Why do you walk/run such long distances?

I am often asked the question, “why do you walk/run such long distances?”  I would like to say that it was to rehabilitate a massive calf injury I had in 2005.  I was unable to walk for 3 months and had to slowly learn to walk again.  I would like to say it was to lose weight.  I’ve lost loads.  I would like to say it’s because I really love walking.  I don’t.  Many times I would rather run really fast and get it over with.  The simple answer is “I don’t know”.  Sorry if that sounds blunt but to quote Dean Karnazes in his book ‘Ultramarathon Man’, “Go out and run 50 miles and then you’ll have your answer”.

That’s why I set up the 153 Mile Walk/Run Challenge.  My goal on the 153 Mile Walk/Run Challenge is to get as many people walking 153 miles as possible, raising money for charity in the process.  However I am not doing this solely for charity fundraising or to preach at you to get fitter, but because it’s cheap, easy and fun to do.  Along the way you’ll create some great stories and it’s those stories that I would love to hear.  Maybe then I can answer the question, “Why do you walk/run such long distances?”

Starting the 153 Mile Walk/Run Challenge is really simple.  You just need to plan the challenge, pack your pedometer and GO!  In fact the real secret to completing the challenge is to just step out of the door and start.  You can step out alone or with friends, at any age or fitness level and you just need to keep going step by step to go the distance.

If you are inspired to try any of the 153 Mile Challenges, you should make sure that you are healthy enough to begin.  Check with your doctor if you are unsure.  Be inspired by the distance and other people’s stories, but set your own pace and make sure you research and understand the technical aspects of the challenge you choose.  At some point as you “go longer” you will also need to understand how to ‘convert your food into fuel’; how to ‘stay hydrated’ (you can die, so take it seriously!); how to ‘stay stranger, sun and street safe’ (especially if you are a child).  This means being aware of what is going on around you, letting someone know where you are going, taking a mobile phone and preparing for how the weather may change dramatically.  It goes without saying that if you set yourself an Extreme 153 Mile Challenge you should make sure you have a guide, support team and get insurance. The British Mountaineering Council (www.thebmc.co.uk) offer great insurance packages and you get discount on your kit in a number of outdoor shops.

Play your part in the Challenge at:


At ‘My 153 Miles’ you can Subscribe (if you are not on Facebook), Register Your Event or Tell Your Story. Remember I started with walking but you can start with a wheelchair, bike or skate challenge instead and you don’t need to do the challenge in one go or on your own.  Get your friends or family involved and increase the fun.   

* On the 8th June 2009 I completed my first 153 Mile Challenge – 153 Miles by Bike in 7 days or less.  I am currently on 135 miles in 7 days or less for the Walk/Run Challenge and have covered a total distance of 5,500 miles since 2005.  

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