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Got bored sitting in my pants...

By Tim O'Hanlon

WOW! Well that was a crazy week and a half, even by my standards!

After several weeks of spending too much time with my hands in the washing-up bowl and my fingers wrapped around a can of Guinness due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, I sat thinking, "I need to do something."

As most of you know, I like to run, and for the past 12 weeks I'd been training for the Hardmoors 55 trail race, which was unfortunately (but understandably) postponed! It left me feeling a little deflated but also with all this excess energy and fitness to throw about.

So, after a week or so sat in my pants and completing Netflix, I thought, "Must Run!"

"Right, I'll get out and do a couple of marathons" - just to fulfill my own needs, but it didn't seem enough. Why not 5 in a row?

So a cheeky message to my trainer/mentor/brother-in-law/friend, John Withinshaw at JDW Fitness, told him about the idea and asked him to talk me out of it. Those of you who know John will know he was the wrong person to ask. The cogs were turning...Do it for charity? Which charity? Well, there was no other more current and more needing than the NHS - the ones out there putting their lives on the line battling this virus!

30 minutes later and a Just Giving page was set up with a goal of £500. It's on! TEAM CRAZY gets planning. John conjures up routes and they were never going to be easy ones - mainly trail, endless hills. I start prepping myself - carbing up, resting etc. As the build up continued the support on social media was growing, everyone doing their bit to get the word out there.

Monday arrived and the running began, I felt great, one of my favourite runs ever - everything fell into place, all that training - but it felt better because the motivation was different! Got home, the donations were still going up! Rest, eat, we go again tomorrow.

Tuesday comes, another great run, confidence is soaring. Get home to find there is some local media interest - BBC Radio York and Minster FM - so did a couple of interviews (I do not like my voice!). Wow! This thing's really kicking off which made me even more determined to complete the challenge.

Wednesday was a different beast - 49km; technically an Ultra marathon, in hot conditions. Got round to hear the news that we'd raised nearly £5k. Buzzing! Keep going Timmy, as tired as you are, you're over half way.

Thursday - probably the most challenging day of my life! All was going OK, plodding around, ticking off those miles and then BANG - ankles, shins, knees GONE with 17km still to go. The mental game entered the building. I knew it was coming but wasn't expecting it til Friday! The pain was unbelievable, every step excruciating, it would be easy to throw in the towel. "Look what you've raised so far, you've done enough. Call it a day" .... "Na, not on my watch!" ... I decided to hobble home, completing the route and having a little break down at the end! That night was tough, couldn't even walk. How can I even contemplate going out again tomorrow, but I've come this far, only one left to go!

The donations were going through the roof and messages of support from family, friends, strangers was immense. Go to bed, see how you feel in the morning!

Friday - final hurdle! Took all my strength just to get out of bed! But something had clicked, there's no way I'm not finishing this, I'll crawl if I have to!

Summoned everything I had and set off. Walking hurt more so it was kind of a run/shuffle affair! Every step was sheer agony, but I was moving forward and I always had in my mind the reason why I was doing this - the NHS! 10km to go, put my feet in the river and that was it, the end is so close. Some mad burst of adrenaline came, the pain was there but it didn't matter, you've got this, started running like my life depended on it! Got to the home straight and I realised I'd done it. If you're gonna cry keep your shades on. Emotions were immense!

5 Marathons/5 Days done!

I've never gone through anything like that. There was joy, there was pain and there was so much love floating around this challenge and I'm incredibly proud of what me and everyone else achieved. A mammoth £10,500 raised - something I never dreamed of!

I could not have got through this without all the love and support from everyone, and my small socially distancing support crew I had around me!

So thank you.

Body's broken, but I'll recover well.... and then start thinking about what's next....???

The Just Giving Page is still open until Fri 1st May if you would like to donate click HERE

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