A 37 year old teacher, based in Buxton Derbyshire, Aleks turned to running at the end of July, 2012, using a couch to 5k app on his mobile phone as a way to lose weight. Now, he is preparing to take on his biggest challenge yet, using what he learned by running the length of the UK self supported in just 38 days. He is a barefoot runner, but more accurately he follows a minimalist ethos in his approach to running, focusing on efficiency of movement as apposed to speed. His love for the outdoors and running has allowed him to really begin to understand the true potential of ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.
‘At 34 years of age I was unfit, I was overweight with an ever growing waistline and the world I’d created for myself and the dreams I’d nurtured were falling apart around me and although I didn’t know it at the time, I was taking slow and deliberate step into the pit of depression. With my normality crumbling around me, I turned to running to get me out of a hole. It started with a free couch to 5km app and early mornings of death. Then it seemed logical to get the 10km version of the app. This quickly became a half marathon and then marathon app, moving me to longer stints of running. And throughout the whole process finding out more and more about barefoot or minimalist running.’
This summer Aleks is preparing for #RunE1Trail
The E1 is a European long distance trail that travels the length of Europe from Norway to Sicily. The route is 4750 miles long, covers a total ascent and descent of 75371m whilst travelling through 7 European countries. The challenge is to complete the entire route, self supported and on foot in less than 6 months of running.
Starting in Nordkap, Norway, Aleks will have to navigate his way down Norway, passing through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and finally arrive, 4750 miles later, in Palermo, Sicily. To complete the challenge, Aleks will be running 30 miles a day for 158 days, allowing 26 days of potential rest over the 6 months of the challenge, carrying an 8.5kg backpack containing everything he needs to survive. To make things more challenging, Aleks will be using nothing more than some running sandals or his barefeet to run the route. He has already put his feet to the test, completing a barefoot end to end of the UK during the summer of 2015, where he covered 1162 miles in just 38 days, which include 3 days of rest).
Aleks supported The Stroke Association on his summer adventure and will be supporting them again with #RunE1Trail, along side Mountain Rescue UK and Thomas Theyer Foundation, hoping to raise £50,000 to split between these three great causes and to inspire others to join him in his adventure, or to take part in adventures of their own.
Documenting his relationship with the landscape and the emotions this elicits, Tom loves telling stories. Whether it be running, riding or simply sitting still enjoying a brew in the wild. From the other side of the world to the remotest reaches of Scotland, or his local woods, Tom seeks adventure – and more importantly, fun – wherever the may be.
When not playing outside, he is regular contributing writer, editor and photographer to Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine, grit.cx cyclocross publication and Sidetracked Magazine.
Photo by Chris Davies http://www.chrisdaviesphotography.com
The Demon Drome Wall of Death was originally built in New York in 1927, it was then transported to England, before finding itself in Wales and Skegness in the sixties and eighties respectively.
“Dynomyte” Dave Seymore rescued it from a field where it had sat for years and then set about restoring it to its former glory. At 32ft wide and 16ft tall it’s the biggest and oldest original wall currently touring.
Dave now tours the UK and Europe with son Duke, wife Julia, daughter Alabama and six 1920’s Indian 101 Scouts. Duke is the second rider ever to ride facing backwards on a wall of death and the only rider in the world currently able to do so. The crew is fuelled by gasoline, Break Fluid coffee, adrenaline and Haribo.