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An update from Keith Passingham, Chair of the Finish Line Fund, who is on a mission to complete 7 amazing Challenges in his 70th Year, and in doing so raise funds for the Finish Line Fund.

One Challenge – Four very special medals

It is some time since I posted information on my seven challenges to raise money for Finish Line Fund, therefore you are all due an update.

I have now completed five challenges, with two remaining – Colosseum and Great Wall of China. I need to report back to you on the latest two completed, Chichen Itza and Taj Mahal. The account for Chichen Itza is below and the one for Taj Mahal will follow soon.

The main reason for lack of updates is due to picking up my first ever injury that stopped me running. The day before publishing the Colosseum challenge, I developed a problem in my left hip mid run. This turned out to be a tear in the tendon attaching the glutes to the top of the femur. Huge thanks to the lovely Claire for treating me and devising the rehabilitation – I’m now run/walking for approximately 5k. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete the challenges by the end of the year!


This New Wonder kicked off the challenges in January during lockdown. Chichen Itza was a town in Mexico which thrived until the 1200s. I linked this very loosely to a virtual run organised by Hare & Tortoise Ltd – running 1,111 miles around Lake Superior. This involved uploading runs to Strava and these were picked up and displayed on a virtual map, graph, and various tables.

The start was marred by taking a tumble on icy pavements resulting in a badly grazed/cut knee and no running for a couple of weeks whilst it started to heal properly. I was therefore behind most others on the map initially. In true runners’ fashion I soon started picking off others. The first target was to knock off the odd 111 miles and then look to reduce the remaining distance 100 miles at a time. Approaching the run this way helped rather than look at the 1,111 miles in its entirety. It was whilst plodding through these miles that I rediscovered the joys of solo running and just having a vague idea of a route and making it up as I went along, often seeking out a hill or two to shuffle up. I also noticed that I was getting stronger and a tad quicker. Loved it!

The virtual run was divided into four sections, with a medal coming through the post when we reached certain “places” on the route around Lake Superior. So…..double incentive of reaching medal earning places around the lake and overtaking other runners!

Due to not being able to mix with other families, we were unable to look after our grandchildren, allowing me to add a second long run into the week. This soon manifested in running weekly mileage that I hadn’t run since my heyday in the 1980/90s. I soon found myself in the top few runners, both mileage wise and elevation wise (I do live in Rayleigh after all!!!!).

But……………….I could not catch Anne, who drifted ahead further and further as the run went on!!!!!

As the year ticked by I was hitting those 100 mile targets, finally reaching the 1,000 mile mark. It was like passing the 20 mile mark in a marathon – psychologically hitting a landmark and knowing there isn’t much left and you are going to achieve your objective. Just 111 miles to go!

These last few miles soon went, and I planned the final run to pass the 1,111 miles, completing it on July 25th. Highest mileage I have ever done in about 7 months!

Challenge Completed!

p.s. I signed up to do the return but am the back marker as started after everyone else and have lost almost a month due to the injury. Never fear, I will reach the end before the deadline next April.

If you wish to donate, this is the link