Burgs Grande Passeggiata 2013

View from Monaco

The time has come for BCT Aspire’s  Paul Burgum to get his walking boots out of storage for another epic charity walk. This year Paul will be supporting the fantastic work of the Jo & Mya Memorial Fund. Paul will aim to complete his very own route across Europe by walking the length of Italy and finishing where he started last year in Monte Carlo. This follows Paul’s previous walks across England, Scotland & France. 

This year’s walk will support the work of Ian Richardson’s Jo & Mya Memorial Fund which looks to support children who have suffered bereavement. On the 8th August 2010, whilst travelling home from a family wedding in Scotland, the families’ car was hit head on by a driver heading the wrong way down the A1 outside of Newcastle. Joanne was killed instantly and Mya passed away 16 hours later in her Dads arms.

Ian Richardson said “Every day six children under the age I 16 lose a parent, leaving them to face such a bereavement, unhelped can manifest into serious problems later in life.” 

“It’s easier to help a child than mend a broken man” 

More information on the fund’s work can be found at: www.joandmya.co.uk


Paul said ‘ When you hear Ian’s story it is impossible to even imagine what he and his family must have been through, but then to dedicate yourself to helping others and being positive is unbelievably inspirational and one of the reasons I want to support the charity.  To mind it shows us all that we must keep going and can overcome so much in life. I am sure I will draw massive strength from thinking of Ian and his family when struggling at times on the walk

The journey will be begin the day after completing this year’s Great North Run on  September 16th and will follow Paul’s usual rules, which include carrying all his own equipment, walking every step of the way, taking only enough money to buy water or a coffee. Paul will also only take accommodation if offered by local support and not donations from back home. The route will follow the coastline beginning in Reggio Calibria and curving round via Naples &  Rome towards Monaco. The route can be viewed below via google maps 

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Paul said ‘ Every year I do a charity walk I gain a little more confidence in myself in terms of what I require. Last year the idea of every night in the tent was intimidating but after the alps , everything seems possible. Further to this I realized that having a small amount of money for a coffee, led to many great conversations, even allowing for the language barrier. I am not superhuman and on many days feel debilitated with my own depression and so this is my own way of challenging my own daily issues, head on.”

Poorly Feet 2012

The walk will cover a thousand miles and mean distances averaging 30 miles every day. Paul will take with him simple food supplies, based around pasta and hopefully finding a regular supply of bread as he did in France last year. With no support crew will have to once again manage his body and especially his feet in his own ad-hoc way. His training has already began him regularly running distances up to half marathon and already one 26 mile distance, to get his body ready for the daily grind of covering such much mileage. Paul is looking for anyone who might like to join him during his training especially for the longer runs, even if just for part of the run. This Paul is also intending to work hard on his language skills, by enrolling at Tees Achieve to undertake Italian lessons. 

Paul said ” It was very frustrating at times, last year to meet lovely people but not be able to have better conversations, i have bought my Italian book and will attend some lessons as really want to make the most of the chance to meet real people, after last year’s walk i now know that regardless of language barriers i can manage and even enjoy the challenge.”

Paul is currently looking for companies to assist with sponsorship of the trip. This would mainly fund the flights and equipment costs for the trip. If anybody can help please email Paul direct through paul.burgum@bctaspire.org.uk