The reason

suppose the question most people will want to ask me is “why”, and I don’t really have many good answers apart from “because it’s there”, which isn’t very satisfactory. I’ve thought about it quite a lot over the last year or so that I’ve been training for and doing LEJOG, so here are a few thoughts.

About three years ago I started to get heavily into adventure books of different kinds – mountain climbing, extreme running, long distance treks, ocean rowing. I read about Alastair Humphreys, Roz Savage, Sarah Outen and many others, and I was hooked. I read as much as I could about the people who had taken part in these challenges and I was hooked. Then I started to think that maybe I could do something that big and scary.

Secondly, it’s a challenge and I can’t resist challenges. Well, I can: I haven’t tried to climb Everest or swim the channel, though I did think about the channel a couple of years ago. I’ve done marathons, climbed Kilimanjaro and walked Land’s End to John o’Groats. The Atlantic is the biggest so far.

Thirdly, I resent getting old and all that ageing entails, and I’m determined to “fight them on the beaches”. And just because we get older doesn’t mean we can’t still have adventures, even if they are small adventures by the standards of Scott and Bear Grylls. “I’m Never Too Old For Adventure” should be everyone’s motto.

Next, I want to inspire others: older people to do something and not give up on life; younger people to realise how much can be achieved if you really want it; and my children and grandchildren, to grab hold of life’s opportunities and not get trapped by “I should” or “I can’t”.

Finally, to raise money for a very worthy cause, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance.

Other reasons? Probably.

richard harries emics