Midas Marathon - Running for Help for Heroes

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26.2 miles dressed as Batman, running for Help for Heroes - If you want to support….www.justgiving.com/midasmarathon Thanks!

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Only Fools & Heroes

Au revoir mons amis,

I thought it about time I penned another blog as my sabbatical seems to have coincided with the end of civilisation as we know it. Since I last wrote Man United have been transformed from champions into chumps, the England cricket team have been humiliated in Australia, and sadly Piers Morgan suffered only very minor injuries during his batting duel with Brett Lee. These are indeed dark days. It’s all given me the right hump!

Though seemingly we are quite good at curling. And in a major shock Brit Dr. Patrick Barrie defeated the American legend Larry Kahn in the final of the World Tiddlywinks championships!!

Anyway it’s about time I got off my jacksie and did some more running. So after 5 years covering almost every inch of this country I decided it was time to globalise things and go international…the world after all is my lobster!

I was keen to maintain a TV theme after the Gavin & Stacey and Soapathon runs so needed a new mini drama for 2014. Something relevant, contemporary, and fun. I wanted to find an inspirational character who was entrepreneurial, internationally minded and a pillar of society. Exacting standards indeed, but I think I found him - Del Boy!

Ménage a trois - Trotting through New York, Paris & Peckham…


So this year I will run in two of the World’s greatest cities. And Paris. The nearest Del Boy actually got to New York or Paris was a Manhattan in The Nags Head and his mastery of the French language - bonnet de douche!

Marathons in Paris and New York may not sound too arduous, but au contraire! Because you see I’m going to be running wearing 20lbs of Batman kit! I really am going to look a right plonker. A hot and sweaty plonker at that. Let’s just hope I don’t get pushed from the finish line in a wheelchair. That was embarrassing enough for Mo Farrah, but stone me, I’d look a right wally!

I’m still searching for a sidekick who can be my Rodney / Robin. Ideally I want someone with at least a couple of GCSEs and a trusting character, who is not too much of a dipstick. That bar is set way too high for most of my friends, but if you know anyone…

Caped market traders…


Of course Peckham doesn’t have its own marathon. And anyway a superhero should be capable of much more than a mere 26.2 miles. So in September ‘Batman’ / moi will leave The Nags Head in Peckham, destination Lands End running the best part of 300 miles in a week. At least for once I’ve not had to plot a route to avoid any motorways as you wouldn’t Adam and Eve it but it seems the department for transport has only gone and forgotten to build any in the South West of England! Pot pourri!

Mon dieu! Less caped crusader, more fathers for justice…


So the first leg starts in a couple of weeks (April 6th) in springtime Paris. I’m not sure our cheese chomping near neighbours ‘get’ Batman. To be honest if Bruce Wayne had been French, Monsieur Hollande would have taxed him out of Paris by now! And the French police would probably have gone on strike as a non-unionised Batperson was stealing their work. Undoubtedly they’d have been supported by the air traffic controllers, dockers and farmers because that’s just what they do in France. It’s compulsory. They teach it in the schools (when the teachers themselves aren’t on strike of course)!

I’m hoping this proves a nice little earner for our heroes. The war in Afghanistan may be nearly over, but for those who have suffered life-changing injuries, their battles are just beginning. We must not let them fight these battles alone. Many may need our support for half a century or more. Help for Heroes exists to provide that lifelong assistance.

Please support my modest endeavours to offer a helping hand to those who have sacrificed so much on behalf of us all. Lovely jubbly!

♪ To the tune of Only Fools & Horses theme ♪

Stick a 9Bar in me pocket
I’ll fetch my Asics from the van
Cause if you want the best runs
And you don’t mind tensions
Then brother I’m your man

Where it all comes from
Is a mystery
I’m running for the Heroes

Don’t you see

But here’s the one that’s driving me berserk

Why do I look a fool and such a jerk

La la lala - la la la la la (repeat to fade)

If you would like to donate then please just click the bears - You know it makes sense!

And please don’t keep schtum about it, if you could forward this to your friends & contacts, then that would be just cushty too – thanks!


-To donate click here-



Richard Kell
Midas Marathon

Only Fools & Heroes – Paris – Peckham - New York

April 6th – Paris Marathon

Sept 14th – 20th – Peckham to Lands End (280 miles)

Nov 2nd - New York Marathon

Dressed as Batman!


Phone: 07901 000729 or 01462 670202

E-mail: Richard@Midasmarathon.com

Web: www.Midasmarathon.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/midasmarathon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/onlyfoolsandheroes

Twitter: www.twitter.com/midasmarathon

Donate: http://www.justgiving.com/MidasMarathon

OR TEXT KELL99 (£10, £5, £3, £2 OR £1) to 70070 – Your text is free!

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Soapathon Omnibus

Friends & Supporters,


Well, what a week it’s been in Albert Square, at Emmerdale, on The Street and in Hollyoaks! I’ve absolutely no idea what’s been happening on the shows – it’s been a case of just eating, running, sleeping – then repeating! But it was a thrill to visit all four iconic soaps.


After an emotional, exhausting struggle – and that was just trying to remember all of the stars’ names - here’s my account of Soapathon, with plenty of pictures to tell the tale for those of you who are far too busy to want to read my turgid ramblings!


Day 1 – Friday 24th May – EastEnders to Milton Keynes (38 miles)


After months of preparation, the Soapathon was finally upon me. As we wandered around an empty EastEnders set in Elstree, it all felt a little surreal. Not to mention somewhat cold and wet, with the promised late blast of Winter chilling the air. The BBC tea and the warmth of the green room just about kept the goose bumps at bay! Ducking into The Arches to avoid a shower isn’t something I ever imagined doing!


An EastEnd geezer…

There wasn’t even time for a quick pint in The Vic – which was probably a good thing ahead of a cold day of running (not to mention how bad the ‘beer’ in the soap pubs is said to taste)! I had to settle for a doorstep challenge instead with Shane Richie – he seemed to believe my whites were spotless!


Over the (Alfie) Moon…

I received some words of wisdom and advice from Ian Beale (though some hot food would have been more the ticket)! He completed a cycle ride from Emmerdale to EastEnders a few years ago, and his memory of the hills was still pretty vivid (I later came to appreciate why).


IanBealevable  - with the charming Adam Woodyatt…

And Queen of the Jungle Charlie Brooks was encouraging – being no stranger to a bit of running herself! I was interested in her nutritional tips – she had survived some gruesome bush tucker trials after all! We decided that our mutual love of peanut butter was the best source of fuel…unless things got really desperate (then I knew there’d be a Walkabout somewhere en-route serving kangaroo morsels)!

She’s a celebrity and a Butcher – the beautiful Charlie Brooks…

A final cuddle with a couple of small screen sirens was the perfect send off before I was cheered out of Albert Square by Alfie Moon, Kat Slater, and Sharon Rickman. As I said surreal! (Dum dum dum dum dum dumdumdumdah)

A thorn between 2 roses (Jessie Wallace & Letitia Dean)…

It was then back to reality and 38 miles of running! True to form I’d managed to get lost in the first 8 miles and had the ignominy of having to ask for directions. Though for once my navigational ineptitude had helped me stumble across a small short cut! The reception of passing motorists with beeping horns and cars stopping to give me donations was very welcome, particularly as the weather continued to deteriorate.

I was grateful for the company at various times of Ronan, Chris and Sean during what were thoroughly unpleasant conditions. Our spirits remained high despite being soaked to the skin and frozen to the bone. It certainly wasn’t helping my cold (verging on mild man-flu!) that I’d started the run with. The sight of my hotel was a very welcome one with the chance to dry off and prepare for day 2.

Howling northerly winds, incessant rain and the odd hail shower for good measure…

Day 2 – Saturday 25th May - Milton Keynes to Rugby (38 miles)

With a Lemsip and a couple of hot cross buns I was ready to get the second day underway. Other than my lingering cold and a few blister problems I was in pretty decent shape. I’d planned an early start to avoid the worst of the traffic. With 10 miles of running along a dual carriageway the fewer cars and lorries to dodge the better! A chilly start soon gave way to a pleasantly warm day, and my progress was good. It was an unremarkable trip to Rugby – my biggest challenge skipping around the assorted dead animals along the roadside, and more importantly avoiding joining them as road kill myself!

Day 3 – Sunday 26th May - Rugby to Nottingham (46 miles)

The third day brought with it the hottest day of the year – not something I’d prepared for – with my skin barbecuing nicely in the heat. The impromptu purchase of sun cream came a little too late to prevent some reddened flesh!

I had the welcome company of Mark for 14 miles (a personal record for him) which saw us make steady progress through to Leicester before we parted company leaving me just over 20 miles to complete till I made it to Nottingham. Shortly after leaving Mark my problems started with some acute pain at the front of my shins! My anterior tibialis had become inflamed and painful through over-exertion (possibly not helped by my lack of stretching pre & post workout). Running was now restricted to short painful downhill bursts as I made ever slower progress towards my destination. As the afternoon wore on, even walking became incredibly painful and my pace was nothing more than a dawdle. A rousing reception and hefty contribution to my collecting tin from a welcoming Nottingham hostelry helped reinvigorate me a little and I managed to run the final 2 miles. Time for a recuperative beer and some much needed physio!

More at home on a rugby field, Tigers fan Mr Mark Ward…

Day 4 – Monday 27th May - Nottingham to Barnsley (52 miles)

An 05:30 alarm call ready for a 7:15 start ahead of the longest and hilliest leg of my journey. My left leg was still incredibly painful and sore, but some ibuprofen and painkillers with my hot cross buns and I was as ready as I was going to be. I was joined for the first 10 miles by fellow Team 9 Bar athlete Kim Bent – A BMX champion not a runner. Sadly she had forgotten to bring her bike so we had to proceed on foot! We made reasonable pace, and the pain in my leg was bearable.

Kim Bent – more accustomed to racing BMXs than long distance running …

A further 10 miles or so in and I was in real trouble. I was struggling to even jog down some of the inviting slopes and was maintaining a fast hobble at best. And 30 odd miles is a long way to hobble! In the middle of nowhere a passing cyclist asked if I was OK, he told me he was a physio and said he’d return to fix me up! Ant (the physio) was good to his word and found me an hour or so later, to tape up my leg and give me some welcome advice. With 150 miles still to cover his intervention was very welcome! Though he was a physio when I was more in need of divine intervention!

My progress continued at what seemed a glacial pace, with the clock conspiring against me too. The later I finished, the less time for recovery I would have. Doubt was creeping into my mind. How an earth was I going to get through the next few days when I was in this state? I eventually made it to the hotel at 21:45 – Fourteen and a half hours after I’d started! Just time for a quick shower, a few slices of pizza and some ice packs on my swollen legs and feet before a little sleep. I had a 04:00 alarm call with my name on it.

I slept really badly, haunted by the worry I’d be incapable of meaningful movement when I awoke. I’m not sure if such events are covered by Premier Inn’s Great Night’s Sleep Guarantee!?

My swollen and disfigured trotters…

Day 5 – Tuesday 28th May - Barnsley to Emmerdale to Yeadon (36 miles)

It was an early start as I’d arranged to be at Emmerdale for Noon. I was leaving extra early as I just didn’t know how crippled my legs were going to be. I trotted out of the hotel at 05:00 into the Yorkshire drizzle. My toes hurt like hell, but I was moving and determined to run through the pain for a couple of hours at least to break the back of my journey. By this stage I was ignoring the safety warnings on the packets of Ibuprofen and painkillers, swallowing them at will. My strategy was working. Just about.

I made it as far as Leeds by which time I’d built enough of a time cushion to be able to walk the final few miles to the Emmerdale set at Harewood. Belief was beginning to return. Though I still had my biggest test to come.

A welcome sight after 200 long miles and 4 days…

I still had more than 7 miles to negotiate beyond Emmerdale to the hotel, so I couldn’t take advantage of a proper drink at The Woolpack, but was very grateful for a warming Yorkshire cuppa! A few quick pictures and I galloped off the set – in a tortoise like way.

The glamorous Meg Johnson and the gorgeous Michelle Hardwick…

Day 5.9/6 – Tuesday 28th May / Wednesday 28th May - Yeadon to Coronation Street (43 miles)

I’d got to the hotel in Yeadon at 15:30. An early finish to the day you might think. Not quite. I needed to be at Coronation Street in Manchester by the following lunchtime. I had 43 hilly miles across the Pennines to make – I’d cover that distance in less than 7 hours if fully fit, but I was clearly some considerable way below par! So I decided on a 23:30 start later that night. Not much time then for a shower, stretch, to ice my feet, a quick bite and for some much needed sleep.

A 22:15 alarm call wasn’t welcome, but certainly necessary. A cocktail of drugs and leftover Pizza and I was ready to tackle those hills.

Time to shine…

I made good progress through the night, with the pain and pills variously winning their on-going contest. The lack of traffic eased my passage, and it was eerie running through deserted towns and villages with nothing more than the odd fox for company. I was on schedule and now confidence was beginning to return that I would make my final destination after all.

As I made my gradual ascent up to the moors, my pace dropped with the temperature. The fog was thick and unpleasant. I was having to concentrate my shattered mind to pick out the vehicle headlights and make sure I was out of harms way as they blasted past. It was hard to believe it was nearly June as I pulled a second pair of gloves onto my numbed and freezing hands. A lamb called after me as I past, presumably asking what it had done to deserve being born into a world this bleak!

It really is grim up North…

Eventually the torment of Saddleworth was over and I was pleased to be entering Oldham. Not often can anyone have been so pleased to be in Oldham!

I had a treat in store (literally as we met in Tesco) as my friend David Bentley had arranged for running legend Ron Hill MBE to join me for a few miles (every little helps!). It was a real privilege to be running with one of the greatest distance runners of all time! Ron was the second man to break 2:10 in the marathon and set world records at four other distances. In 1970 he won the 74th Boston Marathon in a course record 2:10:30. He also won gold medals for the marathon at the European Championships in 1969 and the Commonwealth Games in 1970. All in the days before high performance footwear, gels and dietary innovation. It kind of put my own ‘achievements’ in context! He’s obviously also a clothing entrepreneur – and took the opportunity to promote some of his latest range!

Running with world record setter and marathon legend, Dr Ron Hill. I was just about keeping up with the 74 year old veteran…!

I was briefly set upon by 3 thugs as I entered Manchester’s city centre - as apparently - “You’re not from around here… I’m going to smack your arse”. Quite. I’d run 43 miles through the night, so I wasn’t going to let the local feral scum put me off course. After brushing them aside I made the final couple of miles, gingerly and painfully hobbling my way into the ITV studios and onto Corrie’s cobbled streets.

This boy wasn’t for Turn inn…!

I was running on empty and after a brief visit to the famous terraced streets was happy to be on my way to find my hotel and seek out my bed. For once I was going to have the luxury of a full night’s sleep – well 5 or 6 hours anyway!

Tony Hirst and Sue Cleaver outside the World’s most famous corner shop…!

Day 7 Thursday 30th May - Manchester to Hollyoaks (33 miles)

A 04:45 wake-up call was erring on the side of caution. I still needed to factor in an early pre 06:00 set off to allow my withered body the time to make the final 30-odd miles to Hollyoaks’ Liverpool set. Doped-up with enough pills to knock out an elephant, and with some freshly acquired compression support for my legs I headed out for the final time. With the end now firmly in sight I felt strong and made good progress, meeting another Team 9Bar runner, Charlie in Warrington for a couple of gentle miles.

Fellow Team 9Bar runner (and proper athlete) Charlie Sharpe…

The miles quickly ticked by as my motivation and focus dominated the pain. Before I knew it I was running past the security gate and onto the Hollyoaks set, cheered in by Kieron Richardson and Stephanie Davis who had been filming close by!

The beautiful young things of Hollyoaks. And me…!

I was given a rousing reception by the whole of Hollyoaks family and had ventured to the pub and been clubbing at The Loft - all before lunch.

James Sutton outside the final pub - completing the set…!

The Roscoes seemed pleased by the fact that I’d offered to get the first round in!

Hollyoaks pt II (at least I’m not the oldest in this picture)…!!

So after a really challenging week my journey was at an end. I was helped immensely by all of the support I had en-route, so thank you to everyone who played a part. Most of all I’m grateful to Helen, my understanding girlfriend, who receives the Best Supporting Actress award for driving every inch of the route with me and without whom I really wouldn’t have made it.

Best support team money didn’t buy…!

Obviously the purpose behind all of this has been to provide continuing and much needed support to our servicemen and women who have made sacrifices that have changed their lives for ever. Help for Heroes plays a huge part in helping to rebuild shattered limbs and lives – your support continues to be gratefully received.

If you would like to donate then please just click the bear!

-To donate click here-

Midas Marathon will return in 2014!


Best wishes,



Richard Kell
Midas Marathon


Soapathon | 24th -30th May 2013 | 300 miles from Eastenders to Hollyoaks via Emmerdale & Corrie!


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Soapathon Eve

Friends & Supporters,


Time waits for no man, and it seems only a blink of an eye ago that I came up with the inventive notion of running between each of Britain’s favourite soap operas. Where this moment of madness inspiration came from I’m not altogether sure, but there’s no turning back now! I’m just grateful there are no mainstream soap operas in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland!


So tomorrow morning I’ll begin my journey by limbering up on Albert Square; complete my carb-loading in the Queen Vic; then leave Walford for the North (Dum dum dum dum dum dumdumdumdah) - running a couple of hundred miles before reaching Emmerdale’s home near Harrogate on Tuesday. That will leave me with a mere 100 miles to cover as I venture across the Pennines to Manchester and Corrie’s cobbled streets. Finally next Thursday I’ll complete the concluding marathon and a half finishing in Hollyoaks on the outskirts of Liverpool. I’m hoping there’ll be a pint with my name on it in The Dog!


I have somehow managed to contrive a schedule which sees me running 80 miles in a single day / night as I cross the hilliest part of the route. Well, where would be the fun in making it too easy?! And although it’s hilly and will be dark, I’m hoping to avoid any cliff-hangers! Anyway, if anyone fancies joining me for the stretch across Saddleworth Moor, then bring a torch and some warm clothes and I’ll see you up there about 03:00 next Wednesday morning.

I’m contemplating a hop-athon in 2014…

It would seem that my springtime scheduling has proved somewhat optimistic. I was hoping for pleasant warm sunshine with perhaps a gentle cooling breeze. Seemingly instead I’m set for biting northerly winds and rain - with the outside chance of snow on higher ground! That’s about as welcome as Jeremy Clarkson at a Mumsnet coffee morning!

On Monday I had my final pre-run pep-talk. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the opening of the Help for Heroes recovery centres at Tedworth House by HRH the Duke of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry. It was a privilege to join not only two of the senior Royals (and serving members of HM Armed Forces) but so many of our heroes who have made such sacrifices on our behalf. The facilities and infrastructure at Tedworth are truly impressive, providing vital support to our young servicemen and women as they come to terms with their injuries and start to rebuild their lives.

Brothers in arms…

It is important to recognise the many years, sometimes a lifetime, it takes for recovery and rehabilitation. In the words of the Duke:

Those journeys of recovery will be cut short, unforgivably, if we as a nation unfix our attention. We must not let the wounded men and women of our Armed Forces down. This official opening is therefore, I hope, as much a renewed pledge by all of us to go on supporting those who have sacrificed so much, as it is a celebration of an amazing achievement.”

Indeed in the past few weeks we have seen once again the return of coffins draped in Union Flags and seriously wounded soldiers to our hospitals. The war in Afghanistan may slowly be reaching its conclusion but the dangers are far from removed. 444 of our service personnel have now made the ultimate sacrifice since operations began in Afghanistan.

Sadly, we learned yesterday that it isn’t just in the badlands of Afghanistan that our troops put themselves at risk. A horrific, barbaric act of extreme cowardice on the streets of our capital has shocked us all. Abhorrent images that have been seared into our minds and consciousness.

So with recent memories at the forefront of my mind, I will pull on my Help for Heroes running vest tomorrow with a sense of pride and purpose and will set off on my longest run to date. 300 miles is too daunting to think about. I just need to break it down to 1 small step at a time. And then repeat…about 600,000 times!


To support me further, please share this note with others who may be prepared to offer their own support.


If you would like to donate then please just click the bear! 


-To donate click here-

Best wishes,



Richard Kell
Midas Marathon


Soapathon | 24th -30th May 2013 | 300 miles from Eastenders to Hollyoaks via Emmerdale & Corrie!


Donate:    http://www.justgiving.com/MidasMarathon
OR TEXT KELL99 (£10, £5, £3, £2, or £1) to 70070 - Your text is free!

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Soapathon Progress Update 2

Friends & Supporters,


The tragic events in Boston touched the whole world. A marathon is a positive and uplifting experience for everyone involved. Families and friends enjoying a fun day out to cheer their loved ones on; runners striving to reach their goals; strangers supporting all those taking part. But on a pleasant spring day at one of the world’s great marathons that unifying spirit was broken.




Seldom are the contrasts of good and evil in such close proximity. As runners, and part of a global running community this act of acute cowardice will serve to reinforce and motivate. London was a testament to that – not to mention the many other smaller marathons which have successfully taken place in the last couple of weeks. Runners standing and racing together united. The crowds lining the streets in record numbers.


Despite the devastation in Boston, the terrorists have already been beaten.


Personally, one of my goals for next year will be to run the 2014 Boston marathon – not such a small feat, as just to get to the start line of what is an ‘elite’ race I will have to achieve a GFA (good for age) qualifying time by running more than 15 minutes quicker than my marathon PB. That means knocking 40 seconds off every mile over the race distance. That’s not easily done. But do it I will.


Bostonians standing firm since 1773…




Anyway back to my Soapathon preparation. There are just 3 weeks to go and I’ve been busier than Kim Jong Un’s pizza delivery boy. Running 300 miles will seem like a walk in the park compared to the countless hours of pre-race logistical preparation, fundraising requests and general awareness raising I’ve undertaken.

Then of course there’s the small matter of mental and physical training for a 300 mile run. My psychiatrist says I’m ready and my increased training schedule has left me with a bigger appetite than Luis Suarez – though I’ve yet to nibble on a fellow athlete! I’ve certainly built greater stamina than Mo Farrah – he showed up for London, pocketed a small fortune and didn’t even finish the race! Less Mobot and more Moneypot! Ok I am feeling a touch cynical, and ready to embrace my fickleness if he wins it next year!

Mo couldn’t quite believe how much he was being paid to run just 13 miles…




The Manchester marathon was the perfect warm up event at the end of April. Not quite on London’s scale - but starting and finishing as it did at Old Trafford it was one not to miss! To be at the home of the (freshly crowned for the 20th time) Champions of England is always a special feeling. And for once the weather in Manchester wasn’t wet.

My running legs didn’t let me down and spurred on by a hugely enthusiastic crowd I managed a new PB of 3:20:18 – just 5:18 off the Boston qualifying mark.

My running attire was a real crowd pleaser…




So not long now until my Soapathon starts. A terrifying and exciting prospect! But the motivation continues to be to help provide meaningful and long term provision for those brave souls who’ve made such incredible sacrifices. Help for Heroes continues to fight for those who have served our country to ensure they get the best possible backing, for the rest of their lives. We can all play a part in ensuring that support continues.


You’ve already been so very generous, but given that we’ve avoided the triple dip recession, and the economy is rapidly heading towards boom territory, then please feel free to give me some further encouragement….!


-To donate click here-

Best wishes,



Richard Kell
Midas Marathon


Soapathon | 24th -30th May 2013 | 300 miles from Eastenders to Hollyoaks via Emmerdale & Corrie!

Donate:    http://www.justgiving.com/MidasMarathon
OR TEXT KELL99 (£10, £5, £3, £2, or £1) to 70070 - Your text is free!

Phone:      07901 000729 or 01462 670202

E-mail:      Richard@Midasmarathon.com

Web:        www.MidasMarathon.com
& www.Soapathon.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/midasmarathon

Facebook: www.facebook.com/soapathon

Twitter:    www.twitter.com/midasmarathon

Twitter:    www.twitter.com/soapathon