In day 12 of his London to Edinburgh challenge, Michael Nowicki set foot on Scottish ground and is on track to complete his 440 mile trip on Sunday (May 13). As expected, the recreation nurse has encountered various obstacles en route, most notably with the serious flooding down south that caused a minor derailment in the opening stages of his run.
Michael, who is raising money for the Scottish Association of Mental Health, said the monsoon type weather welcomed him on his first port of call in Parliament Square, London and escalated into flood warnings as he approached Peterborough.
On day 3 of his challenge, Michael reflects on the point in which he was forced into a detour: "A policeman came up to me about 10 miles into the stage and asked what I was doing in shorts. I said to him I was running to Peterborough which he replied "No you're not". He then told me the only way I could get there was by the A1, but of course runners aren't allowed on the main roads."
Despite worrying that the challenge was nearing a whitewash, the father-of-one diverted his route and has received incredible encouragement over the last week. One notable supporter has been Footworks' Colin McPhail, who, along with Karen Cameron, joined Michael on two consecutive stages as he made his way from Northallerton to Corbridge.
After a carb-loading session at Northallerton Pizza Express the night before, Colin set off on a 34.7 mile trip to Durham with Michael. Speaking to scottishrunningguide.com, Colin said: "I am someone who regularly runs long distance but I usually allow a substantial amount of time to rebuild my muscle before I run another big distance so had no idea of what to expect. Once we started running it was obvious to me that 10.5 mins per mile was maximum speed and the compounded efforts of Michael's over the previous 9 days had played a significant part. Our spirits were high though and the miles started to role in comfortably."
Even with the flooding, Michael has managed to stick to his initial schedule. On the amount of energy required to cover the distance - by this point Michael had covered around 280 miles - Colin gives a great account of the diet of an endurance runner: "The interesting part was seeing how Michael coped with this serious depletion of power, he had worked out that he required about 8000 + calories per day just to maintain his body with the current work load."
As the majority of his running has been conducted throughout the day without any support, the only real opportunity to replenish on fuel was at night: "Unfortunately, what was happening, his calories were mostly being consumed in the evening and by mid afternoon the following day they weren't being topped up."
With a number of pub-lunches en route, Michael managed to sufficiently refuel and successfully reached Jedburgh yesterday. He plans to finish his challenge on Sunday afternoon at Royal Edinburgh Hospital, with a host of runners, including Colin, joining Michael on his final stage.
Michael is fundraising for SAMH, you can sponsor him by visiting his justgiving page.