We have heard you’re taking an interesting route to the Shrewsbury Half Marathon.

What is your plan?
My plan is to run 135 miles (ish) from the South Wales coast & take in the Shrewsbury half marathon while I’m at it.

Why did you decide to set yourself this challenge?
I’m doing this to see if I can! I like doing things that have a question mark over the outcome. I did a 100 miler last year & I’d like to know if I can go further. It’s 122 miles because that what the map says the distance is from my house to the start line. Family commitments meant that I couldn’t enter organised ultras this year so I thought I’d make my own. I also wanted to get in 2 different events within a short space of time. On 13th May I spent 24hrs on a rowing machine in aid of 100 Peaks charity & I wanted to tie something else in with it.


How will you decide the route?
My route selection is simple. Avoid the really busy roads as much as possible. Then it’s a matter of picking scenic routes from town to town until I hit Shrewsbury. This country has gorgeous scenery so I’m trying to see as much of it as I can.

When will you start & finish the challenge-will you be stopping off on the way?
I’m giving myself 30 hours to get to the start. So I’ll be leaving home at 3am Saturday. I’m really looking forward to running through 2 sunrises. I’m not planning any big breaks but you never know how these things pan out. If all goes well I’ll be plodding along with minimal breaks.

Are you going solo or do you have a support crew?
My friend Adrian is acting as support crew. He’ll be in a van with my supplies so I won’t have to carry too much. It’s also a big morale boost to see a friendly face along the way.

He’s helped on a few of my adventures where I’ve run to the start of events- but this is the longest so far. It’s like run-tourism. He can park up, get his bike out & look for different routes, as well as shouting at me.

What made you get into running?
I used to run a lot as a teenager. Our school used to enter a team for some of the local 10 milers when I was 12yrs old ( That can’t happen now & it’s sad ).

I’ve worked in the fitness industry since I was 17 so I’ve always been active. But it was when I turned 40, my friend gave me a copy of Ultramarathon Man & it blew my mind that people run that far. So I had to give it a go.

What is your favourite piece of running kit?
My favourite bit of kit is undoubtedly my sandals. I’ve been running in sandals for 4 years & I could never go back to shoes. For me, they’ve proved to be the most comfortable option. I don’t have to worry about blisters & socks anymore.


How will you celebrate once you have completed the challenge?
I’ll celebrate with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen. And a nice meal with my family when I get home on Sunday.

Tell us a bit about your training for a run like this:

How do you train for a challenge like this?
My training has been a bit of an experiment for this. I did a 24 hr row last month so I’ve had to mix up my training over the last few months. My focus has been on building a base of strength & endurance so that I’m ready for anything, rather than trying to peak for a specific event. I don’t count mileage, I count the hours that I do of running/rowing/cycling. Mostly my runs have been commute runs of 6 miles each way with a longer run every 2 weeks or so. Usually this comes out at 7-10 hrs of running per week.

I also include some press ups, chin ups, abdominal work or kettlebell work every day. It’s been about consistency & moderation rather than intensity.

I’ll know if it’s worked on Sunday!!


What will you use to fuel during the run?
I’ll eat normally the day before the run. I don’t find any benefit from carb loading. During the run I’ll be looking to take in 200-300 cals per hour. This will be a mixture of Tailwind, nuts & my wife make me fruit & nut energy balls.

Do you have any other challenges coming up?
Since meeting Karl & hearing about the 100 Peaks challenge I felt like I had to be involved in some way. Just picking up on the teams enthusiasm & drive has been an inspiration. I really feel like I want to contribute in some way, but when you’re involved with an event of this scale then if you’re doing something it simply has to be big! I’ll be planning several events over the course of the year. This is a great charity that’s raising money for a very worthy cause & they’re inspiring people to push themselves along the way. Who wouldn’t want to get involved?

Follow Barrie on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/barheavy