Monday, 6 August 2012

I have finally run the entire London Underground

Sunday the 5th August - the day I finally completed running the entire London Underground. 9 months of effort, 12 tube lines, 272 stops, around 450 miles of running, 40 runs, 30 half marathons, fractured feet, strained backs, torn muscles. £21,780 raised for one amazing charity.

12 months ago I took lunch and sat on a bench outside my building when I launched Twitter. Harry Moseley's mum had tweeted a picture of Harry - that picture was to shape my life for the next 12 months. Harry, for those who don't know, was, is, an incredible young man. Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour at the age of 7, Harry decided he wanted to help others to ensure they didn't suffer like him. So despite being gravely ill Harry made bracelets to make money for his campaign 'Help Harry Help Others'. That day in August though was the day Harry had an operation, at just 11, to remove part of a tumour. Harry was to never wake from this operation.

As I sat there and clicked the picture, it opened up to show Harry, an unconscious Harry, hugging a teddy bear. It also showed a hugely swollen head, a cut head, his eyes were shut but he looked in such pain. This picture should not be allowed to exist. An 11 year old should be happy, care free, enjoying his life. Harry looked so battered, so bruised, he looked so very tired. People flanked me left and right on the bench but I could not help my uncontrollable sobbing. I got up and I ran. Whenever I get upset I run. No idea why but it’s always been the same – whenever I get really upset, no matter where I am, I just run. I have cried 4 times as an adult – when my granddad died, when my Nan died, when my friend died and that picture. I ran from Aldgate all the way to Baker Street because I was so upset. No idea why I chose that route. No idea why I stopped at Baker Street. It was 2PM, I was sitting on a step with cut feet (I’d been running in work shoes), I was out of breath, I was upset and it then dawned on me…I was meant to be at work. I quickly got up and jumped on the tube. I got on the Circle line train to Aldgate and the whole way I sat staring at the photo of Harry and knowing I needed to do something. I needed to raise money, raise awareness – I needed to help. I could not look at another photo, of a young person, like that ever again. But what could I do?

I knew it had to be fairly off the wall. I knew I wanted to raise money quickly and I wanted to do it – whatever ‘it’ was quickly so that I could get the money to his charity quickly. Great Portland Street arrived and went. Still thinking. Euston Square been and gone. Still thinking. Kings Cross done and dusted. Still thinking. Then I realised, I was travelling on the tube where I’d just run. I was doing the exact same route. I looked up at the Circle line map that was on the tube. I counted the stops and stood up. It all just clicked. Suddenly I knew. I would run the Circle line. Now that may seem to be a strange epiphany but it felt right. I felt it in my gut. But it had to be made tougher, more ridiculous, for people to donate. So I decided I would run the Circle line on Saturday, August 20. That gave me 6 days. I would set a fundraising target of £1500. It is at this point I should say that my run from Aldgate to Baker Street is the furthest I have ever run – I am not a runner. Still how far could the Circle line be?

I got back to my desk, red faced and bloodied feet, and immediately put the process documents on the floor. I had 4 missed calls on my desk phone and 13 emails. They would wait. I jumped straight on to Google and launched Google Maps. I put all the stations in. It turned out the Circle line was quite far! Scrap that, very far. The Circle line was 19 miles. It’s at moments like this that I ring my dad. I attempt to seek confirmation, reassurance, that I Steven James Henry Whyley can do what I am suggesting. My dad, the oracle, can give me that confirmation.

“You want to do what?”
“It’s how far?”
“You want to raise how much?”

My dad was in. I’d persuaded him we could do this. It was settled – I would run all 19 miles of the Circle line on Saturday and I would raise £1500 in the process – all money raised going to Harry’s charity.

Ten minutes later and I had set up a Justgiving site. A Justgiving site is a cool way to collect money – it’s like your own website and saves you from having to go round with a bucket to collect money. My site had a target of £1500 and so far £0 had been raised. I put together an email (at work!) and sent it to my whole department. The email was pretty simple:

Afternoon All,

As you know I am quite a stupid person. It is because I am a stupid person that I have decided to run all 19 miles of the Circle line on Saturday. I have done no training. I am not a runner. Now I know you guys are not stupid people. Look at this photo – let’s help raise money for this boy’s amazing charity and if we do and others like us do then you’ll never have to see this type of photo again. is the link. I promise to do more work if you sponsor me.


52 minutes later and I had raised £160.

I put on Facebook a status requesting money and asking if anyone fancied running with me. Three people immediately messaged me – Shaun Purvis, Luke Butler and Martin Chapman. They all messaged me saying ‘Yes, yes they would run’. Two other girls - Chloe Garrard and Becky Eighteen also said they wanted to run.

That was it - 6 of us - would run the circle line. We did run the circle line, it was very, very difficult but we'd done it. I went off to do some travelling and that was the end of the tube running madness.

In October Harry died.

At this point I knew I wanted to do more, to help contribute to the brilliant charity Harry had set up. I said to the original runners that I would try and run every single tube line on the London Underground. All 450 miles of it. I would run every single run and then the guys would help me when they could.

In October I started, without training, and ran all 22 miles of the Bakerloo line, after work. This is the thing that a lot of people do not realise about this challenge - a lot of it happens after work. I, along with my dad and a mate or two, take a tube out to our destination - often an hour away, and then run back as far in as we could. My dad works out the route for me, I run with google maps on my phone in my hand and meet my dad every 3 stops for a water and a Mars. We often didn't get home til 10 or 11 that night and then I'd have to get up for work the next day. It was brutal - more brutal than I could of imagined.

I had set a target of £10,000 that I wanted to raise - hugely ambitious and almost certainly unachievable. But I find, if you set improbable goals then it makes you try that much harder to turn the improbable probable.

So we ran. We ran out to places like Harrow, Heathrow, Uxbridge, Epping, Chesham, Watford, Upminster and ran in all weathers, at all times. Over the 9 months Martin Chapman and Luke Butler must have run 25-30 runs - they've been incredible. Shaun Purvis, Chloe Garrard and Becky Eighteen have all run at least 5 runs but importantly they've all raised massive sums of money for the charity. It's incredible what these people have done.

August 5th 2012, I had just run 6 half marathons in 12 days. Most of those with Luke and Martin - but some with special appearances from friends. The support we've received has been incredible - from Twitter to Facebook, so many have got behind us. We've had over 330 donations. Incredible how generous people are - never give on people because they continue to amaze.

Our final run - Preston Road to Aldgate. One of the most amazing days of my life - I'd got to the end and my dad was here for it. My dad had had a stroke whilst all of this running was going on and for him to be back was all the inspiration I needed to finish. Amazingly we were joined by Mitch Wilson and the UK karate team. We were also joined by tens of friends. By the end of the run there were 30 people running and at the finishing line there were 20 people waiting for us. At least 50 people came up to support us.

I have run in quite a bit of pain but the support I have received has numbed all of that pain - it has been simply incredible.

All that's left for me to say is that we made the improbable probable - we raised £21,780. We ran the entire London Underground. Truth be told I started these runs for Harry, to help Harry and his charity. When I crossed that finishing line though, I realised Harry has helped me. I've made so many friends, fallen in love, forged such a close relationship with my dad that I will be forever grateful for, and realised that I can do anything I want if I want it enough. If I am inspired. And if I surround myself with great people.

Thank you all so much for helping me finish this. £21,780 to Harry's charity - that's a full time salary for a nurse to help families like Harry deal with brain cancer. I may have done some running, but you made the difference.

And as for the London Underground - 150 years old today, you changed my life.

Please Sponsor -

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The tube is almost conquered, a big thanks from me

So here it is - I am in to my final week. After 37 runs, 30 half marathons, 1 marathon, a fractured foot, torn cartilage in my knee, approaching 500 miles run, 12 lines completed, 264 tube stops visited, countless Mars bars and over £12,000 raised for Harry Moseley's charity I have just 3 runs left. Thank God!

The last few runs I have found particularly difficult - I went out to Watford on Saturday with 3 of my mates - Martin, Luke and Dave, we were hungover but still ran about 15k. Note to self - never run when hungover. It was on this run that I realised how much I hate hills! The run from Chorleywood to Ricksmansworth was disgustingly hilly and went under the M25. This run though was my favourite run so far, the reason is pretty simple - my dad was back! My dad who'd had a stroke around 2 months ago was back with Mars bars, back with gel's and back with his London A-Z - the thing that we started together, we would finish together. Harry was the reason I started this but without doubt my dad is the reason I have finished this.

Tonight I am running from Uxbridge to Rayners Lane by myself. Thursday I am running with Luke from Moor Park to Wembley park and then on Sunday, with the help of 40 or so friends I am running from Wembley Park to Aldgate - Aldgate is where it all began.

I'll write a proper blog post after all of these runs. But for now I just want to say a massive thank you. I wanted to raise a £1000 for a hugely inspiring boy - someone who showed me that to make a difference you have to be selfless, you have to be brave. More important than any of this he showed me that not enough is known about brain cancer, not enough is done to combat it, and that children up and down the country are dying because of a disease that we don't know much about. He wanted to help others, he wanted to make sure that none suffered his fate - whilst he can't do this himself anymore he has inspired countless people to get off their backsides and help. Help Harry Help Others.

I wanted to raise a £1000. I dreamt of raising £10,000 but had no idea how I'd do that. My friends and I have now raised over £12,000. I even won a community award from RBS (nominated by an incredibly kind guy called Gopalkrishna) this meant a further £250 to my total. All of this, this money raised, was made possible by how incredibly generous family, friends and strangers have been. You've totally blown me away.

I am not a runner. I did no training. I didn't change my diet. I never, ever really thought I could do this but you guys - the people who sponsored me, text me, encouraged me - got me round and for that I am truly grateful.

It's been the single toughest thing I have ever done but it has changed my life. If you take anything from the countless blog posts I have written - if you want something to change then you have to be the one to change it. Don't wait for something to happen, go make it happen. Harry did.

Thanks for all your support. 3 runs to go. Final run Sunday (you're welcome to join us).

Help Harry Help Others -

Thank you

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Time to stop moaning

Last night, after work, I jumped on a tube from Aldgate and travelled 85 minutes on the Met line to it's furthest point - Chesham, all the way out in zone 9. My mate Martin joined me - we were armed with a bank card, a key, a phone and a travel card and some running shoes, questionable running shoes. We were due to run a half marathon in the intense heat after work.

It was fair to say, as with most of the runs, I was dreading this. We'd not get there until around 18.30, we'd run for 2 hours and not get home until 21:30. Martin would get home an hour later. It was baking hot and we'd just run a few days before - another half marathon - and as most of you know my body has long since given up on me so running is proving really difficult.

If this wasn't bad enough then the news that greeted us when we got to Chalfont was about to make our evening a whole lot worse. The Chesham line was suspended. The tube would be going to Amersham. If you go on to Google Maps you'll see why we wanted to start at Chesham - it goes Chesham, Amersham, Chalfont, Chorleywood etc - that's the order these places exist. We were faced with having to run from Amersham to Chesham (over 2 miles away) and then run all the way back again to then continue the rest of the tube stops we had planned to run.

Off we set and for 2.5 miles we ran downhill - it was literally all downhill. Sheeps grazed in fields, trees from the forest and park overhung the roads and the heat was really suffocating but at least it was downhill. The problem was though that we had to run back it up. We had to run around 2.5 miles up hill. Normally, for most people, this would be ok but such is the state of my ankles, knees and back this was going to be such a difficult task.

I rung my dad and he gave me a few words of encouragement. I turned my iPod on full volume and off Martin and I went. We decided to run at our own pace so Martin went around 20 yards ahead of me. We must have been running for 40 minutes, in the heat, up the most savage of hills. I don't know what kept me going to be honest. I was shouting at myself, out loud, to keep going. To put one foot in front of the other. I was making such noise that sheep were running away from me! We got to the top of the hill and got back to where we started - Amersham. We took on some water and decked a Mars bar.

We'd been running for an age but still had 3 stops, 8ish miles left to go. I was out on my feet. Nevertheless 1 hour 30 minutes later we made it to our destination. On the way we received 2 donations and passed through the county of Buckinghamshire. We got to the end and no shops were open so we couldn't get any water - it would be another hour until I got home and took on some water. At 10PM I had my first (and last!) ice bath to try to help me so that I can run tomorrow. I think the ice bath was worse than the hill!

We are running tomorrow in this poxy heat. We are running Saturday, then Wednesday and our final run is Sunday - when I can say I have run the entire London Underground. Last night I wish I'd never said I would attempt this. It was too big a challenge for me. I can do the odd run but I am now up to run 34 - most of those half marathons. There has also been a marathon. During this time my body has changed unrecognisably - every morning it hurts to get up. I am not after sympathy, nor am I looking to moan. I am just trying to describe how difficult I am finding this challenge. But as I write those words imagine how an 11 year old with a tumour the size of a tennis ball must feel. How does he begin to summon the courage to carry on? How does he continue to get out of bed and smile? How does he continue to raise money for others? All these things Harry did. It's time I stopped describing how difficult this thing is and realise how easy I have it. I am trying to run the underground - that is it. What he did, now that is brave. Help me help Harry to help others - sponsor me - the pain I am feeling will go next Sunday. Harry and his family were never afforded that luxury. That's wrong.


Monday, 23 July 2012

5 to go

We completed the Victoria line the other night. Martin and I got the tube out to Walthamstow which is the dogs - a really grim place. We got there, after work, and in the rain knowing that we had a two hour run ahead of us. We'd pick up my mate Luke on the Way - at Finsbury Park. My dad had worked out the route for us and I'd ring him every two stops to keep him updated on progress, as since his stroke he can no longer come up and lug bags around. Logistically it is now quite hard for us - I take my bank card, Oyster card, a key and my RBS pass - that is it. I can't run with a bag so I have to make sure I am not holding too much. I also have my phone which helps me navigate the streets of London.

I started this 8 months ago and I ate shockingly and had aches and pains back then and I'd never run more than 10k. Fast forward 8 months and I still eat shockingly, much to the annoyance of my girlfriend and mum, and who knows what damage I have done but I am pot committed now - I need to finish, for so many reasons. We ran 13 miles of the Victoria line the other night and 13 miles doesn't sound a lot but my body failed a long time ago. A stress fracture to the foot, torn cartilage in both knees and a bad back injury means that 13 miles is now the equivalent to me of a marathon.

Walthamstow to Blackhorse road followed by the riot town of Tottenham Hale. Rain was falling and I was seriously fed up. We then ran up the Seven Sisters hill, bought a Mars bar, took some abuse from some people in a car and met Luke at Finsbury Park. Luke was wearing skinny green jeans and had to end up running with a bag! An hour and 10 minutes later, after already running for an hour and 10 minutes, we made it. I couldn't really walk, Martin was blowing out of his ar5e and Luke was ready for bed. But we'd done it, another line. I rang my dad who was chuffed and my girlfriend ordered me a dominos and ran me a bath. The dream - a dominos in the bath! The next morning I could not move!

We only have five runs left - just over 60 miles and I have 13 days to complete them in. Only problem is, is that it is the Metropolitan line - the line that goes out to Zone 9 - all other tube lines go to zone 6.

Tonight my friend and I have to get an 85 minute tube journey to Chesham, we then need to run for 2 hours maybe 3 hours to cover 5 stops and then we have to get a 70 minute tube home. The earliest I'll be home is 11 tonight but it has to be done because you guys have been amazing and sponsored us ( and money needs to be raised to make sure more children don't suffer like Harry did.

We are running tonight, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday and then the final run - Harrow to Aldgate on the 5th August. Feel free to join us for that one. I got some amazing news - my dad is coming up for the final run. He's been there every step of the way and crossing the finishing line with him will mean more to me than anything. For now, if you live in the Chesham area and see some fed up guys in PJ bottoms - buy them a Mars bar cos they'll need it!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Six to go

I have been a bit quiet of late with regard to the running of the tube. The good news is that the runs have continued and we only have 6 runs to go.

We have now run every single line apart from the Metropolitan line. We have run and completed the Waterloo and City, Northern, District, Circle, Central, Jubilee, Piccadilly, Hammersmith and City and the Bakerloo. We have run half of the Victoria line which we will finish on Wednesday and then just have the beast that is the Metropolitan line. We hope to complete it in the next 3 weeks with our final run being a marathon.

It has been quite a journey. Originally when we set this up we were just going to run the Circle line and we hoped to raise £1500 for Harry Moseley's charity. 9 months on and we have almost run the entire London Underground and you have helped us raise in excess of £11,000. I have now run over 30 times in 9 months - a commitment that has really tested me. I have torn the cartilage in my knee, I fractured my foot and continued to run on it for four weeks which was naive! My dad appeared for every single run but then sadly had a stroke and has therefore not attended the last few runs. Running without him has been the most difficult thing about the run - he helped me carry on when I was in so much pain that I wanted to stop. Harry was the inspiration for me to begin these runs but my dad is the reason I am still putting PJ bottoms on and running every Wednesday night/Saturday day. He still maps out every route for me. Whilst he is not physically there, I ring him every two stops and he has the route in front of him, tells me where to go, asks me how I am feeling, and keeps me going. I owe it to him to get this done.

The runs have taken over my life. You'd think running 10-20 miles a week would be pretty easy but I am not an athlete and since week 3 or 4 I have been running in pain. I find it very hard to motivate myself to run from Dagenham to Tower Hill, in the rain, after work but I know I had to do it because I made a promise to do it. But also raising the money - quiz nights, bracelets, emails, facebook messages, twitter messages, events - they all take planning and time but they all help to raise much needed money.

On this journey I have had amazing support and we've raised an amazing sum of money. Truth be told - I can't wait for it to finish. I never realised the enormity of the task or what it would do to me both mentally and physically. But sometimes you just have to dig deep and realise that the pain you're feeling is nothing compared to what Harry, his family and countless other children like him experience on a daily basis. Children who get diagnosed with terminal brain cancer is a sentence that is just not right. We have to find a cure and the only way to do that is to raise awareness and to raise money. All you can do is your bit and you have all done your bit.

As for what happens at the end of the runs? A much needed break. I have applied for the London Marathon next year and if I get a place I will take on 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 countries. I will raise money for Harry and also for a Stroke charity that helps people less fortunate than my dad who have been devastating side effects. I'll leave it to fate if I end up running it - yes it'll be tough if I do but sometimes you have to get off your arse and be the change you want to see.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Another reason to run

After a 5 week break due to a fractured foot I am one week away from returning to running. I will be running from Uxbridge to Acton Town - around a half marathon. I have 9 runs left and we have raised over £11,000 for Help Harry Help Others. When I begin my next run there will be one man missing - my dad.

My dad has joined me for all 24 runs that I have done so far. Whatever the weather, no matter how cold or how wet, he has been there. He lives in Southend and every single week, sometimes twice a week, he pays over £15 to get a train ticket to come and meet me and the guys. He brings with him a bag of treats - Mars bars, waters, glucose gels, spare clothes, a towel - you name it he brings it. He also works out all the routes for us and meets us at the station that we run from. We then dump on to him all of our bags - sometimes my dad has 4-5 bags that he has to lug around London with him. My dad then would meet us every 3 stops to give us a water, a gel or a much needed pep talk to keep us going. This was so, so important when I have been injured - he gave me the strength to carry on. My dad would wait until we finished - sometimes as late as 10 or 11 at night. That means he wouldn't get back to his bed until midnight or later. My friends and I have run 350 miles so far but this would not have been possible without my dad - this is a fact.

Unfortunately my dad suffered a small stroke on Saturday but the great news is that he seems fine and in good health. However his pack horse days are over. We can't ask him to carry 4-5 bags anymore and wait at grotty tube stops handing out waters. He will be there for the last run though, to run over the line with us.

I originally started running to raise money for Harry's charity - I was inspired by Harry to keep going, to run through pain at times and he was my inspiration. Now I have two people who inspire me. I make a promise to you old man - we'll finish the tube together, you may not be able to be there in person but you'll still be the one who is helping me get one foot in front of the other. Get well soon.


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Thank you

I read a report the other day. In it it said 4785 people were diagnosed with brain tumours in the UK. 3794 people died. That is a percentage of 79%. In 2012 this figure is unacceptable.

Harry Moseley, was 11 years old, and he was one of the 3794 that died. Of the 3794 that died 10% were children aged under 12.

I have lost 2 grandparents to cancer, a friend to cancer and whilst I didn’t personally know Harry I ‘lost’ him to cancer too. 1550 children under the age of 12 will get told they have terminal cancer. To put it another way – the primary school I went to and the primary school you went to equals half the number of children who died from cancer last year. The problem we have is that we accept these stats. We accept that children under the age of 12 are dying. We accept that cancer kills children. We accept it because we do nothing to help fight it, beat it, kill it. We know it’s going on but we don’t do anything. However those that read this blog post, those who are thinking ‘hang on this is unfair’ are right – it is unfair. Because every single one of you has stood up and done something. Every single one of you has given time, given money, given support and said ‘you know what I want to do something’. Every single one of you has helped my friends and I raise £10,250.

We raised this last week and are incredibly proud that we have achieved our figure of £10,000. People say to me that donating money is not the hard bit and what my friends and I are doing is the hard bit. That’s bullshit. You should be given so much credit. From all over the world you have sponsored us, given us your time, given us your support, sent texts, made calls, and helped us. All we do is run. We run because we have inspiration – inspiration from a child that showed me that I wanted to do something to change the stats. To change lives. But if you didn’t donate. If you didn’t spread the word about Harry, his charity, his bracelets, his story – then my friends and I are just 7 idiots running in Pyjama bottoms.

I desperately want to change the stats. I want to do that more than I have wanted to do anything my whole life and you guys are making that happen. I promise that I will keep running if you keep sponsoring, keep spreading the word about this amazing boy and if you keep standing up and saying ‘this is unacceptable’.

When I decided to run I wanted to raise £10,000 but I had very little confidence that I’d make it. But then I underestimated people and how great they can be. £10,000 – that’s a lot of money and that’s all your doing, not ours. From all of us we owe you a big thank you. Stats are there to be changed you just need to want to change them. With more friends like you cancer doesn’t stand a chance.

We have 8 runs remaining, my foot is fractured at the moment but will be ok in a few weeks and then we will finish our runs which include two marathons. We’ve raised £10,000 together, let’s see how much more we can raise. We’ve run 350 miles let’s see how much further we can run. Who knows, we may have saved a childs life, let’s see, together, how many more we can save.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

An unlucky break...

My friends and I have now run 350 miles of the London Underground. We've run the entire Bakerloo, Waterloo & City, Hammsersmith & City, District, Northern, Circle and Central lines. We've almost finished the Piccadilly and Jubilee lines. We only have the Victoria and Metropolitan lines left to begin. We have 100 miles left to run. We've raised £9450 and only have £550 to go before we reach our target.

I have run all 350 miles and have run 18 half marathons, five 18+ mile runs and a marathon. For the last 6 weeks I have been running in a lot of pain in my right foot and unfortunately this morning it was confirmed that I have sustained a stress fracture to my foot and that I have to have 6 weeks complete rest otherwise the fracture of my metatarsel will turn in to a break. Needless to say I am pretty devastated.

No matter what the weather or how I felt I have run and I have run because I really, really wanted to make a difference to Harry Moseley's charity. The only way I knew how to do that was by coming up with a stupid challenge, a challenge that caught people's imagination, and then hope that off the back off this people would donate and money could be raised for Harry's wonderful charity. Amazingly people have donated. Donated an awful lot of money. We've had over 300 donations. Some people have donated more than once. Some have donated more than twice. One person, who I have never met, has donated 8 times. He lives in India and not only has he donated but he has bought bracelets made by Harry, shared Harry's story with friends and family and he has even run part of his rail network to raise money for Harry. He is not an isolated case - people have been amazing. They've donated £100s and £100s of pounds and for that I am so grateful and I guess that is the reason I feel so guilty - I said I'd finish by May and I now can't but I promise that I will finish.

I have ran past awful, awful areas! Dagenham, Neseden, Becontree, Upney, Woodford. The list goes on and on. I've done it in PJ bottoms, often at night, but I've run with friends and every step of the way my dad has been there - this has made this whole process doable. Without these people I'd not of completed 1 line let alone approaching 9.

When I pitched this idea to my mates I'd never done any running. I was unfit but I was inspired by an incredible young boy. A young boy who didn't give up and wanted to raise as much money as he possibly could. The last 6 weeks I've been running in real pain as my mates and dad would testify to. The last 3 runs there have been tears in my eyes such was the pain. Today confirmed what I already knew to be honest. But this is in no way the end of the running. I said, we said, that we would run the tube to raise money for Help Harry Help Others and we will. I have to rest my foot for 6 weeks but the minute that is up I will be back and I will be running back through the grim areas! I will be running with my friends and I will be running to raise money to try and do my little bit to help children with brain cancer. I tried my best to run and to run through the pain but I am afraid my body has given up. I am hoping you'll all continue to amaze me and to keep supporting us even though we will be finishing the challenge a little later than planned.

We'll still be putting on events and you can still sponsor us. Thank you for all your kind words and I promise that we'll finish it. Our new aim is to finish 6 weeks later - so around the middle of July. If any of you plan on doing something like this in the future I would suggest to train for it, to eat properly and to buy proper running shoes! All these things I have not really done and unfortuantely it has come to bite me on the ****. Still, we've raised £9450 and run 350 miles...not bad for some idiots in PJ bottoms.



Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Look how far we have run..

These two picture show how far we have currently run compared to how far we need to run. The picture with the blue bar is how far we've currently run.

We have completed the Waterloo and City Line, The Hammersmith and City line, the Bakerloo line, the District line, the Circle line, the Northern line. 53 miles of the Central line, 54 miles of the Piccadilly line.

We have the DLR, the Victoria and the Metropolitan to begin and we have 1 run left on the Central and 1 run left on the Piccadilly.

We've now run over 300 miles. I have been doing this since October but due to a knee injury I have only actually run for 4 months.

I have 12 runs left including a marathon. I have around 150 miles to go. I have just over 6 weeks to complete it. I have never done something this difficult nor have I ever felt this much pain. We have £600 left to raise.

Help us.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I have had better Saturdays

Around 4 weeks ago I ran a marathon (26.2 miles) in 3 hours and 52 minutes. On Saturday I ran 16 miles in 4 hours and 15 minutes. Those 4 hours and 15 minutes were the hardest thing I have ever done. I thought the marathon was tough, you need to invent a new word to describe Saturday.

There were 3 of us running that day. Nick Kindred - who set off by himself at around 9.30AM thinking Luke (the other runner) and I would catch him. We set off at around 11. We met my dad - fast becoming the most experienced tube passenger that ever existed - at Stratford at 10.15 and travelled up to Epping - the further point east on the whole of the London Underground. As we were on the tube we were presented with a landscape that resembled the Last of the Summer Wine - fields, trees and not a road in sight. I never liked Last of the Summer Wine and I wasn't going to like this run. The alarm bells began to surface when Nick Kindred sent me a text 'Hope you bought some pavement with you!' - never a good sign. Luke had been suffering from flu all week and had just slowly got over it. I was tired and just a bit of mess. My dad remarked that he hadn't seen us two less up for a run in all the time that we'd done this. Still, 16 miles, we'd be done in a couple of hours and could get straight down to a beer garden and enjoy the amazing weather. I could then go to two house parties that I was meant to be going to with a nice tan, I could look well and I could brag how I banged out 16 miles in 2 hours. I am a very stupid man.

Me and Butler set off from Epping to Theydon Bois and then on to Debden where we'd be meeting my dad. There are those that say Essex is a flat county - I challenge you to go to Epping and run to Theydon Bois and then on to Debden. I'm not a great hill runner. I am also, it turns out, not great at running in PJ bottoms in 20 degrees heat. Put those two things together and suddenly Butler and I were in trouble. It took us over an hour to get to Debden. We were running in the road as there was no pavement. We had to run through fields, jump over bushes and brooks. It would have been an amazing walk but it was a hideous run. Butler was out on his feet. I also had a stomach ache, running with stomach cramps in the heat up hills ain't great fun to be honest. We met my dad who seemed to have a look of genuine concern on his face. He hadn't anticipated the hills. He hadn't anticipated how bad we would be. Who knew where Kindred was? I hoped he was alive! He was out there on his own - I text him but got nothing back. Luke and I ran on and would meet my dad at Loughton. As we began running up another hill Butler lost it. Butler is a guy a who lives close to the edge of sanity anyway but he was that exhausted, that fatigued, he was in that much pain with his knee that he stopped speaking sense. I was genuinely concerned. I met my dad and we managed to, after some struggle, persuade Luke not to run for a bit - he would get on the tube with my dad and I would run the next 4 stops by myself. Luke was not at all up for this but he was on the point of collapse - he was in a shocking way so my dad wasn't going to allow him to run.

I set off by myself. Kindred had text me saying "dying". I took that to mean he was at least still alive! I am not good at running by myself. The temptation to give up. The temptation to stop and to walk. Especially when you are in such pain, when you are exhausted and hot - the temptation was massive. Fortunately I got texts off my girlfriend, my mum and Butler - all of whom told me to keep going. So I did. One hour later I met my dad and Butler. We had two stops to go - Leyton and then Stratford. Butler, ever the idiot, said he WOULD be running that last leg with me. Kindred sent me a text - he'd got to Stratford. An unbelievable effort from someone who doesn't run all that often.

Butler and I ran off. Butler's leg had completely gone - it was laughable. Two men in PJ bottoms running so slowly that they were almost running backwards. The Sheffield Wednesday fans down for the Orient game couldn't believe their eyes. We must have looked as if we were in pain cos cars were hooting, people in the street shouting at us to tell us to keep going. We saw Westfield in the distance and passed a very questionable estate on our left - we'd made it to Stratford. Neither of us could walk, my stomach cramps had got that bad that I dared not look at my pants! I cry at stupid things - s*** films and talent shows. I don't think I have ever cried from pain or exhaustion before - but tears filled my eyes. It was without doubt the most difficult thing I had ever done. Suddenly the house party dream was over - I couldn't stand let alone brag.

Tonight I am running. Tomorrow I am running. Sunday I am running a marathon. I want this to be over by the end of May. I need this to be over by the end of May. We've raised £9250 now. That day the 3 of us ran from Epping to Stratford will live long in the memory for all the wrong reasons. The only thing I took from it was that if you are inspired by a cause or by a person, as I am with Harry, then no matter how bad things get you can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. You just need to find something that inspires you so much that you can never give up. Harry didn't, and I wasn't about to. In fact I have never been more certain that I'll get this run done.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

How do I feel?

The running has continued. Since the horrific marathon and even more brutal stag do in Barcelona I have run from Canada Water to Swiss Cottage and I have run from Ealing Broadway to Marble Arch.

My mate the other day asked me how I am feeling - hopefully this blog post answers it mate.

This challenge is without a doubt the single hardest thing I have ever done. So much so that I feel myself cracking - both mentally and physically.

When I decided that I wanted to run the whole of the tube back in October I didn't really give it the thought I should have. I thought it wouldn't be too difficult. Don't get me wrong I knew it would be tough but I thought I'd get it done in a few months. I didn't account for my failing body. I also decided that I wanted to raise a substantial amount of money for Harry's charity - £10,000. And until every tube line has been run and until every penny has been raised I won't stop. It's taken over my life.

I am part of a team of 7 - all of which are really great people. But as it was my idea, as I was closest to Harry, I, for some reason, feel the £10,000 burden a lot more I think. I plan all the routes, I navigate us as we run, I do every single run. All 6 of the guys have offered to help with every aspect of that - they're great - but this has become a challenge that I feel I have to complete. It has become quite overwhelming - all the time I am thinking how can we raise money? Quiz nights, dinners, videos, blogs, random fundraising efforts, Facebook statuses, Twitter statuses - it's become a huge a part of my life. I also have complete strangers looking to me for help - thinking that because I have helped Harry's campaign I will help theirs. I feel horrendously guilty when I can't. When I don't. I am told by people suffering from cancer that we're doing a great thing - but those very people who are telling me suddenly die days later. This only adds to my desire to raise £10,000 but it also adds to the stress - I can't seem to escape it.

Then there are the runs themselves. I am not an athlete. I have never really been an athlete. I play the odd game of football, badly, but that's it. I haven't trained, I hadn't changed my diet, my lifestyle. Yet I thought I could do a half marathon every single week - no matter what the weather. I thought I could do a marathon every month - no matter how I felt. I didn't account for tearing my cartilage, straining my ankle ligaments. I didn't account for 'stress'. I have had blood tests due to poor health and a stress hormone I have is way too high - apparently because of the pressure I am putting on my body. I've not slept properly in months. I didn't account for a bad back - so bad that every day if I sit in my chair for longer than 30 minutes I seize up. When I go out with mates down the pub or off to a club I feel too tired to stay out - this isn't me, this isn't how I normally feel. I thought all I'd be doing was a few runs and it'd be ok - but running with a body that is failing just causes it to fail more and for the first time I admit I am struggling, really struggling.

Recently I have never wanted to run less. But I have to. People have been incredibly kind and have donated hard earned money. People expect me/us to finish.

I get in after each day at work and I feel tired - this never used to be the case. I get up in the morning's and I ache - this never used to be the case. I can't sleep properly because I'm always thinking of how far I have to go and I am scared that I won't be able to do it.

In 8 weeks this challenge will be complete. Running the entire London Underground doesn't sound much. By the time we've finished I would have run close to 450 miles which spread over 5-6 months doesn't seem like a huge deal. Raising £10,000 doesn't sound like an impossible target. But both of these things have become my Everest.

As hard as I am finding it I only have to look at the kid I am running for. My body hurts but he had a tumour the size of a tennis ball growing in his brain. He was 11 and had Radium treatment, he had been pumped with poison when he had chemo. Did he complain? Did he give up? Nope. Instead he raised an incredible sum of money and inspired a 25 year old to try and do something. I won't lie - I am struggling but I can't give up, nor will I. Through the support of my 6 friends I am running with, the support of my family and my girlfriend I know I will finish this. It just seems a long way off I guess. Still, the runs continue - Saturday, Stratford to Epping, Tuesday - West Ruislip to Hangar Lane, Thursday - Cockfosters to Kings Cross and Sunday another marathon. We're at £9080 raised and over 300 miles run - soon it will be over and I'll look back and feel proud about what my friends and I achieved. At the moment I just see a mountain in front of me...but they've been overcome before and they will be again.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

A favour

Hi Guys,

My friends and I are trying to raise £10,000 for Harry Moseley's charity - Help Harry Help Others. Harry died, when only 11 years old, from an inoperable brain tumour. His charity, an arm of Cancer Research, is trying to find a cure for brain tumours.

We are trying to run all 450 miles of the London Underground in pyjama bottoms to raise money and awareness. 25 half marathons every week and 4 marathons over the course of 6 months. We've had donations from all over the UK and the World and I've received countless messages from people saying if they were in London then they would run with us. Well now they can.

But I need your help.

On Saturday March 10th - We are putting on an event. The event is the International Run for Harry Moseley! If someone lives somewhere with a tube, subway, train or tram and they can walk or run a mile then I want them to get involved. Wherever they are in the world I want them to get on their Pyjama bottoms, get down to their local tube/subway/tram/train stop and walk/run a mile. I would love for them to get photos and videos of the event (and send them to me at and I would love for them to invite friends and family to join them. So far we have runners in London, Delhi, Auckland, New York, Madrid, Sydney, Honk Kong, Chennai and Bangalore.

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

If you have any friends that live abroad or are travelling abroad can you ask them to get involved. I will be running part of the C2C line down in Essex on Saturday - so if you live near a train line and fancy it go for a mile's run.

I write a blog after each run that can be found at
Our Justgiving page is
We have made a video showing you what it is we are doing with pictures of us, in PJ's, outside various tube stops desperately trying to get our breath! The link is -

Any questions give me a shout at @sw1205 or and hopefully you'll be able to help me...

We've had amazing support already from friends, family, Ben Shephard and complete strangers. Hoping the goodwill can carry on. Let's make Harry proud.


Monday, 27 February 2012

We cant give up

Sunday 26th February. A special date for a couple of reasons - it was my Nan's birthday, who died from Cancer and it was the day I did my first ever marathon in aid of Cancer Research UK - the Help Harry Help Others campaign.

Before yesterday my friends and I had ran 210 miles. We had run in all weathers, we'd suffered various injuries along the way but we were just so determined to finish the challenge - the challenge of running all 430 miles of the London Underground. The challenge of raising £10,000 for a charity that we believe in. Big time.

Harry Moseley lost his life at the age of 11. He had an inoperable brain tumour but his family, his incredible family, are so determined to make his dream come true. Harry's dream was simply that no one had to suffer like him - to rid the world of brain tumours. And his family work tirelessly to take that dream and make it a reality. They say hope is grief's best music and I think the hope of one day Harry's dream becoming reality is helping them live day to day.

We had raised around £6000 and the donations were slowing down so I thought we had to make the challenge bigger, more ridiculous. The bigger the challenge the more likely people are to donate. So I said we would commit to not only run a half marathon each week but also one marathon a month. Yesterday was the first marathon. We would be running from Barking at the end of zone four to Hammersmith, the end of Zone 2. We were running the whole of the Hammersmith and City line - the line itself is not 26 miles, it is a shade under 20 but when running and running the route we took it ended up being 26.5 miles. There were 4 of us who were going to do it. Myself, Martin and the two girls - Chloe and Becki. Martin and I had been run around a half marathon every week since the new year together but never any longer than that since January because of my knee's and my physio who ordered me to not run above 12-13. The girls had not run for a while so to tackle a marathon was a huge, huge ask.

I went out the night before and got to bed at 1am - preparation is so important! I also had a whole packet of Maryland Cookies and a glass of milk for breakfast - it is important to have a proper runners diet! I put my knee supports on, I put my PJ bottoms on and I headed out - nervous and not at all up for it. The girls were starting around an hour and a half before us and were already at West Ham by the time I got anywhere near Barking. I got a text off of one of my best mates - Nick Jellett who said if I completed it then he'd donate £100! As I say around a month ago we were sitting at £6000 raised. After the marathon we are above £7600 - a sum we are really proud of. The gamble of the marathons paid off - we'd generated an extra £1500. Now we just had to run them!

I met Martin and met the support crew - the old man. Martin and I were a little nervous. We are not runners. I am not sure what we are but we certainly aren't runners. I was wearing two knee supports and began stretching. My groin had been playing up since the last run. Add a problem with my right foot and I was looking at a marathon with 4 injuries. Excellent. We shook hands with the old man and he went off to meet the girls and give them some waters and Gel's. They'd made great progress and met him at Mile End. Chloe was struggling badly with her hip and Becki was high on gel's. Martin and I meanwhile were running pretty quickly and ran the first 8.8 miles in just under an hour and met the support crew for a much needed gel, mars bar and swig of water. We then met the girls at Whitechapel station, got a quick picture - we wished each other luck and powered on.

Martin and I got to Farringdon pretty quickly and felt pretty good. And then we ran up Farringdon road - a road with a big hill. We got to the top of that and we were wiped. It completely killed us. My groin was in bits, my knees hurt and I could feel my foot going. Martin had aches all over his body and we still had around 11-12 miles left to run. We also knew the girls were in a lot of pain and suddenly I think we all thought we'd bitten off more than we could chew.

Martin and I got to Baker Street and I know that we both considered throwing in the towel. I was out on my feet. So was Martin. I can't really explain how much pain I was in. But at that moment I got a text from my girlfriend and from my mum and I remembered why I was doing it. I also remembered the £100 that was promised by my mate Nick if I finished. Yes it hurt. Yes I was in pain. So was Martin. So were the girls. But I had the chance to achieve something, to make a difference. I am a huge believer if you want something enough you can achieve it. Especially when so many great people are willing you on. So we carried on...

Martin told me, with a few miles to go, that he had never been in that much pain before. I ran up Shepherds Bush Road and could see Hammersmith in the distance and the pride and relief I felt is a moment I will never forget. I'd done it. I had run a marathon in 3 hours and 52 minutes. The girls managed to break their 7 hour target and they too completed it. 4 people who could have given up but didn't. Harry could have given up but didn't. Lance Armstrong once said "If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell". And that is the reason we are doing this. Cancer is a sentence and not a word. We need to change that. We need to make Harry's dream a reality. For now all that we can do is our bit. Harry was the inspiration I needed to get off my arse and do something. I'd just wished to hell I'd done it earlier...I just wish that cancer was just a word to my Nan and to Harry and not a sentence. I think my Nan and Harry would be proud of me and the guys, for the first time in my life I was proud of me. I'd done a marathon. And I'd done it when every sinew of my being was screaming at me to give up. Let's not give up. Let's kill cancer.


Monday, 20 February 2012

The Tube Runners and two special guests!

Saturday was probably the most fun we've had doing a run. We ran with 'Sheps' as I am now calling him! To everyone else he is better known as Ben Shephard.

Around 3 months ago I felt we needed a celebrity to help us spread awareness of our challenge and therefore help spread awareness of Harry, his story and his charity. I didn't want just anyone. I wanted someone who cared about Harry and felt as inspired by him as what we did.

One year ago I noticed a tweet from Ben Shephard - he tweeted that he had spent some time with the 'incredible' Harry Moseley. He encouraged us to 'follow' Harry Moseley. That tweet I saw from Ben made me aware of Harry's story and that tweet is therefore the reason I am running today. So, the celebrity I wanted to contact was Ben. The tweet read "@Benshepard my mates and I are running the tube for @harry_moseley, fancy it?". I remember tweeting him as I was coming home from work. I got to the other end of my tube journey and I got a tweet back off him! "Hi Steve, sounds good! Got any more info'. I was buzzing! We went back and forth and settled on Dec 9th for him to do a run with us - the Waterloo & City line.
Unfortunately that week he found out it was his sons nativity so he couldn't make it. But, he sent me a direct message (twitter talk!) to apologise and then he tweeted us good luck - all 350,000 of his followers could see the tweet. I stayed in touch with him and sent him a video we'd done - he loved it and tweeted it to all of his followers and said he'd like to rearrange the run with us. We'd settled on Feb 18th. Stratford to Marble Arch. 13 miles. I'd yet to mention anything about PJ bottoms!

Saturday morning arrived and me, my mum, dad, Luke, Martin and Shaun arrived at Stratford station. In our PJ bottoms. I've never seen my mum take so long to get ready! Luke had his knee supports on. I had my knee supports on. Shaun had his ankle support on. My dad his back support on. Martin, the machine, was support free. I got a phone call from a number I didn't recognise and then we saw them - Sheps and his mate Chester. They were wearing proper running gear, gadgeted up to the max. They looked like actual runners. We looked a shambles. We were a shambles. Except my mum, she looked lovely!

I walked over, in my pj's and introduced myself, introduced the others and immediately we felt at ease. There was nothing celebrity about the guy (sorry Ben!) - he was just a normal guy. His mate Chester, also a top man, said had he known we were wearing PJ's he would have worn some too - well Chester was in luck! I bought two spare pairs with me! They immediately put them on - Ben also got a pic with some other guys from the station and they donated £20 to our total. We then started running...we quickly got lost - not at all embarrassing!

Ben spent the first 20 minutes with me and he asked me why did I do this challenge, how was I finding it, what future plans did we have. He was so interested. It was brilliant. We chatted about Harry and Harry's mum. He was blown away by Harry and he'd met Georgie (Harry's mum) only last week. When he was talking about her it was obvious why Harry was the way he was - he was blessed with an incredibly loving family and they were blessed with a son who had courage, who was selfless and who was just thoroughly decent. A lovely family who's lives were to be changed forever by the growth of a cancerous tumour. As I ran with Ben, Chester and 4 of my best mates I realised just how important Harry's legacy is and how we must ensure we all do whatever we can to help others and to make Harry's dream happen.

Ben tweeted various pics on route to his Twitter followers - we got best wishes from everywhere. Cars were beeping, people were shouting good luck at us. We'd done many a grim run and we'll do many more a grim run but this run I enjoyed. I forgot the pain. I was running with mates and for those two hours Harry Moseley was being talked about in all corners of the country, in the streets that we were running. We stopped at various points to meet my mum and dad - they were handing out the Mars bars (we weren't upgrading for Ben!). We got to Bethnal Green and Sheps uploaded a pic of all of us in our PJ's to his followers. He also rang Chris Kamara to tell him that I'd heard Neil Warnock had been given the Leeds job - a truly epic moment! Ben slowly worked his way round all my mates and spent 20 minutes with all of us. He was a class act.

We powered our way through the Central line. Ben told me that he'd run from the West to the East of the country for a friends daughter - it was really inspiring stuff. I was told how nice Roberto Martinez is and how Scott Parker is Sheps' hero! At each stop we got a pic. We finished in 1 hour and 40 minutes and he signed some Harry tshirts that we could give out as prizes for our quiz night. And, brilliantly, he has said he is going to do our final run with us. Hopefully Chester will too. My mum got a kiss on the cheek and Ben said his goodbyes. The whole morning was surreal but it epitomised Harry - random people being bought together to do good.

Another 13 miles. Another reminder that there are some really great people about. We are running our first ever marathon Sunday, in fact it is further than a marathon, we are running the whole of the Hammersmith and City line. We're also meeting Harry's mum before the run. If I was nervous about meeting Ben then you'd have to come up with a whole new word for how I will feel when I meet Georgie. We are thrilled she wants to meet us. I just hope we can help, in a little way, achieve her son's ambition. With more people like Ben Shephard, Chester, my mates and my parents then brain cancer doesn't have a chance. Roll on Sunday and thanks again for all the kind words and donations. We're up to £7350 and over 200 miles run. As Harry would say - we're making it happen :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Running round Heathrow Airport in our PJs

As promised here is the next instalment of the blog! In the last post I told you how I did an assembly in my PJ bottoms to 500 kids despite having nothing prepared. I also told you how Dr Ng and I almost came to blows (grossly over exaggerated - he asked me, politely, to take it easy) over my diet, my general well being and the fact that I am doing too much running for my body to handle.

With almost a full course of antibiotics down me, porridge oats lining my stomach and a new found love for Satsuma's I was ready to run again. We had run the Waterloo & City line, the Bakerloo line, the Circle line, the District line and the Northern line. Next up was the Piccadilly. This was grim for so many reasons. It was 60 miles in length. I, for some reason, have an irrational hatred for the Piccadilly line and the grimmest fact of all was that we would have to go to Heathrow, in pyjama bottoms, and run round the whole perimeter of the airport.

I was feeling a little better and we'd agreed we'd do the run Wednesday. It would be me, Martin Chapman (who ran the whole of the District line with me) and Luke Butler. My dad, unbelievably would be coming to. A 3 hour journey to hand out Mars bars, Hula Hoops and waters. No words can express how grateful I am to the old man and his black bag full of treats. My dad also worked out the route for us. We were to meet at Hounslow West tube station. From there we'd run to Hatton Cross. Then run to Heathrow Terminal 4, then onto Heathrow Terminal 5, then Heathrow Terminals 1-3 and back to Hounslow West. 6 tube stations, more miles than I cared to think about and airport security staff to dodge. This was going to be a test. Our biggest test yet.

I had read that if you wanted to walk the perimeter road you had to let Heathrow BAA know. So I rung the press office. I said 3 guys in pyjama bottoms would be running around the airport for 2-3 hours. Was this cool?! The lady on the end of the phone choked on her tea, laughed at me a little and said 'no, of course it is not cool. You need a waiver'. I had a slight issue with this. I had rung them at 16.45 - the day of the run! I wasn't backing out now. She told me there was also no pavement and that it was just run or grass that made up the perimeter fence. The waiver took a few days to approve. I decided I would keep this little nugget of information secret from the old man, the two guys I was running with, my mum and my girlfriend - had I mentioned it the run wouldn't happen and I was going to run round that airport that night. I didn't care about rules and regulations. Rules and regulations are made to be broken!

After an hour and 10 minutes of travelling I finally got to Hounslow West and met all the guys. Everyone was in decent spirits, we were PJ'd up and we were ready to do this. We would meet my dad at Terminal 5, some 7 miles from where we were standing. So we started running. Butler, Martin and I chatted our way to Hatton Cross, we got a picture of us at the tube and then we had to get on the perimeter road. They weren't lying - there was no pavement! Planes were flying above our heads, planes were taking off 100 yards to the right of us, we heard airport staff shouting but we just put our heads down and carried on running! We feared we could bring the airport to a close by sparking a major terrorist incident - 3 men in pyjama bottoms meeting a man with a dark black bag at Terminal 5 - alas we got away with it.

The run was horrendous. I mean it was real, real bleak. But we got to Term 4, then Term 5 and met the old man. We all had 3 mars bars, went into the terminal and got a picture of us at the 'International Arrivals' and then we pressed on. None of us had wallets or money on us. My dad had got the tube back to Hounslow West and we ran probably about 1.5 miles away from Term 5 when Luke Butler screamed in agony and hit the floor. Actually collapsed onto the floor. Luke has had major problems with his knees before. Most of us have. Luke and I generally can't walk for two days after a run but this was different. He was on the floor and couldn't get up. We had no money. We were miles away from anywhere. My dad couldn't meet us. This was bad. Luke stayed on the floor for a minute and Martin and I said we'd carry him back to Hounslow West. Then Luke just got up and with tears in his eyes started running. We told him to stop. He ignored us. Luke Butler ran 5 miles back to Hounslow west. I still don't know how. None of us talked. Martin and I just slowly jogged behind Luke. Luke who was just trying to get one foot in front of another, just focused on somehow getting back to Hounslow West.

I've met some brave people in my life but that was one of the bravest things I'd experienced. My friends are literally putting their bodies on the line to raise as much money as they can for Harry's charity.

That run will go down as one of the worst but we made it. Luke made it. We got to the end and felt like we had achieved something major. We run again this Wednesday - another half marathon. In a months time we take on a marathon. We've run 180 miles. We've 250 miles to go. It is painful stuff, it is hard, it is depressing at times but I am running with great people, great friends and I've never been more certain that we'll complete it.

As ever you can donate at or feel free to buy Luke some free physio sessions!

Friday, 27 January 2012

A crazy 10 days

So it has been a busy 10 days but probably the most important 10 days since we began this challenge.

It started last Monday when I went to my old primary school to do a school assembly about Harry and our challenge and it finished last night with another pub quiz. In that time I have run around Heathrow and begun the Piccadilly line. I got shouted at by my doctor, my mum and by my girlfriend. I have been on antibiotics. My mate collapsed during a run. We received a £1000 donation from Amathus drinks. We hosted a quiz to 70 people and received £400 in sponsorship whilst doing it and I made a promise never to run round an airport in pyjama bottoms again.

So let's rewind. 10 days ago I attended Heycroft school. I was to do an assembly to all 500 pupils. The day before I had nothing planned. I hastily put a video together and I put together a presentation about Harry and our runs. Incredibly Harry's mum sent me the presentation Harry used to give to school children. I read that presentation and remembered the reason I was doing all of this. It was absolutely incredible. He was so talented, so dynamic, so brave. It is easy to see why people admired him and why they were so devastated when he died. His presentation was great but I had been told that the school was putting on a special assembly for me and that I didn't have much time. I sent Harry's presentation to the headmaster and he wondered if he or I could give the presentation when he had more time and could do it on a class by class basis. I wanted to respect Harry's mums wishes and knew how important it was that the kids saw the presentation he had written so I have agreed to come back and present on a class by class basis. Harry's hope is that school children up and down the country will make bracelets to sell for Cancer Research - I hope to try and make that happen, at least for Heycroft Primary school. I had written my own brief presentation for the assembly and put together a video ( and decided that I would turn up to the school in my PJ bottoms! It was important to make a good first impression!

The morning came and I felt ok but the presentation felt too formal. It felt boring and disconnected. So on my way to school I threw the CD with it on in to the bin. Now I felt alive! I had absolutely nothing prepared. It was like the scene from the West Wing where the President's wife cuts his tie 30 seconds before he addresses the nation just to try and get some spark into him. Now I am not comparing myself to the great Jed Bartlett! Nor am I saying Heycroft primary school resemble the 50 states of America! But I was trying to get them to believe in something. I needed to make sure I did Harry justice. I needed to make sure they would help continue his great work. I rocked up to reception and felt a huge sense of panic amongst the receptionists. Fear gripped their faces. I then remembered...I was wearing pyjama bottoms. I assured them I wasn't some sort of crazed man and that I was here to do a talk. Once the paralysis from the fear had worn off they offered me a tea and a digestive biscuit and showed me in to the staff room. I had always wanted to go in to a school staff room - I imagined what it could be like. It was bitterly disappointing! It was just a rank average room with out of date posters and a dishevelled man asleep in the corner!

I went to the assembly hall and The kids started pouring in. It took me back to when I was at school. I used to wish I never had to leave Heycroft primary school. As I stood in that assembly hall everything seemed so fun and easy - the kids were without a care in the world, what an amazing feeling that must be. I think we grow up too fast. There is something to be said for trying to remain a child as long as possible. I think that is why I was wearing the PJ bottoms! The assembly started and I did my thing. I showed them the video and then I tried to get them all involved. I asked who had done something for charity before. They all stuck their hands up! We started just having a big chat! I asked them who had run round the field once - hands shot up. I asked who'd run round the field twice. Hands shot up. I said 10 times. Hands were slowly going down. 100 times. No hands went up. I then told them that we were trying to help Harry and we were running the tube which was like running round the field 4000 times! They gave a classic kid response. I'd got them hooked! They suddenly got it. Before you knew it they all wanted to help Harry. I finished the assembly with every kid promising to fundraise for Harry - the ideal result! They were shouting out to me stuff they wanted to do. Cake sales, jumble sales and the big one - they were all going to run round the school field in their PJ's as well and get sponsored to do it. So that couldn't have gone better! I left the school feeling a mixture of relief, happiness and sadness. Harry was 11 - he was in year 6. I looked at those kids who had their whole lives in front of them and they were free to run in the playground, have fights, kiss girls, kiss boys and eat a packed lunch from their action man lunch box. Harry was never afforded these opportunities as he was catapulted into an adult world with big worries and he took on a big responsibility in that he wanted to create a campaign to help people. Whilst kids were fighting, kissing and being stupid, Harry was making bracelets, doing presentations, meeting important people, having operations, having chemo. I felt relief that it had gone ok. I felt happy that they wanted to help. But I felt sad because Harry had his childhood robbed from him. Ever child deserves the right of a childhood. Every child has the right to grow up. Harry wasn't given this right but through his work he will ensure each child's right is exactly that - a right and something that happens.

After the assembly I had to go to the docs as I thought I may have a chest infection. I was also feeling exhausted. My foot was hurting, my knee was hurting and I felt crap. I'd had blood tests to see if I was all ok. I had a run a lot of miles and done them in a lot of pain and I felt my body slowly giving up on me. The blood tests came back and Dr Ng (that's his name - try and pronounce it!) told me I was stressed! Pretty amusing! He then listened to my chest and sure enough I had a chest infection. He sat me down (I was standing for some reason - I am strange!) and tried to find out why I was stressed. So I told him that I was doing some runs. He asked me to explain further. So I said that I was running a half marathon a week and finding it really tough. He then shouted at me! Dr Ng lost it! He explained that if I had a chest infection I shouldn't be running. He told me the hormone that came up in the blood test that showed I was stressed was because physically I was asking my body to do to much. He then asked me about my diet. What did I eat before and after runs? Maryland Cookies was my response - this seemed to tip him over the edge. He stuck me on antibiotics, he banned me from running from at least a week and he told me I had to look after myself. I rung my mum and told her - she proceeded to talk to me about my diet for around an hour. I rung my girlfriend - she proceeded to talk to me about my diet for around two hours. If I am to complete this challenge I need to start listening to these people because I had been really struggling and now I realise (remember I am an idiot) that I have to look after myself. So, in the last week I have tried really hard. I've eaten fruit, I've taken vitamins, I've taken liquid iron, I've had a meal every night and slowly I am feeling a lot better. So much so that I ran two days ago...

Tune in tomorrow to find out how that run went. What happened when my mate collapsed to the floor at Terminal 5. How and who donated to us a £1000 and why coming 4th in a quiz meant a prize of 3 antibiotics.

As ever - thanks for your continued support. We couldn't do this without you. We have now raised over £7000. As you can probably tell, for someone who isn't particularly fit nor a runner, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. But without doubt it is the most important and the most rewarding. It's just a shame Harry had to die for me to get off my arse to begin to do something I'd always wanted to do. If you want to do something, whatever it may be, just go and do it.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

Want to run with us? Now you can!

Hi guys,

As you know my friends and I are trying to raise £10,000 for Harry Moseley's charity - Help Harry Help Others. We are trying to run all 430 miles of the London Underground in our pyjama bottoms to raise money and awareness. We've had donations from all over the UK and the World and I've received countless messages from people saying if they were in London then they would run with us. Well now you can.

On Saturday March 10th - we are putting on an event. The event is the International Tube Run for Harry Moseley! Do you live somewhere with a tube, subway, tram? If so can you walk or run 2 miles? Wherever you are in the world we want you to get on your Pyjama bottoms, get down to your local tube/subway/tram stop and walk/run 2 miles. We would love for you to get photos and videos of the event and we would love for you to invite friends and family to join you. So far we have runners in London, Delhi, Auckland, New York, Madrid, Sydney, Honk Kong - who else fancies it? If you want to do it we would love for you to get sponsorship - - a lot of you have been amazing and given us your money, now we are asking you for some of your time. Let's create an international awareness of Harry's campaign to rid the world of brain tumours.

Join the cause. Help Harry Help Others.


twitter: sw1205
Facebook: Steve Whyley

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

This whole thing just got a little crazier!

On Saturday, four of us (Chloe Garrard, Becky Pickering, myself and Martin Chapman) ran another 10 miles or so. We met at Tower Hill and we were running to Kensington Olympia. The night before I decided to have a house was that naive!

I turned up at midday and felt HORRENDOUS. I was badly, badly hungover. The girls were there raring to go and Martin arrived shortly after. The girls set off first as I was dying and was also waiting for Martin to arrive. Around 30 minutes after the girls set off Martin and I unleashed the PJ bottoms and started to run. Immediately I began to get alcohol sweats! This was not helped by my 'athletes breakfast' - 11 Maryland Cookies and a brew. At Mansion House, I am ashamed to say, was the first time in 11 runs that I was sick! The Maryland's were out of my system, I had the Greese Megamix being played on my iPod, this was where the ran began properly!

The girls had made great progress and we met them at Victoria before Martin and I pressed on, met the support crew (my dad) at Sloane Square and finally got to Kensington Olympia after around 90 minutes of running. The girls arrived 30 minutes behind us. They've now done 4 runs, over 40 miles and have raised incredible sums of money. All of the guys have. I'm lucky to be able to run with great people who believe in the cause as much as I.

Tonight I finish the District Line. A half marathon beckons and it is fair to say I am not buzzing about it! Again, stupidly, I have not made things easy for myself. I played football last night, banged my leg quite badly and am now spraying some sort of freeze spray and decking Nurofens in the hope I can hobble round 13 miles tonight.

After tonight I would have done almost 3 half marathons in 7 days. One was brutal, one was nice (after the sick incident!) and tonight...well who knows! Martin (who has joined me for every district line run) and I have run the entire District Line in 5 runs. That is 62 miles (we have to run and hit each tube stop remember). By tonight we'd have run from Upminster to Ealing Broadway via Richmond, Edgware Rd and Wimbledon. We have run through all 58 stops on the District Line and can say we've run through Dagenham and survived! We've run in wind, hail and rain and done it all in PJ bottoms! The district line is the 2nd longest tube line and after tonight we'd have run 5 tube lines, 160 miles and passed way over 120 tube stops. This challenge suddenly seems achievable.

But we want to add to the crazy, make more people aware of the amazing Harry Moseley and get more people to donate to his incredible charity.

So I have done something a little stupid...

I have decided I want to complete the challenge by the end of May. This means that in the next 20 weeks I (and hopefully some of the other guys) will be running 4 marathons and 16 half marathons. A marathon a month for the next 4 months. Our final run will be 26.2 miles of the Metropolitan line. I will run 26.2 miles of the Central, Piccadilly and Jubilee line as well. I've never run a marathon. Let alone one a month. But Harry taught me that anything is possible if you want it enough.

He also showed me how important it is to raise money and awareness to kill this disease once and for all. I set the target of 10k - I am desperate to hit that. If I hit that I hope to raise £100k by doing more challenges. To raise money, a lot of it, I believe you have to do things that seem unachievable. That make people sit up and take notice. That inspire. That is why Harry raised £500,000 for Cancer Research UK. That is why he continues to raise money every single day. Because as a child, with terminal brain cancer, he did the impossible and made it happen. Now 4 marathons and 16 half marathons are no where near in his league, but if it makes just one person sit up and take notice. If it makes one person who hasn't donated yet donate then it is all worth it.

I'm a firm believer in pushing yourself and I may have bitten off more than I can chew with the marathons but I promise I will complete them and I (and the guys) will raise £10,000. If an 11 year old with terminal brain cancer can raise £500,000, what excuse do I have?

If you are between Richmond and Ealing Broadway tonight feel free to buy me a Mars bar and say hello! In 5 months time the challenge will have finished, in fact, the way I see it, the challenge will have just began...


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Got to love the rain...

Happy new year to you all! Hope you had a good one! Me, I spent it on a beach drinking a flask of tea (long story). I'd love to say I've piled on the pounds during Christmas but it seems my body is unique in that no matter how much rubbish I eat I am unable to bulk up. I was struck down with a horrible case of man flu (a slightly sore throat and runny nose!) over the Christmas period. I decided to have Christmas off from running, so the first run would be the 4th January.

The 4th January arrives and my man flu has taken a turn for the worse (I am now coughing!). I've also been struck down with a severe case of the new year blues. Nothing against my work but I am desperate to be at home, in bed, instead of the packed rush hour tube with my rucksack containing PJ bottoms, my Harry Tshirt and my highly unfashionable running trainers.

Now, I don't know if you've paid much attention to the weather yesterday, but it's fair to say it is not shorts weather! There have been a few spots of rain in the air and a light breeze of late! In fact, when I left work yesterday, in my PJ bottoms, the wind and rain really hit me. It was cold, it was miserable and I was man flued up!

I jumped on the tube from Aldgate East and made my way to Wimbledon. I still love the looks I get as I board the tube in my monster munch pyjama bottoms! I eventually got to Wimbledon 55 minutes later and met my dad and Martin - who was running with me. My dad was there, as ever, to lend his support, water and Mars bars. He was also there with his new best friend. The London A-Z. My dad's ultimate passion is the weather. Nothing seems to excite him quite like the weather. There has to be silence when the forecast comes on, he loves 'Countryfile' only for the weekly weather forecast and he gets great pleasure in getting my mum to text me (my dad doesn't know how to text) on the day of the run to let me know what the weather is doing later. I am sitting there, on the morning of the run, when the world appears to be closing in and freak storms are battering London and the text reads 'Dad reckons there could be rain tonight bring appropriate clothes mum' notice the distinct lack of punctuation, my mum hasn't got to grips with that part of texting yet on her Nokia 32-10. However, a new great love rivals that of the weather for my dad and that is the London A-Z.

My dad is a legend. That word is over used but he really is. He works out all the routes before I begin each run, he then emails me the route. He does all of this via his London A-Z. Google Maps...pffft no need! So I have the route on my phone (which he has emailed me...he can email!) and we then run through the first few stops together. He takes me through his A to Z like a proud man showing off his favourite toy. I feel like I am cheating if I use Google maps so wherever possible I will only follow the big man's direction and I too place a great trust in his A to Z. Yesterday, as ever, it did not let us down...

"Just make sure you turn left out of the station". "Yes dad" I respond. I start jogging out of the station, pretend to go right, look back and wink at the old man, who has 4 bags on his shoulders - he is a modern day pack horse.

Martin and I begin our run and the weather is truly abysmal. It's cold, it is wet and I am desperate to watch United on the box! Instead I am running from Wimbledon to Edgware Rd. A mile later we are at Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon is actually quite nice. Compared to Dagenham East it is beautiful. For the first time on the District Line run I felt I would not be stabbed, which is always a positive thing. Southfields, East Putney and then Putney Bridge. I almost got swept out into the Thames running across the bridge. The weather was truly horrendous and the wind that strong that I though my slight frame wouldn't take it! But made it I did! My knee felt the best it's felt in a long while. Parsons Green, Fulham Broadway and West Brompton all safely negotiated. The rain was getting stronger, I was getting colder. At Earls Court I begin to die, the motivation was waning and I had stepped through about 17 puddles, I was cold, I was pi***d off and I wanted my bed. I then got a text at just the right time. It told me to 'keep going, keep going, keep going' and that text helped me, big time. So to the person who sent it (!) thank you! I kept going :)

The most annoying thing about this tube run challenge is that, as I want to do it properly, I am forever having to re run places I've already gone through. So, even though I have done the Circle Line, I made the decision that I would still run High Street Kensington, Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater, Paddington and Edgware Road. Yes I'd done this exact route 12 weeks ago. But I'd done that route whilst running the Circle Line, this wasn't the circle line, this was the district line. So the route had to be done again. That will also mean I will have to do the exact same run from Barking to Aldgate East in a couple of months. Because even though I have done that run, I did it when I was running the District Line and not the Hammersmith and City line. That means I have to go back to Barking, a thought that keeps me up at night!

We got to Notting Hill Gate and began munching on a Mars bar when a man in a hat comes out of the tube, he approaches Martin, my dad and I and asks us to join us his cult. He explains the benefits of the cult, he tells me he is ex SAS (presumably to keep my attention) and is not happy, in the slightest, when I interrupt him to tell him we have to get running. He calls us selfish, questions our motives and says that why waste our time with a dead kid, a kid who is probably 'no good'. If this man reads this blog post, I wish you all the best for your cult. I do. But if you ever speak of Harry like that again, crazed tube runners in pyjama bottoms will hunt you down! SAS or not!

Two horrendously grim hours later we arrived at Edgware Road. I was SOAKED and seriously COLD. I got pneumonia when I was younger so my dad and mum worry a bit therefore my dad made me get changed into warm clothes. This meant that in the middle of Edgware Tube station, in full view of staff and travellers, I stripped to just my boxer shorts. No t-shirt, no trousers, no towel to cover myself - the ladies loved it! I then put on some warm clothes and got the tube home...a journey that I will be running sometime soon!

Anyway, that is now 138 miles run. We've at least 260 to go. But the District line is being tamed by the men and women in pyjama bottoms. As long as my dad has the A to Z - we can complete our journey...