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A Brief History of the GBC's Origins

By Steve Warren, Sep 22 2014 10:21AM

In the early 1970’s, while serving with the British Army in Germany, Glen Moulds (founder) entered and completed the famous Nijmegan Marches several times. These 4 day walks have been going for nearly a century and make up the world’s largest walking event with over 50,000 entrants each year and one million people going to watch them, making it the largest sporting event in Holland.

After Glen turned 50 he was looking for a personal challenge and remembered the Nijmegan Marches, so, with permission from the Nijmegan Committee he copied the 4 day walks starting and finishing from his own purpose built sports facility The Academy Health & Fitness Centre in the village of Barrow, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

In 2009 and 2010 the Challenge only covered walking over various distances: 6, 10, 15 or the full 26.2 miles each day. At the end of 2010 Glen was approached by several friends James Heath a triathlete from Barrow and Glenn Morris a cyclist from Bury St Edmunds to add ‘running’ and ‘cycling’ to the event. The Great Barrow Challenge was born.

Team GBC 2011

From Left to Right:

John Evans GBC Photographer, James Heath Triathlete (i.c Running) and Glen Moulds (Founder) & Glenn Morris

In 2012 The Great Barrow Challenge was then put on 4 times a year adding the Christmas, Spring, Summer and Great Barrow Challenge, still a 4 day event.

At the end of the 2013 challenge Glen was approached by Kate Jayden, Rik Vercoe, Simon Illingworth, and some of the other serious marathon runners and asked to put on a 10 marathons in 10 days. Glen obviously thought they were mad but quickly jumped on board and accepted the challenge. In order to concentrate on this he cancelled the cycling part of the challenge and concentrated on the running with distances of 6, 10, 15 and 26.2 miles. He now had the blessing of the 100 Marathon Club UK and Ireland.

2014 was epic! It saw the first 10 marathons in 10 days multi terrain in the UK and possibly Europe with 15 runners completing the full 10 days (see Roll of Honour and Class of 2014)

It was during this event that Glen decided to increase the challenges by losing the 6, 10 and 15 mile options and only putting on marathon distances. The Academy was nicknames 'Snickerland' (marathons only) have to be the right age!

2015 now sees the first 10 in 10 Ultra distances of 32 miles as well as the original 10 in 10 marathon distances while keeping the original 4 in 4 quads for running and walking. Individual days are also stll available to comply with 100 Marathon Club rules.

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