Bucharest to Ashgate Hospice – my 2,222km virtual run

22nd September 2019 would have been my dad’s 70th birthday. On 3rd September 2020 – 347 days later – I’ll turn 40. I’m going to cycle and run the equivalent distance from home in Romania to Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield before I hit that landmark.

The route is purely ‘as the crow flies’ and will see me head north-west to the Romanian border before crossing Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, and finally the Netherlands before reaching the UK.

This page is regularly updated with distance data and a map of my progress.

To read about why I’m doing this, please click here. If you would like to sponsor my ‘virtual run’ please visit my Just Giving page.

Progress MapAshgate Hospice logo

The Story

My dad fought bowel cancer for almost a decade before advanced Stage 4 meant he had to receive palliative care through Ashgate Hospicecare in Chesterfield. Initially this was delivered at home and allowed him to continue to be an active member of the local community, but in January 2019 he moved into the hospice itself to receive 24-hour care. In his last weeks I became part of the weekend furniture at the hospice, arriving late at night or early in the morning after my journey from Bucharest where I work as a teacher. The knowledge that dad was being looked after by a compassionate team, in pleasant surroundings, was an incredible source of comfort and reassurance.

Ashgate Hospice logoAccording to Google Maps the distance from home to Ashgate is exactly 2,222km as the crow flies. I’m not desperately unfit but I’m hardly Mo Farah, and I have to complete an average of just under 6.5km a day if I’m to do this before my 40th. I already cycle a 2.5km round trip to/from work, leaving around an extra 4km to run each day (and obviously longer on those days when I’m not at work). It’s not a huge daily distance, but it’s definitely enough to mean I have to put in consistent effort to do it.

Ashgate Hospicecare

Ashgate Hospicecare rely on donations to cover the vast majority of their costs, and they know they are not currently able to offer their services to everyone in the area who needs them. I find this an incredibly sad situation as I believe everyone deserves the right to compassionate and dignified care if they are suffering from a life-limiting illness. Following encouragement from friends I have therefore turned what was originally a personal goal into a fundraising challenge. I am determined to finish this journey and, while I’m not one to give up on long-term projects lightly, this one could be a bruiser.

See you in Chesterfield!