Louvain is a beautiful city.
30th August I am in London staying with my Louis Brady my buddy I have not seen for 28 years! Now married to Orla.
I have so many people to thank for such amazing help these last two week all the way from Louvain, Belgium.
Thanks to Irish woman Bridget Brady originally from Co. Wicklow, no relation to Louis and her partner Steffan. Brigid crewed for me for two days commuting me back and forward from my route. They are ultra runners and will be running the Kerry Way race in Ireland in a couple of weeks time. Last year Steffan won that race.
Steffan a navigation and gps guru enjoyed plotting my daily routes in the area.
I was then handed over to Ludo an ultra runner who car and bicycle crewed me my last two days across Belgium.
Ludo ran me out of Belgium to the French border. My French route was about 60km in the north east as far as Calais.
My last day on continental Europe was perhaps the toughest due to persistent rain, heavy traffic even on the back roads all leading to Calais port.
French signposting not being the best caused me some frustration for example Dunkirk and Calais ports being about 30km apart the French just signpost as ‘Ferry Port ‘
On this difficult stretch I was joined by Theo, a man who has been a great supporter of the run.
Born in Holland Theo speaks with an Irish accent, married to an Irish woman.
He tracked me down about 20km before the port, parked his car arranged a complimentary P & O ferry crossing. I spent the entire 90 minute crossing stuffing my face in the complimentary first class buffet bar. Theo was able to run the last ten kilometres with me.
A couple of weeks earlier he drove five hours from Strasbourg and met me on the road in Germany where he crewed for me for two days and generously paid for the hotel and meals for us for both nights. He then took Nirvana onto Calais.
Once in Dover I was met by Siobhan Clifford and her running hubby Billy who have organized part of their UK camping holiday around the run.
They crewed me for four days to London sheltering me in their large family tent in camping sites for three nights. Monday night, my first in the UK I was hosted by Sheila and Steve also their children Bryn, Archie and Nora who are friends of Siobhan who happened to live in the Dover area.
So with Billy and beneath the white cliffs of Dover my final push towards Dublin began.
The first couple of days out of Dover were very slow due to very busy traffic on the A2. A really nice cop called Eddie Evans stopped to question Billy and me and we had a great chat and a laugh as though we were down in a pub having a night out! Eddie ended up saying he will follow my progress until the end.
Running into London was quite surreal experience for me, I just can’t get my head around I am almost finished. Billy and me and at times Siobhan ran through London, through Greenwich Park,
Hyde Park, Big Ben, Cutty Sark, Buckingham Palace, Westminster, so much to see in this fascinating city.
As mentioned today Saturday was a rest day, I chilled out with Louis and went to a rooftop cinema in Ealing to see a movie called ‘ The Breakfast Club ‘ That was after a delicious meal in a Japanese restaurant.
On Sunday I will be meeting up with Siobhan and Billy on the road out of London. They have offered to crew for me for a few more days before returning to Ireland. I cant believe that in two weeks time I will be running in Ireland
What can I say!! Thanks so much to so many people.
47,962km (just under 30,000 miles) run in 1,101 road days