Fitness Fanatic, Will Bourne-Taylor is running an 100 mile route from his home of Oxford to London raising funds for Y Care International’s Tools for Recovery campaign. Will explains what inspired him to raise funds for Y Care International and shares his top tips for others thinking of putting on their running shoes for Y Care International.
What inspired you to fundraise for Y Care International?
One of my dearest and most amazing friends Lizz Harrison works for the incredible charity Y Care International. Those who work for the charity absolutely bury themselves in their efforts…I could not do what Lizz does. I do not have much money to donate to the cause. What I do have however is two legs which vaguely work, a little bit of stubborness and an urge to try and help in some way.
Have you done anything like this before? If not, why did you choose this?
I have always tried to be fit and active throughout my life – working as a Physiotherapist it is always good to be able to do what you ask of others! My brother is a two time Olympic rower so I have had a good incentive to keep in good shape over the years!
In 2010 I completed the Marathon des Sables, a 156 mile run over six days through the Moroccan Sahara Desert. It opened my mind to what it is possible to achieve with a bit of hard work and the right attitude.
Tell us about the route you’re running? Is there a specific reason you chose it?
When I tell people I have always wanted to run 100 miles they look at me as if I’m mad, but it’s just something I have thought about for many a year. A distance such as that is not to be underestimated so that’s why I chose a route I knew would be pretty flat. The Thames Towpath is fairly iconic and running from London to Oxford has a nice ring to it.
What’s been your approach to training? Any tips for others thinking of doing something like this?
In all honesty I decided to do this run very late in the day in terms of what would be considered appropriate preparation so my training has been fairly intensive. I happily run 30-40 miles a week anyway in a futile attempt to tire out my dog but over the last month have upped the mileage at weekends. My approach to training has been the same as when I once went snowboarding – go big or go home!
I would recommend to anyone thinking about something similar to give themselves as much time as feasibly possible to prepare. As well as conditioning the musculoskeletal system in the body, getting one’s mind prepared for the mental anguish that will be encountered as well as getting one’s stomach used to eating and drinking on the move are key aspects that need to be practised and perfected.
Above all of the technicalities though I would say don’t be afraid of thinking big, back yourself all the way and enjoy what you’re aiming for.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge of your fundraiser?
The biggest challenge will be avoiding injury beforehand and overcoming a pretty strong urge to stop moving when doing the full distance. The most I will probably run in training is about 60 miles and that is not going to be exactly pleasant! However I know I can draw on many things to keep me ticking along. That is the driving force of fundraising for those less fortunate than yourself: any misery I experience in one day pales into insignificance next to what some people around the world have to endure on a daily basis.
The fact that in a very short space of time I have managed to raise significantly more than I could ever have donated myself is a tremendous source of inspiration to me on every training run, every (painful) ice bath and will be especially on the 18th July.
Will runs from Oxford to London on July 18th. To follow his progress and sponsor his epic fundraising efforts visit his page here: www.justgiving.com/Will-BT
Just £6 could provide a megaphone and training for a young person to become a peer educator and help reduce the spread of disease.