Aberdeen University’s Joe Folan speaks about his victory in CA running challenge

For full context, read yesterday’s news article!

Q: Congratulations Joe, you have won the prize, what motivated you to complete a massive 24 miles on the 31st?

A: I’ve been managing longer and longer runs at the weekend recently, I’m lucky enough to have plenty farm roads and loops around me to give me options to run. The longest I’ve managed before this weekend was 13 miles, but when I saw the CA event for the final day of the month, I knew more would be needed than that!

Q: Did you spot Paul Ross had just pipped you during the day? You got yourself out again after 10pm to claim the crown with a final 4 miles!

A: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t! I had in my head beforehand that there might be a late-night burst needed to see me over the line, I’m just lucky my legs were in ok condition to get back out again. I had the fear of waking up Monday and seeing he had done the same at 11.45pm!

Q: We launched the Barca and Back challenge to help get people active during the month of January, why did you decide to get involved?

A: With no shinty the last year I joined Metro Aberdeen, a local running club. I had been putting it off for years, as playing a game on a Sat and running on a Sun would be impossible to give 100% to each, not to mention running after possibly picking up a knock the previous day. Its definitely improved my fitness, but now they’ve also stopped since Christmas. When I saw the CA event being shared at the start of the month, it was time to test this out, and while it soon became clear that Rob would be uncatchable, but it was good to try and shadow him as much as possible!

Q: We hoped that by encouraging people to get active we would have a positive effect on some people’s mental health, do you find exercise to have this effect?

A: Definitely. In the last few years I’ve started running without headphones in, and on the runs you tend to just get lost in your thoughts. That might seem daunting to some, but it definitely helps me calm down. Not to mention you might feel knackered when out running, but whether its 2 miles or 12 miles, it feels fantastic getting in the door after it’s all done!