Barry's 24 Hour Endurance Run
Barry Rankin joined The Avalon Group as a new Trustee this year. Barry is also a Director at Deans Computer Services PLC, the company who provides our IT support, so that Avalon’s computers, internet and software (amongst other things) work smoothly.
Barry is also a passionate fundraiser, and over several years has raised tens of thousands of pounds for worthwhile causes. We were very excited, then, when Barry proposed taking on an extreme challenge event to raise money for our customers.
On 30th June 2018 Barry and his running partner Amanda will take part in a 24 hour endurance race, where entrants run laps of 5 miles before tagging their teammates who then run 5 miles themselves. This relay continues for a 24 hour period, and our runners are aiming to cover over 100 miles between them!
Ahead of this momentous challenge, we sat down with Barry to ask a few questions about the race, and learn his training secrets.
What is your background in terms of running events?
I’ve been doing various running challenges for the past 7 years, having completed the Great North Run twice, the London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Yorkshire Marathons (three times). In 2016, I took on my first 24 hour endurance race in a pairs event with my gym coach, running 100 miles between us on a 5 mile off road circuit; with all the walking to the campsite and food area, the actual distance covered would’ve likely been around 120 miles plus – the equivalent of running the London Marathon twice each, back to back.
What attracted you to the Endure 24 event?
I’ve been an active fundraiser for years, completing many running challenges and other events for Martin House Children’s Hospice (including training with UFC Mixed Martial Artists, abseiling down the side of the Royal Armouries, 15,000 foot Sky Dive and much more), raising in excess of £15,000 over recent years.
The reason for taking on the 24 hour endurance run is simple - it became apparent that the more marathons I did, the more difficult it became to ask people to donate as many of my contacts, friends, family and work colleagues have been so generous over the years already and whilst so many donated every time, the money was coming in a lot slower. I figured the only way to address this was to try something new and increasingly more difficult (if not a little quirky), and the 24 hour endurance run was it.
What sort of training are you doing in preparation for the event?
I squeeze in a lot of my training during my lunch hours at work, doing an approximate 4 mile route at speed, with a view to running slower on race day. I have a few members of staff at Deans Computer Services who come out running with me, which is great and helps my preparation. In addition to the lunchtime runs, I’ll usually squeeze in a couple of longer runs on an evening during the week and rest weekends for recovery (cough) or pub time. Of course, in the few weeks prior, I’ll increase the distance and/or pace, try to eat cleaner, and stay off the alcohol… The week prior, I taper off, do no training at all and carb load – I get very grumpy!
Is there anything you think will be a particular challenge? (aside from the fact you are running for 24 hours).
I’ve already done some crazy challenges, and there are a few more challenging events that have caught my eye, like the Iron Man challenge, running the Great Wall of China Marathon, le Medoc Marathon (which replaces water stops with wine) and a two day rat race. There’s always something new coming along. I’d also like to take up something else that’s not running but challenging in other ways (like the sky dive). Guess we’ll have to see what crops up over the forthcoming months, watch this space!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of undertaking a similar challenge event to raise money for The Avalon Group?
Bite the bullet and sign up!!!!!
When I first started training for the Great North Run, I couldn’t run more than a couple of hundred steps without feeling sick and gassed – after a couple of weeks in, my cardio and fitness had improved significantly. With doing any event, especially if it’s something new and is out of your comfort zone, whether it’s a 5K run or 24 hour endurance, the most difficult thing is to commit, sign yourself up and start preparing. I can tell you now that without signing up to these sorts of events, the motivation for me to do any form of exercise would be a lot less (if not none existent) and I use things like this to push myself. As a family man, a Director and Trustee it would be easy for me to go home every night and put my feet up, so I need that little push to squeeze in the exercise and training (especially at 45 years old).
If running’s not your thing, there are plenty of other activities or fun events that you can do and enjoy, and setting up a fundraising page is so easy using the www.justgiving.com site, it’s secure, it’s easy to use and also includes a text a donation facility, and offline donation recording for those without use of the internet. Fundraising is great for the mind and soul, it’s extremely rewarding and importantly helps others and improves lives.
If you’d like to support Barry on this next challenge to help the customers of Avalon, please visit www.justgiving.com/avalon24hourendurance
Thank you for your support.