The Extreme 2015 Challenge

Extreme Progress so far

We’re now over ¾ of the way through 2015 and we’re pleased to report that we’re still on schedule – we’ve done 17 different Park Runs and 14 of the endurance challenges, just 3 Park Runs and a marathon to do!

It hasn’t all been plain sailing – whilst we’ve really enjoyed the events themselves, particularly doing some wonderful things that we’ve never done before in some wonderful places with some pretty amazing people, the training has been a hard slog to say the least. Getting up at 5.30am three mornings a week since last December to go swimming before work, when at the start of 2015 we couldn’t even swim a length without having to stop for breath twice, has taken some determination, as well as the logistics of trying to fit in the different sports – when you’ve got a 100 mile bike ride only a few weeks after an ultra-marathon how do you fit in the bike-specific training? That’s not to mention the times when we’ve had some sort of niggle that normally you would stop to rest for a few weeks but you have to just try to keep going through. But all that is banished when you are running the marvellous Anglesey Coastal trail in bright January sunshine, or breathing the fresh Dolomite mountain air, dipping your bike tyre in the North Sea having made it all the way from the Irish Sea or running a Park Run with friends or family who have never run 5k before that have been inspired to do so to support the challenge.

Now the finishing line is in sight we’ve stepped up some of the last few events. We did our first triathlon a few weeks ago (which might not sound that impressive to everyone but given the swim ability at the start of the year was a really proud achievement for both of us), then we put together our own “double trouble” in October – “Hell up North” half marathon mud run (that also included swimming/wading through some freezing cold lakes and bogs in Delamere Forest) on the Saturday followed by a 60 mile bike ride on the Sunday. The final two events are both currently planned to be running ones – possibly the toughest of our challenge next weekend, a 40 mile ultra, followed by a marathon on new year’s eve. And then, if we’re still alive, much celebrating and start planning the 2016 “sofa/chocolate/wine” challenge!

How can you support us?

Other than keeping us busy for the next twelve months, the main goal is to raise awareness and support for the charities and help raise much needed funds. We and the charities would be grateful for your much needed support.

Donation page for Child Growth Foundation

Donation page for Marie Curie Cancer Care

 Check out our Extreme 2015 recap video

Ali and MikeWhat is the Extreme 2015

In case you’ve missed our blogs the Extreme 2015 is a challenge that Alison and I (Mike) have dreamed up to challenge us in 2015. I’ve be writing a series of blog over 2015 which cover our Extreme 2015 challenge.

We have been running with Abbey Runners for a few years now and since our introduction to the fun of marathons at the 2014 Manchester Marathon have been looking for a new challenge.

Having decided that one challenge is never enough, this year (2015) we have decided to support two worthwhile and deserving charities by (hopefully) completing a series of events throughout the year. In keeping with the “2015” theme we have decided on 20 short distance events and 15 endurance/challenge events. Well, we weren’t doing 2015 endurance events, were we? That would just be plain daft….

The charities we have chosen to support are:


As many of you know, we have a personal connection with the Child Growth Foundation through our goddaughter, Emily. Marie Curie Cancer Care is being supported in 2015 by Alison’s employer, Yorkshire Building Society.

What are the Extreme 2015 events?

The 20 short distance events:

We are targeting 20 different Park Runs (5km distance). For those not familiar with the world of Park Run, these are a series of free, weekly, 5km timed runs throughout the UK and around the world. They are open to everyone and are safe and easy to take part in and we see these as a great way of encouraging others to join in and support this challenge and more importantly these charities.

We plan to be a bit flexible with exactly which Park Runs we run, and when, but have put a rough schedule together.

The 15 endurance/challenge events:

These events will range in difficulty from the hilly 15.5 Mile Anglesey Coastal Challenge on January 17th through to marathons and, if all goes to plan, our first ultra and triathlon later in the year.

We’ll start on January 1st (yes after a mad New Year’s bash and an evening of frolicking) with two back to back Park Runs at Panshanger and St Albans and hope to finish with the Liverbird Marathon on December 31st 2015. In between we’ll be running, cycling, kayaking, swimming (assuming we learn to swim in time otherwise it’ll be snorkeling) and putting our bodies to the test.