Martin Johnman Trek
Martin has set off from York Minster to Ibrox!
If you can make a donation, no matter how small, and help him on his fantastic effort to raise funds for Erskine visit the official JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/martinjohnmantrek
ABINGTON to Blackwood
Today’s goal was a little bit closer than the rest at 16miles as I aiming for James’ home in Blackwood
I left around 9am this morning and straight out into the snowy hills and the cool wind.
As I left Abingdon Services I saw a car pull up on the side of the road – thought the driver was going to offer me a lift, thankfully I was so wrong!!!
I was greeted with, “Good Morning Martin, I’m James and this is Starky!”
James got his bag out the car and was ready to join me for a day of walking, I could not have been happier to have someone to talk too!
I dropped my bag in Starky’s car and grabbed my essentials – which was a lot lighter for my shoulders. Then off we went up the road towards Blackwood!
We chatted the whole way about this, that and everything else which was amazing as the past 170miles has just been myself and the lovely visit from Leslie’s Own Broxi Bear and Family.
Time was flying by and soon enough Starky appeared on the road again – car boot open and we had a KFC picnic for a wee morale boost, it was amazing!
Then off we went again.
A few hours later we reached James’ home and I couldn’t have been happier to take my shoes off! A lovely cup of tea and a relaxing bath was waiting!
Just after I arrived at James’s home, I received a wonderful video message from Rangers Treble Winner Gordon Smith, who took time out to wish me well and give me encouragement and also to thank me, it was amazing to receive this and i have to admit Ive watched it over, more than once.
It’s been a brilliant day today with great company and surprises!
A short stint tomorrow, heading to Larkhall with James, only a few miles planned to keep the legs moving then on Saturday it is the home stretch from Larkhall to Ibrox Stadium!
If you wish to come out and walk alongside or even just watch me hobble along please do, come show your support please it is greatly appreciated!
We are the People
JOHNSTONEBRIDGE to ABINGTON
Today I woke up surrounded in pillows – I had them everywhere to elevate my legs and to give my blisters a lot of cushion through the night.
I found myself more motivated than I expected, however, in a lot of discomfort with my feet.
I skipped a morning shower, got ready and hobbled out the door at 6am as I knew today was going to be a monumental challenge…
I was right!
To keep my head in the game and my mind focused on the task at hand all distractions were put a side.
Step by step I limped up the road. With a burst blister on my right heel from the day before and a gigantic blister on my left heel, I tried to keep the pace steady but fair to comfort in the pain.
With all four seasons today it has been the most challenging yet, from rain and snow showers to blue skies and blinding light
From the cold start of the morning to the heat of the sun in the afternoon and then back to cold
Finally here I am at todays destination – Abingdon!
I drive up and down the M74 at least once a month.
But walking alongside it… well that’s a different experience!
Today has taught me a very valuable life lesson –
Embrace The Surroundings,
Enjoy The Views,
Enjoy The Silence Of Nature
Take Everything In.
GRETNA to JOHNSTONEBRIDGE
Woke up at 5am very drowsy and tired.
Checked my phone and had numerous messages telling me to check my Justgiving page – a very kind donor donated a very large sum which woke me up straight away!
Straight for a bath and then out the door for a morning in thick fog.
Up the road I marched and an amazing pace all the way to Ecclefechan – with a Union Bears sticker on the welcome sign – when I had my first stop.
Off I continued along the same long road pounding my feet into the concrete over and over again. It wasn’t until the last 6 miles that I started to feel the pain in my feet.
I arrived at Johnstonebridge at around 4pm and wandered straight into the hotel where they have been kind enough to look after me. Thank You
The Hotel gave me a £10 meal voucher for food at the service station safe to say a lot of calories were consumed to rebuild myself for tomorrow.
I received a phone call from Leslie’s Own Broxi Bear who has been generous enough to pay for a hotel room for tomorrow for me at Abingdon. Gives me something to look and work forward to tomorrow!
I cannot thank each and everyone of you who have left kind words over social media platforms, forums and who has donated towards this very challenging walk, thank you!
PENRITH to GRETNA
Woke up this morning with the sound of rain on my tent.
My legs, feet, shoulders and neck were in agony
I felt like a train wreck
Up I got into the fresh air, packed up and hobbled out of the campsite and began my towards Gretna.
From the pain and stiffness from Day 4 I was not in the right headspace when I left so I left my phone as side and tried to mentally wake myself up and march on.
About 6hours later, my legs loosened up, I found my rhythm and stride again and I was able to plod away quite happily through today’s pain.
Just before I reached the Scottish Border my oldest friend, Paul, got in contact and told me to make my way to Gretna Services – a hotel room was booked in my name!
This gave me a huge lift and a sense of urgency to get there and grab a bath!
Across the Border I went, a quick change of clothes at the side of the road and the flag was out for a picture I will be getting framed!
45mins later I arrived at the hotel and before my shoes were off the bath was running.
Day 5 completed! Half way there!
Thank you all for the support and encouragement it truly does keep me going and gives me motivation to get shifting in the mornings.
Let’s look to a better start to the day tomorrow as I head to Johnstonebridge.
Hello Day 4
BROUGH SOWERBY to PENRITH
Started off with a burst of energy that came from no where! I was skipping down the road everything!
Off for Penrith I was bound!
I made a stop Appleby just off the A66 at a pub called The Royal Oak – amazing hospitality, food and service! It was at the Royal Oak that I bumped into (Leslie’s Own) Broxi Bear and through the town of Appleby Broxi and I paraded waving his 150th flag!
After we said ‘until we meet again’… Away across the A66 I spent the rest of my day. Mile after mile pounding into my heels, toes and blisters under the red hot sun, AGAIN!
On my journey I was brought back to light as I recieved a video from SAINT PHNX wishing me well and keep digging in! This automatically put me in my Happy Place and away I went!
I had another quick phone call from James again, checking in to see how I was doing and while on the phone “Pop!” There goes one of my blisters, I had to bite my tongue and ask James to be excused while I hurled abuse at my own body in the middle of the A66!
Eventually, with a burst blister, no sensation in any of my pinky toes, severe cramp in both calves and back I made it to the campsite North of Penrith tonight.
I laid out the flag next to my tent and instantly thought of those Absent Friends with the setting of the sun.
Roll on to Gretna tomorrow, another day down another emotional day!
BEDALE to BROUGH SOWERBY
What a beautiful morning to start playing catch up.
I left the campsite just before 8am and headed for the end goal of South Stainmore.
It wasn’t long into my morning when I received a phone call from an extraordinary man named James. We have never met however he holds Erskine very close to his heart and said what I was doing was a great thing, James offered me his home for a night, a warm bath and fresh food! An amazing gesture that left me a little bit emotional after the phone call and gave me the drive to push forward today.
I reached Day 2s target destination, Leyburn, before lunch and stopped off in a pharmacy for more Compeed.
The woman asked me if I walked far as I hobbled through the shop. I replied, York and she simply laughed and said no seriously?! Again, the answer remained York. She then asked where I was going and I chuckled to myself and simply replied, Home – I’m going to Ibrox in Glasgow. At this point she knew I wasn’t lying and was genuinely stuck for words. This has to be the most craziest thing I have ever done yet!
Off I headed up the hills and across the open Moorlands for South Stainmore. In the middle of nowhere was a little pub – famous apparently – called the Tan Hill Inn.
I stopped briefly for a quick bite to eat and for some fluids. During my pit stop I received a video call from a friend, the owner of Ed’s Independent Traders in Tullibody and sat beside him in the car was none other than Marco Negri! They wished me well and hopes to see me the next time he’s in Scotland!
I broke my one rule today – do not walk during the dark hours. Out with the head torch and off I wandered to my campsite for tonight. A small woodblock just passed South Stainmore.
Without the amazing phone calls, words of encouragement and the continued support of everyone I don’t think I would have made it here tonight, so thank you to everyone of you for backing me and helping push through this barrier!
Day 4 starts tomorrow and it’s onwards towards Penrith.
It was a challenge this morning to wake up and find the motivation to get moving… Not going to lie.
My legs were in agony, my feet were in agony and guess what? So was my shoulders!
I am now travelling with my full kit bag so it’s even heavier now.
At 9am I left Topcliffe and headed for Leyburn.
The sun was out already and getting warmer with every step.
Luckily for me, I took the wrong turn and ended up adding 4miles onto my journey!
I stopped off a few times in the shade to hide away from the heat.
During the day I was contacted by BBC RADIO YORK who had heard my story and I also did an interview for Hoggys Hamper on Heart and Hand
I reached Bedale around 5pm and needed fed, so stopped off at a local pub, The White Bear, and grabbed a cheeseburger.
Due to the exposure of the sun today and adding on a few extra miles, for The Queen, I decided to set up camp.
Just after I did I received a wonderful Good Luck call from RWGMoS Bro Jim McHarg, who wished me all the best with my trek, *still smiling
This is me now playing catch up but I am determined and I WILL reach Ibrox next on time for match day
Thank you all for your donations they are really keeping me moving forward
You can make a donation to the fundraising at the Trek JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/martinjohnmantrek
My name is Martin
I am a soldier and a bluenose. I am walking 210 miles to see The Rangers play.
Hopefully along the way I can raise some cash for ERSKINE
I set myself this challenge back in October 2021 and time flew in.
This morning I left my home for the train station at 7am.
I had a wee photo shoot with the charity flag outside the Minster
with 2 very kind and helpful strangers that thought I was crazy!
At 8am I set off from York Minster only stopping twice for food and some foot administration.
My goal was to reach Topcliffe by sundown, as I don’t plan on moving during the dark hours. I reached Topcliffe 7hrs and 20mins later after cover an astonishing 21miles on the first day.
Now it’s time for rest and refuel the body ready for tomorrow’s leg to Leyburn.
Thank you for the continued support
This is an Official RSEA Event and we are delighted that Martin came to us with his fundraising idea. He has organised a sell out event with a great amount of top quality memorabilia which has put him well on th way to his target. (pictures of the night below)
More info on Martin
“I am a serving soldier, with the Royal Artillery, based in North Yorkshire, England. I am coming up to 12 years of service and have been based in Germany and served overseas. In the upcoming year I am looking to leave the British Army and immigrate to Australia, with the hope of continuing my service to the Crown in the Royal Australian Artillery. By Christmas 2022 I will be a UK Veteran.
I am looking on raising £1,500 for Erskine with the support of the Rangers Supporters Erskine Appeal.
I will be hiking from York Minster to Ibrox Stadium over a 10 day period, completing approximately 210miles – according to Google Maps – and sleeping under the stars/rain each night.”
Martin was to be accompanied on the trek by his friend Gareth Crothers but he has been deployed ans is therefore unable to make the trek this time. Stay safe wherever you are Gareth and hopefully we will see you back raising funds for Erskine soon. “I’m a serving Soldier in the Royal Artillery based in Yorkshire, England. I’m coming up to 11 years service with HM Armed Forces. Been based in Northern Ireland (God’s Country) and Yorkshire and served overseas on operations and excercises. In the upcoming year I couldn’t tell you what I will be doing as every day is a surprise in this job. Proud Ulsterman.”