Gareth Copley-Jones thumbs up during his training runs for ultra challenge

In my backyard: Gareth’s ultra challenge for MNDA

He’ll be digging deep as he runs around the clock at Silverdale Country Park in mid-January.

Gareth Copley-Jones is a man on a mission. On Saturday 14 January 2023 he will run a backyard ultra with the aim of completing 100 miles in 24 hours and raise funds for the Rob Burrow Centre for MND Appeal. His fundraising target is £2,000.

This isn’t the first challenge for the IMA Running Coach and photographer: in February this year he ran 77K (47.8 miles) around Silverdale Country Park on behalf of the charity. The choice of 77K a tribute to Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrows and his famous number 7 shirt after being inspired by him throughout his rugby career. 

That achievement was in Gareth’s words: “The toughest thing I’ve ever done but this challenge needs to be harder.” 

He’ll be pushing the limits even further on 14 January with a backyard ultra marathon. For anyone not familiar with this event it involves running 4.167 mile loops every hour for 24 hours which equals 100 miles in total. Not an event to undertake lightly. 

Gareth is training hard for this challenge, putting in the miles night and day in Silverdale Country Park, Newcastle-under-Lyme irrespective of the weather as the weeks fly by. Speaking of the weather... the Met Office long range forecast is for changeable conditions so let’s hope there isn’t another Arctic blast as at present.  

His Silverdale backyard ultra begins at midday from the miners head statue at the top of the Park and his plan is to run each loop in 45 to 50 minutes. Other runners have asked to join him at various times during the 24 hours and there is a list for them to add their name to.  

Funds raised will go towards the construction of the Leeds Hospitals Charity Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease – a specialist care centre designed for the needs of MND patients and their families. 

Gareth invites anyone to take part saying: “Please come down on the day, please support and let’s get this money raised and the Rob Burrow Centre built.”

All donations welcome at his JustGiving page.

Image courtesy of Gareth Copley-Jones.

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