Today was not an average Monday morning for lifelong runner and coach Martin Yelling. After months of training, Dorset resident Martin was setting off from Minehead in Somerset on a gruelling 21-day and 630-mile journey that will see him run the entire length of the South West Coast Path back home to Poole.
Appropriately named The Long Run Home, this epic adventure is the ultimate endurance challenge that will include over 30,000 steps and 115,000 feet of ascent – the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest four times. A tough three weeks at the office indeed.
From day one Martin has welcomed support for his journey to run along, up and down England’s longest and toughest single National Trail. From individuals running individual days with him to companies sponsoring a single stage and brands sponsoring the overall challenge, he is grateful for all the physical, financial and mental support that will help him cross the finish line at Haven Point on 31st July.
In the run-up to today, The Long Run Home has enjoyed an active Facebook following with members of the public signing up to run alongside Martin on specific days and providing words of encouragement – whilst discussing the finer points of whether the cream goes before the jam on a scone.
For although Martin is putting his physical and mental capabilities to the limit, his reasons for undertaking The Long Run Home go beyond the obvious endurance challenge. Martin wants to showcase the places and people along the iconic South West Coast Path, so his epic journey will also explore the history, culture, traditions and lives of this beautiful part of the world (hence the scone discussion). In so doing, he hopes to inspire people to visit the area and walk sections of the path, too.
Martin will also be raising much-needed funds for three charities close to his heart: Julia’s House, Southmead (whose Frenchay Hospital saved his mum from a life-threatening brain injury) and Macmillan.
In order to raise money for these great causes, Martin is looking for support through charitable donations, which can take the form of Challenge Sponsor or a Stage (day) Sponsor. Confirmed stage sponsors include Strava (who will be providing special South West Coast Path badges for those completing stages), Fitness Rewards, Bullit, Amplify, Breathe Unity PR, Cicerone, Suunto, South West Coast Path, Harlequin Homes, Bournemouth Marathon Festival and Rockets and Rascals. With just four Stages now left to sponsor, anyone wishing to support the cause and receive the positive branding that this entails should sign up soon.
Watching closely will be Martin’s family, namely his wife – two-time Olympian, Commonwealth Games medallist and marathon runner Liz Yelling – three small children and father, who will be helping en route from a motorhome. For Martin, he says that being away from them will be just as hard as the daily physical slog.
Other challenges that Martin can expect to face over the twenty-one days are the July heat (temperamental in the UK, granted, but not to be underestimated), sufficient hydration, fuelling himself appropriately for gigantic calorie expenditure and, perhaps most importantly, remaining injury-free.
We are used to seeing people achieve great things in the sporting world. 630 miles is however exceptional. We’ve recently see comedian Eddie Izzard complete 27 marathons in 27 days and Martin’s Long Run Home is up there with this – his daily distance set to average a staggering 32 miles.
Martin will be pushing himself to the limit of his sporting ability in a bid to raise as many funds as possible for charity and to showcase the magnificent coastline of the South West. It is an exceptional challenge that combines sport with giving something back, whilst promoting one of our country’s environmental treasures. Very best of luck Martin.
Sponsorship and Key Information
If you are interested in being a Challenge Sponsor for The Long Run Home, please contact Rebecca Richardson at Breathe Unity: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in being a Stage Sponsor (100% going to charities of choice), please contact Martin directly: email@example.com.
A stage sponsor will receive stage branding/naming rights on the website and in runner stage information, acknowledgement on challenge social media output, thanks on the website and general brand love and positivity!
For full information on The Long Run Home, including how to sign up to run a stage or join the beach party at the end, please visit the website www.longrunhome.co.uk.
To find out more about why, read Martin’s latest blog or follow him on Twitter @myelling.
To follow Martin’s journey live follow him on this map from Open Tracking.
Dates: July 11th – July 31st 2016
Route: Minehead (Somerset) – Haven Point, Poole (Dorset)