Gary Howells on completing the socially distant 10in10

Gary Howells 4
27 May
Gary Howells 10In10
Gary on day 10 of the challenge

From 8th – 17th May, running coach Gary Howells completed a marathon on a treadmill every day for 10 days to raise money for Brathay Trust and NHS Charities. He completed the challenge, finishing his final marathon on day 10 with an impressive time of 3:13:49.

Gary, like many other runners, found that the race he had been training for was cancelled due to the pandemic. However, it did not stop him from looking at other ways to keep up with his training and stay motivated.  Gary started the challenge on what would have been the original date for the Brathay 10in10 2020, enabling him to gain momentum and support for his cause. He livestreamed his activity through social media and took part in zoom calls from running friends to inspire him to keep going. 

Gary said of the challenge, “I wasn’t expecting to run my fastest marathon time in 4-5 years on day 10 of the challenge so that was really amazing. I heard halfway through that it was tradition to run your fastest time on day 10, so to be able to do that without originally setting myself it as a target was fantastic.

Doing the challenge in lockdown meant I could do it on my own terms and was also a way to keep others motivated and inspire them to take on their own challenges. You can either go into lockdown thinking this is horrible, or you can find a way to keep motivated and keep going.  There is no downside to keeping up with training right now. Races might get cancelled, but until a decision is made, we can still be ready.”

Gary addressed that it was hard to do the challenge without others around or enjoying the typical support that comes with organised races.

“The most difficult part about running it on a treadmill was the monotony. In you are doing a race, you might see someone you know, and you experience that contact and morale boost. With this, there were times I was just waiting and hoping to see someone to have that support to keep going. But my focus was the cause and that the money raised is going to help vulnerable young people and children. 

There was great support from the local community and I think it showed that we can pull together at a time like this and do something positive.  My aim is to keep up the exercise motivation, so locally I am encouraging people to get involved with 20 days of physical activity in June. If people can come out of this feeling better and healthier than they did, they I think we will have achieved something great. I am also hoping to run another 4 marathons in June to take my total up to 80 marathons!”

Donations for his 10in10 challenge have reached over £5000 and will go towards helping vulnerable children and young people who have been particularly affected by the pandemic. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gh10-10

For anyone feeling inspired to take on the Brathay 10in10, applications for the 2021 event are now open: https://www.brathaychallenges.com/events/running/10in10/how-to-apply-am-i-eligible

Our virtual 10in10 challenge is also open to those who would like to take on a challenge of their choice. Money raised will help Brathay Trust continue their charitable work: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/virtual10in10