For our ‘Sustainable Solutions Towards Net Zero’ programme, the ITN Business team took the decision to walk — or run, swim or cycle — from London to Dubai Expo Centre (virtually), in time for the launch of our programme on the 29th November. 

Our journey was 4,455 miles, split across a team of 33, with a deadline of just 13 weeks. Each team member needed to walk (or move, with zero carbon impact!) 134 miles — and thanks to a tracking app, we were able to capture all the data. Senior Producer Alex Annett kept to the top of the leaderboard throughout, and with the highest mileage on the scoresheets, shares his story, here…

‘My walk to Dubai’

On any given Sunday in Richmond Park the MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra) outnumber the deer considerably.  

Lycra doesn’t really suit me, so I guess I’m just a MAM, but I do still enjoy a cycle in the park. So when the challenge came to walk (and run, swim or cycle it turned out) to Dubai I quite literally got on my bike. 

Being a MAM, my competitive edge is long gone. Or so I thought. It turns out it was just resting. I relished the opportunity to awaken it and test it against similarly driven work colleagues. I’d go for a lunchtime ride. I’d take the kids to school and pick them up again. Just to see the numbers on the app at the end of the day. It helped that the days were long and warm. And it’s also good that the cycle lanes into the office are now pretty good.   

Alex Annett in Budapest

I worked at the World Athletics in Budapest for a fortnight. The athletic prowess on show was extraordinary. But it would be a lie to say the athletes inspired me to run anywhere. Between them, my knees are nearly a hundred. Instead, I walked around the enthralling city by day, smoke rising from my shoes in the stifling September heatwave.

When things had cooled a little, I cycled one of the city’s hire bikes to the stadium for the evening’s action and then home again in the early hours. So without really knowing it, the miles clocked up. 

So keen were the whole team that Dubai was reached with weeks to spare. People had swum, run, cycled, walked dogs in the park and children to school for a total of 4,454 miles. People were inspired to walk to the shops rather than get in the car and drive which I suppose we all need to do a lot more of. 

Just please, don’t wear Lycra.

Learn more about our ‘Sustainable Solutions Towards Net Zero’ programme, launching on the 29th November.