A Million Metres For Mental Fitness
Guy Locke plans to run the South West Coast Path for Papyrus...
The South West Coast Path is the longest of England's National Trails at 1,015kms/631 miles and with over 35,000 metres of elevation (equivalent to four times up and down Mount Everest) it is surely one of the toughest challenges in the British Isles for any athlete.
Guy Locke, one of the founding members of the Million Metres campaign, isn't an elite endurance athlete but in his own words he is: "just an ordinary bloke". Next month, this ordinary bloke from Cheddar in Somerset will run and hike an average of 35K a day on this unforgiving terrain to raise funds for Papyrus, a youth-focused mental health charity, in memory of his Mum, Ali, who took her own life in November 2013, when Guy was aged just 15.
It will be the 10th anniversary of Ali's passing this year and this is the motivation behind this endurance challenge, with Guy determined to complete the task within the 31 days of October. The idea was dreamed up whilst trekking in the Himalayas and it is something Guy has been training specifically for since April.
Guy's route will start in Poole, Dorset, and head southwest along the Devon coastline before rounding the Cornish peninsula for the North Devon hills and the finish at Minehead, Somerset. Throughout the month Guy will be supported by family and friends who will host and assist him along the way, some of whom may take part in sections of this epic challenge alongside him.
Guy has made it his life’s work to create positive action and help people improve their mental health. He is bringing forward the story of his Mum as well as his own personal experiences and the loved ones who have suffered from mental health problems and taken their lives.
Pairing these tragic events with his love of trail running and exercise, he aims to raise as much awareness and money for relevant and helpful charities. As he says on his JustGiving fundraising page: “Mum’s spirit lives on in my every step and breath, especially when I’m out on the trail. This will be my hardest challenge yet, but I’m doing it in memory of her and for anybody affected by suicide. Together we are so much stronger.”
Guy has found that exercise has pulled him through some very tough times and he is a big advocate for the use of exercise to improve mental health. Remember, Guy isn’t a professional athlete, he’s just a normal bloke. If he can run 24 marathons and climb four times Everest in a month you can get up and do whatever you set your mind to as well.
Photo courtesy Guy Locke