Want to know who’s done the challenge? These are the people who’ve completed 1095miles since its inception….
JAMES ELLIS: September 21, 2009-September 22, 2010
James Ellis makes a mean cup of tea but is also a journalist, photographer, trainer and consultant who specialises in the travel industry.
Born in a pub in South Yorkshire mining town in the late Sixties, he caught the travel bug at an early age when his mother, Audrey, decided to pre-empt Shirley Valentine by moving to Greece when he was ten.
She did this by buying a car and caravan and driving the length of Europe with two young kids and her 20-year-old niece in tow. Thanks to a crash in France, an aborted attempt to drive up the Wurzon Pass in Austria (where caravans are banned) and deciding to navigate the pock marked roads of what was Yugoslavia rather than getting a ferry from Italy, the four-day journey took four weeks.
James has now travelled to more than 80 countries and is the former travel editor and deputy features editor of Metro. He has co-authored a number of travel guides but this blog allows him to give his un-edited views on travel and the travel industry.
He lives in Leeds with his wife Laura, their twins Martha and Gracie, and their two cats Mini and Uma.
He was the instigator of the 1095 Miles Challenge and the first person to complete a year.
ANDY RATCLIFFE: September 20, 2010 – September 21, 2011
Andy Ratcliffe lives in (and runs around) Harrow, North West London.
He describes himself as a cyclist of some 20 years experience. That and a plodder, certainly not a runner!
Andy first met James for his 1095th mile run earlier this year and has since convinced himself that 3 miles a day isn’t all that much 😉
At the ripe old age of 32 Andy ran a marathon, Brighton, in April 2010. He’s now got the running bug. And a pair of chicken legs… and completed the 1095 challenge.
STEVE MORRIS: September 20, 2011 – September 21, 2012
Steve Morris is a convert from hating running and only using it as a means to stay fit to actually enjoying it now, especially if he can get off-road.With a few 10k’s both on and off road and the odd multi sport event, he took up the challenge as the third 1095miler and completed it in September 2012. He works in IT and in Business Intelligence.
Living in the Chiltern Hills with my wife and son, He tries to get out into the woods when possible either on the bike or on foot and if its dark then that can make for a fun off road trot .
AOIFE GILMARTIN: July 6, 2012- July 5, 2013
Aoife Gilmartin started running in January 2010 after over a decade of being pretty unfit! She did her first 10k in June that year and definitely picked up the running bug .. But never thought she could do a marathon .. But she did … And in a respectable 4.08.
Since the marathon her motivation was a little lacking so she took on the 1095miles.com challenge to motivate herself to run again .. Even on those days when it’s the last thing you want to do!
She now spends time convincing other people that if she can do it .. Anyone can!
DAVID WHITEHEAD: July 10, 2012-July 9, 2013
David Whitehead started the challenge when he was 47 years old and married with three children. He had run on and off for years and completed five marathons, the latest being Chicago in October 2011. He felt he needed to challenge himself with something new and read about 1095miles.com in Runner’s World. It sounded perfect and so he went for it.
AMANDA GOSEK: July 27, 2012 – July 26 2013
Amanda Gosek lives in North Carolina, USA. She started the challenge in July 2012. She started running the day she and her husband separated. and says: “Since I have became a runner I feel younger and stronger than I have my whole life.”
She loves to run alone early in the morning or late at night and has gotten her brother, sister-in-law and a couple friends into running as well.
Besides running her passion is teaching and she also loves to bike, be at the pool or beach, cook….actually she likes to do just about anything as long as she is having fun.
STEPHEN MARSDEN – August 19, 2013 – August 18, 2014
Stephen Marsden started the challenge in August 2013 as a 40-year-old married man with three kids and took up running on 1st January 2012 after feeling as unfit and as heavy as he had ever been. With a raging hangover, he entered the Liverpool Half Marathon in spring 2012, followed a basic training plan and finished in 2h 06m which he was happy with. Two days later he bumped into a mate of mine who had entered the Liverpool Sprint Triathlon in July so being up for a challenge, he entered too. Not being able to swim (over 50m) didn’t really stop him, and after some lessons and a bit of cycling he finished in 1h 27m! And was chuffed to bits. He has now done three Olympic distance (1.5k/40k/10k) events since then. He lives on the Wirral, in Cheshire with his amazing wife Amanda, and three kids Heidi, Isaac and Oscar.
JON NORTH – August 19, 2013 – August 18, 2014
Jon North started the challenge as a 40-year-old married father of three in August, 2013. He took up running when he realised his rugby playing days were coming to an end! He has run a couple of 10k events and was planning his 4th half marathon in October, 2013. Previously a cardio hater (while rugby playing) he was firmly a ‘guns and chest forget the rest’ merchant! He has found running enjoyable if at times challenging! He is a project manager for one of the UK’s largest construction firms and enjoys spending time with the family. He also says he ‘enjoys the finer things in life.’
JOHN NEWTON – August 19, 2013 – August 18, 2014
John Newton is the father of three young children who took up running approximately three years before taking up the 1095 challenge when his sister challenged him to run the ‘Town and Gown’ 10k race in Oxford. He really enjoyed the training and thoroughly enjoyed the race so got the bug from there! He has since competed in further 10k races and has completed three half marathons. His brother in law, Jon North, is friends with Steve Morris who did the challenge and the John and Jon had been meaning to take up the challenge for some time. Their friend Stephen Marsden deciding to take the plunge made the two of them finally follow suit.
GER CLARKE – September 6, 2013-September 5, 2014
Ger Clarke was 30 when he took up the challenge – and to celebrate his unstoppable aging, started running at the end of 2012. The idea was to somehow get fitter. Starting from a point where he couldn’t have been much more unfit. He started on a couch to 5k and could barely manage the intervals at a slow jog, never mind a proper run. He aimed to get to 5k and then stop but didn’t. Then it was a 5 mile, a 10k, a 10 mile and so he got the running bug which he didn’t really believe existed. Ten miles might not seem like much but he had only ever dabbled in exercise in the past, and getting to 1095 miles was an incredible success story.
David Haskett January 6, 2014 – January 5, 2015
At the ripe old age of 34 and weighing in at 15.5 stone David Haskett decided that it was time to start living healthy again. During 2013 he stopped chomping enough food for three people and decided to eat enough for one, which resulted in a two-stone loss in weight.
While changing his eating habits, two of David’s neighbours took up the 1095 Miles challenge which provided the opportunity to see some of the positive impacts the challenge can have on the participants. The gauntlet was thrown down for this chubby father of two and on January 6, 2014 David started his 1095 miles.
Kate Jerrum January 7, 2014 – January 6, 2014
Kate Jerrum is a 42-year-old mum of two who lives in London with her son and two cats, Cosmo and Angus. In March 2013 she decided enough was enough and she needed to get into shape. So she made a life-changing decision. Inspired by her closest friend who is extremely fit and healthy she decided that 2013 was the year for me to concentrate on her diet and lifestyle, so she embarked on a new journey.
She started off power walking for two hours a day, then progressed to doing intervals of running and walking. As the weight dropped off she started to feel fitter and decided to join the local gym where my friend gave me advice and a training programme.
Nine months on she now trains at the gym four times a week and runs three times a week. She has also joined the Sweatshop community running club. which has been great to keep her motivated. I usually run anything between 3 and 6 miles.
When a friend told her about the 1,095 mile challenge she thought of nothing else for days. This was it, this was the challenge for her.
Nathan Still – June 2014 – June 2015
Nathan, 41 when he started the challenge, is married with three kids and lives in Northampton, England.
He has ran the London marathon with a PB of 3hrs 51mins but injuries since 2009 mean he has done no further than a 10k. Now feeling injury free, he has decided to take up the 1095miles challenge.
He says: “I wanted to do something that would be really challenging from a dedication point of view and be part of a pretty exclusive club. I have been completely inspired by Jon North who was my fellow toe rag and dedention buddy at school. Reading his blogs makes you realise quite what an undertaking this is but I am not scared……. Much!”
Toby Christensen – August 14, 2014 – August 13, 2015
Toby Christensen is married and has three sons.
He used to play rugby (not very well) and has been running on and off since 2006. So far the highlight of his running has been completing the London Marathon in 2010.
He lives in the same village as two 1095mile.com runners so hoped to pick up the baton from them and carry it on, and did so completing it on August 13, 2015 – his 40th birthday.
Richard Groenenberg – October 8, 2014-October 8, 2015
Richard Groenenberg was 37 when he became the first runner from the Netherlands to attempt the 1095mile challenge in October 2014.
He has been active his whole life but mainly as a swimmer and cyclist rather than a runner.
A sufferer of depression, he decided to take on the challenge when he found that duration sports can help and a friend of his, Mc van Zundert, told him about 1095miles.com after one of her friends, Aoife Gilmartin, became the first woman to finish 1095 miles in June 2013.
Richard has a busy life – he has a tree nursery – but is determined to take his life back into his own hands, and made a great start by completing 1095 miles.