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33 photos from a year running the World - Part 2

· running,travel

Part 2: Recovering, Return to Africa & Five Marathon Majors

If you've navigated here without reading Part 1 you should really go there first.

So where were we? Ah, yes. After my release from hospital in Guatemala and a few days rest, I continued my journey north...

A runner on a boardwalk extending into the sea on the Caribbean island of Caye Caulker, Belize

March 2018: Caye Caulker, Belize

A week after being released from hospital, I made it to the Caribbean Coast and had my first 'post-Dengue' run around the island of Caye Caulker. I had lost weight and strength but was hopeful that I had enough training in my legs with only a month remaining until Boston.

A runner on the beachfront in Tulum, Mexico. Palms and tourists on the left, Caribbean Sea to the right.

March 2018: Tulum, Mexico

Moving up the Caribbean Coast in Mexico, sleeping in a tent village and spending the mornings running beaches and coastal Mayan ruins (to looks of bewilderment from the hordes of holidaymakers).

A runner passing one of the lakes at Tangamanga Park in San Luis Potosi. Locals sheltering from the sun underneath trees.

March 2018: San Luis Potosi, Mexico

San Luis Potosi. At 6400ft/1940m above sea level and a decent offering of sports facilities and public open spaces, it was the perfect spot for a DIY altitude training camp and some final training before Boston. I spent many hours in Parque Tangamanga, a huge, sprawling green space in the south-west of the city. On a Sunday morning it felt as though the whole city came out as one to walk, run, cycle and skate through the park. As the morning turns into afternoon, the barbecues start, the drinks are cracked open and it's just the daft distance runners left, finishing off those last few miles.

A trail runner following a narrow track through plains in the Sierra Tarahamura. Mexico

April 2018: Creel, Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico

As a big fan of the book 'Born to Run' by Christopher McDougall, I had pencilled in a few days to explore the Copper Canyons and see the legendary 'Raramuri'. Unfortunately, with the time lost along the way and only 15 days until Boston Marathon, it looked as though I would miss out altogether. The day before my bus across the border, I decided to attempt to get as far as Creel and back. This involved a 5hr bus journey from Chihuahua, a hilarious treasure hunt for a room on a sell out Semana Santa weekend (with the assistance of several helpful locals) and an early start to get a run and some huevos rancheros in before another 5hrs on the bus back to Chihuahua and the start of a long journey up to Dallas.

A runner runs along a pier onto Lake Michigan on a freezing morning. Chicago skyline in the background.

April 2018: Chicago, US

Chicago is such an amazing city to run in. Miles of shoreline paths and urban parks. I stopped here for a few days en-route to Boston to have a rest from constant travelling, catch up with friends, pick up some new running shoes and get acclimatised to the colder weather.

Picture of the 2018 Boston and London Marathon medals

April 2018: Boston, US & London, UK

The spoils from six crazy days which would include two world marathon majors in very testing conditions (for different reasons!), a transatlantic flight and a knee injury that would result in three months out.

Local children take part in a running session on a dirt pitch in rural Uganda

May 2018: Masaka, Uganda

Putting on running sessions in rural Uganda with the next generation of Ugandan runners as the heat subsides and sun sets.

Group photo after a training run to the top of a hill in rural Uganda during the 2018 Uganda Marathon

May 2018: Masaka, Uganda

Another year of working on the Uganda Marathon culminates with the usual magnificent week of magic, chaos, old & new friendships, tears and laughter.

About to enter the machine for an MRI scan in Nairobi

June 2018: Nairobi, Kenya

After a couple of weeks R&R in deepest Uganda, I travel along the Kenyan coast and up to Nairobi. I finally get to an MRI scanning facility to discover the extent of the knee injury that had prevented me from running since April.

Running under the 'Home of Champions' arch in Iten, Kenya

July 2018: Iten, Kenya

Achieving a dream to visit Iten - the 'Home of Champions' and witness close up how the elite distance runners of Kenya train. Even with my heavily strapped knee, I couldn't resist a brief shuffle under the famous arch.

Giving some instruction on strength training in front of Sipi Waterfall in Kapchorwa, Uganda

July 2018: Kapchorwa, Uganda

Eastern Uganda, on the edge of Mount Elgon. Working through some strength and conditioning exercises with George from Coach to Coach Uganda in front of the stunning Sipi Falls. (photo: From Coach to Coach Uganda)

Running down a hilly trail on Dartmoor, UK. Rolling hills in the background.

August 2018: Dartmoor National Park, UK

After returning to the UK for some medical tests and physio treatment I was able to resume training. Where better to get back to business than on the trails and hills of Dartmoor.

Celebrating running the last few metres on the finishing straight at Berlin Marathon 2018

September 2018: Berlin, Germany

After eight weeks back in training, I took on another 26.2 miles at Berlin Marathon.

Taking a post-race photo with the medal at Chicago Marathon 2018

October 2018: Chicago, US

Three weeks later, it was back to the US to take on Marathon Major number four of 2018 in Chicago.

October 2018: Chicago, US

Whilst in Chicago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time with 'Chicago Run', a non-profit working in Sports Based Youth Development in the city. One of their many community running projects is at Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center where a season of coached running sessions culminated in a 3K race at the facility.

Post-race medal photo in Central Park after New York Marathon 2018

November 2018: New York, US

Celebrating in Central Park, New York after completing my third marathon major in seven weeks and the last of five in 2018.

Running past Capitol Hill in Washington DC

November 2018: Washington DC, US

Completing a 'bucket list' run. Running from Capitol Hill as the sun sets, along the Mall toward the Washington Monument, a quick glance at the White House before racing past the Reflecting Pool and up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. A run to remember.

With huge thanks to all those who have kindly given up their time and expertise to provide advice or access to their organisation and to the lovely people who have generously given me a bed/hot meal for the night (or week/month!) along the way. Also, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who sent messages of support from afar - there were certainly a few bumps along the way and those conversations helped more than you will know.

If you are interested in discussing ideas or know of people or initiatives who may be a good fit with my work, you can check my whereabouts or contact me.

In the meantime, the journey continues...

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