Did I mention I have no sense of direction?

Really! I have absolutely no sense of direction!  It’s not unusual for me to get lost going to work  – even though I’ve worked there for nearly 4 years and lived in a 20m radius for 18. And that is with a GPS! If I have time constraints when I’m running , I instinctively plan in ‘getting lost time’. Could be a slight issue in my attempt to break the world record!

The World is Spinning

I’ve literally been spinning around the world this evening and my mind almost exploded with the amount of information: which countries, routes, flights, longitude lines, easterly, westerly, Antarctic or Australia or not? I started on Google Earth, which always blows my mind, and gave up after getting lost somewhere in the Antarctic! I’d spun the planet around and couldn’t find my way back to the northern hemisphere! Don’t ask!!

So I decided to give my brain a break and revert to my good old fashioned, touchy feely globe.  I decided to create my starter for ten route. I needed to get something down so that I can now plot and refine until it meets the basic rules, avoids war zones or major natural hostilies and also meets my own criteria.

Run the World Route..maybe 

Leg 1: Otley, England to Dublin, Ireland

Otley to Holyhead, via Snowdon – Ferry to Dun Laoughaire then run to Dublin. An easy and enjoyable first week because I want to have memories of the Yorkshire, Welsh and Irish countryside imprinted in my mind as I set off.

Leg 2: North America – Fly to Boston then run across to San Francisco, around 3000m so maybe about 100 days.

Leg 3:  Asia – Fly to Hong Kong, China then run through Southern China, Thailand, Burma and Bangladesh to India before finishing this leg in Mumbai. This could be 2, 600 to 3000m but would probably take longer, maybe 150 – 200 days.

Leg 4: Africa  – Fly to Dar es Salem, Tanzania, East Africa and run around Zanzibar before heading north through Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco  (May need tweaking!) This would be the biggy and needs a lot of thinking about, potentially 6200 to 7000m and will probably need splitting into 2 sections of around 100 days each – total guess at this stage!

Leg 5: Europe – Fly to Spain and run through Spain, Southern France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Belgium and then fly to Manchester before finding a scenic trail back to home through the Pennine and Dales trails – maybe another 80 days.

I’m in a total buzz planning the route and I absolutely know it will change vastly once I start getting into the details like war zones and visas and mountain ranges and cost but all of that will evolve. I’m feeling totally positive and confident but very aware of the influence this challenge is having on me already. Its all consuming, but in a great way!

The Knee and the Desert Decision

Zagora inspiration

A week of procrastination preceded my route planning Friday evening. A week reflecting on my short term goals and training approach. I finally got signed off by my consultant Nick Harris at the Spire for my knee injury from falling in Zagoro, Morocco before MDS. The soft tissue damage will continue but ice manages that pretty well now and MRI results on Wednesday confirmed all is well except some slight cartilage over use issues which can be rectified by strengthening my quads, stretching more and mixing up my running rather than all long slow distance. It was great to get a Nick’s approval to get ‘stuck in’ to my training and it made me think about focusing my training.

A few weeks ago, it was really important that I returned to complete the Marathon des Sables next ApriI but I’ve decided that although I’m going to Morrocco in April, I’m not going to run the MDS. I’m going to run one of the last legs of my Run the World route, across Morocco. That will be a much better use of time and money as I need to get as used to doing multi day runs solo in unfamiliar terrain as I do running on Ilkley Moor.

I cant wait to get back to the Sahara but I will be a little less kamikazee running down mountains now.

Happy Running,

Granny Tish




  • Kristian Dela Cour

    Awesome! Hope the knee doesn’t become a problem over such long timescales.
    I’m glad to hear you’re not doing MdS and as you say, there are better ways to get in multi day running, for a lot less money.
    With that in mind,why not pick a route near home and decide to do 200miles over a specific time scale? Time on feet etc.
    Wishing you all the best for this. I will be following your choices and voyage of discovery.

    • tishjoyce

      Thanks Kristian, it was a relief this week to see the MRI scan with a lovely thick lump of cartilage so its not wearing away which was the worry. There are some over use lines but nothing that cant be fixed by mixing training up and using all of the knee plus stronger quads! Re running that’s exactly the plan, going to focus on the exact route and then start to tick off 1-5 day routes over the coming months, so that in the next 12 months I’ve done the start, the finish and as many bits in between as i can. Hopefully get people to join in for some stages too. I am very tempted to come north as your posts are some of the best scenery and although I’ve only been once the highlands have some special memories. Aviemore was my first half marathon when i decided to get back into running – 10yrs ago. As always appreciate your support and good wishes! Hope your injuries are improving, though you dont seem to have a lot of down time!!!

I'd love to hear about your running adventures, 1 mile or 100 miles!

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