Long Run Home Finale

The Long Run Home Martin Yelling

Breathe Unity was extremely proud to support Martin Yelling’s Long Run Home which finished under sunny skies in Poole on Sunday 31st July.

An epic challenge to run the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path over 21 consecutive days, we sponsored Stage 18 from Exmouth to Seatown, helping to raise money for Martin’s chosen charities, and were there at the end to run the last miles with Martin along the beach to South Haven Point. It was a privilege to witness and play a small part in what had became an extraordinary journey of human resilience and courage.

A huge undertaking of uncertainty and risk, Martin had set out on 11th July from Minehead, in Somerset, to run along, up and down England’s longest and toughest single National trail.

Martin Yelling Long Run HomeThe first 8 days were tough yet beautiful, as he covered an impressive 48,000 feet of elevation between Minehead and Sennen Cove – 1.5 times the height of Mount Everest – and distances of 30+ miles per day. Running the equivalent of an ultra marathon on rocky, steep terrain would be a feat in itself, but every day, day after day, is something else. This was a super-human feat on every level, taking into account the intense summer heat, agonising and somewhat inevitable injuries, the daily quest for adequate sleep and refuelling, and unexpected time out to drive his poorly father home.

Although Martin’s head wanted to keep going – and did he pull himself back up, again and again! – it was his body in the end that took the real battering: with ‘fat foot’ inflammation on one side, and a painfully pulled quad on the other, it was on Day 15 when he made the only and right decision to stop.

Was The Long Run Home over? Not likely.

Having been accompanied by fellow runners in the earlier stages, it was the running community who stepped in to pick up the tracker and continue with the challenge. Martin was humbled to see friends, individuals and complete strangers run the remaining sections of the South West Coast Path for him, including Stage 18 which Breathe Unity had sponsored. We would like to thank Gary Qualter @GaryLQ and Vicky Bishop @vixbish for carrying the tracker on this gruelling day of 36.9 miles and helping to keep the Long Run Home dream alive.

The Long Run Home Martin YellingIt is this, the incredible courage and spirit of fellow humans, that makes the Long Run Home such an uplifting and inspiring story. When Martin couldn’t run, others did it for him, and in the end the tracker made it all the way to South Haven Point, on time, and raised over £10,000 (including Gift Aid) for Martin’s three charities: Julia’s House, Southmead (whose Frenchay Hospital saved his mum from a life-threatening brain injury) and Macmillan. What an incredible amount to donate to such worthy causes.

There are plenty of other things that Martin has taken from his unforgettable journey – the extent of our mental and physical capabilities, why it’s good to step out of your comfort zone and how doing things differently doesn’t mean failure. As Martin often tells his daughter, your best effort is enough. We thoroughly recommend his blog The Long Run Some of the Way Home, which is as much about human character as it is about running.

Martin has also released the below video about The Long Run Home. Indulge in magnificent views of rocky clifftops, wild flowers, endless sandy beaches and shimmering blue sea – and above all admire his honesty and courage. We certainly do.

It was an honour to join Martin and a handful of runners for the final 2-mile stretch between Knoll Beach and Haven Point on Sunday.

The Long Run Home Martin YellingThe Long Run Home was complete and the dip in the sea and feeling of sand between the toes was hugely deserved.

Congratulations Martin (pictured here in the yellow vest) and all the runners for a truly outstanding achievement!

The Long Run Home

Follow Martin on his blog and on Twitter @myelling.

Donations to Martin’s chosen charities are welcomed. Please visit Martin’s Virgin moneygiving page for more details of the charities and to donate.

Dates: Completed July 11th – July 31st 2016

Route: Minehead (Somerset) – Haven Point, Poole (Dorset)


Martin Yelling The Long Run Home