Wednesday, 16 November 2011

I can't walk up stairs...but I finished the Northern line!

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 Waterloo with my friend Luke – the life and soul of the team. 17 miles later and we had completed it. Next up was High Barnet to Kings Cross - 19 miles. After 8 miles I felt something in my knee 'go' and for the last 10 miles I was almost running in tears such was the pain (I am a bit of a weak guy!). I went to see the physio who had confirmed I had a probable tear of my meniscus (my cartillage) and that I need a period of rest and then a probable operation to repair it. I explained about the runs and she agreed to an intense course of physiotherapy, which she would give me for free, to help me try and get through the run on Saturday. The run on Saturday was vital because I had planned it for over a month and there would be 7 of us. The 6 of them would run it no matter what and I had to finish the Northern Line. I can't really explain it properly but I just had to run it and I just had to finish it. I’d run 40 miles of it anyway, I just had to finish it. After that run it was agreed I would have a months rest and would go to the hospital to see a consultant about my knee and he would then decide if I needed the operation.

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 8AM 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 South Wimbledon, we met the support crew at Colliers Wood. I was doing ok. On we went, Tooting Broadway, Bec and Balham. The pain was beginning to build. Clapham South and my knee went. It was at this point that my mates came into their own. We slowed the pace and they just talked to me, they talked to me and we hit Clapham Common. They talked me through to Clapham North where the support crew was waiting with a mars bar and a glucose gel! I was just focusing on getting one leg in front of the other. The way I was running meant I was putting huge pressure on my feet and they began to hurt! I was falling apart! We managed to get through Stockwell, Oval, Kennington and then got to Elephant and Castle. It was at this point that I almost threw in the towel, I was in such a lot of pain but my mate Luke just shouted out 'Remember why you are doing this' and so we carried on. Borough, London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate. Luke Butler’s knee was in bits – he was barely able to carry on but somehow he did. This inspired me so much that I just had to carry on. We’d help each other get to the end. The other guys, Martin and Shaun helped us. Chloe and Becky, just slightly behind, were sending us texts of encouragement and even Nick Kindred – running by himself (an unenviable task) dropped in with a text.

We were 2 from home! Old Street and then Angel. Got to Old Street and then was faced with a pretty big hill up to Angel. This hill is the single most difficult thing I have ever done. But as a team, we got there! We had got to Angel. We then just sat in a heap outside the tube absolutely exhausted. Luke was overcome with pain, so much so that he had tears in his eyes. Shaun was out on his feet. Martin looked as though he hadn’t even been running (the fittest one of the group!) and I just sat there feeling immense pride of everyone. Nick and then the girls came round the corner shortly after and 7 unfit set of people had completed the Northern line, together, bound together by an amazing young man – Harry.

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.

This run just got a lot tougher...

As some of you know - I am trying to run all 406 miles of the London Underground for Harry Moseley's charity - - so far I have run around 80 miles and more importantly I have raised £2440 (

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

( 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...

The northern line bites back...and defeats the man in pyjamas

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 ( 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 Waterloo. All of these runs we run in kids pyjama bottoms to highlight that Harry was a child and this is a disease that kills children. During the Bakerloo line I hurt my foot and was subsequently diagnosed with Plantar Fascitis - a common runner's injury. A months rest was advised. Whilst I liked my doctor, in fact I think I fancied my doctor (she was worth getting an injury for), I decided to ignore her. I ran last week and struggled round, but I completed it. It's also worth pointing out my legendary old man (also known as my dad/support crew) comes up for each run to hand out water's and Mars bars at various stops - it is a real professional operation!

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, West Finchley, Mill Hill East and Finchley Central where we met the support crew. The run had been very hilly and pretty tough but I was in good spirits, we'd completed 7.4 miles and even my monster munch PJ's looked proud of me. Tune after tune was appearing on my iPod - Neil Diamond, Westlife, Lionel (ha!) - if you can't get inspired by 'Hello' you can't call yourself human! A couple of photos later and we were to embark on the epic 2.4 mile journey to East Finchley.

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 East Finchley, I say run - it was a run that was a limp. I was limp running! It took me about 30 minutes to get to East Finchley and I can honestly say that it was the toughest thing I have ever done...the toughest thing I have ever done was about to get tougher.

We assessed the situation at East Finchley and I said I had to continue, that I couldn't give up. The pain after stopping was really bad. I said to the guys that we couldn't stop anymore - that if we stopped I wasn't sure I could continue. We managed to get to Highgate, Archway, Tuffnell Park - each stop a huge victory but each stop more and more pain. We had agreed we would meet the support crew at Kentish Town. My dad saw me limp run round the corner and gave me a look which I knew to mean he was really worried. We'd stopped for too long, I tried to get going again and whilst I cry at crappy films like Armageddon (ladies...) I thought I was honestly going to cry for the first time due to pain! I managed to just about get going again. We'd reached Camden, we passed Euston. All the time I was just focusing on just getting one foot in front of the other. Sounds pretty basic but that's what it boiled down to for me. Jon knew I was in agony and we passed a 'Boots' at Kings Cross. We popped in to buy a knee support. We were probably in there for two minutes. I put the support on and went to push off but that was it. Game Over. I couldn't do it. I couldn't carry on any longer. I was gutted.

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 - 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!

The Northern line is no match for a man in pyjama bottoms..

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 - 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 Waterloo. It is worth pointing out I have done no training, and running scares me! So 17 miles of running, after work, in the dark and cold feels me with dread but last night was even worse. I have been diagnosed with a common foot injury known as Plantar Fasicitis - basically you have a ligament type thing running along the arch of your foot and I had strained it. The doctor advised one month of complete rest. I explained I had 17 miles of running to do. She asked me when this was, I informed her it was in 3 days time. She was not impressed. A four minute argument later and agreed to help put together a plan for me which would enable me to try and manage the injury. This involved taping up of the injury, regular foot exercies, deep massage and she also insisted I buy some actual running trainers - I am a bit of an idiot and so have been doing these runs in what can only be generously described as passable trainers.

So at half 5 - not the day to be staying late at work - I met the support crew, also known as my dad, big Steve Whyley (my mum and dad ran out of names by the time they had me so opted to call me Steve as well...cheers for that Mum and Dad!). The rain was falling and I was wearing my pyjama bottoms. I was wearing my ridiculous Monster Munch PJ's because 256 kids get diagnosed with terminal brain cancer each year. The kids PJ's are my way of highlighting that kids suffer from this awful disease.

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 North Wembley as you can imagine. Think Park Avenue vs the Bronx. Then Belsize Park followed by Chalk farm and another meet up with the support crew. We were well on our way now. My foot was now just numb and I was ready to complete this. Luke and I were getting on great and were really helping each other. We powered through Camden, where I think they see men in pyjama bottoms most evenings as we didn't seem to get much of a reaction! We passed the questionable Mornington Crescent and flew past Euston, Warren Street and met the old man at Goodge Street. We were just 6 stops away from home! Tottenham Court Rd, Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Embankment and then the final destination – Waterloo.

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!


Steve (

The Bakerloo line...all 24 miles of it (we got lost!)

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 5 past 5 (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 18:30, 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, South Kenton and then ran 2.6 miles to Wembley north - which should be renamed 'The end of the World'. We then met it's little brother - Wembley Central, again an awful place. Another tube stop down then Stoenbridge Park - we had been running for an hour and a half and because we got lost a couple of times had already rattled up 10.3 miles by the time we met the support crew.

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 Baker Street. Harlesdon to Wilesdown Junction to Kensal Green, past a crime scene investigation and on to Queens Park, through a horrific housing estate to get to Kilburn Park. Then Maida Vale, ah Maida Vale - where nice people live and men are free to run in PJ bottoms without fear of being knifed down. Warwick Avenue, Paddington, Edgware Rd, Marylebone - The Suport Crew and Baker Street! At this point my foot was killing me, absolutely killing me. We had done 18.8 miles, it was fast approaching 10PM. The support crew did it's job - he gave out the waters and a questionable Glucose Gel.

We would do this. We would finish this.

Baker Street, Regents Park, Oxford Circus and a lot of requests for photos - for that moment I felt like a member of TOWIE. On to the bright lights of Picadilly, Charing Cross, Embankment - all the time taking wrong turns! Over the bridge, the phone finally dies - no more Westlife for me. Completely running on empty, my foot has caused me to adapt the way I run which is placing huge pressure on my groin and my left knee. Waterloo, Lambeth North...24 miles, 4.5 hours and we had hit Elephant and Castle. I almost broke down! I just couldn't believe I had done it. Unable to stand anymore, Jon and I - in PJ bottoms, hugged in front of concerned looking people. I struggled on to the tube and got in to my bed at 11:45 ready for an exciting day (!) at work tomorrow!

2 lines done. Next up is 17 miles of the Northern line - Edgware to Waterloo. Who fancies it?! I went to the docs about my foot, I have got a common runners injury known as Plantar Fasicitis - he advises a month's rest. I have already booked in an appointment for Friday! Bring it on...17 miles - should be easy :) sponsor us at or at least don't ignore me in the lift!

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!

Give us your money (please!)...

Afternoon all,

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 ( - 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 - - 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..(