At the moment, I don’t really have a starting point on day 2 of the run, that all depends on how day one goes!
One thing is for sure! It’s Mum’s birthday and she’s being treated to a delightful day out, slowly following me around south London as I visit a host of football grounds that are closed for business throughout the summer break. Mum – I’m so, so sorry. We’ll put the blame on the Football League for hosting the final on a Saturday and not on the usual bank holiday Monday. Either way, I’ll do my best to make it as fun for you as possible!
Ground 6 – Kingsmeadow to Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace)
After awaking in Chessington, we’ll make our way back to the exact point that we finished on the previous day. Depending on where this was, there will be around 5 miles left to run before we reach the home of the Eagles. These will be slow, steady miles as I try and shake out the aches and stiffness that the previous day’s miles will have brought. I’m hoping that the CherryActive, which was kindly sent to me, will have done the trick and I’ll be free-moving as I move eastwards across south London! I’ve been to Selhurst Park before (to watch Forest get thrashed 3-0 on a cold December evening) and I struggled to find it then – I’m hoping that I’ll have better luck on my second visit to the ground!
Ground 7 – Selhurst Park to The Den (Millwall)
7.25 miles separates the grounds of Crystal Palace and Millwall and for some reason, unbeknown to myself, this is one of the sections that I’m least looking forward to! However, Millwall FC donated their shirt sponsor to Prostate Cancer UK for the 2013/14 season, so that’s one bit of motivation to keep me on my feet as I make my way north towards the Den. Another bit of optimism is the fact that I get to take in some more greenery as I pass through a couple of small woodland areas.
After we’ve done the whole photo and media update thing, we’ll look for somewhere nearby to get a decent lunch. After all, we shouldn’t forget that it’s my Mum’s birthday!
Ground 8 – The Den to The Valley (Charlton Athletic)
Heading east again and ducking just south of the meanders in the Thames, it’s a relatively short 4.4 miles to Millwall’s rivals – Charlton Athletic. I work closely with the club, so I’ve managed to negotiate a brilliant welcome gift upon my arrival at the stadium… I’ll not ruin the surprise on here, so remember to tune in on my Twitter next Thursday as I unveil the hospitality that will be given to me by staff members at The Valley!
I’ve been to The Valley a couple of times and it’s one of my favourite stadiums in England. I hope I’m still feeling good by this point as I’d hate an injury or an unwelcome feeling to overshadow the good memories I have of this ground! Positive thinking equals positive results. There’s a lesson for you right there.
Ground 9 – The Valley to Victoria Road (Dagenham & Redbridge)
A massive 10.1 miles and a huge river separate these two grounds! I can’t remember off the top of my head if this is the biggest stretch between stadiums on the route, but it won’t be far off if it isn’t!
There is a lot of potential to take the wrong roads as well. This has only really happened once in my charity running career, when I took the wrong road on the way from Nottingham to Birmingham. I ended up running an extra 3 miles that day and I suffered because of it. Here’s hoping I can keep my sense of direction about me as I visit the last football stadium of the day!
Also, if anyone knows how to cross the Thames, please let me know to save me typing stuff into Google!
And that will be that for day 2. I should have clocked up around 55 miles and have visited 9 stadiums by this point! We’ve also got a pleasantry in the form of a non-Travelodge bed for the evening as we’re staying in a B&B that has free wifi – stick that in your pipe, Travelodge! I’m also hoping that we can celebrate Mum’s birthday properly too. Both my mother and my father are giving up a lot of time to help me out next week and, let’s face it, it’s not going to be much fun for them! I genuinely couldn’t do these kind of things without their support, so I really do appreciate it a lot.
Man, I’m tired just thinking about how I’ll be at this point in the run!