CRAW – region 12 completed!

We are done! On 7th December 2021 team This Is The Way completed the 12 (and final original) region of the Circumpolar Race Around the World, travelling from the US/Mexico border across the North and South poles to return again to that border.

The region took a total of 34 days to cover the 2,057 miles, averaging 60.5 miles per day and I was third highest mileage of the team with 227.09 miles. At time of completion that puts me 210th for the region

So that is a total of 30,208 miles completed in a total of 471 days for a silver buckle. Of those miles I calculate that I ran and walked 4,230.05 of them.

Additional regions were added to fill in the map, but I am done and look forward to getting my final medals and buckle, and not having to have a browser window open all of the time to log my miles.

CRAW – region 11 completed!

Team This Is The Way managed to complete the penultimate region across the Great White North on 3rd November, taking a total of 52 days. This averaged 51.63 miles per day for the 2,685 miles.

I ended with the fourth highest mileage for the team with 293.8 miles and 237th overall for the region (at time of completion, this may well change as other people finish the region).

We used up 12 of our contingency days in this region, so only have 17 left in hand to try and complete within 486 days for the silver buckle. 28,151 miles completed with 2,057 to go.

CRAW – region 10 completed!

As close to home as I’m going to get on this global adventure, with a run across Europe taking on 2,696 miles. We began on 2nd August and took a total of 42 days, finishing on 12 September.

I finished with the 2nd highest mileage for the team with 346.15 miles and 148th for the region (at time of checking)

That’s 10 of the 12 regions ticked off and over 26,466 of 30,204 miles covered. We are currently averaging 66.14 miles per day, putting our completion days at 457 (rounded up), well within the silver buckle target of 486 days.

CRAW – region 9 completed!

A return to the longer regions as we trekked across the Stans for a total of 2,319 miles. Starting on 29th June we took a total of 35 days, finishing on 2nd August (after accidentally finishing mid-July with a typo that had to be corrected).

Now that my ultra is over and I’m back into marathon training, I finished 7th in the team with 234.09 miles, placing me 294th in the region and the team in 29th.

That’s 9 of the 12 regions ticked off and over 22,770 of 30,204 miles covered. We are currently averaging 66.38 miles per day, putting our completion days at 455, well within the silver buckle target of 486 days.

CRAW – region 8 completed!

Another short region, travelling across the Indian subcontinent, and with the late addition of a teammate’s husband (as we only started the region with 9 members) we finished the 1,661 miles in 24 days, starting on 6th June and finishing on 29th June.

Once again I logged the most miles for the team, but once my big race is out of the way this weekend that won’t be the case, so I enjoyed top spot with 255.4 miles, placing me 66th overall for the region (at time of writing). The team finished in 49th place.

That’s 8 of the 12 regions ticked off and over 20,451 of 30,204 miles covered. We are currently averaging 66.39 miles per day, putting our completion days at 455, well within the silver buckle target of 486 days.

CRAW – region 7 completed!

A lovely short region this one, travelling 1,989 miles up from Singapore to Bangladesh that we started on 9th May and finished on 6th June, a total of 29 days.

I was top logger of miles for the team again this region, totalling 322.98 miles, putting me 52nd for the region at time of finishing, and the team 28th.

As a team we have now completed 7 regions (of 12) racking up a total of 18,790 miles in 284 days. Our average miles per day is now 66.16, putting us on target to complete all 12 regions within 457 days, well within the 486 day target for a silver buckle.

CRAW – region 6 completed!

A shortish region this one and team This Is The Way managed to complete the 2,088 miles across the islands of Indonesia in a total of 32 days, starting on 8th April and finishing on 9th May.

We did overshoot the target number of miles due to not keeping on top of logging miles daily (especially towards the end) which is a shame as more miles could have been counted towards the next region which travels North through Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar.

I logged the most miles for the team again with 366.63 miles, which put me (at time of completion) 43rd individual highest mileage for the region. The team was 19th with the overshoot.

We have now completed 6 regions (halfway in terms of region count) racking up 16,801 miles (over halfway in distance) in 255 days. Still on target for a sub-16 month completion time and that silver buckle.

CRAW – region 5 completed!

Team This is the way has left the island of Australia behind, after a 2,638 mile trek from Tasmania up to Darwin.

We had started region 5 on 28th February, and finishing on 8th April means it took us a total of 40 days, averaging 65.95 miles per day as a team.

I managed to log the most miles for the team in this region with 421.77, putting me in 54th place for the region at time of finishing, and the team in 29th place with a little overrun (but this all changes as other teams and individuals finish).

We have now completed 5 regions (14,713 miles) in a total of 223 days, averaging just under 66 miles per day. The total 30,208 miles of the trip would take us 458 days at that rate, well within the 16 month cut-off for a silver buckle.

Letters to my MP: Support an inquiry into assisted dying

Dear Thangam Debbonaire MP,

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to support calls for an inquiry into the law banning assisted dying in England and Wales. I have been prompted to write after Dr Henry Marsh announced his advanced cancer diagnosis, and argued powerfully for the right to have the option to choose the time and manner of his own death. And in November 2020, the Court of Appeal refused Paul Lamb permission to challenge the law – which is likely to end the prospect of any change in the law as a result of a court decision. In other words, the matter is firmly one for Parliament to resolve.

I hope you can write on my behalf to the Secretary of State for Justice and Chairs of the Health, Justice, and Human Rights Select Committees, and call upon them to instigate a review into the law.

It has now been half a decade since MPs considered proposals to legalise assisted dying, and fifteen years since Parliament examined the law in any detail. The evidence available to scrutinise the current law and concerns about reform are now materially different. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to three factors. 

  1. According to the UK Assisted Dying Coalition, at least one Briton each week now travels abroad for an assisted death. This represents a six-fold increase since Parliament last examined whether our laws are fit for purpose. 
  2. Austria, Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and parts of the United States and Australia have changed their law since 2015, resulting in a wealth of new evidence and demonstrating that reform can be achieved in both a safe and compassionate manner. 
  3. Medical opinion has dramatically shifted. Only recently, in the British Medical Association’s consultation on the matter – the largest survey of medical opinion on this issue in UK history – 50% of doctors said they personally support changing the law, with only 39% opposed, and if the law were to change, a majority favoured changing it for both the terminally ill and incurably suffering. 

In light of these developments and the record levels of public support for assisted dying, I believe it is time for Parliament to review this issue again and that informed debate should be underpinned by an inquiry into the law.

I hope I can rely on your support in requesting that the Secretary of State and various Committee Chairs instigate an inquiry or call upon Parliament to do so.

Letters to my MP – Ban Conversion Therapy

Dear Thangam Debbonaire MP,
I am writing to ask for your support in the campaign to ban conversion therapy – an alarmingly widespread practice that seeks to erase, repress, cure or change an individual’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Conversion therapy is taking place in medical, psychiatric, psychological, religious, and cultural communities.

Figures from the National LGBT Survey found that 7 per cent of LGBT+ people have been offered or undergone conversion therapy, with trans respondents almost twice as likely to have undergone or been offered conversion therapy (13 per cent). Figures also found asexual people to be at a higher risk of being offered or undergoing conversion therapy (10 per cent).

Half of respondents (51 per cent) who had undergone conversion therapy said it had been conducted by faith groups, and one in five (19 per cent) said it had been conducted by healthcare providers or medical professionals.

Right now, the law does not protect your constituents from this harmful practice. And there is no dedicated funding for victim and survivor support, whether through support charities, faith groups or mental health practitioners, to help overcome trauma and rebuild their lives.

Please write to Liz Truss, Minister for Women and Equalities, and Kemi Badenoch, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities), and urge them to implement a full legislative ban as detailed below. You could also share your support by recording and sharing a #BanConversionTherapy video on social media, as hundreds of religious leaders have in a powerful show of support.

If we want to eradicate this insidious form of homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and acephobic abuse, we need a legislative ban to make conversion therapy illegal:

  • Wherever it occurs – Both in public and private spheres; in healthcare, religious, cultural and traditional settings or contexts; and for those who are threatened with being sent overseas to undergo so-called “conversion therapy”.
  • Whoever is targeted – Both children or adults; both those who have been coerced as well as those who have consented; any intervention that has the intention of changing, suppressing, converting or cancelling sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression.
  • From the moment it’s spotted – Banning the advertisement and promotion of these therapies both online and in public spaces.

Statutory provision of publicly funded specialist support services for current victims and survivors of historical cases is also essential.

I hope I can rely on your support to ban conversion therapy, so that we can continue to progress towards a world where all LGBTQIA+ people can live without shame or fear. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with you further and look forward to hearing from you soon.