Last weekend, Simon, 38, from Sheffield took on a challenge that he admitted he was “not 100% sure” was possible. He planned to run the 40 mile High Peak Challenge on the Saturday and the 50 mile Ladybower Ultra-Marathon on the Sunday – 90 miles of mountain/trail running in one weekend in aid of UNICEF and the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind.
To train for this insane weekend, Simon was not only running 7.5 miles to work every morning, but he was doing this with weights in his backpack and on his wrists – a little different to standing half asleep on a packed bus! He says that, for events like these, although the physical training is necessary, what you can’t train for is the mental aspect – “convincing yourself to keep going after more than 7 hours with blisters, occasionally falling over and getting lost”. Despite how hard it can be, Simon says the support that he has received, as well as thinking about the good work his charities will do with the money he raises, help get him through.
Simon undertook this mammoth weekend challenge in aid of two charities for whom he has run before; UNICEF and a local charity, the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind. He says that he chose these charities because you can really see the difference they make; UNICEF by working with the poorest children in the world who cannot help themselves and, as Peter says, who have done nothing to bring their situation on themselves, and SRSB by helping blind and partially sighted people in Sheffield to achieve things that they might not have thought possible.
Simon told us he was nervous about the runs, but despite people’s frequent reactions of “you’re mad!!”, he was also excited about the challenge that faced him.
As with all challenges, it’s only right to have a fitting celebration to look forward to afterwards. So after 90 miles of uphill and trail running in the space of two days, Simon’s reward was to get an ice-cream and fish and chips with his wife and little boy.
Simon not only completed both challenges, the 40 miles on Saturday in just under 7 hours and 30 minutes and the 50 miles on Sunday in just under 8 hours, but he came in second place in the Ladybower Ultra-Marathon. As well as this, he has added the Round Rotherham 50 Miles to his list of challenges. We think the ice-cream and fish and chips are very well deserved.
To help support Simon’s fundraising in a less painful way, visit his Virgin Money Giving page.