On May 1st 2016 Dave Chamberlain set off from the Northern most point of Norway to a 6 year 60,000km run around the world. During the first 12 months, he ran 14,000km across Northern and Central Europe, Canada, and the USA (see video by Rhys Morgan below).
Morgan Cardiff who accompanied him for some part of his journey writes:
“I was racing the clock to meet Dave Chamberlain who was flying in from South Africa to Honningsvåg, Norway, to begin what would be a seven-year, 64,000km running project. It will take him to every continent except Antarctica. I had given myself three days to get there. Through a severe late spring snowstorm south of Stockholm, and as the forest slowly started to diminish the further north I drove, the abundance of snow still on the ground gave the clear indication that while spring was in full force down south, winter still had some legs up here in these parts.
It got me thinking, what was going through Dave’s head as he sat in that window seat peering out over the snow-capped fjords of the Norwegian coastline? How do you plan for something that will occupy your time for seven years give or take? Do you think in countries? Weeks or days? Towns or just to the next distance marker? Or do you totally switch off, only reacting to the roar of the trucks sidestepping you as they rush by? I have asked Dave this on previous projects, but dissimilar to this one, they were all relatively short. His first, a 5,000 km run down RN40 in Argentina, the second, 2,700km through Namibia and South Africa, and his last 8,100 km across Canada. His response, which I can only assume still stands is that you don’t really, beyond the next supermarket or in the case of Namibia, water sources; humans have three basic needs, food, water and shelter and as long as you have those, life goes on.
He has previously mentioned that his mind detaches from his legs, he focuses not so much on the visuals of where he is, but on the sounds and smells of a place. He once explained to me that he knew what Canada smelled like, how as he crossed the Saskatchewan grasslands dominated by agricultural production what he noticed was the lack of birds and accompanying noise. Not surprising given his family’s involvement in the South African birding community. I assume that if you over think what you are doing it becomes overwhelming. Unlike my hectic drive north, you can’t be in a hurry, you have to just take what each day brings, and react to that.
I have witnessed and written about previously his abilities to cover significant distances and push through incredibly tough conditions, so I’m not going to go into that again. This project, titled ‘The Hug Run’ by Dave, is about bringing people together, it’s not about making him seem superhuman, or putting anyone above anyone else. I guess much like the previous projects, he just wants people to live and see everyone else as fellow human beings, and thus treat them as such.”