What a challenge! Jason Roberts is planning to complete 7 iron distance in 7 days, starting at Land’s End and finishing at John O’Groats. Beginning on 17th August 2015, Jason will swim, run and cycle 980 miles (1,577 km), covering approximately 140.6 miles (226.3 km) a day for seven days. That means a 2.4 mile (3.86 km) swim, then a 112 mile (180.2 km) cycle ride and, to end each of the seven days, a 26.2 mile (42.2 km) run. Jason has been inventive out of necessity with his swims and will be swimming in the sea, rivers, lakes, swimming pools and his final swim will be in a Loch.
WHAT IS BEHIND THIS EXCEPTIONALLY HARD CHALLENGE?
In 2004 Jason had a back operation and, by 2009 he was told that he needed a second op. This was a wake-up call for Jason, who then decided to get his act together. By his own admission, he smoked too much, ate too much, drank too much and didn’t exercise. Jason gave up smoking, improved his diet, cut down on the alcohol and started to exercise. He says the only time his back gave him problems was when he stopped exercising for a couple of days. Jason’s mantra is ‘Strength in Movement’. Jason Roberts set himself smaller challenges at first, including Olympic triathlons and then decided to fulfill a lifelong ambition and that was to be the first person to achieve something on a grand scale. So, #7days7irons was born.
Planning this event was a personal challenge for Jason Roberts but he realised that his success could play a part in altering other people’s lives for the better, so he has set himself another challenge – to raise £50,000 by the end of 2015. Children North East is the charity Jason has chosen as he feels this charity is underfunded and the people involved work exceptionally hard to try and make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children and their families. Jason said, “When I read a statistic on their website that 24% of children in the north east live under the poverty line, ‘I was ‘sold’.” Children North East has been in existence since 1891 and each year this charity helps over 5,000 children, young adults and families to overcome various difficulties in their lives ranging from homelessness to abuse.
TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Jason is very lucky to have the support of family and friends during his hectic training schedule. He has already been training really hard, but his schedule will become even busier as he approaches deadline. He is lucky to have some big sponsors such as Barclays Bank, Elivar, Blueseventy, Unilite, M. Steel Cyles and Print My Clothing. Jason Roberts would love people to join him on any leg of his seven day challenge, even if it is just to cheer him on and encourage him to finish this arduous task he has set himself. If you join him on any of the running or cycle legs, make sure you wear your reflective running vest or reflective cycling vest, to ensure high visibility and safety on the road.
INSPIRATION TO OTHERS
On Jason Roberts’ website, www.7days7irons.com, he writes, “I hope that my journey inspires YOU to get up, get out, take life by the scruff of the neck and do something amazing! I’m not suggesting something as challenging as #7days7irons necessarily. But do give yourself a challenge and keep raising the bar, going further, getting faster, becoming fitter and healthier. We all have it in us. Sometimes you just need to dig deep and be your own inspiration!” Photos courtesy of 'Double-i-Photography'