It was about time I caught up with Al ‘I woke up one morning and cycled round the world’ Humphreys….

last time I’d seen Al was when we both spoke at the Escape the City launch in January. Somehow I’d re-stumbled across his excellent Do Lectures, er, lecture which woke me out of a work slumber and brought an absurd notion into my head.

I’ve had 9 months off from running and sport because of a knee injury and when I start training again – on the golden sands of John Obey Beach in Sierra Leone next month – I plan to train for  something. And then I saw Al’s lecture and I thought – why not run from here (London) to Freetown?


Think about it.

I did.

Serious endurance challenge – tick. Cut back on my carbon emissions for a few weeks – tick. Promote our projects in Sierra Leone – tick. Do a West African version of Forest Gump but using social media to get others involved – tick. Have a bloody great adventure – tick tick tick.

So I voiced this with Al outside a street cafe in central London last night. By accident or cunning design Al also happened to have an endurance specialist sitting next to him at the cafe that day, Tobias Mews, fresh from Iron Man action jumped on the idea.

But how serious a challenge is it?

London – Freetown in a straight line is 3000 miles. Even at a marathon a day without any rest that’s already nearly four months – too long. Ok, so what about if we mix it up – some running, some cycling? That might be better.

I don’t want to do this to break records. I want to get fit, challenge myself and tell a bit of a story along the way.

So that’s the plan. Al, Tobias and I have kind of said we’d like to go from ‘here to Freetown’ sometime later next year. I like the idea of people also going from ‘here to Freetown’  – it doesn’t really matter where ‘here’ is, as long as we all end up on John Obey Village where the Tribewanted project is just outside the capital on the same day for one big beach party.

I haven’t got time to organise this really so if anyone is keen to get involved let me, Tobias or Al know.

And if you’d like to come and check out the beach before we run their – Tribewanted Sierra Leone opens October 2010.

ben@tribewanted.com / tobias@mewsnews.co.uk / alastair@alastairhumphreys.com

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