Martin Read – Reporter
Some people start to ease up when important birthday milestones beckon – but not Gary Marlow – he’s got his foot on the accelerator with an extremely challenging list of activities to complete.
But, Gary just loves setting himself the most testing demands with contests that others would find too daunting to contemplate. Turning 30 Gary undertook 30 challenges and in 2012 he became a World Record Holder with Crawley Hockey Club, playing for 36 hours, which he followed up with a Spine Race and the National Three Peaks. More recently he has done the Yorkshire Peaks Ultra, 70km, and the South to North 93km and last weekend he tuned up with the local Hurtwood 50K. But, these events plus some long runs and mountain training are just to improve fitness to tackle the 268 mile Spine Race – part of the Ultra Series of exceptionally demanding endurance events designed to really push contestants – and known as Britain’s most brutal race. Next May Gary will undertake the Berghaus Dragon Back – described as the world’s toughest 5 day mountain running race, followed by the Cape Wrath 400km race starting in Scotland’s Fort William onto remote tracks to the furthest northwesterly point of mainland Britain, with towering mountains on one side and the crashing ocean on the other, Gary explaining: “To mark my 40th year I’ll be attempting to become one of the very few people in the UK to have a crack at those three Ultras, among the world’s very toughest – its my strange way of celebrating with an inspiring journey in an 18 month programme! “ Gary gives up much of his spare time for various causes, including Horsham’s life saving Community Responders. He volunteers as a Governor for Leechpool Primary School and supports with a variety of other activities and events in the district. And, just for good measure, he runs Marlow Sports and their Woods for Learning programme, saying: “We take an educational approach to outdoor play and learning and its great to co-ordinate with schools, scouts and guides to inspire kids to get outside to discover, explore, play and learn in a woodland environment, and its particularly rewarding to work with charities to help develop kids with a range of disorders and disabilities.” Enthusiastic feedback from Gary’s events includes: “Really well organised – a great range of activities, will definitely come to future events!” – “Mum, this is the best experience ever!” – “How blessed we are in Horsham to have this amazing experience available – my two children loved it and had a great time!” and “10 ++++” To defray some of Gary’s Ultra Challenge expenses he would be very pleased to hear from any local business willing to support him, in return for which he offers one of his comprehensive and celebrated Corporate Team Building days free of charge – focusing on outdoor learning, survival techniques and orienteering, building both individual and team skills, highlighted on social media. Gary sums up saying: “I can also provide after dinner speeches at your staff inspirational events – and, of course, any donations to Horsham Community Responders would also be most welcome, so I’d love to hear from anyone who’d like to be involved!” Gary Marlow – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07940 489257 – www.woodsforlearning.com