Couch to … 24 miles in 19 days – Sport Relief #TeamHonk

bike in shed

Yes you read that right and yes I will forgive you if you burst out laughing, the thought alone makes me burst out laughing, only my laughs verge on the hysterical.

Remember last year for my hen do I climbed Snowdon with a group of nutters who go by the name of Team Honk I raised around £500 which went towards the massive £10,000 raised overall by Team Honk and I was very proud of my achievements. It was one of the best days of my 2013 and I’d do it all over again even if I couldn’t step down a kerb for a week after.

Thank you to every single person who sponsored me, all of that cash went to Comic Relief and was used to make lives better around the world.

This year it’s Sport Relief and Team Honk are organising a baton relay from Land’s End to John o’Groats, they’re calling on bloggers from all over the country to join in and take the baton from A to B in their area making it the longest, slowest trek up the country but a fun one.

Some irresistible force from deep within that ignored every single bit of sense I possess made me put my hand up and say ‘I’d love to help.’

You know when you hear yourself saying something and think – Why did I say that? but it was too late, I will not let the Honkers down and therefore I must take the baton from Gravesend, my home town, over to Southend where the Essex team will take over.

So peeps on the 25th January – and it has to be that day. I will transport the baton over to Southend. IF you want to help and share the mileage then PLEASE (begs) get in touch as I could do with all the help I can get here.

Gravesend – Southend

I ruled out running as I have no training and I hate it, it would be absurd to even think I could run 24 miles so I didn’t. I also ruled out walking as 24 miles in one day is too much for me.

I doubt very much I can swim or row across the Thames without being taken out by a massive container ship leaving Tilbury as it is such a busy shipping lane so I am left with


See my rusty, dusty bike above … 

I bought the bike for £25 from an ad in the local supermarket, you know the cards you stick up with details and a phone number? I put it in the shed ready to use straight after purchasing back in 2006 and it hasn’t seen daylight since apart from the day the removal men transferred her from our old house to our current abode.

My route so far

Link to my Endomondo route – all information gratefully received

gravesend - southend cycling route

Cross the Thames on the Tilbury Ferry, 

Head towards Stanford le Hope

Onwards to South Benfleet

On to Leigh on Sea, Westcliff on Sea

and collapse on the Southend Pier where I hand over the baton to the Southend team.

I have spoken with a trusted cyclist who cycles for charity frequently, I have informed him of my sorry state of fitness and he says I can do it, so I’m going to give it a go.

Team Honk have also said it will be ok to change the plan on the day if bad weather stops the ferry or other unforseen stuff happens.

What I need – can you help?

A pair of padded leggings and other cycling gear

A helmet 

A bike health check

Do I need anything else?

Information about the route I’m talking – nice places to stop for photo opportunity? Do you know a local cafe willing to offer me a bacon buttie on my journey and be promoted across the UK via Facebook, Instagram, twitter  by Team Honk, Sport Relief and all of the thousands of followers?

Southend people, it would be lovely to stay over with my family on the 25th and explore your town, advice on hotels, restaurants and family fun in your area would be great.

I’ll be back with more information about where you can donate to and an updated route once I get some serious feedback

Thanks everyone and cross your fingers for me once again – off to drag the Wii Fit out for a bit of training


  1. January 6, 2014 / 4:49 PM

    Best of luck, Mari. We’re still unsure on our means of travel on some parts of our leg x

  2. January 6, 2014 / 8:06 PM

    AWESOME Mari you are a super trooper with buns of steel!

    Thanks for your support – it means a lot x

  3. January 6, 2014 / 8:13 PM

    OMG Mari, I daren’t even look at my bike…it’s been in the garden for the past few years! I always thought it was quite a ‘modern’ bike but I worked out that I bought it in about ’98!
    I think you’re going to need some good thermal gloves too..I know I’m going to get some!

  4. January 6, 2014 / 8:20 PM

    Oh blimey! Go you!

    (I have lived in Gravesend before, had no idea you were from there!)

  5. bekcy
    January 6, 2014 / 8:24 PM

    Go Mari what a journey you have ahead. Full faith in you !

  6. January 6, 2014 / 10:22 PM

    YOu are amazing! Very impressive. There are so many of us in St Albans that my 10k run has been reduced to about half a mile. I’m secretly relieved, although I suspect I will have to do it on a child’s trike to make up for lack of effort! Good luck x

  7. January 7, 2014 / 11:10 AM

    Ohh my word Mari, you are really game. Not cycled since 2006, wishing you the best of luck. I know you’ll do it! Mich x

  8. January 7, 2014 / 5:17 PM

    My feelings exactly. I’m so excited though, but I’m sure that I’m just overly optimistic about my actual abilities. Lucky, or maybe not so lucky, we’ve got 2days to bike nearly 60 miles. Not sure we’ll want to get back on the bike the next day!Wishing you the very best of luck!

  9. January 8, 2014 / 7:20 AM

    Good luck! 24 miles is a long way to cycle for someone who’s not used to it, but I’m sure it’s do-able – got to be easier than climbing Snowdon, surely? Looks like you’ve got a lovely route too. Good luck (from a runner)!

  10. January 8, 2014 / 2:50 PM

    Good luck with your bit. I’m like you my bike hasn;t seen the light of day for quite some time now. I’m tagging along with the Somerset Team Honk, no cycling involved though (thank god) :-)

  11. January 13, 2014 / 1:09 PM

    Mari looks like you have really taken on a challenge here. Will be supporting you on line and hoping for a kind day with the british weather.

  12. MummyBarrow
    February 16, 2014 / 5:42 PM

    Mari you are such a star – well done lovely!

  13. pinkoddy
    March 22, 2014 / 6:41 PM

    very well done to you :)

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