If you increased your walking during lockdown to escape the confines of your own four walls, then you’ll know even 30 minutes can leave you a little breathless.
So, the idea of 30 marathons in 30 days might mean you need a lie down just thinking of it.
Yet that’s exactly what one lone ranger did on a mission to fundraise by walking a staggering 786miles throughout November to raise cash for Royal Papworth Hospital.
The hospital, based in Cambridgeshire, is one of the world’s leading cardiothoracic hospitals and the UK’s main heart and lung transplant centre.
Speaking exclusively to Uspire, Andrew Forster told us about why he embarked on the incredible quest that tested him not only physically but also mentally.
Andrew said: “I took on the challenge because I was working for the hospital during COVID-19 and saw how hard everyone was working so I just wanted to give back.
“I myself moved into hospital accommodation for three months to make sure I could be on call 24/7 to take delivery of PPE and to make sure the wards were fully stocked.
“Also, I wanted to do it because the hospital gave me a chance of employment years ago when I was struggling to find work and I wasn’t in a great place myself.”
While Andrew admits he is sporty and a keen walkaholic, he did reveal his fitness journey is one that did not come so easily and is something he has been working on over the years.
He explained: “Before I started working at the hospital, I was 18st. Yet I got myself together and decided to lose some weight. I’ve become very sporty and have not been able to sit still since.
“Before the marathons, I walked roughly eight to ten miles a day anyway either at work or outside of work, so I didn’t really do too much training before.
“Though unlike celebrities who have teams of people around them for these charity challenges they do, I had no one to help me so I didn’t really have a training programme.”
Despite not having a rigorous training programme or a hype team around to motivate him, Andrew decided he would still do the challenge with his abilities and leave the rest to fate.
However, walking that many miles over such an intense timeframe does not come without its problems and Andrew faced multiple complications along the way.
He told us: “I constantly had injuries and niggles throughout the challenge; my feet, ankles, shins, knees, hips, but surprisingly the worst part was the sheer exhaustion.
“I was averaging only 4hours and 18minutes sleep a night for the month.”
Andrew continued: “I’m a single man and I’m used to being in my own company, so that wasn’t too much of an issue, but it would have been easier if I had a team around me.
“That said, my friends were great at sending me supportive messages throughout the challenge. I also had a guard of honour when I reached my last steps of the mission when I arrived at the hospital on day 30, which was a really nice way to end.”
Following his remarkable feat, clocking up 1,702,037 steps and amassing over £6,000 in donations, Andrew is now recovering at home just in time for Christmas.
He added: “I burned roughly 7,000 calories a day. I’m resting now and craving homemade food, after a month of eating tinned food, packet food and microwave meals.”
All of the money Andrew raised will now go straight to the hospital’s charity where they bridge the gap between NHS funding and the reality of providing world-leading care.
In particular, they help patients and their families by improving the hospital environment; providing state-of-the-art and additional equipment as required; developing new ways of treating cardiothoracic diseases; supporting staff; and expanding research capabilities.
It’s not too late to donate, simply click here: Andrew Forster.