Comment: I wrote this article to send to the Worcester News and have done just that, so hopefully they will publish it (or bits of it at least.) Then, when Mick and I were chatting about how to try and inspire more people to donate to little Izzy Bird’s fund, I thought I should post it on the BPJ website. From there I could promote it on other local facebook pages, some ultra running sites and publications and to the parkrun community. Not wanting to abuse my position on the club committee or appear in any way self indulgent however (as I am obviously super proud of my man), I checked with the chairman first and was delighted when he wrote back “I think it’s a worthy cause and worth inclusion for sure”, so here it is.
Mick Kennish-Ward has already completed the epic John O’Groats to Lands End run once back in 2016, but this time he is out to break the 17 day and 22 hour unsupported record set by Dan Driver in 2008.
He started on May 11th and is adhering to his brutal schedule. A minimum of a double marathon a day to achieve the 845 miles distance. That’s in excess of 50 miles for all you non marathon runners. Most of us don’t even drive that daily! If that wasn’t bad enough, he will also be carrying all his equipment whilst running, a tent, sleeping bag, clothes and pretty much anything he will need to complete this epic journey.
Unsupported means just that. Last time Mick ran with a running colleague and was allowed to receive help from family and friends en route. Offers of food, accommodation, water and relief from his heavy rucksack. This time he will not even be staying in his own home, despite passing through Worcester.
People are however very welcome to run along side him and he even has a tracker so anyone can monitor his progress down the country and find and join him if they would like.
Tracker link: www.racedrone.net/event/mick-jogle
Why do this, you may ask? What drives this hardened ultra runner and gobby northerner to attempt this record? As a child he was profoundly deaf. This is why he became loud. He used to shout as he thought people could not hear him and thus he wasn’t being listened to. However, when he ran, people took notice or sometimes took no notice at all, both desirable states for a cheeky young Leeds lad.
He has no JustGiving page of his own, but is simply inspired by other relatively unsung running heroes. John Tarrant, The Hereford Ghost Runner, Jim
Alder, Emil Zátopek, those who put the dedication and training in, never complain and juggle the challenges of every day life. Runners like Annie Bird, a fellow Black Pear Jogger, who fits her running around looking after her children, one of whom, Isabella, suffers from a life limiting condition called microcephaly.
“I take inspiration from those people, the smaller people in this sport who are probably more important, those who maybe are not world record holders, but move relentessly forward regardless of the bad situations that life throws at them,’ says Mick.
A dedicated group of Annie’s Black Pear Jogger friends have created a crowd funding page for Izzy to raise the money for a special off road buggy so she can finally go outside with her family and feel the wind and sun on her skin. If you are inspired or would like to donate to a really
Help raise £5000 to buy an off road buggy for Izzie Whizzie. Please #donate on @justgiving https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/izzie-whizzie?utm_id=66&utm_term=BAjJQ4Vmjworthy cause, Mick asks that you pledge your support to Izzie’s wheels.
In the meantime, if you are up at 1am anytime over the next couple of weeks and fancy some dot watching, check out his race drone link above and see his progress.
- Jogle link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land%27s_End_to_John_o%27_Groats
- Emil Zátopek: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Z%C3%A1topek
- John Tarrant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tarrant_(athlete), http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/books/article-2014841/Running-away-demons–publics-heart-THE-GHOST-RUNNER-BY-BILL-JONES.html
- Jim Adler: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Alder