish for the night. As far as I can tell (Dr Bush's hat on) Matt has 'acute anterior compartment syndrome'. Basically over use of his lower leg muscle on his right leg also brought about by his overpronation on the right foot, something he had corrective trainers for.....until they wore out! The muscle, at the point where it joins the shin bone, and also deals with the lifting of the foot as you walk, has become over developed and is straining the sheaf which covers it. Lots of ice, rest (ha ha) and compression, plus deep muscle massage should help. But nthe only real cure is to lay off it! Not an option.....yet.
Won't be long though, we are still on track to finish next Tuesday 14th. Then Matt can have a well earned rest and sleep all the way home!....and when he gets back for the next three months!zzzzzzzzzzzz
Must say a big THANK YOU to Ian and Jan Bainbridge and family for putting us up last night even though they have lots of family descending on them today. A lovely meal and great company, thank you for your prayers and God Bless you all.
Also, a big thank you to Amanda from Chard Road Runners for finding, and paying for, a B+B for Matt and myself tonight. She will be running for a while with Matt in the morning.....all be it very slowly due to his leg trauma. Let's hope the sun shines on them.
Can't think of anything stupid I've done today....that either means I haven't done anything stupid, or my brain is failing and I can't remember ..........who said that?
We had a nice picnic today.....sausage rolls, hard boiled eggs (done in the back of the Landy), cheese and some of Joey's mums' home grown tomatoes...yum. Matt also had a packet of jaffa cakes , a tub of custard, and some fruitcake...oh and a packet of crisps.......mmmm.........and some sweet isotonic drinks......and another jaffa cake......
Must keep those calories up!
Matt thinks there is a conspiracy to kill him.....first he goes on this trip, then gets painfully pummelled with my devilish thumbs.....faces ugly drivers all day who really don't want him on THEIR road..........then his driver, soul mate and number one person (that's me.....modest!).......goes down with a bad chest and coughs all over him....well I try not to....but he says he has a sore throat.......no MATT..........it's ALL in the mind.........you are OK my lad....you just keep those feet a running, we only have a hundred or so miles to go!!
A dreadful end to the day yesterday. The rain was relentless and so was the wind. Not a good evening to cross the Severn Bridge! Poor MM had already covered over 30 miles but was determined to get across the bridge.....and he did.....but ended up completely soaked to the skin and so cold he could hardly move his hands. Good job I had phoned ahead and booked a room at the Travelodge at the end of the bridge.....straight into a HOT bath, no cold today my boy! And a nice cup of hot tea as well, then a hot meal, massage and BED!
Matt is having problems with his RIGHT leg now......first one, then the other...it really is quite stiff and sore. But, we managed to get the other one going so we can keep this one going too...just another challenge along the way of a host of daily challenges on this trip. Keep the prayers coming...they are needed.
We've had a late start today, in an effort to get some well earned rest, but are heading for Bristol airport and a stay at some family friends of Matts'. At the moment the sun is shining (typical)...let's hope it stays that way.
Have a good day everyone, and hope that we do too, on the home straight now!
10:45 still in search of a descent WiFi Hotspot.
Firstly a very big THANK YOU to Paul and Ali for their hospitality last night. They were perfect hosts and had absolutely no idea we were coming until the last minute! Sorry we killed your tumble drier, I hope it can be revived soon! ;-) and thank you for going out extra early to the Launderette to get our clothes dry. We will be eternally grateful.
Matt started running about 8:50 this morning after massaging his aching calf muscles and his right ankle, which is giving him a bit of grief. I think it could be the new trainers as everything had settled down nicely before he changed them. All will be well, I'm sure of it. Spirits are still high and we are both looking forward to getting 'across the water' today and into Bristol. By then MM would have run the length of Scotland and Wales..
We are currently a few miles from Monmouth on the A466. A much quieter road for MM to run on and back into the countryside, which is nice. The weather so far is good and no sign of the forecast heavy rain....even better!
I, however, seemed to have developed some kind of chest infection.....quite painful, but have taken some pills and am trying to ignore it, and also trying to keep it away from Matty!! Arrgghhh.....that would be disastrous given his weak chest!
I am sitting in the entrance to a field full of sheep and they have all started to congregate around the gate....maybe they think they are going to get fed....BaaaaH........more later....Baaaah.....Baaahh....JB
Hi all, no connection last night so couldn't write any more.
A big THANK YOU to Vivy Violet for giving us a bed last night and for the food and cooked breakfast...thanks also to Poppy the dog and Thomas the cat.
Very wet here this morning, so the Landy has yet another use to add to the list of useful things a Landrover can do........a clothes drier!! Full blast on hot with the windows open, else I would steam!! mmmmm(thinks)....Landrover sauna?....mmmmm
Matt's mum and dad are due to join us very soon. They have arrived at Leominster and we are about 3 miles from there. The rain has just eased off a bit, so fingers crossed, but the forecast is NOT good for next week.....heavy rain every day. That won't please Matthew 'run in the sun' Harrison!
I have a few more pictures to upload as soon as we get a good enough connection speed, nothing much so don't get excited too much, there hasn't been a lot to photograph!
Just uploaded a video of Matt running with his mum into Hereford...... .................................................and here's his dad!!!
It's been a fun day and I'm sure Matt's enjoyed the company..thanks mum and dad for coming to see him.......
one for Muttley 'give me an aga' Halstead
Sunrise from the bedroom window this morning at Viy's house
And here's MM yesterday in the sunshine.........................
Matt started around 08:30 this morning, a little stiff, but making good progress. We've been through Shrewsburyand are cracking on to Newington near Craven Arms on the A49. Traffic not too bad today but still a bit on the busy side, but less lorries...sorry Sue! 570 miles by close of play today, that means only 330 to go....soon be home, put the kettle on!
A big THANK YOU to Joey's mum for putting us up last night, for the lovely steak and chips and the cooked breakfast this morning...also for Pip the Jack Russell puppy who entertained until she dropped! At this rate I'll have to start running with Matt to get rid of the pounds.....I did loose some with putting up and breaking camp.....not enough exercise now....but beats a cold wet tent.
Well, isn't Matt doing well???? He's looking forward to the finish and won't relax until he crosses the line at Land's End. If you are planning to come and join him or see him then now is the best time as we are the closest to Norfolk we will get over the next couple of days...almost directly opposite. It would nice if some of his mates could make it and cheer him on a bit...or maybe meet at us the end for a real celebration!
Well done Jan for getting a letter into the EDP paper about the run...we and others have been trying local radio and papers on the way through, but no luck. This man deserves a MEDAL!
Well, finally got a signal at Joey's mums house. Haven't managed to get one all day, even my mobiile was rubbish All settled in for our overnight stay. Matt had a bit of a 'confusing' start today. First it was very foggy/misty and quite cold, just what MM doesn't like. Then after a few miles into his run he found a wallet in the road.....two or three steps further on, a driving license...there was quite a lot of money and a post dated cheque in the wallet, so Matt met me at the next stop and we plugged the post code from the license into the sat nav. It wasn't far away so we decided to make a short detour and take it to the man who'd lost it. He wasn't in, probably at work so we left it with a note to say what Matty was doing and how we found it.......hoping that he might make a donation in thanks....we'll see. He's definitely a lucky man to get all that money back.
The sun finally emerged and MM had a good finish to the day, another 30 miles under the belt and closer to our goal. We are currently in Malpas near Chester. Tomorrow we will be staying around Shewsbury at a friend of Matty's mums.
Matt got lost on his own today....nothing to do with me this time! He took a wrong turn and ended up running towards Chester instead of Shrewsbury! JB to the rescue.......and got him back on track. He's really doing well, and thanks to the regular cold and hot bath treatment he hasn't need a massage for the last couple of days......my thumbs are redundant. He's wearing in a new pair of trainers today....he's worn the heel right off of his favourite pair.
No pictures today either....there's not been much to take to be fair, it's gone very flat and besides there's not that many places to stop and not much greenery between towns and cities at the moment. Soon maybe......the traffic was too busy today to hop out and take random pics of Matt running...he'd do no good with a flat driver! Oh, just remembered something else that happened yesterday. My John o' Groats to Land's End book decided to throw itself out of the car window as I was driving along....I stopped and tried to rescue it but it was in the middle of a duel carriageway and far too dangerous to pick up, so, there it lies.....a very useful resource if any one should come across it...has a couple of pages missing as they blew towards me down the road....a sad loss.
Well, we have to be up at 6 in the morning, Matt has retired to bed and I must follow as I'm tired too after all the driving....
Keep looking in and posting messages guy and gals...they really do perk us up...I've been feeling a bit homesick today...but hey...tomorrow is another day....night,night .......zzzzzzzzzzzz
Well MM polished off another 37 miles yesterday! by this rate we'll be home next week! Lord knows what he'll do today...
I am presently just the other side of Wigan waiting for MM to find his way through the road system...another nightmare....it's hard enough in a car let alone on foot. Still, he has my quirky directions sheet and map and we phone each other if he gets lost....when we have a signal!......ooooh, ok, no panic, he's here. Quick change of shirt and a drink and a few nibbles to refuel, and off he goes again...
another move, another wifi hotspot found....as we go further south it's getting easier to find wifi hotspots, but less easy to get anywhere to park! The weather here is fantastic, just as MM likes it,..me too! Glad you are all looking in on the blog. We've got one more night at Caroline's then on to Joey's mums... We had a lovely chicken curry last night and this morning I had freshly laid eggs on toast...(Well, they were poached first!), MM had a lovely bowl of 'overnight porridge' cooked in the AGA...scrummy, thanks Caroline. And thanks also for doing all our washing!! We smell a bit nicer now........we have managed to get our clothes washed most days, but the bedding was well overdue! Right. I'm off to find a nice lay-by or quiet place to get everything out of the landrover and have a sort out......bit like doing the housework really!
Just the 30miles today! It's been really hot here and MM ditched his small backpack and water and I caught up with him after every 3 miles or so for topping up , wiping down and changing shirts. The traffic was a nightmare too, but overall a very good day, and MM and his body are holding up well. It's pretty flat here in comparison to Scotland and the Lakes so Matt's able to get a good stride on and there are paths and cycle lanes which come in very handy. Not really much else to report really. All is well. Early start in the morning, away by 6:30 for the drive to Sandiway where MM finished today...the miles are ticking away nicely. Time for bed....zzzzzz