‘It’s been exhausting’ – Top Ipswich runner completes extraordinary month-long challenge

Helen Davies after completing her mammoth challenge Picture: HELEN DAVIES

Helen Davies after completing her mammoth challenge Picture: HELEN DAVIES - Credit: Archant

A marathon runner from Ipswich has completed an extraordinary challenge to raise awareness for a good cause.

Helen Davies and her husband Gavin Picture: HELEN DAVIES

Helen Davies and her husband Gavin Picture: HELEN DAVIES - Credit: Archant

Helen Davies, a club runner at Ipswich Jaffa who has competed in major championships, spent the month of November running an ever increasing tally of miles to help raise money for charity.

The club regularly raises money for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) after the loss of two club members to suicide in recent years.

Helen wanted to help raise money for the charity and make some good of the most recent lockdown.

“I wanted to do something for me that was really positive,” said Helen. “Anything for me has to be a big challenge.”

Helen Davies on one of her runs Picture: HELEN DAVIES

Helen Davies on one of her runs Picture: HELEN DAVIES - Credit: Archant


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It was Helen’s husband that found the challenge, set by American runner Desiree Linden and decided to take it on.

Each day she ran the same amount of miles as the number of the day; beginning with one mile on November 1 and ending with 30 miles on November 30.

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Added up, she managed to cover 465 miles in a month. Each week would get tougher as the mileage Helen has won the Brighton marathon several times and previously represented England in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, but even with that experience behind her, she found the challenge tough.

“It’s been exhausting,” she said. “I have felt exhaustion like I have never felt before.”

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It was the final few days of the challenge that proved the hardest as the mile rate reached its highest point.

“Sunday was the hardest day,” she said. “It’s incredible what the mind can push the body to do.”

Despite this Helen was buoyed by the support she received from her family, coach and even complete strangers who joined her on the runs and helped her to keep going.

She said that the donations to her challenge also helped to keep her motivated.

“I wanted to give people something to get behind,” said Mrs Davies.

Her original fundraising target was under £500, so far she has more than quadrupled this to well over £2,000.

You can donate by searching for Helen Davies on JustGiving.

You can donate on Just Giving.

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.

You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.

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