When I received an email from a supporter saying he wanted to fund-raise for The European Nature Trust by running five marathons in five days, I did have to ask whether he was joking. FIVE marathons in five DAYS?!
He wasn’t joking.
In July, Fred Chapman will be running from Bournemouth to London – 118.7 miles across five days averaging 23.75 miles each day. His route will take him through New Forest National Park, the South Downs National Park, and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
I asked Fred where this wild idea had sprung from and why he chose to fund-raise on behalf of TENT.
In early 2015, Fred passed selection for the Royal Marines. He was due to start training in September that year but before he could start, he broke his foot playing hockey. He retook selection four months after the break, but failed.
He remembers receiving the news, “It felt awful, it was gutting, but I only have myself to blame. I just wasn’t fit enough anymore, and I had a lot of stuff going on, so my head wasn’t in it. I think passing selection is 90% mentality and there was too much going on in my personal life at that time.”
Unable to realise his dream of joining the Marines or the Army, Fred now works in an office in London, which doesn’t suit him so well.
“I’m slowly getting more and more bored and more and more unhealthy. I miss nature, the mud, and the clean air of the countryside.”
– GETTING LOST IN NATURE
Fred discovered TENT because he had heard about Paul Lister’s determination to rewild Scotland at Alladale Wilderness Reserve.
“I love wildlife and the outdoors. Humans have selfishly disregarded the animals of the world and destroyed their natural habitats. It’s something we will all realise when it’s too late.”
“The European Nature Trust provides me with some hope that there may be a future for the wild world, that it might not become a total human failure.”
“I would love to see the green world expand rather than retract. I’d love to see large apex predators reintroduced back into the UK, even wolves.”
“Most of all, I just want wild animals to have the life they deserve. Letting land regenerate and reintroducing missing species is the most hopeful plan of action I’ve heard of.”
– ALLADALE WILDERNESS RESERVE
Fred will be preparing for this monumental challenge by doing what he normally does – running twelve miles two or three times each week, and then ramping it up for the last three months.
He plans on carrying a tent with him and pitching up in various campsites along his route.
When I asked Fred whether he was worried about anything, he said “No. I’m just really looking forward to spending five days off work, running through national parks. Getting lost in nature is what I enjoy most.”
Fred has already raised more than a quarter of his £2,000 target. Support him, and TENT, by donating here.
100% of all donations to TENT go directly to one of Europe’s leading conservation projects – the entirety of each donation is used in the protection and restoration of European wilderness and wildlife.