Marathon Man

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Tom Brickman
On 15 July, Tom Brickman will begin his attempt to run nine marathons in nine days. We chatted to him about why he’s decided to undertake such a daunting challenge

Inspired by Eddie Izzard’s multi-marathon challenge of 2016, North Yorkshire native Tom Brickman will be attempting to run nine marathons in nine days to raise money for Saint Catherine’s Hospice in Scarborough. ‘They took care of my grandad for the final week before he passed away,’ Tom explains. ‘The support they gave us that week was amazing.

‘They need £6 million a year to run their operations,’ he continues. ‘They get £2 million from the government, so they have to raise a further £4 million each year. I contacted them saying I was looking to do something and asked what kind of support they could give me. They’ve been really good – they’ve provided me with a t-shirt for training and they’re setting up a finish line at the end. We’re inviting my friends and family to have a barbecue and a celebration – I’ll probably have one beer and fall asleep.’

We think Tom can be forgiven if he does start snoozing over his burger, given the length of his mega-marathon route which will see him start in Pirbright, near Guildford, and finish in Hutton Buscel, just outside of Scarborough. ‘I googled the distance between where my grandad lived and the house that he built when he was younger for his family down in Guildford,’ Tom tells us. ‘By chance, that was 229 miles which is around the length of nine marathons.’

Even though he completed the Edinburgh Marathon in 2015, Tom admits to not being a natual long-distance runner – he plays field hockey in his spare time – and so he has had to adapt his exercise regime significantly to prepare for the challenge he has set himself. ‘Doing marathons back-to-back is different to a one-off so it’s been a challenge,’ he admits. ‘I started exclusively training for this in February. I go running six days a week with one rest day. I started off at five miles, then up to longer runs of 10 to 12 miles, now I’m doing 80 to 90 miles a week – two longer runs of around 20 miles and the rest are around 10 miles.’

It’s not just physical preparation that Tom has had to undertake though, he’s also had to plan out practical details such as his accommodation arrangements for each night of his challenge. ‘I’ve been very fortunate actually,’ he beams. ‘I contacted various people on Airbnb, told them what I was doing and they’ve all given me free accommodation each night.’

While Tom might have his accommodation and his running gear sorted, you can still help him raise money for Saint Catherine’s in memory of his grandad. Search ‘Tomruns9’ on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or ‘Tom Brickman’ on JustGiving for more information and to help or donate.

Published in: July 2017

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