Day 0 - The journey to the start line...

And so at 8am on the twenty first day of the fourth month of the year two thousand and nine, after much hype and anticipation, the inaugural Bangers and Trash event ‘Run for the Sun’ began. Or at least it should, but as usual, we were late. After unloading all of our boxes, trophies, tents, paperwork, electricals, about 20 mobile phones and all sorts of other paraphernalia....we realised it didn't fit so removed everything and started again. So after a stunted start, at 9am we finally rolled out of Birmingham.

The journey through England was thankfully uneventful. We thought we'd made the wrong choice by picking the A14 when we hit solid traffic just off the M6, but it was just temporary and again we were on our way. We had planned a stop to see a friend along the way, but after a pit-stop on the way (where we met up with Team 103 The Jurassic 4) the Tomtom was soon warning us that we weren't going to make the ferry.

So we pressed on and got to Dover with 20 minutes to spare. This was used to full effect by border control, who somewhat predictably pointed us to a hangar so we and our beloved banger could be scanned. Who would try and smuggle stuff through the border in a car with amber lights and stickers? Not exactly incognito, but then I'm no homeland security expert. The customs guy somewhat cheerily explained how we were the fourth "strange" car he had checked that morning. It seemed we wouldn't be the first to reach Calais.

It actually turned out we were far from the first! Upon arrival at the main square we were greeted by groups of British merrily drinking together outside bars and cheering our arrival. We pulled up with the other bangers, just in time to cheer in the next colourful arrival - Team 111 Midlife Crisis in their bright pink Volvo "Cuddles". They've got a live link-up with Radio Derby and have so far raised over £5,500.00 for charity, one of many who have contributed to more than £20,000.00 raised on the Run for the Sun event - amazing efforts everyone!

We set-up base camp in the "homely" Belezur Hotel, assisted by the friendly manager Isabelle. A brief introduction to 22 teams, countless bottles of beer and a little wine, and what seemed like thousands of forms later, and we were done for the day. Just time for a kebab and frites (good ole French cuisine) before retiring to bed. The highlight was being told by a member of the forces from Team 122 Dumb, Dumb & Dumber that he thought we were a "very well organised event". Praise indeed.

One team MIA already. Team 114, Team Trevs called in early on in the day to say one member of the two-man team was in hospital, but Steve was going to come alone. He called in to say he’d arrived in Dover at 11pm and would catch up with us along the route tomorrow.

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