The Road of Many Colours - Running to Everest


An 8,000 mile journey - unsupported and on foot all the way - one middle aged man and his trailer Gromit...

The route in a nutshell:

At least 20 countries: The route starts in Sheffield, England and then goes to the south coast for a ferry to Spain then France. Then it will travel from the French Alps through to
  • Italy
  • Slovenia
  • Croatia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Albania
  • Macedonia
  • Turkey
  • (possibly) Georgia
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • (possibly) Kazakhstan
  • (possibly) Uzbekistan
  • (possibly) Kyrgyzstan
  • Turkmenistan
  • (possibly) Tajikistan
  • Afghanistan
  • Pakistan
  • India
  • Nepal and
  • Tibet

External Links:

Si Homfray's personal website Hammer Design

The Aim

The aim is simple – to run* to Everest for March 2016.

Nobody has run to Everest from outside Nepal/Tibet and climbed it before. No surprises there then.

Unsupported

This will be an unsupported run, it will be Si running on his own for the most part, everyone is welcome to join in and accompany me, any support would be a joy, but it isn’t expected. I will be carrying all my own kit and changing it at certain points along the route. Swapping Summer gear for Winter gear at various carrier depots etc..

With a trailer named 'Gromit'...

The idea is to carry everything on a small, own designed 2 wheel trailer, which will be pulled using a harness, as a sledge is pulled across colder Polar regions. This trailer will be extended and adaptable to a longer version and with a few bolts and extensions and can become a mobile winter insulated tent tunnel for the worst weather. * This may involve walking or jogging at certain points, quite a few of them probably, looking at the maps, but – yes – it is basically what ever is possible under my own steam – no engines or support – two legs, one body, no brain.

Timetable

Started in Sheffield, August 2013

The aim was to make a quiet start from Sheffield. I set off July 3oth 2013, a quiet start and a big return. In the words of Sir Francis Chichester - The celebrations are for your safe return.

Everest - March 2016

If the journey is successful, the ultimate goal is to climb Everest from the Tibetan side. A personal lifetime ambition with the Adventure Peaks team March 2016. There are certainly no guarantees on this one... It will be a combination of great luck with the weather, huge determination to get there, massive success raising funds for our causes and the grace of the mountain gods that will grant this privilege.

Along the way

One of the greatest challenges will be to stay motivated and on focus. In order to achieve this and maintain a sharp mind, I have come up with...

A series of exciting projects along the way

These will include photography, film, art and writing which will ultimately become the spine of various works including
  • a diarised book
  • a photo book
  • a short film
  • online blogs
  • creative artworks and all being well
  • some public artwork freebies

Fundraising

The biggest reason for doing this is to raise funds for a seriously worthy cause. The big idea may have been quite selfish and a strong urge to honour a promise I made to myself many many years ago... but a personal quest won't be enough to get the job done and provide sustained motivation. That'll need to come from a need to deliver for others.

All for love and a great cause

Not a race

People who know me, know I'm a slow runner. I've always run for love, to tune into the the wonderful places I have had a chance to run through. I have always shirked from running for competitions, but it has never stopped me from doing the miles and loving them. In order to make sure the miles get done every day, I believe that every mile must count, every experience maximised and every opportunity to meet people and make the experience a shared and loved one must be taken.

Support and thanks


A huge thanks go to all the many friends and companies who have already agreed to become a part of this wonderful journey

Friends and base support

Many friends have already helped loads and many have agreed to be a part of 'The Road of Many Colours. Affectionately known as the Dirty Dozen.
  • Meilee Rafe - Originally agreed to let me go, for remaining my friend through our divorce
  • Mike Robertson - Fixer, advisor and professional route and travel planning
  • Tim Glasby - Photography, training and base support
  • Lucy Creamer - Training and support
  • Matt and Sophie Heason - Motivation, advice, kit and base camp support
  • Nik and Lissa Cook - Kit, advice and digital media support
  • Gillian Scotford - Basecamp support and trailer testing :  )
  • Paul Haxby - Videography and Kit improvisation technique in extremis

People who have already provided support or kit

The businesses and companies who have helped get the show on the road...

Promotional support

Thanks must go to the brilliant team at Reflow Studio for building this super, fully responsive website.

Fundraising


The Road of Many Smiles - Raising funds for The Alzheimers Society:

Help Si raise at least £80,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society so they can speed up finding the necessary treatment for Alzheimers dementia. Something very close to his heart.

Road-of-Smiles-Flyer_Graphic

The Road of Many Smiles Flyer... click to download.

Donate £10 and adopt your mile.

You will receive:

Your name and a smiling happy picture of your choice (The only rule is, it has to be a smiling photo) will be seen on the website www.roadofmanysmiles.com  straightaway and later on Si’s return as part of the big show off exhibition. You will be shown against a mile number, one of Si’s many photographs and supporting information, taken on the road.

Donate £50 and adopt your 5 miles.

You will receive:

Donate £200 and adopt your 20 miles.

You will receive:

Donating is easy

To donate just go directly to www.justgiving.com/sihomfray
  1. 1. You donate leaving your name with Just Giving as you wish to see it on the Road of Many Smiles, then
  2. 2. Email me at si@hammerdesign.co.uk a smiling happy picture as soon as you can, later if you like, and that’s it.
N.B:  Please make sure you say who you are, when you email the picture !

Alzheimers_Logo

Helping Si later: The budget has been extraordinarily tight for this very long adventure, so I am going to need a little help towards the end of the project: Later you will be able to buy: If I am to get onto the Everest expedition March 2015. This will need to be earned and funds raised for more worthy causes must come first.

Blogging and trogging...


Welcome to the big trip blog - I hope it provides some entertainment... that's the plan.

still running to everest?

On Dec 30th, 2016

With 0 Comments

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the question I get asked the most is am I going to complete my run? the short answer is yes. the real question is when? which is the difficult one. I have fully committed to what I set out to do. I have to finish. In my mind there is no choice, it just is. […]

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What has been learned from the first half of this epic run?

On Nov 8th, 2016

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Other than 3,423 miles of tarmac gives you sore feet… I am greatly humbled to have been allowed to get as far as I did. Once the dust had settled on the initial frustration. After I had dealt with all the angry emotions and I got stuck into the big idea to help me carry […]

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the greatest lesson for the world today?

On Sep 20th, 2016

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If I was forced to choose what was the most significant thing that I have learned from observing the many people I have met and spent time with over the last few years it would be quite simply that… ‘We have more in common than we have differences’. People the world over are so similar, […]

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what has been achieved on the journey so far…

On Aug 11th, 2016

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Fundraising: The plan, was to start fundraising in earnest nearer the end of the trip, as the end point was a two months away. This plan still stands. Funds raised for Alzheimer’s Society. Every penny went directly via the JustGiving.com website £540.00 of the £80,000 from 21 supporters by October 2014. Thank you to everyone […]

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The time traveller

On Nov 2nd, 2014

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For he who has travelled returns eyes wide open, faraway and longing for those heart felt days. Where tears are spiked with vodka and the tarmac blisters your feet. There is no going back, save for the man with deep pockets. Only travel stops the time where it is left in the mind. The fleeting […]

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So yep I have stopped my run. For now.

On Oct 29th, 2014

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So yep I have stopped my run for now. Disappointing for all. Yep. I will continue as soon as possible, but realistically now, that will be months. Putting things into perspective there are some big lessons to be learnt at the moment from the world… and I will not stop. Yep there are many reasons […]

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To cycle or on foot?

On Sep 13th, 2014

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An age old dilemma for the seasoned traveller. How slow do you go? For me it was a no brainer, or a part brainer to be precise, as I managed to damage some of the other half in my motorbike accident May 2012. On foot was the only option. No sense of balance was going […]

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The Magic that is the Road of Many Colours

On Jun 9th, 2014

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There was definitely something at the start and for a great deal of the time whilst bashing away the first ten months of The Road of Many Colours where an undefinable quality was always present. Day and night it was present when problems presented and they were easily solved. This feeling was quite unlike anything […]

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Istanbul

On May 4th, 2014

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End of chapter 5. Reaching Istanbul. The facts and figures about Istanbul are jaw dropping. Population over 14 million. Established 7th Century BC etc.. etc… But from a personal point of view I reckon it must be the longest distance of any city end to end spread out over the two continents. To me it […]

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Turkey & the D100 to Istanbul

On Apr 10th, 2014

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A quick photo blog getting to Istanbul (nearly). Well some of the more positive images to be truthful. There were, and still are, some pretty big long, wide roads leading to Istanbul. Pretty scary, I imagine if you are driving and certainly pretty scary on two legs attached to a 50kg trailer of a unique […]

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About Si


A quick summary:

At 51 years old, and after a serious motorbike accident that saw him human cannonball into a dry stone wall, a sequence of events led to Si setting off to run to Nepal and climb Mt Everest. It made sense – the perfect recuperation to fulfill a lifetime’s ambition. Smashed up after his accident in May 2012, Si needed to walk again before he could run, a head injury made him wobbly on his feet, but with help from some of his friends he started to run again in Feb 2013. After 25 years setting up several businesses, working in offices and factories, an entrepreneurial career, Si decided to change his life and do something outdoor and physical, fulfilling a lifetime’s ambition to climb Mt Everest, but he needed to get appropriately fit… A trail runner all his life, a running expedition seemed like an ideal way to achieve this, convalesce and indulge his artistic sensitivities and a passion for photography, writing, design, meeting new people and lots and lots of slow running. Flying the flag for the veteran generation of reborn athletes, Si is trying to prove that age is not a barrier to achieving physical performance. So far it has been a great experience and circumstance and a world of wonderful people have helped carve a journey that is just 'meant to happen'.

Get in touch:

Si is managing to get through every day with the wonderful support of friends and family back at home. It is friends, family and the people he meets that make it all possible every day.

The life of many colours - A busy career:

Si trained as a Doctor. Then spent twenty five years setting up six very different businesses. A futon business (The Futon Workshop), a printing bureau (Imagine), a marketing agency (Diagram), a design studio (Vivid Creative), an arts foundation (Living Art) and finally a leading web design agency (Hammer Design). Working in offices and factories, his entrepreneurial career was always indoor based but the people he worked with were often leading outdoor companies and inspiring outdoor adventurers and personalities who created a lifetime of personal frustration that he wasn’t ‘out there’. The accident provided a perfect break, to change a life that was beginning to repeat itself.

A series of events:

Unable to concentrate on work on his computer design anymore without going dizzy left him with a challenge. The first thing he did was to hand over his successful website design business to his management team now successfully working as Reflow Studio in the Peak District. The team have been immensely supportive. The second thing was to obtain permission from his wife.

Outside business Si’s personal achievements include:

Si successfully ran and completed his own run across the Nepal Himalaya in 1986 as well as The first Sheffield Marathon, The Pennine Way, The Coast to Coast, The Karrimor and Saunders Mountain Marathons, GR20 Corsica and The West Highland Way. In short, long distance slow running since 1974. A pioneering individual, Si has had a lifetime mountaineering and rock climbing on five continents since the 1970s, took up mountain biking in 1981 before anyone knew what mountain biking was and had several seasons successfully racing production motorbikes in the early 90’s. More recently he has taken up Scuba Diving and sailed the Atlantic with his wife and a colourful misogynistic Irish skipper in June 2013.

Personal Details:

Father to: Max Champion-Homfray Previously married to Meilee Rafe, now separated. Lives: Anywhere warm, avoiding ditches and park benches where possible.

Getting in touch


Your support means a lot to Si...