Brathay 10in10 Athlete
Hi, my name is Tony Hooper. I’m 43 years old and live in Grimsby next to the seaside town of Cleethorpes. I’m married to Jo, my biggest supporter, and have two lovely daughters, Amelia and Elisha. As a career, I’m an IT Systems Engineer working for Youngs Seafood Ltd.
My running career started very slowly at 1 marathon a year in 2002, and surprise, surprise it was the ‘ONLY’ marathon people do – London. Running advice at the time stated you should only attempt a couple of marathons a year! To do any more was unwise as you “needed” 2-3 months to recover. Fast forward 16 years, and although I’m not a prolific marathon runner compared to many out there, I think I’ve done about 40-45 marathons, half of which consisted of running round Lake Windermere in the Brathay ASICS Windermere Marathon.
I completed the Brathay 10in10 in 2013 and then again in 2015. It was brutal. Emotionally, physically and mentally. In 2013, I had to deal with a ruptured blood vessel in my right calf on Day 2. Nearly 6 years on, the mental scars still haven’t healed and I can’t bring myself to allow physios to do any heavy massage work in that area. In 2015, I arrived at the event comparatively undertrained or as physically fit as in 2013. Luckily, I had suffered no major injuries and I managed to run myself to fitness so that by Day 7, I was back to full fitness. I dug very deep for each one of those marathons and managed to complete all 10 marathons in under 3 ½ hours for which I am supremely proud. None of which could have been achieved without the amazing support team and physios.
So why am I doing it again? For me, completing the 10in10 each time has been a double-edged sword. It has given me some life changing moments for which I will be eternally grateful for and strengthened my self-belief on what I can achieve. Unfortunately, it is incredibly draining, wiping me out physically, mentally and emotionally each time. It has taken me between 6-12 months to get back to any form or desire to run. I had been running the majority of my long runs on my own and finding it very difficult to keep motivated. I knew if I got accepted for 2019 then the motivation would come back and even now, 10 months out from the event, I’m excited by the long, tough journey ahead.
I’m proud of my previous fundraising for Brathay, having already raised over £9,000 for the past two events. The charity, the 10in10 event staff and the people at Brathay are in my blood now and it’s a charity a feel passionate about. I’m hoping to work with a number of local primary and secondary schools in my area, promoting the work of the charity, the 10in10 event itself and for these schools to organise and fundraise for their own equivalent of their ‘10in10’.
- 2002: First London Marathon
- 2013: Blackpool Marathon
- 2013 & 2015: Brathay 10in10
- 2014 : London Marathon
- 2014: Barry 40-miles Track Ultra
- 2020: Brathay 10in10 Donate
Interested in the 10in10?
Are you an experienced marathon runner and up for a new challenge? Would you like to be one of the few specially chosen athletes to run the annual Brathay 10in10 Challenge Event while raising money and awareness for the charity?How can I apply?