Tragedy inspires Diss health club owner’s 126-mile ‘ultra marathon’

Tom Bobbins, owner of Heywood Health and Fitness in Diss, is running 126 miles from Diss to Amsterdam and back, to raise money for the Matt Palmer Trust. ANL-160510-161515009

Tom Bobbins, owner of Heywood Health and Fitness in Diss, is running 126 miles from Diss to Amsterdam and back, to raise money for the Matt Palmer Trust. ANL-160510-161515009

0
Have your say

After running in marathons for charity all around the world over the years, Diss health club owner Tom Bobbins is no stranger to a long-distance challenge.

Even he admits, however, that his plan to run 126 miles from Diss to the Netherlands and back, in just three days, might seem “a bit overboard”.

Tom Bobbins, owner of Heywood Health and Fitness in Diss, is running 126 miles from Diss to Amsterdam and back, to raise money for the Matt Palmer Trust. ANL-160510-161433009

Tom Bobbins, owner of Heywood Health and Fitness in Diss, is running 126 miles from Diss to Amsterdam and back, to raise money for the Matt Palmer Trust. ANL-160510-161433009

But the cause that inspired this gargantuan trek is one very close to his family — raising money and awareness for the Matt Palmer Trust, named after a friend who took his own life, aged in his early 30s, after struggling with depression.

Mr Bobbins, the owner of Heywood Health and Fitness, told the Diss Express: “My parents and Matt’s parents were best friends — we went on holiday together and visted each other a lot. In that respect, we grew up very close.

“Although the life and soul of most social occasions, Matt struggled internally with depression and found it hard to get on top of life.

“It (depression) is not something that’s always flagged up. People tend to keep it to themselves. It’s something that we really need to raise awareness for. The trust are doing unbelievable work towards that.”

Mr Bobbins’ journey will begin with the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday, October 16, which spans 26 miles.

Yet this will actually be the easiest part of the challenge, as the next day, he will run solo for 50 miles, from Amsterdam to Hook of Holland, then take the overnight ferry to Harwich, after which he will be running another 50 miles until arriving at his home in Diss.

In the past, Mr Bobbins has successfully completed the London Marathon three times, and conquered similar challenges in France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and the USA, in aid of charities such as East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice.

However, he says such an extreme “ultra-marathon” like this is very difficult to train for, and his aim is to just try and get through it.

“I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, people will think it’s a cause worthy of a few pounds,” he added.

Mr Bobbins set a donations goal of £3,000, and so far, he has received £1,716.13.

To support his efforts, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/thomasbobbins