Standing on the start line of this fantastic adventure, being blind and attempting to run 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents, seemed so unreal. Here we were on the Falklands. The temperature as we stood there was 0 degrees C, but one thankful thing the winds and torrential rain that had been forecast hadn't appeared yet. My thoughts at this moment were on my wife, Debb, back home at a launch party she had arranged and it was my intention to ring and talk to her over the phone, then a room full of friends and family would count down to the start.

But would you believe it, all the communications for mobiles and the internet had just failed on the Falklands.


At this point it was explained exactly to me what was going to happen. We would go on the sound of a ten gun salute, also at that point a lone Tornado jet would fly over the start, performing a spectacular manoeuvre from flying horizontal to vertical with after burners on full.


Being blind they said they wanted me to get the flavour of the start. A minute past midnight, Falklands local time (GMT 8.01) and the countdown began. I could hear and sense the crowds; the guns went bang! The Tornado flew over! We were off and the adventure of my life began, but still no Debb on the phone. We ran, joined by the winner of this year's Falklands marathon along with the runner up.


A van screeched to a halt and a mobile phone was thrust in my hand, I got to speak with Debb and the whole room could hear me and the tears flowed, I knew somehow now in my heart, I could do this!


Running out of Mount Pleasant Airport heading towards the Mare harbour. Phil Glasgow our trusty physio, was right behind on his bike, carrying our Lucozade supplements and always ready with a shout of encouragement.


Running around the harbour was incredible, we passed a ship, HMS Clyde, there was no mistaking it's presence - it's Klaxon salute sounded. Around that bay we were followed by a fire tender, head lights full on so Mac my guide could see where we were going and we were also accompanied by forces personnel, who at every cattle grill, covered them with boards for us to run over. Also at strategic points lads and lasses from the forces shouted words of encouragement, they were all brilliant. Running back into MPA we were allowed to run down the runway, even though I'm told the Tornado's were on standby, could have been interesting! We ran the last 13 miles around the base, encircling the runway twice, at points soldiers joined us for a time. I'm also told that the control tower was lit up like a Christmas tree, with all the runway lights blazing; it was some sort of spectacle. Then to top it all we were joined by some 70 soldiers, donned in full battle dress, carrying Burgans and weapons, who ran in unison with us for about 2 miles, their breathing as laboured as ours.


At around 25 miles any chatter stopped, Phil began to read us our adopted poem, The Quitter by Robert Service.

These words did something I can't really explain, but it sparked the determination within. Running through that first finish line, in 4 hours and 14 minutes, with cheering crowds was a wonderful feeling. After 26.2 miles as you would expect, the legs were aching, but spirits were high.

 
Our plane was waiting and we had to move quickly. We boarded the jet and took off . The captain informed us we had only minutes before we would have had to submit a new flight plan. At this point that would have been critical as time wasn't on our side, so he was much relieved when the wheels left the runway! Then the rain came, we left as we had arrived, in a thunderstorm.

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