13 March 2018

Thomas Harris is the Estates and Maintenance Services Manager for YMCA Derbyshire and is the Health and Safety lead for all of its sites. His role is to provide a key service, enabling YMCA Derbyshire to fulfil one of it’s four key values, that being to “Protect” those who step through our doors. This role ensures that all of the different departments carry out their work in a safe and effective environment.

1. What is the sporting challenge we hear that you’ve set yourself?

I am currently on a mission. I have set myself the aim to raise as much money as I can for the YMCA before the end of 2018 by running 1,000,000 meters (that’s the equivalent of 100 x 10kms). My runs are being tracked via GPS and each month, the accumulated distance run will be posted out to keep track of progress. I will be tackling several major running feats along the way including the London Marathon and the Lakeland 50 amongst others.

2. How did this challenge you’ve set yourself come about?

For the past few years, I have set myself fairly conservative New Years resolutions, to sign up for a physical challenge. But this past year, time has started to become increasingly precious. I decided that in order to encourage myself to take time for me, I would embark on a physical challenge I can look back on with pride.

Since I started work for the YMCA, I have been struck by the dedication and care staff take in carrying out the important work they do in order to provide security to those most at risk, education to those outside of the mainstream and support to those with few they can depend on.

I’d like my efforts to help reignite people’s awareness of the work we do to tackle homelessness and in the provision of support to those in need.

3. How do you plan to prepare yourself physically and mentally?

In terms of the mental challenges I may face, I will tackle them as they arise.The best plans are those which allow for a degree of flexibility.

I will certainly meet challenges in terms of illness and injury, but I have a wealth of experience, coming from a sports background having gained by BSc in Sports Studies and Health at the University of Worcester, where I set up the University Rowing Club back in 2005.

I have been a rowing coach with the GB Rowing Teams Start programme and have taken part in several random sporting events in the past, such as CaniCross with my four-legged training partner.

4. What do you hope to get out of this?

From a fundraising perspective, I would like to raise as much money as possible for the YMCA, but I have set an initial target of £2,500 by mid-April and I hope people will enjoy looking at my JustGiving page and keep up-to-date on how the challenge is going.

From a personal perspective, I would like to use the challenge to invest some time in me, my mental health and my physical well-being.

I would like people to use my example to say, “If he can run the equivalent of 2,750m every day for a year, maybe I should invest a bit more time in myself physically and mentally.”

5. How can people get behind you? 

Please visit my JustGiving sponsorship page. Thank you!