Ordsall soldier Joe Ferries is taking on an 82-mile ultra-marathon in April to raise funds for Ordsall Park and Salford Lad’s and Girls Club FC.
Joe, a warrant officer in the British Army, is making the 253-mile journey to Dorset to complete ‘The ONER- Rab’s Ultra Marathon’. The remarkable 82 miles from Studland to Charmouth on the 9/10th April must be completed within 24 hours and requires self-navigation to check points along the Jurassic Dorset coastline both day and night.
“I’ve always wanted to give it a crack but never really had the opportunity and I’ve been trying to run it for the past 3 years but it keeps getting cancelled so this is third time lucky.”
Ordsall born and bred, it was important to Joe to fundraise for the community he grew up in. “I used to play for Salford’s Lad’s Club as a kid and I used to go to Salford Lad’s Club. It’s been around forever really, all my life and then some.
Realistically I love kid’s football. I love grassroots, I love competition and sport, I think that it was a massive part of my youth growing up and I think it shapes what I do as a soldier now and how I’ve developed as an adult.”
“There’s the social aspect, there’s the young mental health aspect, there’s so many different things that I think competition and sport really gives to kids and the youth. Especially in areas like Ordsall. It’s quite a deprived area with lots of development but not really realistically for those within the community, more commercial sort of property development just to benefit corporate and businesses.”
Preparation for the event has been vital, but hasn’t all come easy. “It’s rough, it’s hard work trying to balance it. I’m a full time soldier at the end of the day and a full time family man; so trying to squeeze it in between all that is difficult. It causes some friction between me and the missus, but its going well, its progressive.” He joked.
“I’ve been running marathons or ultra-marathons every weekend in preparation for it, so it’s not just one event, its lots of smaller events preparing for one big event- since December I’ve ran about 400 miles, it’s a lot of work preparing. The event itself will probably be the easy bit.”
As a dad of four, Joe has all the support behind him and is hoping it will inspire his children. “One of my fundamental ethos’ as a father is to inspire children through fitness and mental resilience. That is a big part of what I’m about. I really enjoy mental resilience, pushing myself beyond what people would consider a normal or a little bit crazy. If I can inspire the kids just to be more active and do stuff then 100 percent its worth it even if it means putting yourself through pain and suffering”
“Once you start pushing yourself beyond limits that you think you’d never thought you’d be able to get to and then you start achieving. There’s no limitations.
The only limitation is your own mindset and the truth is absolutely anybody can run a marathon.”
You can donate to Joe’s Go Fund Me here