The start of a new year means that many of us set resolutions to get fit and exercise more after an indulgent Christmas. But one member of the Barker and Stonehouse team is going a step or two further. Paul Suggitt, our web developer, has taken on a mammoth challenge for 2017.
On January 1st, Paul embarked on the Walk Run Ride Challenge. Over the year, he will travel 10,000 miles by walking, running and cycling; that’s around the same as a marathon a day, every day, for a whole year.
We asked Paul a few questions to find out more about his challenge.
Running 10,000 miles in a year is a huge challenge. How did you come up with the idea?
I wanted to set a personal challenge in 2017 that would push me beyond any limits I’ve known and at the same time, use this to help bring awareness of an amazing trust that does fantastic work to help fund research into very aggressive children’s and teenage cancer.
This had to be done around my working life so I looked at ideas that I could do and it seemed fitting that by walking, running and riding a bike I could achieve this.
By doing this challenge I have shown that if you have an idea, no matter how wacky and big it seems, pursue it! Everything can be figured out to help you achieve it.
People often let the routine of life stand in their way from being able to step out of the box and take on new challenges in their lives which can ultimately lead to them becoming better people. I am showing that with a bit of planning, any idea or dream can be chased without it causing a big change in a person’s life.
How did you prepare for it? Were you a fitness fanatic before?
I have been training for 8 months prior to starting the Walk, Run, Ride Challenge, often going out in all kinds of weather to help prepare me for what I have ahead.
As part of my training I cycled the Coast to Coast in half a day to see how far I could go in an extreme situation before I “broke”.
I also did an ultra run from Hartlepool Marina to Whitby in October, some 45 miles of running in a day. Again this was to see how far I could push myself and comfortably gauge my daily limits.
I am no professional athlete and the job I have can sometimes be a contributor to weight gain so losing some weight beforehand was necessary and through daily runs and cycle rides I began to see and feel the health benefits.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced on your journey so far?
My biggest challenge whilst training for the event was keeping the motivation up to go out and do some miles every day as back then I could take a day out here and there if I needed to.
Now the WRR Challenge has started and I’m committed to delivering my daily miles, my biggest challenge to date has been the cold, wet January start we have had and to keep smiling through this even when I’m being pelted in the face with hailstones.
Failure is not an option and I see these challenges as something that will make me a stronger person mentally throughout the year.
What’s your biggest motivation to complete your 10k challenge?
My biggest motivation to completing the challenge has to be knowing that I stepped out from the “norm” for a year and made a positive impact in helping raising awareness of the Chris Lucas Trust, whilst inspiring people young and old to also get out and be active as much as they can. (and to lose a bit of weight in the process).
People are also a huge part of the motivation. I get a lot of strength knowing I have the support from the public in all the crazy things I am doing and this spurs me on and motivates me even more to run that next step or ride that extra mile.
Why did you choose to support the Chris Lucas Trust?
The Chris Lucas Trust are an amazing trust that exists to help fund research into very aggressive childhood and teenage cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma and having kids myself, it is great to know that people have your back if you ever need them through their tireless efforts to fund the research needed to help cure this kind of cancer.
And how much are you hoping to raise for this amazing charity?
I am hoping to raise as much money as possible throughout the year. People who’d like to support me and the Chris Lucas Trust can easily donate by sending a text.
To support Paul on his journey and donate to the Chris Lucas Trust, text WRRP17 £amount to 70070. Replace the word amount with the amount you’d like to donate, for example texting WRRP17 £5 to 70070 will see a one off donation of £5 made.
Good luck from the Barker and Stonehouse team Paul!