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.

Wk 18 – Bonjour Trieste, Pozdrav Hrvatska

On Dec 12th, 2013

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Crossing the flatlands – The end of Italy – impressive Trieste – an epiphany and finding my old edge – Slovenia in a day and a night and Hello Croatia (Pozdrav Hrvatska) DAY 124 – SUNDAY – 01-12-2013 – GRAYSON PERRY EVENING Leaving Conegliano, flat lands, good light and an epiphany. Conegliano, to a field […]

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The Prosecco Road AND Venice… Sparkling!

On Dec 6th, 2013

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In this episode: Life is as wonderful as it can be, and a hell in equal measure. Oh, and Si cracks. Day 118 – Monday – 25-11-2013 – Asiago to Valrovina Camprovere to Asiago to Conco to Fontanelle to Valrovina. Total miles = 21 miles Saying Goodbyes to la famiglia italiana. I said an emotional […]

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The snowman, the ploughman and the snowy road

On Dec 3rd, 2013

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Day 113 – Wednesday – 20-11-2013 – Trento Trento Days Notes: Photo Mission to Trento. That is when I got a gap and it had stopped raining. Aim: To capture the atmosphere of the really old and the students. Italy at its best. Make Max and Meilee Moon Pig Birthday and Happy Adventure cards – […]

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Tunnels of love to Trento

On Nov 28th, 2013

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In this weeks blog you can expect: Hapiness, A few rude words, more tunnels, A game of Orange Cricket across the A-Road, rain and a happy ending. DAY 107 – THURSDAY – 14-11-2013 – GROMITS TOWER CAMP Campsite under Ski Resort nr Bagolino S669 to Bagolino to Ponte Caifaro to Storo Total miles = 20.06 […]

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Hapiness rising. Tutti a piedi

On Nov 21st, 2013

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Day 100 – Thursday – 07-11-2013 Man on horse with Jack Russell say yes I celebrated the start of the hundredth day since setting out from the UK camped out in a field, next to a busy noisy and unrelenting A-road, dew soaked and very early. The night before I had sat on Gromit, brewing […]

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Avoiding personal distortion

On Nov 19th, 2013

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Reviewing my personal critical factors for this trips success. These are listed below, I believed from the outset, my personal challenges or… to put it another way. Here are a few quite obvious notes and a few sweeping generalisations to make sure I successfully complete this trip that I have put into an idiot checklist for […]

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Week 13 – The Romans were Italian?

On Nov 13th, 2013

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The miles like the towns’ history flowed past and the roadside became a blur of repetition furniture shop, cafe, factory and bars. Chatillon via SS26 to Montjovet, Verras, Bard, Donnas and Pont St Martin, Albergo Carlas After a good breakfast, (Prima) Colazione, I said my goodbyes in English to Alessandro and Christina at the Rendezvous […]

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Italy – Week 12 – Avanti

On Nov 12th, 2013

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First week in Italy, easy start, getting back into it… Sunday – 27-10-2013 – Aosta Valley Morgex, La Salle, St Pierre, Aosta and Villefranche I had found a disused quarry the night before. Gromit and I had naughtily ducked under a barrier to get a private place not visible from the road. It served as […]

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A few Italy pictures…

On Nov 11th, 2013

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As ever I am struggling to get all the words together and in the right order… so for the meantime I have added a taster of the pics I am getting from Italy as I push on. Go to Facebook or click on the link here  

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Reboot and Restart

On Oct 30th, 2013

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Si Homfray and Alison Culshaw hover bg

After far too long in the UK sorting so much out and dealing with personal matters of great consequence* I get back on the job. (*Ref: The Little Prince) Saturday – 26-10-2013 – 10am – Leaving Chamonix, Les Houches For the last 3 weeks, Alison (Culshaw) had been absolutely brilliant about letting me stay at […]

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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...