When Paul came out of the Army four years ago he found it hard to settle down. He initially travelled and spent time in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and India before returning to the UK.
He then moved to London for work but still wasn’t comfortable. He then bought a house on the Isle of Wight but 18 months later sold it and thought, “What now?”
The answer would come from a friend who had completed a run across Australia a few years ago.
This ignited a spark in Paul, he still wanted to see more of the world while he was still young and free from any responsibility. He first thought about running from Land’s End to John O’Groats, but this didn’t seem like a good fit, he wanted to run outside of the UK. Running across America would be the answer and would be a much bigger challenge.
The start line will be the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the finish line will be the Statue of Liberty in New York, 3000 miles later. This isn’t just a personal challenge for Paul though, he’ll also be fundraising for The Royal British Legion during his run.
“As I was in the Army, the Legion were at the front of my mind when it came to which charity I should fund raise for.”
Paul during his time in the Army.
Six million steps
Paul started training for this in January 2016.
“I just wanted to get a plan down and commit to it. Though it’ll be tough physically, it’ll be the mental side of it that will be the biggest challenge. It’ll be about perseverance more than anything, to keep digging in and grinding out the miles day in day out"
Paul starts his run on the 1 June and aims to finish by the 1 November. The total distance he’ll run over that time will be just over 3,000 miles, equivalent to 115 back-to-back marathons and six million steps.
“I'm pretty sure there'll be tears at the finish line, whether they are tears of joy that the run is over or tears of sadness is something I won't know until that final day. Who's to say that I won’t just turn around and run back!".
Paul with the equipment that he’ll be taking on his run.
Paul hasn’t had a beer since he started training in January. He’ll allow himself one the day before he starts and then he won’t have another until he celebrates crossing the finish line in New York.
Paul has set up a website where you can track his progress and donate to his campaign.
Paul will be pushing all of his water, food and equipment in a stroller he has named 'Wheelson'.