Year of challenges completed!

Congratulations to Wrexham itec’s Julian Ayres who has completed year of challenges and in doing so has run, swam and cycled the equivalent of the distance from London to Beijing.

Julian, who has competed in Ironman competitions, triathlons and races of 38 miles, 50 miles and even a staggering 100 miles, has been raising money for Wrexham itec’s chosen charity Advance Brighter Futures.

Julian’s training app showed that by December 2016 he had clocked up 2,199 running miles, 2,003 cycling miles and 148 swimming miles. Added to 700 competitive miles, and Julian has travelled an amazing 5,050 miles – the distance from London to Beijing.

Some of the events Julian has completed this year include the 38-mile Railway Ultra, which he completed in 5hrs 01 mins, the Manchester Marathon, completed in 2hrs 51mins and the Conwy Gran Fondo Cycle, a 104-mile journey completed in 6hrs 50mins.

Last weekend (Novermber 6, 2016) Julian attempted the toughest race of them all – the 100 mile White Rose Ultra marathon in Huddersfield. Unfortunately, the tough terrain and a fall after 20 miles meant he had to call it a day at 46 miles…but it’s not been enough to put him off.

Julian said: “I’ve already signed up for another 100 mile ultra in May next year. I’m determined to do it.

“I had a fall at about 20 miles in, and after 40 miles I was really hurting, physically and mentally. I was running totally alone and in the dark, and I struggled to pick myself back up. Only six people actually completed the 100 miles, that’s how tough it was.”

“It struck home how important mental health is”

Julian, a Learning Development Practitioner at training provider Wrexham itec, has been raising money for Advance Brighter Futures, a Wrexham-based mental health charity that helps people in the county. He said it really struck home how important mental health is while competing in the 100 mile challenge.

He said: “Once my head went down at 40 miles, I really struggled to pick myself up and carry on. The mental toughness of these events is sometimes as exhausting as the physical effects. It really struck home how mental health issues can have a massive impact on all areas of your life.” If you would like to sponsor Julian, please visit his fundraising page at