If I can complete the Brutal Half I can do anything.

It was a new year and that can only mean one thing. A new challenge. Despite loving every minute of the Brutal Triathlon my passion will always be running. Most of us have that love-hate relationship with running, don’t we? We sometimes need a break from it to recover or just to reaffirm our faith that nothing else quite makes the cut.

Last year I needed a break, which led me to the triathlon and all the faff that goes with it. I was nervous and Claire, the director of the accurately named Brutal Events was amazingly supportive during my anxious emails, sharing my fear that I wouldn’t quite make the bike cut off. She alleviated my fears and to my relief, I made it, with time to spare.

This year had to be about running. I have successfully completed two Brutal events and for me, it’s a no brainer to head back to their website to find my next challenge.

I must admit, I did not put a great deal of thought into it other than, ‘it can’t be as hard as an ultra.’ With that thought I signed up to run 10 marathons in 10 days.

Having completed a 50 mile ultra a few years ago I have been craving another challenge for my mind and body. I needed the break though because it really hurts my knees!

BrutalI am not motivated by speed or time limits. I am inspired by endurance and relish in the challenge of simply being able to keep going. What is the point in doing something you know you can do? Brutal is great for this. There is always something more, something bigger and something you have never even thought of.

I am really excited. I will get to spend ten days doing something I love. It doesn’t get any better than that right? Over the past few months I have been running up and down the Gosport golden mile; car one end and toilets at the other. My longest run has been a 21 miler; not only did I have the company of the greatest ultra-runner I know; I had a tour guide who showed me I could venture further than a mile’s radius of my car. ‘Novel idea’ I thought but I absolutely love multi-lap events. When you know how far you have left and what you have accomplished. These marathons will be laps of a scenic 2.2mile path along Dorney lake; perfect!

I received my information pack four weeks ago which is plenty of time to plan and mentally prepare myself for running 260ish miles. Little did I know that there will be another event taking place during the same ten days. I knew each marathon started at 1600hrs so half of mine will certainly be in the dark. I just thought that added to the brutal ethos. I was wrong. 16 people will be doing a deca. I know I couldn’t believe it either. 10 brutal triathlons in 10 days. WOW.

That is what I love most about brutal events. The people you get to meet are not only incredibly inspiring beyond words but they genuinely get excited for you no matter how big or small your event is in comparison.

Brutal, I am ready for you. 10 marathons in 10 days starting 4th October 2017 fuelled by jam sandwiches and smiles.


Michelle Yates now works as a Personal Trainer, having served in the British Army as a nurse. After experiencing two tours in Afghanistan, she has chosen to run for Combat Stress. You can read more & visit her JustGiving page here.