When you’ve set yourself a massive fundraising target for a ridiculous endurance race, what’s the best way to boost the coffers? Do another ridiculous endurance event of course.
This summer, Freddie Iron from London is completing the Enduroman Arch to Arc challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. A triathlon of epic proportions, it involves running 87 miles from Marble Arch to Dover, swimming across the channel and topping it all off with a 183-mile cycle to Paris. Piece of pish eh?
To add to his fundraising total, Chelsea-fan Freddie decided to run to every football club ground in London. A distance of around 73 miles (72 if he hadn’t messed up the route in Stratford).
We chatted to Freddie about his epic footballing adventure
I did a sponsored ‘wear my wetsuit to work’ day and was trying to think of other ways to raise money. Someone suggested running to all the Premiership football clubs in London, which is around 50 miles. I realised if I ran to all the clubs in the city, regardless of league, it would only add another 20 miles, so I thought I’d do that instead.
Only 20 miles?! How long did it take?
I set off from AFC Wimbledon after work at 7pm on Thursday evening and finished at 2pm on Friday at Stamford Bridge. I was running at night as this way the roads were quieter, plus I only had to take one day off work!
Did you do it solo?
My friend Elliot cycled with me. He carried all the supplies - nutrition and extra clothing for when it got cold, and navigated the route with his Garmin.
What was the training like?
For the Enduroman I've been training to run comfortably and injury-free and that really helped. I hadn’t run more than 47 miles before but I planned the route so the longer stretches between stadiums were at the beginning while my legs were fresh.
Did you meet any footballers?
No, we visited a lot of grounds at night when they were shut. We went inside the stadiums we visited in the day (Tottenham, Arsenal, QPR, Brentford and Chelsea) but most of the players were away training. It would only have added extra time to the challenge anyway.
How did you feel along the way?
Good. The first stadium we hit was Crystal Palace. We hadn’t expected anyone to be there at night but the security guards let us in to have a photo in the dug-out. That put us on a high and all the tweets and Facebook messages really boosted me.
Were there any low points?
We ran out of nutrition at 3.30am somewhere near Dagenham and Redbridge. I’d been having protein shakes every 45 minutes and without them my energy slumped.
It was bitterly cold and we had to walk for an hour and a half till we found a petrol station. From then on I was drinking Frijj milkshakes, but they seemed to do the job.
I had a cheeky 20-minute nap at McDonalds
Was there a point you knew you’d make it?
As we were approaching Tottenham at 6.30am and the sun was coming up. We were ahead of schedule and, despite being a bit tired and blistered, my legs still felt OK. I had a cheeky 20-minute nap at McDonalds while we waited for White Hart Lane to open.
From then on we had glorious sunshine and friends came out to run with me along stretches of the route.
How did you feel when you saw the finish line?
In pain! Elliot said to me if you sprint you’ll get there before 2pm. I dragged out the last bit of energy and got there with 30 seconds to spare.
Did you have any massive celebrations?
We had a tour of the Chelsea ground, then I took a taxi straight to the physio for a massage, followed by a large pizza and garlic bread and 12 hours sleep.