Hamish Miller is an executive at a life sciences software company, married to Kate with a teenage son and daughter. He lives in Northleach, near Cheltenham.
This has been 20 years in the making. Martin and I have wanted to do this since 1999. We paid the deposit to enter the 2001 race, but it didn’t happen. Rather than just picking a charity to raise money for, it is much more poignant to be doing this for the Team Margot campaign and potentially helping to save lives. It would be absolutely amazing if we could hit the target of getting 1.5 million to join the blood stem cell register. If we hit this number then statistically 15,000 people would get a potentially lifesaving stem cell transplant. Everyone will know someone who has been affected by one form of cancer of another. My wife was going through chemo last year for breast cancer. It is so important for people to register and potentially help save a life. I can’t register as a donor myself as I had malignant melanoma in 2013 which excludes you, but if I could then I would.
I have done the London Marathon, New York Marathon, Iron Man triathlon, Marathon des Sables, cycled from Land’s End to John O ‘Groats and rowed from Ireland to England with Martin in the Celtic Challenge. But this will be the toughest challenge I have ever undertaken. The daily attrition of the challenge and the mental side of this is going to be so tough. You can’t just stop at the end of each day, you have to keep going. Most of the challenges I have done before were as an individual. It is obviously going to be key that we work as a team and don’t fall out with each other.
I’m doing rowing, cycling, work on the rowing machine and weights. I’m going to be reading up on other peoples’ experiences of doing the challenge and I have also been looking at how sleep deprivation affects you. As a group we need to look at how our dynamic is going to work. I still want to be friends at the end of it and “enjoy” it.
Being in the middle of the Atlantic, miles from anywhere, will be a surreal and bizarre experience. I’m also looking forward to the physical challenge.
One of my main worries is sea sickness as I have suffered from this before. I’m going to get anti-sickness patches from the doctor to help me. The first week away is meant to be horrid anyway getting your head around being at sea, so the last thing you need is sea sickness. Also the lack of sleep. I love sleeping and I’m an eight-hour a night man.
A calm character, a drive to do it. I’m not going to start something I can’t finish. I’m reasonably good under pressure.
Weekend time with the family – watching my children play sport, walking the dogs, bike rides and going to the pub. Also coffee – I have about five lattes a day. Not having fresh food is going to be tough too.
I have never been away from my children at Christmas before so that will be difficult. But my family are really excited that I’m doing this and my kids are looking forward to tracking our journey when at sea.
I will be taking audio books to help eat up the hours and help take my mind off things. Two songs which I find really motivational which will definitely be on my playlist are 'A long December' by Counting Crows and 'Missing' by Everything But the Girl.
Wine gums as a daily treat.
We went to Antigua on a family holiday in April last year when my wife finished her chemotherapy. I knew I was going to be doing the challenge then so we went to the finish line at Nelson’s Dockyard. It will be surreal arriving there in a boat this time. My family are hoping to come and meet me at the finish.
When back on dry land I’m looking forward to having a burger, a few pints and a shower.
YOUR STEM CELLS CAN SAVE A LIFE.