WHAT’S THIS?

I like ice cream and running long-distance. I combine both, most notably in September 2018, when the following took place:


What’s going on here?

I’m going to visit all 34 Jeni’s Ice Cream scoop shops across 11 US cities in 17 days. 

That doesn’t sound like a good idea…
It’s a great idea! The health ramifications… okay. Not so good

How did this all come about?
Loafing around online, I idly wondered how many scoop shops Jeni’s have (Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is an ice cream-maker in the US, and my favourite US ice cream-maker). I thought they had 26. Turns out they have 34. I emailed them to ask if anyone had ever attempted ‘the Grand Tour’. No one had. It sounded like the kind of thing I should attempt

So you’ll… what… fly in to Chicago, hire a car, and drive around the 11 cities that have scoop-shops?
Almost. I’ll fly to Chicago, drive to nine cities, loop back to Chicago, fly to Los Angeles, but I’ll run (in a pair of Vivo Barefoot shoes) between my hotels and the shops. Some cities have one shop. Some have 4 or 5. Columbus has 10. The total of flying/driving will be around 13,800 miles / 22,200 km. I haven’t worked out all of the running distances yet (can do that once I have my hotels booked), but a round trip of the Columbus shops alone will be 30 miles / 48.2km. That’s an ultra marathon. I’ve never run an ultra marathon before. Or a marathon.
Anyway, this is the rough schedule, beginning September 22 (and the full schedule with estimated arrival times at each scoop shop is here).

DATEROUTE/LOCATIONFLY/DRIVE (M/KM)RUN (M/KM)SHOPSSCOOPS
TOTALS13,842m / 22,276k208m / 335k3440
22LGW > ORD3,974m / 6395k
23Chicago13.6m / 21.9k55
24Chicago > Columbus35741.4m / 66.6k1010
25Columbus > Cleveland14412m / 19.3k12
26Cleveland > DC3739.5m / 15.1k12
27DC > Charlotte3993.7m / 6k12
28Charlotte > Charleston2098.2m / 13.2k12
29Charleston > Atlanta30620.8 / 33.k44
30Atlanta > Nashville25016.5m / 26.5k44
01NashvilleRest day00
02Nashville > St. Louis30922.6m / 36.4k22
03St. Louis > Chicago297Drive-fly dayDrive-fly day0
04ORD > LAX1,744m / 2,806kRest day00
05Los Angeles60m / 100km44
06LAX > LGW5,480m / 8,819kDrive-fly day00
07LondonRest day00

You like ice cream then…
Very much. Also gelato. But this tour is for ice cream

What’s the difference?
Take a look

What does the environment think about the reckless petrol and aviation fuel-burning?
It’s not best pleased, but I’m aiming to get either a hybrid or electric car, and I’m working with UK Charity Energy Revolution to balance my carbon emissions. They’ll tax me by the mile and use that tax to fund renewable energy projects in the UK and India. And there’s the running between the shops. If the distance is too great (as it might be in Nashville and LA) I’ll take public transport. No Ubers, no Lyfts, no hire car. In addition, I’ll be doing everything I can to reduce my environmental impact; no single-use plastic, eating where possible from shops and restaurants which source their produce locally and ethically, recycling as much of what I use as I can.
While the whole thing is frivolous in nature, it’s important to highlight that so long as we exist in the framework of a carbon economy, fun 
doesn’t need to be compromised for the sake of the environment, and in fact they can run alongside each other quite happily.
And in my business (music) we must do more. One of my artists is.

Can we follow this idiotic sojourn exciting adventure online?
Yes you can! Here, of course, and Instagram is here.
Also, the full schedule with estimated times of arrival at each scoop shop is here

And can we email you to find out if this is for real?
Sure! I’m here

Thanks. And in order to confirm your credentials, do you have, say, a photograph of yourself standing next to a giant ice cream cone at a gelateria in Little Italy, New York?
As it happens…