The Road of Many Smiles – Fundraising
Click here, or on the image left, if you want to go to the Facebook fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society page – The Road of Many Smiles.
Please remember to LIKE me! : )
The Road of Many Smiles
Campaign T-Shirt for the Alzheimers Society.
The fundraising campaign for Alzheimer’s Society is called ‘The Road of Many Smiles’ where every mile of the 8,000 mile route is sponsored. Just click on the image to donate.
Running to Everest?
Why run there… wouldn’t it be easier to cycle?
It would certainly be easier on a bike, even easier on a motorbike, but that was never the dream… It’s always been the thing to do a trip under one man power, natural energy, no engine, no wind and no pogo sticks.
Half way round the world… It must be love!
It’s 8,000 miles from Sheffield to Kathmandu where I will meet up with the Everest team in March 2015.
No one seems to be able to remember when I didn’t bore them to tears with talk about training for the big hill. Probably since I first went climbing at Frodsham aged 14. Well it’s about time I got there !
How much planning!
Route planning, charity set ups, passports, visa, fundraising, gear testing, trailer design and build, running, mental and physical workouts… How much planning !
The front of the campaign T-Shirt for the Alzheimers Society.
The fundraising campaign – ‘The Road of Many Smiles’ through justgiving.com/sihomfray where every mile of the 8,000 mile route is sponsored.
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
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- (possibly) Georgia
- (possibly) Kazakhstan
- (possibly) Uzbekistan
- (possibly) Kyrgyzstan
- (possibly) Tajikistan
- Nepal and
Si Homfray's personal website →
Hammer Design →
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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...
Thanks must go to the brilliant team at Reflow Studio for building this super, fully responsive website.
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.
The Road of Many Smiles Flyer... click to download.
Donate £10 and adopt your mile.
You will receive:
- • Your name + your picture... permanently marked on the road.
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:
- • Your name + your picture +
- • The e-book. All the 8,000 images, places and notes of the trip, will become an e-book which you will be able to flick through, and keep forever
- • The paperback book. A copy of the book that tells the full story, warts and all, stuff that's not in the blogs : ) Si is currently writing as he goes along.
Donate £200 and adopt your 20 miles.
You will receive:
- • Your name + your picture + the e-book + the paperback book +
- • The photo book. A copy of the limited edition accompanying hardback coffee table photo book that Si is currently photographing and writing entitled ‘The Road Of Many Colours’.
Donating is easy
To donate just go directly to www.justgiving.com/sihomfray
N.B: Please make sure you say who you are, when you email the picture !
- 1. You donate leaving your name with Just Giving as you wish to see it on the Road of Many Smiles, then
- 2. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org a smiling happy picture as soon as you can, later if you like, and that’s it.
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:
- • The book The Road of Many Colours', a paperback
- • The book of photographs of the journey, a big hardback
- • T-Shirts 'Running to Everest' and 'The Road of Many Smiles' and an
- • 'Over the hill' mug
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.
Macedonia to Greece
As we enter the 10th country Greece on the Road of Many Colours this week there are some serious miles to be done. More running action and less photographs this week. Macedonia Greece
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Wk 27 – Albania to Macedonia
Follow the story live by liking the new Facebook page – The Road of Many Smiles. Si adds A picture a day via Instagram pictures, comments and Tweets to this new facebook page when he gets WiFi, which might not be for much longer now… the Road of Many Smiles You may need to hover […]
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An extraordinary week of characters and contrasts…
Wk 26 – Cetinje, Montenegro to Lezke, Albania. A week of extraordinary characters and contrasting cultures as my camera gets as tired as my feet… and finally the rubbish weather turns sunnier. Albania […]
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Dubrovnik to Cetinje… and it’s all change
Chapter 4 : The Dubrovnik to Istanbul leg – starts. Week 25 – Storming into the unknown, widely differing cultures, countries and company with a new vigour. That’s Croatia to Montenegro and later onwards to Albania to Macedonia to Greece to Turkey in 6 weeks… here we go!
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Launching ‘The Road of Many Smiles’
Running to Everest for Alzheimer’s 8,000 miles, one middle aged man, Si Homfray and his trailer ‘Gromit’, are on an unsupported run across 20 countries to climb Everest.
Started Aug 2013 – Finish in Kathmandu Mar 2015. Everest Mar 2015 – July 2015. At 50 years old, after a serious motorbike accident that saw him […]
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Phew! – Dubrovnik at last…
Week 22 -Arrival in Dubrovnik and chapter 3 is ticked The blog in pictures and captions… Bosnia Herzegovina in a day and a night and… back into Croatia again
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Wk 21 – Roman Holiday
Think Audrey Hepburn, Seaside Camping, and Roman Palaces. Being teased before it gets tough and the wonders of the Croatian coastline. This blog is in pictures… 2014 – Yey!
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Perfect picture to the Palace…
Wk 20 – It’s a proper adventure, pressing on…and yeah! Luxury digs for Christmas. [abridged] Coming down from the hills 6 am – The perfect picture I looked out from under the Rab Ascent (thanks Outside for this) bivi’s top flap to see the moon perfectly aligned above the Island of Rab, aptly named on […]
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A present for everyone.
I had been struggling with what to write for my friends and family for Christmas, until I sat down and finally watched a present from someone else. So here I am passing it on. Just how do you say thank you to people who give you their time, their love and in my parents’ case […]
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Croatia – The country of a thousand Islands
Week 19 – Great kindness, the Croatian coast road starts, a desert feel and a taste of mountains… Big big roads outta town Warm – so back to shorts at last. It felt like being at the seaside. Trousers went straight back into Tote – a great relief Into the tunnels Not too scary these […]
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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.
Father to: Max Champion-Homfray
Previously married to Meilee Rafe, now separated.
Lives: Anywhere warm, avoiding ditches and park benches where possible.