Running Tales
Gary McKee: The Marathon Man with a 365 challenge

Gary McKee: The Marathon Man with a 365 challenge

June 21, 2022

Fundraising is second nature for Gary McKee - he's raised close to £1m for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Previous endeavours have seen him cycle across Brazil, climb Kilimanjaro and trek through New Zealand, and plenty of his challenges have included running.

He's run from Lands' End to John O'Groats, completed 100 marathons in 100 days, become the first person to run the Fred Whitton cycle route and finished seven London marathons.

His current challenge is set to eclipse all of those - so Running Tales had to catch up with him...

 

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You can find Gary's fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/threesixfive

If you like this episode please consider donating to help us keep going: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stepforward

The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Ben Davies: Meet the ultra runner whose mantra is ’it’s good to talk’

Ben Davies: Meet the ultra runner whose mantra is ’it’s good to talk’

June 14, 2022

Ben Davies started running three years ago after his young niece sadly passed away.

When his wife started a fundraising challenge for Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital, he supported her - but he didn't really like the running!

Struggling with his mental health, he suddenly stumbled across ultra running - and without stopping along with the way to tick off all the distances in-between he started clocking up big numbers and competing in ultras.

Recently he finished the 145 mile Grand Union Canal Ultra, and he's not aiming to stop there.

But for Ben running is also about mental health and talking. Having suffered with his weight as a child and at the hands of an abusive father, he found running long distances - and the life-changing friendships that he found along the way - reframed how he looked at life.

 

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You can read Ben's blog here: https://bearrunsblog.wixsite.com/bear-the-stampede

If you like this episode please consider donating to help us keep going: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stepforward

The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Alex Staniforth: Adventurer, mental health ambassador, author and ultra runner - and all by just 26 years old

Alex Staniforth: Adventurer, mental health ambassador, author and ultra runner - and all by just 26 years old

June 7, 2022

At just 26, Alex Staniforth has already become an expert in overcoming challenges.

From epilepsy to a stammer, bullying and mental ill health problems, Alex's biggest challenges have been close to home.

Running and the great outdoors have helped him to face them down to become a record-breaking adventurer, motivational speaker, author, mental health ambassador and ultra runner.

His incredible story is tinged with sadness as he was part of two of the biggest disasters in the history of Mount Everest.

Alex turned to running again and became the fastest person ever to climb all 100 UK county tops. In 2020 he ran the National Three Peaks Challenge – completing 452 miles in just nine days and 12 hours.

Perhaps his greatest achievement comes as the founder of mental health charity Mind Over Mountains.

Running Tales asked Alex how - and why - he set out on a path truly less travelled...

 

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Picture supplied by Alex Staniforth; credit: Daniel Toal

 

If you like this episode please consider donating to help us keep going: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stepforward

 

The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Martin Lopez: From Covid induced intensive care to ultra marathoner

Martin Lopez: From Covid induced intensive care to ultra marathoner

May 31, 2022

In October 2020, Martin Lopez was fighting for his life.

Having contracted Covid-19, he was in intensive care, his situation exacerbated by a blood clot.

As he battled to recover, he noticed that those around him who best fought off the virus had lived fit and healthy lives.

When he came out of hospital, Martin decided to change his life - and he took up running.

But he's not someone to do things by half.

Eighteen months later, he has transformed his life. Having completed five ultra marathons, he is preparing for a 100 mile event.

Running Tales spoke to Martin about his incredible transformation, and what comes next.

 

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Running Tales first spoke to Michael Hobbs-Aldridge in July 2020. You can listen to that episode here: https://bit.ly/3w9Zg0h

 

If you like this episode please consider donating to help us keep going: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stepforward

 

The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Michael Hobbs-Aldridge: The comeback king hoping to be the fastest at 50

Michael Hobbs-Aldridge: The comeback king hoping to be the fastest at 50

May 8, 2022

Michael Hobbs-Aldridge had one of the his best seasons of running in 2019.

The British Masters athlete won both the Northampton Half Marathon and Milton Keynes Marathon, but under the surface things weren't quite right.

Doctors had detected a potential problem in Michael's heart, a ticking time-bomb that could go off at any moment.

Fearing the worst, Michael put his running on hold and subjected himself to a series of tests to try and get to the bottom of the problem.

Fantastically, Michael has now been given the all-clear, so we at Running Tales decided it was the perfect time to catch-up with him to find out what's next.

 

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Running Tales first spoke to Michael Hobbs-Aldridge in July 2020. You can listen to that episode here: https://bit.ly/3w9Zg0h

 

If you like this episode please consider donating to help us keep going: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stepforward

 

The music in this podcast is:

"Fearless First" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Adam Tango Holland: The youngest runner to reach 100 marathons

Adam Tango Holland: The youngest runner to reach 100 marathons

May 2, 2022

Adam 'Tango' Holland was only 23 when he completed his 100th marathon, becoming the youngest person to complete that lung-busting achievement.

With a personal marathon best of 2:24:24 and more marathon/ultra marathon wins than anyone else in the UK, Adam is a serious athlete.

Today (Bank Holiday Monday, May 2) he took part in Milton Keynes Marathon where Michael Young won the race in a new course record of 2:29.

It's not often Adam loses out though as Michelle had found out a week earlier when she spoke to him about where his love of running comes from and why he decided to try and reach 100 marathons faster than anyone else.

This is their conversation...

Michael Williams: Conquering the 860 mile JOGLE in 17 days at 70

Michael Williams: Conquering the 860 mile JOGLE in 17 days at 70

April 15, 2022

It was third time lucky for Michael Williams as he completed the gruelling 860 mile JOGLE earlier this month.

The event, which gets it's name from the course than runs from tip (John O'Groats) to toe (Land's End) of Britain, takes place over 17 days meaning runners face distances of more than 50 miles on most days.

Michael, an experienced ultra runner as you can hear on Episode 11 of Series One of the Running Tales Podcast, was taking on the event for the third time - despite being 70 years old.

In 2020, he was denied by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic which saw the race being cancelled, and a year later he had to drop out through injury.

This time he was the only entrant to complete the event, despite suffering shin splints, taking wrong turns and encountering every kind of weather from storms to some rare British sun.

In this second series of Running Tales, I'm joined by my husband Craig to learn more about the extraordinary stories of runners, wheelchair racers and walkers.

He spoke to Michael at a somewhat windy Northampton parkrun...

 

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To sponsor Michael Williams, who was running for Childaid to raise money for refugees from Ukraine, you should visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-williams854

If you like this episode please consider donating to help us keep going: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/stepforward

Bruce Fordyce: Nine times Comrades winner and South Africa parkrun supremo

Bruce Fordyce: Nine times Comrades winner and South Africa parkrun supremo

August 9, 2021

Bruce Fordyce is a running legend.

The South African has won his home country's premier event, the gruelling Comrades Ultra-Marathon, an incredible nine times.

His achievements also include winning the London to Brighton race three years in a row, but these days he's more at home taking on a 5km parkrun.

As the chief executive of parkrun South Africa he's completed more than 400 runs and toured all over the world.

I talked to Bruce about how his running journey began, helping Zola Budd complete the Comrades and the agony and ecstasy of taking on one of the world's toughest races...

Bob Emmerson: The grandfather of Northampton parkrun and multiple record breaker

Bob Emmerson: The grandfather of Northampton parkrun and multiple record breaker

July 7, 2021

At 88 years old, Bob Emmerson is a popular and famed figure at Northampton parkrun.

He's completed the 5km race a grand total of 399 times, with only the coronavirus pandemic preventing him from reaching the milestone mark of 400 already.

Bob's running career goes far further back than parkrun though, with broken records and a garage full of old trainers signs of his achievements.

I spoke to him about what makes him 'keep on running'...

Louise Hannam-Jones: Meeting ‘The Wellness Curator’

Louise Hannam-Jones: Meeting ‘The Wellness Curator’

April 16, 2021

Like many of us Louise Hannam-Jones' life has changed during the last year.

Coronavirus and the plethora of lockdowns it instigated got her thinking about her own mental health and wellbeing.

As a result, she started her own Instagram account - The Wellness Curator. It has proved so popular Louise is now taking on clients to teach them how to be fitter, healthier and happier.

Running is an integral part of that, providing - Louise says - an addictive structure and routine, as well as the base to start every day.

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