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You’re having a laugh!

 
Created on 18/07/2022 @ 11:03

 

You might think that we are joking, but one local man is running the length of Britain on a ‘joke relay’ in a bid to bring some cheer this summer.

Teacher, author and amateur adventurer Jon Doolan is spending his summer holidays covering over 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John o’Groats, picking up and sharing jokes along the way.

After deciding cycling would “hurt my bum too much”, Jon, a volunteer with Welshpool Beavers and Cubs, opted to take the challenge on foot and has already set off from southern England, hoping to pass by Welshpool en route to the northern tip of Scotland.

“I’ve always dreamed of travelling from Land’s End to John o’Groats,” said Jon, 38, who lived in Welshpool for a year, but now lives in Llanfyllin.

“There’s something ethereal, almost mystical about the challenge. I thought about cycling it, but cycling hurts my bum too much and I’m not very good at it. I like running, so I thought what the hell? I mean, how hard could it be?”

“And when my wife said that I could take a few weeks off on the summer holidays to do it, I jumped at the chance. She’s regretted saying that ever since!”

On a shoe string budget, with his tent and vital supplies with him, Jon said that he wanted to do something memorable and not just run the distance.

“That would be a bit dull,” he said. “So, I thought, what could I do to keep myself occupied as I run along? What could I do that would get people to actually come and talk to me? I’m going to be doing this all by my lonesome, and I’m seriously worried about being lonely.

“For a long time, I thought I would do it in fancy dress. A fairy outfit was a strong contender for a while, but then I realised that the tutu would probably chafe and the wings would be seriously annoying after a few hundred miles.

“I wanted something that was light, because I’d have to carry it the whole way, but would help people engage with me.

“And then my best friend, Harry, suggested I do a joke relay! It’s a perfect idea! Jokes don’t weigh anything and I could pass a metaphorical ‘joke baton’ up the entire length of the country, watching the smiling faces of the jokes’ recipients as I went.”

Jon admits to having a few “really rubbish dad jokes” up his sleeve but hopes that people will share their humour along the way which he can pass on as he travels north.

Jon has written about many of his adventures and even helps others share their own through print via his Adventure Writers’ Club.

In the past his adventures have included undertaking ‘52 Challenges for Charity in a Year’, cycling across Thailand in a Union Jack morph suit, and floating down The Thames on an inflatable crocodile whilst dressed as Crocodile Dundee (pictured).

But, despite his experience, he admits to not being the best prepared for this latest challenge.

“Well, as with any of my adventures, I’m not really very good at planning anything,” said the primary school teacher.

“I started down in Cornwall on Friday and I guess I’ll just follow my nose north! I’ve made a Google Map thingy but I don’t know how much I’ll actually stick to it.”

Jon hopes that people will join him along the way, but warns “I can’t guarantee your safety and/or exposure to terrible jokes”.

Jon’s trek is expected to take up to six weeks and you can follow his progress via https://www.jondoolan.com/joke-relayor through his daily vlog on https://youtube.com/user/jondoolan1.

 

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