Tyrone men to undertake brutal running challenge in aid of AWARE
A group of Tyrone men with a desire to raise funds for a mental health charity will this week take on the gruelling '4x4x48' challenge.
Aughnacloy man Ben Nelson and Cookstown brothers Adam and Scott Glasgow will aim to run four miles every four hours for 48 hours in aid of AWARE, beginning in the early hours of Thursday. Having suffered a calf injury in training, Ballygawley's Darren Beattie will take on the challenge later in the year.
Local strength and conditioning coach Ben explains:
"We all had a conversation and decided that a challenge like this deserved a cause. But what? Doing it in aid of mental health was very quickly agreed upon. We had heard of the great work that local charity AWARE do for those in need of support and it really was a no-brainer.
"This year has been extremely challenging for many for obvious reasons.
Restrictions have hit everyone in some shape or form, whether it's not being able to meet with loved ones or go to the places which give us strength. Attending places of worship or social events of any kind have been at a halt for some time now. Also, places such as a gym or our sports clubs, where we can smash out a hard training session and get a release from everyday life, have been a no-go. What felt like simple things we all took for granted we could no longer do, leaving many frustrated, struggling and feeling isolated.
"We felt mental health had been pushed to the back as a priority a little over the pandemic, and that’s why it was top of our list.
"It was great to meet Margaret from AWARE last week and feeling how grateful she and the charity are to have us campaigning for them has only spurred us on. Rest assured we will be wearing our AWARE running vests with great pride.
"No ifs or buts, training has been tough as I sit here today with tired legs. But yet it’s been enjoyable in a weird way seeing how the body has adapted. The hard work has been done now as we make our final preparations for the first run on Thursday.”
Ben was the first to come up with the idea within the group.
“I liked the idea of the challenge, running through the night and seeing how the body responds with getting out every four hours on minimal sleep and rest is something that weirdly caught my attention,” he says.
“I needed someone mad enough to do to it with me, someone to keep spirits high when the tiredness sets in, and to keep morale up.”
Adam was the first person he contacted and after some deliberation, he was up for it!
“When Ben first mentioned it, initially I had no interest at all, although after we chatted I sort of warmed to the idea,” says Adam.
“I really fancied the challenge of pushing myself mentally and physically to the limits, and to be doing it for AWARE NI it gets me up for it all the more.”
Adam’s brother Scott was also quick to jump on board.
“I wanted to raise money for a great cause, but also on a personal level the past few months haven’t been easy with the lockdowns and there hasn’t really been much to do with everything being shut,” he said.
“Having something to train towards and look forward to has helped massively in keeping my physical and mental health in check.”
Having been involved in the fundraiser all along, Darren hopes to take on the challenge this summer.
“It’s very disappointing to have to pull out so close to the event,” he says.
“However, I will be putting my energy into fully recovering and keeping myself motivated for completing the challenge at a later date.
“We have raised too much money not to give everything to this.”
To donate to their challenge, click here.