Sometimes our lives are affected by things we can’t control. Periods of anxiety or depression. The loss of a loved one. A worldwide pandemic. When things start to go awry, it can be hard to stay on track, but the mark of an athlete is to stay strong in the face of adversity.
Will took up ultra-marathon running to help cope with the death of his mother who sadly died from Cancer back in 2018. He then decided to challenge his negative energy of anxiety and depression transferring it into what he described as self-harm through the pain of doing a physical challenge, proving that whatever life throws at you, progress never stops.
Will, you’ve been a semi-pro rugby player, and model, and an ultra-runner, but what is your earliest memory of fitness or sport?
I played rugby growing up, playing since I was about five years old. I spent weekends going down to the local school playing field and playing tag rugby, running round like a lunatic.
What was the key factor for you turning to running?
The key factor that turned me to running was, unfortunately, the untimely death of my mother. When I was playing rugby semi-professionally, the idea of going for a run to me seemed like such a stupid and pointless task because there was no way of winning. I wasn’t going to score. I didn’t have teammates around me. Running looked like such a lonely thing.
When my mum passed away, I found it was my therapy or my escape. It was how I dealt with things. Once I started doing it and noticed it had started to make me feel better and more able to deal with the problems, I decided to take it to more of an extreme. What I really loved was doing things that were out of the ordinary and raising money for charity. That was something that pushed me to want to do more and attempt longer distances over longer times. It was a natural progression to find ultra.