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Running 100 miles to support disadvantaged young people to start a career in hospitality

  • March 16, 2020

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Guest blog by Terry Baker, Senior reporter, Europe, Hotel News Now / STR

On 13 June, Terry Baker will be running 100 miles in the South Downs Way run to support our youth employment programme, Youth Career Initiative (YCI).

Date: 13 June, 2020, 6am GMT
Route: South Downs Way between Winchester, Hampshire, and Eastbourne, Sussex
Length of time: 30 hours (24 hours for the much-coveted commemorative belt buckle)
To support Terry on this epic feat, please visit his fundraising page  

Terry works for STR and Hotel News Now, who support the Youth Career Initiative, so Terry’s support fits perfectly with his role in the hotel industry.

“YCI placing and supporting disadvantaged people in the hotel industry just makes so much sense. The industry prides itself on taking raw talent and empathy and making that into the perfect hotelier. If I and YCI can help in that, by putting people who thus far had little luck in their lives but an abundance of caring and passion, that seems to me a worthy undertaking.”

Terence adds that he, personally, has had so much good fortune come his way writing about the hotel industry, YCI’s work is something he very much feels support for. This is his second time supporting our work via his passion for long-distance running.

Here’s how Terry is getting on in training:

Training blog, 7 March 2020

I had a good base to begin with—I have been running all my life, with 23 marathons, a 100-kilometre run from London to Brighton and a double crossing of the Grand Canyon under my belt, as well as countless other races of differing distance—but in recent weeks I have been upping the mileage.

Today’s training route is about discipline, I think, and this is one thing I am learning about training for 100 miles (161 kilometres). Do not think of distance, think of loops, in my case six of them around the hills of Sydenham, Dulwich and Forest Hill. I can finish the next loop, and then when I do the one after that is only 4.3 miles of running. I can do that, too.

Terry reaches the “summit” of Wells Park Road (SE26 postcode) for the sixth time
Terry reaches the “summit” of Wells Park Road (SE26 postcode) for the sixth time

There are two major climbs, the first up Wells Park Road, the second three miles farther up Sydenham Hill. I would walk these two hills, using that time to eat something, and then I would carry on running on the flat, downhill or rolling terrain. One section through Dulwich Wood was a little muddy, but that’s okay. The SDW course is 85% off-road, so who knows what I might expect?

One nice incident was when I reached the top of Wells Park Road for the third time. There is a barrier there stopping motorised vehicles from descending a pedestrian-only path. I slowed down to let a pedestrian through the barrier, but he politely signalled to me to go first. Then he asked how far I was running. “Go, go, go, go, go,” he replied smiling, raising his arms, when I told him, and this just made me feel very happy for the rest of my miles.

Recovery drink of chocolate, mango, banana, raspberries, spirulina, water and apple juice
Recovery drink of chocolate, mango, banana, raspberries, spirulina, water and apple juice

I called my wife Francesca when I had 30 minutes of running left, and she joined me in very small Baxter Park, which is right behind where I live. Francesca does not like to run quite as far as I do (let’s face it, few do), but she met me carrying one of our kittens, Super-black, as I ran six tiny loops of this park in order to get to 26.4 miles (42.5 kilometres), that is, a little more than marathon distance.

This took me in all four hours, and, yes, I really do enjoy running for four hours. Four hours is noticeably slower than my marathon PB (having lived in New York City for 20 years it is difficult for me to refer to Personal Bests, rather than PR (personal records)), but that is the entire point. A marathon PR will—should—part-destroy you, while I now need to remain running as long as possible while feeling comfortable. The discomfort will no doubt come at some stage, but to delay that is to follow the theory that humans were designed to run for a long, long, long time, armed with sweat glands and hunger, to capture prey—in the days before Tesco Express meant that was no longer necessary.

The next stage of my training will involve much of the above, but also no rest the following day. Perhaps 40 miles on a Saturday, 20 on the Sunday. I’ll look at this sentence many times before I will find the strength to do this, but it is possible. I think it has to be.

To support Terry on this epic feat, please visit his fundraising page 

Route coordinates
Route coordinates
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