26 Bridge Challenge

Jonathan Hamill

Like many others, I was due to run the London Marathon, for Crimestoppers – the independent charity that gives people the power to speak up and stop crime – 100% anonymously (and one of our chosen club charities this year).  I devised an alternative – a 26 bridge challenge as part of the national #TwoPointSixChallenge campaign.

I’d initially come up with the idea of doing a ‘home run’ – a garden-based lockdown run and ran 5k around my garden with my Wife on 12th April (many, many laps!).  I encouraged others to do their own ‘home run’.

The reason behind this was to raise awareness for Domestic Abuse, in support of a Crimestoppers campaign in the North East and to raise awareness of what Crimestoppers do to make our communities safer.

As an independent charity who has helped millions of people over the years, Crimestoppers asks those with concerns or information about a crime to pass on what they know whilst staying 100% anonymous. Always.

To give information anonymously:

Crimestoppers never asks for your personal information and does not track your device.  Call 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form.

When I considered my options as an alternative to the London Marathon, I decided to expand my ‘home run’ to a 26 bridge challenge and encourage others to join me in their own #TwoPointSixChallenge.  I’m so grateful for any participation, support and donations: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thehomerun

I framed the challenge, aiming to run 26 local bridges, with some rules:

1 – Maximum Distance Half Marathon (I think we have to run sensible distances these days)

2 – Stay Local (DH1)

3 – No written routes or prompts allowed

4 – A bridge only counts once

5 – An ‘under’ can only be used once as a ‘joker’.

I set off and hit the first three bridges at the Low Newton Junction Nature Reserve, crossing the East Coast Main Line to cross back over it again dropping through Hopper’s Wood into Durham where I followed a loop of the city, with many twists and turns, the farthest point being near to Shincliffe. 

The route

Meeting Andrew Davies (who was taking part in another club challenge) en route was a welcome boost!  I’ve included a photo subject to social distancing guidance.

Social Distancing

Rather than subject you to a list of many bridges, I captured them as photographic evidence, with location data appended using what3words, who provide a really simple way to talk about location.

I’m pleased to report I completed the challenge without having to use my ‘joker’ (the first bridge, metres from home).

My warm-down was 26 laps of my garden which is what I’m encouraging others to do.

When this is all over, please let me know if you want to join me in a Bridges of Durham run!

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