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.

Gromit get Factory Works Team treatment

On Oct 28th, 2013

With 0 Comments

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Gromit is a very special trailer, with an unbelievable pedigree. I have already written about Nik Cooke, Dave Bramley and Paul Haxby in ‘Gromit is born : Serendipity in deed‘, but for the next leg of the journey he had some special needs. The next leg of Gromit’s story begins in the design offices at […]

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UK and France – Summing up the journey so far…

On Oct 27th, 2013

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Summing up to the end of Chapter Two, crossing France and the UK. Chapter One was crossing the Atlantic so long ago now in May. Chapter Two has been about preparation, testing, building a physical base on which to build some more adventurous exploits later, a general reintroduction to living outdoors and an intinerant lifestyle… […]

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Flashing blue lights and Chapter 2 is ticked.

On Oct 26th, 2013

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Reaching Chamonix in the back of a Police Van was a little unexpected – 2.6 miles to go and whoomph – Nar Nars and a 100mph lift to the Mt Blanc Tunnel. Happiness and relief are the overwhelming emotions… Ups and downs St Etienne de Croissery Eventually the road out of Voirons, after a long […]

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Virgins, Nuts, Cliffs and Kindnesses

On Sep 30th, 2013

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Le Puy en Velay, a proper break, strain injuries repair, weather intermittent, Virgins jumping from cliffs, Photography, very long GR Compostelle trails, Mountain pilgrimage, Squirrels and Nuts, The Rhone Valley, Mountain passes, high bridges, fast cyclists, Vinay, More Nuts, Walnut Capital and great kindnesses. Highlights Le Puy en Velay Arriving in Le Puy allowed me […]

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Hobbling through Hobbleton

On Sep 22nd, 2013

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Week 6 – The hobblet continues his journey through the Kingdom of Middle Earth.fr Summary I just marched slash ran through some of what would have been the most impressive views of the trip so far – lots of ancient churches, houses, buildings going way back to the 13th century, by my guess, Google to […]

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Can you have too much sun?

On Sep 3rd, 2013

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Week 5 Blog Keywords: Humbling, Anniversary, Biting, Bananas, Condom, Landscapes, Armagnac, Churches, Vineyards, Sun, Abundance. Villages and Towns Villeneuve de Marsan, La Freche, Labastide d’Armagnac, Betbezer d’Armangnac, Creon d’Armagnac, Gabarret, Escalens, La Croix d’Arech, Castelnau d’Auzan, Montreal, Condom, Caussens, Lectourne, Castet-Arrouy, Miradoux, Flamarens, St-Anthoine, Valence, Fourquet, St Pierre de Najc and Lauzerte General This needed […]

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Gromit is born : Serendipity in deed

On Aug 28th, 2013

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What I love about my little trailer, Gromit, above the huge advantage of being able to carry heavy loads easily, the simplicity and the lightness, is the manner in which he was born.  Although I run the risk of despoiling the readers’ affection for the superb chick flick with John Cusack, I must report the events leading […]

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Tumbleweed, terroir and gastronomic Gascony

On Aug 26th, 2013

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Week 4 Travelled through: Santander using trains up the coast to: Bilbao (Spain), Donostia San Sebastian (Spain), Hendaye (Hendaia) (Spain) to Bayonne (France). Then got down to it, going through St Martin de Seignanx, Biarrotte, Cagnotte, Pouillon, Mimbaste, Clermont, Pomarez, Donzacq, Caupenne, Larbey, Saint Aubin, Montaut, Saint Sever, Grenade sur l’Adour, Maurrin and Villeneuve de […]

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Dartmoor, Fox, Slugs and a Sense of Smell

On Aug 22nd, 2013

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Week 03 Travelled through: Cullompton Exeter Dunston Moreton Hampstead Plymouth Brittany Ferry to Santander (Spain) In summary Health is all coming together. So no real problems by the time I arrived in Plymouth for the Ferry to Santander. The body had sorted itself out, the blisters healing nicely and I seem to have got into […]

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Week 2 – Gromit meets the Gromits

On Aug 18th, 2013

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Summary: Surprisingly solid week – just getting on with the task at foot. Blisters have amazed me this week again, as they rotated from mid foot to heel and continued to heal nightly. New little monsters forming around the heel cup area to replace them. Overall there has been less and less foot pain and […]

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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...