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Dave Hall

Interview with Dave Hall

21-Jul-14

Last updated: 07-Mar-16

Man in a Shack Endurance Challenge

On August 18th 2014 Dave Hall – an experienced marathon runner will set off on a running challenge like no other. Dave is hoping to raise awareness of the plight of families living in the slums in West African country Sierra Leone, one of the poorest countries on earth. He is running the length of the UK from John O’Groats to Land’s End – the equivalent of 40 back to back marathons and each night he will be sleeping in a “shack” very much like those that families in Africa live in all year round. He will be raising money to build 40 new homes for 40 families giving them hope and a future.

His story captured our imagination as to the good you can create in the world through running. You can view his itinerary here. We interviewed Dave to find out how his challenge evolved and what he plans to keep him going.  

Your running background

Q. How long have you been running?

A. I started in my late 30’s and I'm now 50 years old, so 14 years ago.

Q. What got you into running?

A. I'm an accountant and had small children, was fairly inactive and started putting on weight rapidly. I had always enjoyed sport so I started to jog to and from work, I entered my first marathon in the New Forest, loved it, and never looked back.

Q. What is your proudest running achievement to date?

A. I’ve never really looked for running achievements, just enjoyed the company, camaraderie and general banter of running. I am proud of my 12 London Marathon medals, joining the 100 Marathon Club, but mainly it’s the participation in events I enjoy.

Man in a Shack Endurance Challenge

Q. What made you decide to do this “man in a shack” challenge?

A. I felt it was time to use my running for something positive, being involved in this project has been fantastic. We're helping to raise awareness of the way in which other people live in some of the poorest communities and making a difference to families. The opportunity to run the whole of the UK must be a once in a lifetime experience and every long distance runner must have considered that possibility, so to be nearly ready to go is amazing.

Q. Have you raised money through running before?

A. Yes, on a number of occasions, most recently I ran for an armed forces charity over 5 days and raised over £5,500.

Q. How can runners stay in contact with you during your challenge?

A. How can runners stay in contact with you during your challenge? We have a website www.maninashack.com which will contain a daily blog, we are on Twitter @dave404040 and Facebook Man in a Shack Challenge. Contact details are on the website and details of all stopping points on route will also be there if anyone wants a visit or photos of the shack, etc.

Q. What do you hope to achieve with this challenge?

A. We hope to be able to build 40 new homes, rescuing 40 families out of the Freetown, Sierra Leone slums.

Q. What do you think will be the hardest part of this challenge ahead?

A. The whole challenge is extremely difficult, from logistics, running, getting enough sleep - the list is endless.

Q. When the going get’s rough what resources will you draw on?

A. Support of friends, families and other running friends who will encourage me throughout the 40 days.

Q. How can people best support your challenge?

A. Make contact through social media, it's always nice to know people are following your progress. It will be nice to meet people all over the country, as the challenge progresses all contact is encouraging.

Q. What kind of planning have you undertaken to prepare for this challenge?

A. The planning is still progressing, my brother Rev John Hall is heading up logistics with contacts at churches, schools, social clubs etc. for use of their car parks and for the Man in the Shack to use toilet and showers !!

It’s a wonderful challenge and a privilege to be involved in this event. Let’s hope I can give it every ounce of energy to achieve my goals.

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