Via Francigena

19 Mar

A trail run that takes me 2,200kms from the UK to Rome with a backpack. Plenty of reasons (well, 3 really… Sal, Rosie and Charlie…) why I have had to wait till now.

vf map walk

A 5 kg backpack (if I can get everything I need for 6 weeks into that!), 4 countries, one pair of Hoka shoes…..  and no support.
From Canterbury in the UK to Rome, Italy, the Via Francigina is an historic Pilgrim route on trails and small roads. I’ll be carrying a “Pilgrim Passport” with me to have stamped in different villages and identify me as a pilgrim… (access to some accommodation when I can’t be bothered pitching my tent)
The plan is to not get lost, think Google Translate will work, not be miserable when wet, cold and tired… and move a bit… for a while, carrying everything on my back.
The mini Run 4 Tomorrow from Ottawa to New York was more fun than Dan, Linda, Dave, Malcolm, Bill and myself ever imagined, but the huge logistics for a world run has slowed down the start date till next year. That gives me time to get something big of my bucket list, starting around May 1st and hopefully ending up in Rome mid June.
I have turned into a gear geek, getting advice from Whippet and Roger and weighing my fleecy.  Talking to guys about GPS coordinates,Way points and data?… (not comfortable with what I just wrote…)
I’m anything but religious. I will NOT find God…. but, when I die, I want to know I’ve checked off some beautiful trails, lived life and never settled for boredom.
At 53, my fitness is good… but nothing lasts forever. For 26 years I have been bringing up 3 awesome people, so after leaving Rosie to finish her 4th year of Medicine, and Charlie doing Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, I’ll visit Sal in New York with her new husband and then run Boston in late April with Pete. Hopefully closure after the bombings last year.
So, what do I get after I have run through the UK, France, Switzerland and Italy? I will land in St Peter’s Square…. for a stamp 🙂 Yes. A stamp.

……and hopefully raise more money for Bear Cottage in the process…


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