Follow the journey of Stephen, a.k.a. the TubeRunner as he prepares to run to all 267 tube stations over 22 days in September to support our vital care.

May blog post

June blog post               

Blog post #1 – May 2020

Hi everyone! My name is Stephen and in September I’ll be taking on an endurance running challenge to raise funds for Royal Trinity Hospice to support the fantastic work they do, both at the hospice and out in the community.

I’ll be running in a continuous route to all 267 London Underground stations, covering 280+ miles in 22 days, which breaks down to just shy of a half marathon every day. Sounds fun, right? Well, perhaps not to all of you (and to be honest I’ll reserve comment on which camp I’m in until after I’ve done it), but one thing I do know is that the cause I’m doing it for is a worthy one.

The coronavirus pandemic has really opened my eyes to a new way of seeing death. The impersonal number‐focused reporting, combined with the restrictions on families’ and dying patients’ abilities to comfort one another and grieve together, has made many of us realise that death is far more than just the ending of a life. Dying should be an opportunity to show affection, to share memories and get the most out of what life has left to offer – as Trinity’s motto so aptly summaries, every moment matters.

Each month I’ll be providing the latest on how my training and fundraising efforts are going, as well as any other interesting updates.

In May I covered 140 miles. In doing so, I’ve discovered both the struggles (no lie‐ins on weekends) and the joys (extra‐large portions at mealtimes) of an extensive training regime, and so far, the body is holding up well. On the fundraising front, I have been extremely grateful for the generosity shown by friends, family and colleagues – thanks to all of you who have donated, it really means a lot. The fundraising page only launched earlier this month and we are already over halfway to hitting the target of £2,500. I’m sure in the weeks and months leading up to the event, with some fundraising initiatives planned, including a big push on social media (apologies in advance) and a bit of nagging (again, apologies), we will hit the target and hopefully go even further.

One of the highlights was the VE Day flypast by the Red Arrows, I happened to be on Tower Bridge at the time as they shot directly overhead. I know they weren’t meant for me, but they had the added impact of spurring me on. My sparkling new Trinity running shirt also arrived this month – I’ve already worn it on one training run and it has got me looking  forward to sporting it on the opening day of the challenge itself.

Changes in the government guidelines regarding social distancing have meant that it has become possible to run, at a distance, with a member of another household. Having historically often ran with a good friend of mine who lives locally, it was great to go on a long run together over the weekend and feel a sense of normality. Training is much easier when it’s a team effort.

This brings me nicely on to my final observation. I have already had several requests from friends who wish to run part of the challenge with me. I had always envisioned this as a collaborative effort, so if anybody reading this would like something to train towards and wants to join in, please reach out and let me know – I’d love to have you on board. Full details of the route and the days on which each section will be ran are available to view in the gallery images section of my justgiving page. If you are an Instagram user, please follow me on @tuberunner for all the latest in the coming months and, once the challenge begins, day‐by‐day updates.

As I sign this off, I’m about to head out for my second run of the day. It’s still warm outside and I’d much rather stay home and open a beer, but the donations and the amazing work going on at Trinity are a fantastic motivator ‐ so off I go, that beer will have to wait.

Blog post #2 - June 2020

A month has passed since I last blogged, so time for a quick update. In June I covered over 200 miles, by far the most I’ve ever managed in a single month. Although, in a weird way, it seems the further I go, the easier it gets. I’m probably tempting fate by saying that and will be smothered by a wave of exhaustion shortly to keep me in check, but so far so good.

The highlight of June was also the point at which I felt the worst. I decided that, while I’m feeling fitter than ever before, why not squeeze in a marathon? By about mile 20, I was reminded by every part of my reluctant body that nobody squeezes in a marathon, and in those last six or so miles I experienced levels of fatigue I did not know existed. However, with the help of a good friend who ran it with me, I made it. We didn’t have the fanfare of a London Marathon finish line to welcome us, but we did bag a takeaway pint from a newly re‐opened pub, so that feeling of elation was well replicated. My respect for the marathoners out there went through the roof as a result of doing this, so if you see someone running a marathon for charity, please support them.

You’ll all be aware of just how hot it’s been at the back end of June. Annoyingly, this heatwave happened to coincide with the longest training block in my schedule – 10 miles every day for a fortnight. As I write this, I’m half way through that two‐week period and, while it’s not the weather I would have chosen, I know I won’t get to choose the weather in September when the challenge comes around either, so I’m trying to treat it positively as warm‐weather training and just get on with it!

Funds continue to be raised and there are a couple of ideas in the pipeline to help generate yet further donations in the weeks and months to come. I hope to be able to give more of an update next time around.

Finally, a degree of hope for the charitable sector following what has been a demanding few months since lockdown. With the relaxation of the 2m distancing rule early next month, hopefully there is still chance that larger, organised fundraising events (and maybe even the London Marathon itself) can go ahead in some form or other, providing a huge boost to Trinity and all charities alike – fingers crossed!

To find out more information about my challenge and to donate, please head to my JustGiving page ‐ and follow me on Instagram for all the latest.

All the best,