There may be many reasons why you would choose to give up 600 days of your life to run a gruelling 18,000 km, completely solo. Reasons really nobody will understand but you, a journey this big needs thinking about, it needs reassurance from others that it is actually possible and it needs dedication and determination.
This is what Jamie Ramsay has.
I met Jamie in a hostel that we were both staying at in San Diego. While sipping away at my morning coffee, we made small talk about the usual and soon enough I knew enough about the basics of his journey to be totally and utterly inspired.
Jamie is running 18,000 km, on his own with nothing but his belongings which he pushes along in a Chariot Cheetah 1, why? To raise money for charities Water aid, Macmillan, SAVE and CALM.
To some this expedition may be unachievable, unattainable and just plain ridiculous. It is to these certain few that I aim to show that everything is possible, that you as a person are capable of many things and it is you and only you who can push yourself, as Jamie says;-
“if I didn’t do it then I would be the only one to blame”
Journeys, adventures and expeditions are all about exceeding your own expectations, being the best you can be and seeing the beauty that surrounds you. Jamie has found that beauty not just in the scenery he has encountered but by the amazing support he has had from friends, family and the general public.
Here he answers a few of my questions regarding his journey so far.
Q1. A lot of people do challenges to raise money for charity but what made you do such an extreme one?
Over the years I have done a lot of charity fund-raisers and each year they get better. To outdo the last one (running 240km through Mexico) I needed to come up with something epic. To do something epic I would have to take an absence from work so it had to justify that too. That’s when I started scanning the map and came up with this journey. At first I thought it might be too much but when every person I spoke to said I could do it I started to believe in myself and realised if I didn’t do it then I would be the only one to blame!
Q2: What has been some of the toughest parts of the journey so far?
In all honesty keeping up with the admin but this is a good thing because the more admin then the more people are engaging with what I am doing and that should in turn mean that we are raising more money for my chosen charities and raising awareness for each cause. It’s strange but the running and finding food and shelter very much become routine and when you stop for a day or two you start to miss it!
Q3. Have you come across any great acts of kindness along the way?
Everyday. I don’t like to measure acts of kindness by size because everyone is different and can contribute in different ways. The amazing thing about this expedition is how much people want to get involved. I am not sure a single day has gone by when someone hasn’t tried to help in some way.
Q4. Why did you choose to run from Canada to Argentina?
I would love to give some meaningful answer but the reality is that it makes logistical sense. By going north to south you follow the weather. There are only two languages. And finally visas shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The other great thing about this route is the fantastic countries I get to visit. Its going to be a journey and I am looking forward to the next chapter!
Q5. Is there any places that you have run through so far that you would like to visit again?
Haha…. There are so many places I want to come back and visit. in a way this trip is becoming a reconnaissance trip. The one drawback of being alone and pushing all my belongings is that it does restrict you to main roads and mean you can’t just go off and explore. There have been so many times when people have said you should just take a detour to see this amazing place… when it turns out to be a 10km detour you smile and push on making a mental note to return!
Q6. Have you got anything else in the pipeline for when you finish this expedition?
I think settling down and being static for a while might be a good challenge. A lot of my friends who are getting married and having kids say they are jealous of this opportunity. In reality I have realised I am jealous of what they have.
That said, I have a lot of thinking time and there are so many expeditions being planned as I go. Swimming may be a good one!
Please take a look at Jamie’s website for up to date information on how he is doing and how you can help – jamieisrunning.com
If you would like to donate you can by clicking here – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=jamieisrunning
Be inspired to do more.