Fantastic feats achieved by Leeds woman on a mental health mission...

Her Determined bid to complete 35 charity challenges before she turns 35 looks set to be smashed by former Leeds Trinity student Gill Barker.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 3:00 pm

Gill has completed a 127-mile run of the Liverpool to Leeds canal as part of her own two-year initiative.

The 34-year old did the run from August 25 to 30, to raise awareness of mental health, and fundraise for Leeds Mind and Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Gill came up with ‘35 Before 35’ after watching her cousin in the 2018 London Marathon and being inspired by runners who and their individual stories.

She wanted to push her physical and mental boundaries, and improve her own mental health, which she admits to previously neglecting.

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In the last year, Gill has completed 28 out of 35 challenges and has raised over £2,000 through activities such as a Coast-to-Coast cycle, Brighton Marathon, climbing Mount Snowdon and a 24-hour run.

She has also overcome mental challenges that included public speaking, improving her nutrition and overcoming a fear of heights.

Gill said: “I don’t think it has sunk in yet that I completed a 127-mile run, but I’m glad I managed to stick to running 20-something miles a day for six consecutive days. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself – I would recommend it!”

Gill, who works at Leeds Trinity University as a senior marketing officer,did the Selby Three Swans Sportive, cycling 30 miles, two days after her run.

Brett Arnall, alumni relations officer at Leeds Trinity, said: “I don’t think Gill realises how much admiration people have for how she has challenged herself. The fact she is raising significant funds for great causes says a great deal about the type of person she is.” Gill’s final secret challenge will be on March 14, 2020, when she turns 35.