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Nottingham fitness fanatics raise over £1,500 for MIND after completing gruelling 48 miles in 48 hours challenge

Nottingham fitness fanatics raise over £1,500 for MIND after completing gruelling 48 miles in 48 hours challenge

Two budding Nottingham fitness fanatics teamed up to complete an immense lockdown running challenge over the weekend to raise awareness for mental health issues as well as funds for the UK’s leading charity, MIND.

In March, Alan Harrison, 30, a digital sales manager at the East Midlands’ top supplier of trade tools, Protrade, and Dean Feebery, 46, a sales director at Grant Industries, ran 48 miles - just over four miles short of two full marathons - within the 48-hour window.

Dubbed the 4x4x48 challenge and inspired by David Goggins, the American ultramarathon runner, and retired Navy SEAL, the pair ran four miles every four hours in order to hit their target, doing so over 12 runs around the village of Rempstone.

Despite gyms being closed and classes temporarily unavailable, Alan and Dean both fancied a ‘new year, new me’ challenge and pounded the pavements come rain, shine, sleet, or even a bit of snow in preparation for the March challenge - doing so to raise awareness of mental health, given the huge impact the past year has had on everyone’s lives, including their own family and friends.

And even considering that both are part of Jake Wood’s boot camp on Bramcote Hills Park and are keen tough mudder and rat race competitors, Alan has said their latest challenge has, easily, been his toughest to date.

Reflecting on the challenge, he said: “We started at 8pm on a Friday and we completed that, the midnight and the 4am runs just fine. However, the 8am run on Saturday, even though we had daylight and it was a little warmer, we really started to flag. It’d really dawned on us just how stiff your body gets in between the rest periods.

“The other difficulty was eating during the rest period - as I found out during the second-midnight run when I couldn’t quite keep it in! Despite all of that, we had a lot of support along the way.

“During the first midday run, we had another member of the boot camp join us on his pushbike. We’re not fast runners. We were flagging, but him turning up really spurred us on.

“As well as that, we had amazing support from people along the way. There were people clapping out their window, cheering us on in the streets, and some joined us along the way. We can’t thank everyone enough for pushing us along when we needed it.”

On the pair’s Just Giving page, which at the time of writing has raised £1,621 - smashing the original target of £500.

Dean said: “It’s fair to say that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on all our lives. It’s clear that this has affected a lot of our mental health.

“I know myself and many friends and family have felt some times harder than normal so myself and my friend, Alan, wanted to highlight the work MIND do to support people dealing with mental health challenges, all while getting some exercise and a socially-distance run done together to keep us smiling.”

Alan added: “The past year has been tough for so many people. We have never known anything like this. Even if you’re someone that is not too fussed about socialising or going to the pub or a restaurant, it’s been incredibly hard.

“Receiving a text or even having a chat on the phone or over Zoom, doesn’t compare to actually seeing someone and spending time with them. As time has gone on, I think people have felt more secluded and lost.

“Mental health was huge on the agenda beforehand, but I think its importance has been highlighted even more over the last 12 months.

“That’s why we’re unbelievably grateful to everyone who has donated. We weren’t even sure we would get to the £500 mark, but to see it get close to £1,700 is just incredible. It means a lot to us and it kept us going at times when the challenge was getting difficult.

“These people have donated to what we’re doing, they care about the cause we were supporting, and it really pushed us to get it done. We can’t thank everyone enough.”

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