Thursday, 22 December 2011
As you now know all now my knee is quite bad and so is one of the other runners in the team - Luke Butler. I would probably say yesterday's run was the one I have dreaded the most since we begun. Before setting off I was still struggling to walk up stairs given that my knee was still quite painful. I was in a pretty crappy mood, it was quite cold, I knew I'd be running through East Ham and my mates were all out for a pretty big night. All of this contributed to me having the 'ump!
But in the afternoon I received a picture from a person who shall remain nameless(!) and on the picture it just had the words 'Good luck Whyley' - this was great. I can't really explain it but it was cool that people, even now, were still getting behind us. Then at 5PM I received words of encouragement from colleagues at work, friends via text messages, my mum, my aunt and numerous people on Twitter and Facebook. Suddenly I felt ready to do this. 12 miles isn't all that far but when you're not up for it and you know that when you finish you won't be able to walk properly for 3 days it is a prospect that doesn't really excite you! All these messages though are like a drug, the more I get, the more I am up for it. I realise it may seem like just a simple message but in my mind these people are thinking of Harry, for even the briefest of seconds. And this is what it is all about - to raise awareness, to raise money. We raised another £40 yesterday. We've now raised £5410 - a pretty incredible total given we've been only doing it for 3 months. I am so proud of the people I run with and the people whom have given their hard earned money, especially in times as hard as these. It is a reminder that I am surrounded by great people.
As for the run - we got to Barking, in our PJ bottoms, and met the support crew - the truly legendary old man (my dad) who has been with us for every single run! We ran through (not literally!) the route once more and Martin, Luke and I were ready to go.
Around 1 mile and a half in I was questioning if I could continue given that I was already in loads of pain. I cranked Neil Diamond up, saw I had 7 texts, and just carried on. A few miles later and Luke's knee had gone - it was now my turn to help him, just like he had helped me a few miles back. Barking to Bromley by Bow was pretty horrendous but once we reached Bromley by Bow I was confident we could do it. Luke was in a bad way but he may be the bravest man I've met and there was no way he would stop. And I was to be proved right.
As we approached Bow I rang my mate, which proved difficult - running, calling a mate and focusing on where I was going(!) - and told him I was approaching Mile End which is where he lived and begged him for a Lucozade! As we got to Bow two people started running with us. It was my two mates (my mate had rung my other mate) and suddenly we became five. Three of us in PJ bottoms, 2 of us in work shoes - it summed up the ridiculousness of the challenge! They ran with us to Mile End, I got my Lucozade and we then ran to Tower Hill, not before helping tourists and pointing them on their way to Liverpool Street. I fear they are still walking the streets now looking for the station...
Luke, Martin and I had finished - 2 hours 20 minutes. Not rapid but when you have 6 pairs of knees and only 4 work it is pleasing to just get round. Luke stripped in the street to his boxers, wooed the ladies, and put his jeans on. I gave the old man a big hug as for the first time I was quite overwhelmed - for the first time I realised I could actually do this, I would do this.
As the end of the year is a time for stats, let me give you some.
The Tube Runners have run 125 miles over the last 10 weeks, averaging just under a half marathon a week.
The longest run has been 24 miles.
The shortest run has been 1.7miles.
We've had weeks where only 2 people could run.
We've had weeks where 38 people have run.
We've raised £5410.
The highest donation has been £370.
We've hosted one pub quiz
We’ve hosted one fun run.
I have written 42 facebook status updates about what we are getting up to.
I have written over 10 blog posts about Harry and our run which equate to over a dissertations worth of work (over 10,000 words).
My mum has put on two dinners and raised £170.
I have received 214 text messages wishing me luck.
I have received 354 text messages during runs asking me how I am doing.
I have got lost. A lot.
I have made 2 amazing new friends.
I have got closer to the other 6 original friends.
I have cried 3 times – once during a run. Once after. And once when Harry died.
I have had two different physio's treating 2 different injuries.
I have got 70 new Twitter followers who are spreading Harry's amazing story.
I have run the Bakerloo line, the Northern line, the Circle line, the Waterloo and City line and started the District line.
All the tube runners have run at least two lines.
I have passed through 116 tube stations, sometimes twice, sometimes thrice.
My dad has spent in excess of £100 travelling round London with me handing out water to myself and the other runners.
At least 300 children under 12 will be diagnosed with brain tumours next year.
Harry Moseley was just 11 when he died.
Harry Moseley raised £500,000 for Brain Cancer Research.
From all of us, a massive thank you. From the text messages, to the pictures, to the dinners, to the kind words, to the money raised - we could not have done this without you. £10,000 and 406 miles of the London Underground seemed like an impossible task 3 months ago, you don't realise just how easy you are all making it.
Only one stat matters next year - the number of children who are diagnosed with brain cancer. This stat has to be lower than 300. It just has to be. Help Harry Help Others and continue your good work...
Monday, 19 December 2011
Six years ago my new years resolution was to pass my first year at uni without going to a single lecture. I came so very close - I did not attend a lecture but it turns out there is a correlation between attending lectures and passing years. Needless to say I failed uni.
Five years ago I said I would try a new meal every week - I am a horribly fussy eater - five years later I am still living on a diet of milk and cookies (seriously).
4 years ago, my new years resolution was to find a blonde girlfriend. Yep, seriously, that was my new years resolution! I had never had a blonde girlfriend and so for the months of January, February and March I pursued anything blonde with a kind of gusto that would of made my dad proud. Alas, blondes it seems don't like me - so four years later I remain single and without a blonde girl in my life.
3 years ago the resolution was to write a TV script. Easy enough. Except it wasn't easy. I had just broken up with girlfriend, I was pretty down and I found writing hard. I just wanted to go out and get lashed. But for the first time in my life I saw a resolution through, I had written a TV script. Once finished I sent it off places but nothing really materialised. I wasn't to know at the time but seeing that resolution through would have a tremendous impact on my life 2 years later.
2 years ago I read a book (I had read before!) - the book was 'Yes Man' by Danny Wallace. The book is simple in concept - say yes more. Danny took it to a new level, whereby he said yes to everything. If someone asked if he wanted to go out he would say 'yes' no matter how he felt. If someone asked him to go on holiday he would say 'yes' despite having no money. By constantly saying 'Yes' Danny turned his life around and ended up meeting his future wife, the future mother of his child. Before I read that book my default answer to opportunities was 'no'. I read the book in December. My new years resolution was decided. I was to say 'Yes' more. This was the second resolution I had stuck to. It changed my life. That is a big statement but I firmly believe it did. I now have more friends, better friends, I live in London, I've travelled across the United States in an RV, I have travelled the west coast, I have travelled New Zealand, Europe and Australia, I have got promotions at work. I am incredibly happy and the reason for that, I think, is because I now say 'yes'. Try it. It is surprisingly addictive.
1 year ago my new years resolution was to film my own sitcom. I'd written the script, now I wanted to see it on screen. By saying 'Yes' to opportunities I found myself, 13 months ago, at a football reunion with people I hadn't seen for 10 years. I promise to all those reading this blog post that before my new years resolution 2 years ago I would not have attended this reunion. But by making 'yes' my default I found myself at this reunion speaking to a guy called Luke Butler. Luke Butler had quit his job and had created a film production company with his friend Martin Chapman, also at the reunion. I got talking to him and told him I had written a TV script. Over the next year my sitcom - Rules of Life - was made by Luke's production company. It finished filming last month. Through that process Luke and Martin have become life long friends. I have also met some other incredible people during the filming process. All of this wouldn't have been possible without my previous two new years resolutions.
So, I have been thinking, for the last few months, what would my new years resolution be for 2012? Find an attractive blonde? Eat more food? Nope. My new years resolution for 2012 is by far the most important resolution I have ever set myself and unlike years gone by I cannot fail, nor will I.
My new years resolution for 2012 is to raise £100,000 for Help Harry Help Others.
As you guys know I am attempting, with other friends, to run the entire London Underground for Harry Moseley's charity. Harry is incredibly special to me. Someone asked me 'what's the deal with me doing this running thing given I've never met Harry?'. It's a fair question. My answer is pretty simple. I am a heart on your sleeve type of person - I cry at rubbish films, I like awful cheesy music and I get moved by things. But it is incredibly rare for me to get genuinely upset about real things, about real life. There have been four times in my life where my tears were real and where I could not stop myself. My granddad dying, my Nan dying, my friend dying - made up 3 of these moments. The 4th was when I saw a picture of Harry Moseley just after an operation he had had to remove part of a tumour that had grown in his brain. I vividly remember where I was. I was sitting on a bench, at a park, when I logged in to Twitter and saw Harry's mum had uploaded a picture. Harry's hair was missing, he looked in pain, he looked tired - he looked like he had cancer. He was only 11..
I had been following Harry's story for a year and was utterly overwhelmed by how someone so young, who was so ill, could be so utterly selfless. In quite a cynical world it is rare for someone to be selfless. Someone who doesn't do something for their own good but instead someone who just wants to help others. This was amazing to me but what made it more amazing was that Harry was suffering from terminal brain cancer at the time. Someone so ill was still so kind. I knew Harry had had his operation that night and it is rare for me to pray but that night I did. I prayed he wouldn't be in pain. And then I saw the picture.
I couldn't understand, and I still don't and I never will, why what happened happened to Harry. All I can do is try and learn from him. He started an incredible campaign that has raised £500,000 for Brain Cancer Research. To me it is simple - the more awareness, the more money that is raised, the fewer children have to suffer like Harry did. There should never be a picture uploaded like that picture I saw that day - I want to help, albeit in a small way, to help ensure that type of picture is never seen again. Sydney Smith once remarked 'It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can'.
£100,000 isn't just a finger in the air target. I have researched how I can get the money, I have researched what the money can be used for. I came to the conclusion that £100,000 could make a real difference. I have some big ideas as to how I can get there. New years resolutions are great as they help focus the mind. I have had an interesting history with them but recently they have helped me make my life better. I hope this one can help contribute make someone else's life a little better.
My friends and I have 290 miles of the London Underground left to run. If I haven't hit £100,000 by the end of those runs I will find another tube line to run, another city, another country. If you saw the picture, you would understand why we have to kill cancer. Do your bit. Sponsor at www.justgiving.com/steven-whyley
Have a great new year...I will be running the tube and trying to find a blonde girlfriend :)
Thursday, 15 December 2011
I was running 11 miles - from Upminster to Barking. Upminster is located in Zone 6, it was the first time I had been out to run as far as Zone 6. Harrow, High Barnet and Edgware are all Zone 5. It was also the first proper run I have done in 3 weeks since being told I had to rest my knee.
I was feeling pretty decent but stepped out of the office to be faced with falling rain and temperatures that were, shall we say, on the low side! I ran to Fenchurch street (like I wasn't running far enough already) and got on the C2C train to Upminster. I was to meet the support crew (my old man) at Upminster. I had in my hand the route - Upminster, Upminster Bridge, Hornchurch, Elm Park, Dagenham East, Dagenham Heathway, Becontree, Upney and finally Barking. The route we had mapped out was to take us through some real beauty spots :) it was fair to say this run wasn't going to be a particularly attractive one.
After 20 minutes I arrived at Upminster. I had to get changed into my pyjama bottoms (the support crew had bought them up) so at the Entrance to Upminster station I dropped my trousers to show off my incredible legs and my questionable boxer shorts. This was embarrassing enough but for some reason I had put my boxer shorts on the wrong way round yesterday - so my behind had a row of buttons! The support crew finally stopped laughing and handed me the PJ bottoms - much to the delight of the guards at the station. My friend Martin then arrived and we would set off. We'd meet the old man at Elm Park.
We began running and my knee felt sore but ok. We got to Elm Park fairly quickly, had a glucose gel and some water and we would meet my dad at the next station - 3.2 miles away. The run from Elm Park to Dagenham East will haunt me! First of all the buttons on the boxers were causing an issue! Second, we were running through gangland Britain! Literally! Down every road we were turning there were gangs of teenagers. Now this is fine, I am sure they are all pleasant enough! But when you are wearing PJ bottoms the teenagers are prone to shouting out the odd comment! We ran past Dagenham East YMCA - this really did feel like the end of the world. Why anyone would stay here is beyond me. It looked like a bad nightmare. A big concrete slab of a building. It looked like a lego set built in the air. Amazingly though it was busy - the village people tribute act had clearly drawn in the punters. We continued, we ran past the cemetery, the lake, the sewage depot. You could sum up Dagenham by saying it has a cemetery, a lake and a sewage depot - there is very little else to it! The surroundings were getting bleaker and bleaker and my knee was getting more and more painful. I must have been the first person in the history of civilisation to actually utter the words 'I cannot wait to get to Barking'.
We got to Dagenham East. My knee was seizing up and I was really struggling but fortunately my dad and Martin kept me going. I also received some timely text messages to give me a second wind. We got out of Dagenham as quickly as possible, not before passing more gangs. Becontree and Upney safely negotiated, we finally made it to Barking. Due to the pain in my knee it had taken us 2hours 20 minutes to run just under 11 miles - it was a slow pace. It was a truly grim run. But it is 11 miles closer to the target, a target that is now less than 300 miles away.
When we finished I again couldn't walk up stairs - fast becoming a normal feature of our runs! I rang my mum looking for lots of sympathy which was duly given and finally got home about 10 o'clock.
The next run is Wednesday. These runs are tough, my body is failing me but I am seeing London - all sides of it! And we are raising money, so the runs continue. A big thanks to Martin and my dad for helping me through a grim 2 and a half hours!
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
10 weeks ago I took on the challenge of running the London Underground for Harry Moseley's charity HelpHarryHelpOthers. I wanted to run 406 miles, travel through all 272 tube stops and complete every single tube line. Most importantly though I wanted to raise £10,000 for Harry's charity.
When Harry died, 2 months ago, I was left feeling devastated. Which in itself is amazing given I had never met Harry. I had followed Harry's story on Twitter and one day, a day I will never ever forget, his mum - Georgie, posted a picture of Harry. The picture showed Harry, 11, with staples in his head, with half his hair missing and a face that was so young and innocent but at the same time looked so weary and so very tired.
Harry had his childhood taken from him - for 4 years he was battling a disease that we don't know an awful amount about, which in itself is wrong. He had a tumour growing inside him that was the size of a tennis ball. This caused severe headaches and resulted in two lots of chemotherapy and one lot of Radium treatment. This disease affects thousands of children each year. The disease that cost Harry his childhood also tragically cost him his life. Two months ago Harry lost his brave fight; tragically Harry was only 11 years old. Ask yourself what have you done since you were 11? Just pause and think of the things you've seen, the people you've met since you were 11. Harry never had that opportunity. That to me is just so wrong. Harry is not alone in suffering this disease and losing his life at a young age. It is so important we raise money and raise awareness - Cancer Research UK are entirely self funded but since they have existed they have given cancer patients the chance to beat cancer. Cancer is an awful disease, it has killed two members of my family, and it has killed a friend of mine. The single greatest thing humanity can do, in my opinion, is to find a cure. To do that we need money. Harry, at the age of 7, realised this...
Harry, despite having cancer, decided he would make a difference. He decided that he would help others and start a campaign to find a cure for brain tumours. I have never come across someone so inspiring and from that moment I knew that I wanted to do something, to help his campaign - no matter how small - I wanted to do my bit to try and help ensure that no one suffers like Harry suffered. Helen Keller once remarked "I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do." And to me that is what charity is all about - I can't cure brain cancer but I can help. Even if that help amounts to very very little in the grand scheme of things - something is better than nothing. If everyone did something, anything can be achieved.
I knew it had to be a little insane to ensure I raised money and awareness. I was on the tube one day and it broke down at Moorgate. I had to get to Kings Cross quickly and so I jumped off the tube and started running - not being a great runner I was blowing out of my (insert rude word!) by the time I got to Kings Cross. I got to Kings Cross, boarded my train and decided that I had stumbled across the challenge - I was going to run every single tube line, I was going to run every single stop, I was going to run all 406 miles. I rang my dad and told him of my plans; he said it was a great idea and that I should start training next year and aim to complete it over the next 2 years. I told my dad I wouldn't be doing that. I told him that I would be starting next week and I'd do the lot by the summer (9 months). He called me (insert rude word!) and as I was about to ask him if he could help me and hand out some water's to me on my first run (all 19 miles of the Circle line) he said 'Well I best get my oyster card ready, cos you aren’t doing this on your own'. I have run 100 miles and my dad has been there handing out water, bandaging parts of my body, giving me pep talks for every single run - no matter what the time, no matter what the weather, the old man is there, waiting to help. You will see that this is completely indicative of this challenge - people amazing me constantly. My mum as well - she has hosted two dinners raising just under £200 and has attended two runs to cheer me and the guys on - without my folks this challenge wouldn't be possible.
I set up a Justgiving page. Within an hour I had raised £100. I was buzzing! I then put what I was up to on Facebook. 9 people contacted me, 3 of which I didn't know all that well, 6 of which are good friends of mine. They are even better friends now. They all said the same thing - when can we join? All 9 wanted to join me, all 9 were inspired by Harry and all 9 (2 girls, 7 boys) would join me for the Circle Line run. I have run 100 miles of the London Underground, Luke Butler has run approaching 60 miles, Jon Myers has run 60-70, Martin Chapman 60, Shaun Purvis, Chloe Garrard and Becky Eighteen have all run 35 miles and Nick Kindred and Craig Gallacher have run somewhere close to 20. All of them have given up their own time, have run in all different kinds of weather, have all run in pyjama bottoms. And without them I 100% would not have been able to run 100 miles. One run I did was all 24 miles of the Bakerloo line and I can honestly say that Jon Myers dragged me round - I remember being in a place called Willesden Junction, questioning if I could carry on, Jon just told me to 'just run' - so I did. My foot was in pieces, so Jon just talked to me, and kept talking, until 26 stops later we had arrived at Elephant and Castle. This is in no way an isolated incident - all the guys at different points have dragged me round. Luke Butler, on one run, was in such pain that he was in tears - still he continued to run - that moment showed to me just how brave people can people. They say it is not the miles you do but who you do them with that counts and the 8 people who have joined me have become life long friends.
And now to the really important people...you guys.
So far we have completed 25% of the challenge; we've run 100 miles, completed 4 lines and begin the District Line tonight. But we have reached 45% of our target - we have raised £4500. My family, my friends, colleagues and complete strangers have donated once, twice and sometimes thrice. The generosity of people to donate their hard earned money to our cause has completely blown me away. As you guys know I have struggled with the runs - I strained ankle ligaments and tore cartilage in my knee for which I am receiving physio for (free of charge!) - But you guys have made me continue. £4500! I still can't believe how kind people are and the difference you have all made is incredible. It is not just monetary donations either - every run we have done I have received numerous texts wishing me luck. One girl has text me before, during, and after every single run wishing me luck and keeping me going (Miss Barnes - thank you!). To all those that wish us luck and find out our progress it keeps us all going. It may not seem a lot, to just send a text, but when you run pass a Crime Scene Investigation in Wembley and it is pissing down with rain, a text message can help you get one foot in front of the other. We also had 40 runners for our Waterloo and City line run (see pic) - again, this was absolutely incredible and helped raise £800
If you've had a (insert rude word!) day and question the people you work with, or your friends you hang out with or the family you live with I can whole heartedly say that they will surprise and amaze you if you let them. The press is full of negative stories, the press ignores the good and at times I think we do as well. It is not until I did this challenge that I realised just how good people can be.
This challenge began because I wanted to help Harry help others. The truth of the matter is this challenge is helping me - it has made me fit, it has shown me London, it has given me new friends, it has made existing friends better ones, it has given me a confidence to think I can do anything if I want it bad enough and most importantly it has reminded me that people are fundamentally good.
From myself and all the runners - a sincere thank you. Have an amazing Christmas, and a great new year.
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Good Morning everyone. Here is my blog update as promised. As many of you know we are trying to run the whole of the London Underground to raise money and awareness for Harry Moseley's charity, help Harry help others.
A lot of you have already donated and helped me get to our current total - £2500 in little over 5 weeks. I am hugely appreciative and you have all made a major difference. You have also given me the inspiration I needed to carry on with some of these runs, and I needed that inspiration this weekend...big time.
So I have run all 19 miles of the Circle line with the whole tube team. Then 4 weeks ago I took on all 24 miles of the Bakerloo line, after work, in my monster munch pyjama bottoms (we are trying to raise awareness that children suffer from this horrible disease as well as adults.) with big Jon Myers – a new member of the team. After that run, all 4 and a half hours of it, I got diagnosed with a common foot injury called Plantar Fasicits. I bought some much needed running trainers and ran from Edgware to
So the scene has been set! I went for a practice run Thursday night and lasted 0.7 miles before breaking down in pain. I was gutted. Absolutely gutted. I rang the support crew (my dad!) and told him. It was decided I would turn up Saturday with the guys and just do as much as I could do.
I had a bath every night last week (I have never been so clean!) full to the brim with Radox. I iced my knee everynight. I had a set of physio. I didn't even go out drinking...I was maturing! Friday night came and I was in bed for 10. I got up Saturday and had 3 Nurofen tables, put my knee support on, got into my monster munch PJ's and met the guys and the support crew at Morden. I had 13 miles, and around 16 stops to negotiate. As I got to Morden I saw all the guys, all there in PJ bottoms, all wearing Harry bracelets. They'd given up their Saturday for this. 2 girls, 5 boys, all pretty unfit. My dad had given up his Saturday. They'd all come up from Southend and was on the train. I looked at them and instantly knew I would complete this; friends can give you strength you never knew you had. I realised if I wanted this badly enough that I could do it and man did I want it. This was a big run for many reasons - it was the first time all 7 of us had run together since deciding we’d do the whole tube, it would be another line complete, it would bring up the 25% complete mark and it would prove to me, no matter how hard things are, that I can do anything - if I wanted it bad enough.
So we started running.
We ran to
We were 2 from home! Old Street and then Angel. Got to
We limped to the pub where the support crew bought us all lunch and then we made our way home to Southend. Luke having to get a piggy back to help him get up and down stairs!
So the Circle Line, Bakerloo Line and now all 52 miles of the Northern line are complete. We've 300 miles to go but after a small break I will be raring to go! I learnt this weekend that if you want something bad enough you can get it. I originally started running this challenge to help others but to be honest it is helping me. I am learning how awesome people can be and I am learning the true value of friends. My knee and feet sting a bit but it is totally worth it - £2500 raised and a realisation anything is possible.
As some of you know - I am trying to run all 406 miles of the London Underground for Harry Moseley's charity - www.helpharryhelpothers.com - so far I have run around 80 miles and more importantly I have raised £2440 (www.justgiving.com/steven-whyley).
I hurt my foot a couple of weeks ago when running the 24 miles of the Bakerloo line. I was diagnosed with a common foot injury called Plantar Fascitis. Whilst uncomfortable it wasn't the end of the world, I just needed to adapt the way I ran. After the diagnosis I ran 17 miles of the Northern Line and then last Thursday I was attempting 20+ miles of the other half of the Northern Line. After 8 miles I broke down - my knee had completely given way. I battled round a further 10 miles before having to throw in the towel. I booked an appointment with the physio and Sunday was Dday - what had I done?
It is worth pointing out my knee had calmed right down and the pain was now manageable. Weirdly though every time I bent my knee it gave out an almighty click. Anyway I went to see her and got up on to her bed (she asked me to...I'm not weird!) and she began pulling me about. She asked me to do various things, all of which were pretty painful. She asked me if my knee normally clicks - I said it had never done so before Thursday but now it won't stop.
She sat me down and told me what she thought I had done. It turns out I have torn my meniscus
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tear_of_meniscus) basically - torn cartillage. Now she knows how important these runs are to me and so she admitted "It's pointless me telling you not to run isn't it?" to which I nodded. So she said I have to have physiotherapy each week, which would include ultrasound, and that I have to do 4 exercises 3 times a day. She also told me that when I ran I HAD to stop if I feel the pain is getting greater. She said to me that whilst I was stupid she understood why I wanted to do it. She then made one final comment, a real hammer blow. She told me when the running is complete that I probably have to book an appointment to see an orthapedic surgeon as I will need an operation to repair the torn meniscus. When I have that op, I wouldn't be able to play sport for 6-8 weeks. I was absolutely gutted.
But then she did something that made me realise why I'm doing this and reminded me how great people can be. A normal private physio session is normally £30-50+ a session add in ultrasound and we are talking big money (big money for me...I am very low down the RBS food chain!). She told me that as I was doing it for charity, so would she. That I could come and see her midweek back in Southend. I was totally overcome, she was giving me 4-5 months of physio, for free. Even though I argue with her, even though I am an AWFUL patient, she was willing to do this for me. This reminded me of two things - Harry and his cause is so inspirational that people, who don't know me, want to help. They want to help others. That was his campaign and he may have died but his message lives on - every single day. People are capable of brilliant kindness and she epitomised that so amazingly on Sunday.
So the runs continue. Starting this Saturday. I hope to run from Morden to Angel but I’ll run as far as I can before it hurts. I figure I need to start listening to her.
If I have learnt anything from this pretty horrendous set of runs that I can share with you it is to never give up on people. They constantly surprise, they are capable of great acts of kindness and it is only when you embark on a challenge like this that you are reminded of this on a daily basis. The news reports on a daily basis what acts of evil we carry out on each other. The news doesn't report the great things people do - if they did then newspapers would be 1000s of pages long as opposed to 60.
As far as my knee goes, my dad shared a quote with me - "The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." No one faced a tougher battle than Harry Moseley and no one triumphed more gloriously than him - £500,000 for Cancer Research. Roll on Saturday...
So many of you have donated to my 406 mile suicide mission that I feel compelled to keep blogging and to keep telling you all how I'm doing. However today's blog post is a difficult one to write.
As many of you are now aware we are attempting to run all 406 miles of the London Underground, 12 lines - passing through 272 tube stops. We are doing this to try and raise money for Harry Moseley's charity (www.helpharryhelpothers.com). Harry's goal was to rid the world of brain tumours and to ensure no one suffered like he had suffered. Sadly, Harry died when he was 11 and so was unable to continue his quest himself. However, many were inspired by this amazingly selfless 11 year old and were determined to help make his dream come true. My friends and I decided to run the entire London Underground to try and raise money for Harry's charity. So far, thanks to the incredibly generous donations of friends, family, colleagues and even strangers we have raised £2350 - we want to raise £10000.
So far my 6 friends and I have run the Circle Line - all 19 miles of it. Then 3 Thursday's ago my friend Jon and I ran 24 miles, the whole of the Bakerloo line, after work. Last Thursday I completed around 16 miles of the Northern line with my friend Luke - we ran from Edgware to
Last night I met my mate Jon and Martin (another one of the team) at Bank and then traveled up to High Barnet with them, along with the support crew (the old man). We were on the tube for 40 minutes, 40 minutes! We had to run from high Barnet, via Mill Hill East, along the Bank branch all the way to Kennington. I hadn't had as much time as usual so I worked out what I thought the distance was - I thought it was 20 miles, working it out this morning it turned out to be 26.4! Longer than a marathon!
A couple of stretches and a team photo and we were ready to roll. We were running at a real pace and for the first time ever we didn't get lost! We got to Totteridge and Whetstone,
As we ran, and almost saw a drunkard get knocked down by a car, I began to feel a slight pain in my left knee. I continued, I was used to random pain's - I had the body of an old man (ladies I am still available!). The pain was getting slightly worse when all of a sudden I felt my knee completely 'go'. It gave way. I got to the road that we had to cross and stopped for around 30 seconds. The guys asked if I was ok and I thought I would be, I thought I just needed to run it off (I am also slightly thick...why I'm single I don't know). I tried to run over the road and I was in real pain. I managed to run to
We assessed the situation at
After 18.3 miles and 3 hours 26 minutes of running I had quit. I'd felt like I'd let everyone down. All the team. I felt like I had let Harry down. My dad came to meet us and he and the guys explained that it was another 18.3 miles towards the total and we could finish the run off next week. I saw their point but for some reason I still felt I'd failed.
I was basically unable to walk and eventually got home at 11 last night. Today I am still in a load of pain but the guilt is beginning to go and is being replaced with a massive determination. Providing I am fit, next Saturday I will run from Morden to Angel and that will be the Northern Line complete.
In 4 weeks I have run 80 miles, without training, 20% of the London Underground. Last night my body told me that this is going to be the biggest challenge I have ever faced. I will not give up though. If I have to limp round, I have to limp round. Harry Moseley on a daily basis showed what can be done with enormous self determination. Harry was the inspiration for these runs, he is the biggest reason I have to complete these runs and to make sure I raise as much money as possible for his charity. But after last night I have another reason to complete this, I need to prove to myself that I can complete this - because if I do it will prove to me that I can do anything.
The Northen Line may have beaten me last night but I will destroy it next Saturday.
For anyone who wants to donate feel free - www.justgiving.com/steven-whyley for those who have done so, I would just like to say a HUGE thank you. You got me through the worst 2 hours of my life last night!
As promised I thought I would I give you an update on the latest run. It was savage!
So for those of you who don't know I am trying to run all 406 miles of the London Underground for an amazing young man's charity - Harry Moseley, who sadly died recently. His campaign - www.helpharryhelpothers.com aims to find a cure for brain cancer. Harry died when he was just 11 but his amazing work continues and I am trying to raise £10,000 for his charity.
So we have completed all 19 miles of the Circle line, we’ve run 24 miles of the Bakerloo line last Thursday and last night I was facing around 17-18 miles of the Northern Line. Luke, one of the team of tube runners, and I were running from Edgware down to
So at half 5 - not the day to be staying late at work - I met the support crew, also known as my dad, big
At 5.50 we met my mate Luke who was running with me. He was also in PJ's. We boarded the sardine carrier (the tube) and got it all the way to Edgware. Again I was ill prepared, I needed the toilet and Edgware station didn't have one. Brilliant. My foot was uncomfortable and Luke and I were dreading the next 3 hours of our life! I had the route mapped out - I knew where I was going (I hoped) and we agreed we would meet the support crew (dad) at Brent Cross. My music kicked in and the immense Lionel Richie came on at just the right time! We were flying through the stations - Burnt Oak - done, Collindale - easy, Hendon Central - getting more difficult and then Hendon Central to Brent Cross was where my foot really began to hurt. The support crew came to the rescue though with a much needed Mars bar and Water! On we went - Golders Green safely negotiated. We then climbed what seemed like one of the steepest hill's I have ever come across! Luke's knee had gone and I was really beginning to suffer with my foot and this hill never seemed to end but sure enough after what seemed a lifetime it did end, just in time for me to nearly get knocked down by a car! Ha! I don't know if the driver was more shaken up by the fact she almost mowed me down or by more stupid PJ bottoms. She wound down her window, I said it was fine provided she sponsored us. She took down the link, I am expecting a sizeable donation :)
Hampstead - as far removed from
We had made it! 17 miles in 2 hours 52 minutes! One of us had a bad knee, the other a bad foot. But we had made it. I then proceeded to ring half the girls in my phonebook, who I fancy, but who haven't reciprocated the feeling, hoping my tale of woe would in someway weaken them! They seemed proud of me but alas I think that first date is still some way off! I checked my phone to see we had gone past the £2000 raised figure during the run, so whilst I had not secured a date and whilst I was in a bit of pain the over whelming feeling was one of happiness - we had raised £2000. £2000 for an amazing cause and this is just the beginning. We will hit £10,000, we will help make a difference, if only a small difference and we will complete all 406 miles. Starting next Thursday where we run the other half of the Northern Line - the doctor is annoyed at me but I don't care because we have hit £2000 and the doctor is fit!
I thought I would give you a quick update on the run I had done as some of you have been incredibly generous and sponsored us. This is in relation to my previous blog post.
So last Thursday, 4 days ago, I finished work at (and yes I have claimed the 5 minutes overtime). I strolled out of RBS Aldgate Union in my pyjama bottoms (I am doing all the runs in PJ's to highlight that Harry was only a child when he died) and being a bank located in London everyone's reaction in the building was very British! Not one person asked me why I was wearing Monster Munch Pyjama bottoms! Whilst I am known to be slightly out there and quirky this was on a whole different level! Yet there I was, in the lift, and I knew people were looking, I knew they wanted to ask, but their Britishness prevented them from doing so. Next time you see me (in my PJ's) talk to me - I don't bite!
I met my dad outside, who questioned the wisdom of strolling outside a corporate company in Monster Munch PJ's - my dad is part of the old school. This was a new RBS, time to rip up the rulebook! My dad, also known as the support crew, walked down to Bank Station with me to meet my mate Jon who was taking on the challenge with me. The other 7 guys would join me on runs when they could.
We jumped on the tube from Bank to Embankment and then got on the Bakerloo line (my nemisis) and rode the tube for 45 minutes to Harrow & Wheldstone. 45 minutes! On a tube! It was at this point I realised what I had done. I had not trained, yes I had ran the Circle line, but this was a different level. It was , we were literally in the middle of no where - me, Jon and the support crew (my dad). We got a photo, my dad jumped back on the tube and we were to meet him at Harlesdon - 8 miles away.
After 2 miles it was a clear we had done a left when we needed to of done a right! That was a big blow! Anyway we rattled through Kenton,
I was cold, my foot was hurting, people were not being complimentary on the PJ's, we were running through 'Gangland Britain'. By the time I met the support crew I was in an awful way, I had turned my ankle, I was blowing out of my arse and I'd had enough of the Westlife album I was listening to to inspire me! Still we had to carry on, people had sponsored us after all and if Harry had taught me anything it was to never give up, no matter how desperately low you felt.
We would meet the support crew at
We would do this. We would finish this.
2 lines done. Next up is 17 miles of the Northern line - Edgware to
A sincere thanks to everyone who has sponsored me - what you have done is made a huge difference. Kids die everyday of brain cancer, that ain't right. With your help the guys at Cancer Research can help makes Harry's campaign - a campaign to cure brain cancer - a reality rather than just a dream. Stay tuned for Friday's blog and look out for us on the Northern Line!
Tonight, after work, I am running 20.4 miles - the whole of the Bakerloo line, in my pyjama bottoms. I am doing this for two reasons. One is that I am almost certainly mad. The other is that I have been inspired by an amazing 11 year old called Harry Moseley.
Harry, 11, lost his battle to cancer a week ago. His funeral is today. The way he lived his life however will always resonate with me - he was, despite being gravely ill, determined to help others (www.helpharryhelpothers.com) - he wanted to cure Brain Cancer. He wanted to cure it so much that he raised £500,000 in 3 years, despite having tens of operations, two lots of chemotherapy and one course of radium.
Last month six friends and I decided to run the circle line (17 miles) in the hope we could raise a bit of money for his charity - we raised £1500 because of the generosity shown by my friends, family and colleagues. I wanted to continue what Harry had done, I wanted to try and help others. Whilst I will never reach the stage of Harry I wanted to follow his example and see if I could raise some cash for his incredible charity.
When he died I realised the Circle line wasn't enough, nor was £1500. I had to run every line, all 13 of them. 17 miles wasn't enough - I had to run the full 406 miles. 18 stations wasn't enough - I had to do all 272. Most importantly £1500 isn't enough, I want to raise £10,000 which is still not enough but once I have hit £10,000 I can then go for £20,000 and if I have run out of tube lines then I will go to a different city and run their tube.
The pyjama bottoms came in to play because I realised Harry was a kid, he was 11 - I wanted to raise awareness that kids suffer from this horrible disease.
If any of you fine people fancy donating you can - www.justgiving.com/steven-whyley - read his story, he was an amazing kid.
If any of you fancy going for a run with us (you don't have to wear PJ bottoms!) then I can give you a schedule of runs. Finally we are organising a massive fun run - the Waterloo and City line - 1.3 miles on the Friday 9th December, Come and join us and whilst your there get people to sponsor you to walk/run/skip the 1.3 miles of the shortest tube line on the underground.
For anyone who donates, thanks. For anyone who doesn't - just make sure you read his story..(www.helpharryhelpothers.com)