Saturday, 17 September 2011

Day 49 - Bruan to John O'Groats (25.5 miles)

Although I'd stayed in Lybster last night my starting point for today was a tiny place called Bruan. Initial mileage workings were made by working backwards from Duncansby head, which looks like the furthest point heading north east when you look at a map of the UK.

I got dropped off at Bruan and started my marathon run. It was early and the road was empty. Unfortunately the other thing yearning to be empty was the sky. It started raining with a vengeance. What did I care, in a few hours my journey would be complete.

I'd worked out I'd done 892 miles before I started so I was looking out for the 8 mile mark to celebrate my 900th mile. It could not have been timed better. Two of my brothers had driven through the night to meet me at the finish but to get to the finish they had to go past me. As the 900th mile rolled over, I got to Wick, and my brothers caught up with me. Delightful. We said hello, I had a bacon butty, some drink, then said goodbye again. I had a run to finish.

Around mile 11 my feet were in agony. The tenderised chunks of meat at the ends of my legs were in no condition to be carrying me on a marathon distance. I asked my brothers to get me some pain relief. This arrived very quickly. It was great having a support team on hand!

The pain killers kicked in and I kicked on. The rain threw itself down and I got in the zone. The pace picked up and I reached a car parked at the side of the road, windows steamed up, a pillow resting against a window. The drivers had got themselves a bit of well deserved shut eye. Instead of waking them, I ran on.

Mile 18, the thirst was getting to me. Should I call for support? No they'll be along soon.

Mile 19.... Same as 18. I got toward the end of the 19th mile and called for back up.

They wondered where I was, they'd backtracked to find me. "I'm at mile 20. In need of fluid!" I shouted over the top of the gusting wind. They couldn't believe I'd got so far. I think I may have fallen into the twilight zone myself because the miles seemed to disappear quickly. According to the time I was on for a 5hour marathon. Not bad considering my legs and feet were over 900 miles without real rest.

Having refuelled again I kicked on, again, it rained, again. This time it threw hail stones at me. It was pelting so hard I couldn't see out of my right eye. The drips that ran off my nose just flew straight to my left. It was harsh conditions but I loved it. When else would I ever be running to one of the most northerly points of the UK? Awesome.

I got to the last few miles. I was due to tuen right to Duncansby head. Where were my support team? They said they'd wait by the turning. Just as I turned back to find the turning for Duncansby head a car came speeding up behind me. "you have to keep going, this way!" a voice called to me.

It turns out the finish point we all thought was the finish point was not the finish point at all. I had to go to the John O'Groats port which was straight on and not at Duncansby head. I turned around again and gave it legs. Within a few hundred yards I was crossing the line. I'd finished! My epic journey was done. The final day was less than marathon distance (it turned out to be approximately 25.5miles) but I think with more than 900 miles in my feet I can be excused a mile... surely?

So there it is. Lands End to John O'Groats walked in 49 days. Covering 917miles (1475km). The best bit being the people. I've had some lows and highs but the people I've met along the way have constantly amazed me. Whether it was an old couple giving me cake at the roadside; or a stranger contacting me offering me lodgings for the night and food (and clean clothes); or donating money to Richards appeal unexpectedly (people emptying their pockets to help). I can't list all the good things people have done for me over the last 49 days but I can say that without those people I would not have finished this challenge. People are amazing. There is so much kindness out there that I knew nothing about. So thank you and until the next challenge I say a fond farewell. This walker is all walked out... for now.

Oh, one last thing.

It's been emotional.


  1. Hi So many congratulations on your amazing, fulfilling journey, you nailed it, you made it your own, what an achievement, you deserve to feel so good and proud of yourself, which, when you take time out to reflect, it will become very real, well done, now enjoy a few chill out days.

  2. hi daimon very well done rest easy

  3. Daimon I'm lost for words this time....You have achieved so much, we are so very proud of you.A very rich young man right now, enjoy your well earned rest. Hope you celebrated with your right arm with Adie and Darren.CONGRATULATIONS ABSOLOUTLEY AMAZING.TILL THE NEXT TIME!!!!!!!!Well I need something to read Ha! Ha!Sit back and watch the scenery on the way home, that's if the zzzz's don't catch up with you.

  4. Glad to be a part in what is a truly historical achievement for the Walker clan. A story that your daughter can say "That's my Dad", and then future generations can say that's my....... You really are a legend in the history of the Walker name. Well done Daimon you are an amazing brother and for all that you have achieved I salute you, and for all that you have done for Richard we all thank you so very much.
    Take time to relax, time to reflect and then time to think of the next big adventure. Well done Bruv. and thank you from "ground control".

  5. Arise "Sir Daimon Walker"

  6. Hi Daimon

    Your dedication to a spectacular success in this adventure is to be applauded. Your blogs heve been readily awaited each evening. A special thank you should also go the ground control team of "Walkers" Hip Hip Hooray.
    Grumpy +one, you can turn the dial to "off"
    At least till next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. hi Daimon,
    well done - you have done a man's job sir. It sounds like it has been quite an adventure - hope your feet get a break now
    most impressive

  8. Mr Walker - any chance you could make a google map of your route? Not sure how hard it would be, but I'd like to see it.

  9. This is something I am trying to do. I'd like to have this blog in ebook form with links to the stages being shown in google maps or similar. I tried doing the entire route but the processing power required exceeded the capabilities of most standard PC's!