Transcript: Kevin Betts – 52 marathon man (Max#44)


Kevin: Welcome to Maximise Potential the podcast to educate and motivate through a range of original interviews designed to help you maximise your potential.  Brought to you in association with the award winning recruitment group Jenrick.

Welcome back to Episode 44 of the Maximise Potential Podcast.  Most people in the UK will remember 2012 for the impact that the London Olympics made upon the nation.  However in the eyes of many it was the nationwide journey of the Olympic torch prior to the start of the games that stimulated the incredible interest in the Olympics themselves.  Each torch bearer had their own inspirational story and one such individual was 28 year old resident of Worthing Kevin Betts who was nominated by his community for his incredible fundraising efforts for charity and also the dedication he has shown in helping others less fortunate than himself.  Here is Kevin to share some of his very personal and moving story with us on the podcast today.


Kevin Betts welcome to the Maximise Potential Podcast.

Kevin B: Thank you very much for having me. Looking forward to talking.

Kevin: Your story in its own right is incredible and your achievements speak for themselves and I am going to do the right thing today which is literally shut up and turn over the interview to yourself.  You deliver talks all the time to schools, to businesses where would you like to start today?

Kevin B: I guess what I will do is start right from the beginning and tell you about who I am now, who I was and who I hope to be. So I am going to cover all of the different aspects of me as a person. I am a 28 year old average Joe basically.  There is nothing special about me, there is nothing that makes me think or makes me want other people to think that I am any different because to me that is what I hope inspires people.  They will see a normal bloke and they will be blown away by what I do.  They won’t see an extraordinary bloke who they think they can never be similar to. I want to lead by example, I want to show people that if you set goals in your life and you really, really have the drive and the determination to get there you will get there.  Many times in my life I’ve been told that I won’t be able to do something or that I shouldn’t do something and I’ve done it anyway and then I’ve turned around and give the proverbial finger to them and said look you said I couldn’t who is the better man for it.

So why am I like I am? I grew up in a little town in Leicestershire.  If you like pork pies you will know the name Melton Mowbray very well.  That is my bag pork pie, stilton cheese and growing up I was an average kid from a council estate.  The council estate I grew up on was called Colditz or that was its nickname anyway because it was like a prison nobody ever got out.  But essentially what we were told when we were kids is that we would get through school because you have to that’s the law and then you would get a job in the local pet food factory or at the stilton cheese factory.  And if you were lucky you didn’t have to work the night shift.  That’s the way our lives went.  And I was one of a few kids to challenge that idea and say actually I don’t want to do that I want to go and do something else.  I was a talented sports person; I was very good at football, never quite made it there.  I was very good at rugby had lots and lots of natural talent at rugby and I used to play for our county and had high hopes of becoming a proper professional rugby player which to me is the epitome, rugby is my sport I adore it, it’s what I live for and to be honest it’s the only thing I miss Leicestershire for is the passion for rugby, it’s the counties number one game.  And I went through kind of to the age of 15 playing a lot of rugby. My dad would drive me around to training every other night of the week despite the fact we had no money and he had to borrow a car and all of those other barriers he worked so hard to take me. And I would be training and training and get faster and better and you know the teams would be cut and I’d still be there and so on and so forth.

But my childhood was kind of tinged with the fact that I always knew my dad was slightly different to other people’s dads.  You know he wasn’t as level headed as them he could suddenly create conflict for no reason and he wasn’t rational sometimes.  He was up, he was down but he wasn’t ill because he never went to the doctor.  So it was simply a quirk that my dad had was you know. My dad was a bloke and bloke’s don’t get ill.  You know I remember watching him once he cut off the end of his finger but he still didn’t go to the hospital he is one of those people.  So because he was often up and down he certainly wouldn’t go to the hospital it was a case of pull yourself together and that’s what he often did he would pull himself together and he would get on.  But he would slowly go into more and more depths of despair and I realised that he was different and we were having problems and it kind of came to a head when I was 16. I was doing my GCSE’s I was right in the middle of the exams and my dad was at a particularly low time in his life and he decided to try and take his own life and I’d never considered that my dad would kill himself or anything like that you know he was just a bit crazy he would have his ups and downs and that was it. I never imagined him not being there, he would die of old age and that was it.  Suddenly I had this realism that my dad had attempted suicide.  He didn’t kill himself.  From that age through to the age of 18 my dad and I had some really severe issues between the two of us. I think that I loved him and I love him and I always will love him but we certainly had a lot of conflicts and we got into a lot of physical and mental fights and we are both very, very strong headed people and we would never back down and because of it we had massive differences in opinion that didn’t turn out well.  And it kind of came to a point when I was 18 where he threw me out and he said you are not living here anymore and I was very lucky at the time because I had a wonderful girlfriend called Amy who said come and live with us. And at the age of 18 which I don’t care what anybody says I was still a boy, I moved away from home and I moved 200 miles away to Bognor Regis but I always felt that I was running away from my problems.

Between the ages of 16 and 19 my dad attempted suicide seven times in total.  And it is weird because I went to University, I studied at Brighton, as I said I did bio-medical sciences and my dad had turned a corner and he was very, very positive. He had taken up sport which he had never done, he loved the fact that I took part in sport but he was never interested and all of a sudden he was exercising and he had a lot of mental fortitude and was doing really well.  So I relaxed.  I relaxed to the point that I almost didn’t expect the phone call that inevitably came on October 19th almost ten years ago from my sister during my Fresher’s week.  Now whenever, throughout those years my mobile phone was a hatred device for me because whenever I saw it call with either my sister or my mum’s name for me that was the call to say your dad’s dead.  It is really sad to say that to me it was inevitable that he would die, he would take his own life, it had got to that point where he had had so many attempts and been very lucky to have been saved a couple of times that it would happen to me and it would happen to us as a family.  And I did get that call and I remember seeing Millie my sisters name come up on my phone and just like every other time she called me my heart sank, I got worried, I got the sweats, I shook picked it open and with a bit of trepidation said hello and she simply said he’s done it.  The first three words that she said were he’s done it.  And I knew exactly what she meant.  She knew that I knew and I said okay I’ll be home soon.

It was on the train home that I had some time to think and I sat there and I started to really beat myself up because I realised that when I answered the phone and when she said those three words the first thing I felt was relief.  And I couldn’t deal with that. I then got really upset and I thought how could you that is such a selfish thing to do Kev to feel relief when someone tells you your dad is dead.  But I also realised that I was relieved that I would never get that phone call again.  I always knew he would die.  Didn’t really want to know that but I did and now it had happened and that was the turning point in my life that I said right this is where things change he has gone let’s make a difference, let’s do something different.  I went home, I did his funeral and lots of other things and you know I became what was classified as the man of the house and all of that and the biggest decision after that was do I go back to University, and it was tough and I talked to my family about it and you know at first they said you have to do what’s right for you and then I got undertones of but we would really like you to stay.  But then I quickly realised that in life you have to be selfish and it is a tough thing to admit but you are the only person that lives with you for 24 hours a day and you have to do what makes you happy.  Not to the extent that you eradicate other people and other things in your life but once you are happy with the person you are then you can start to pass it on to other people.  So I came back down to Uni and I decided after not playing rugby for a couple of years because of you know my dad’s mental health problems and frankly becoming a lazy student I was going to do what I always promised to him I would do and I would take up rugby again and I would become a very good rugby player.

So off I went as a two stone over weight bloke to join my local club.

Kevin: Can I just ask you, sorry Kevin, I’m letting you just go with your story today but why then? Can you remember what changed at that particular point?

Kevin B: Why then with regards to what?

Kevin: What they switched it from you as you say going into this lazy student overweight not doing sport anymore, something then changed for you to go I’m going to do something about this.

Kevin B: Oh good question I’ve not been asked it before.  I don’t think there was, it’s not a case of turning a corner I guess or doing anything like that.  I think it was a case of realism I saw the life that my dad had and I didn’t want it.  And I looked at the things that he did and I didn’t want them so I tried to do the opposite of what he did.  You know my love for him is absolutely unconditional but my decision to follow an opposite life to his was completely influenced by him making the wrong decisions in my opinion.  That coupled with the fact that I am a very driven person, I am a very competitive person meant that I couldn’t just plod along. I could fool myself for a little while but ultimately I am a pragmatist and I slapped myself and I said come on sort yourself out, your dad is dead, you can’t do anything about that, and this is where my mantra comes in.  And my mantra is that you can’t go back to yesterday and change it all you can do with yesterday is use it to change tomorrow.  So that is what I do.  And every time I feel like I don’t want to do something that I need to do I always say look at yesterday, look at where you were and look at where you can be.  And I think that’s the thing that affects me.  This sounds like a sob story but it’s not. I had a wonderful life with my dad for 99% of the time and they are the things that I remember.  I remember my dad was a bloke’s bloke you know, very manly and all of that.  The day I got my GCSE results I went home and I said to him dad I’ve got 6 A’s and 4 B’s.  And he started sobbing and that never happened, my dad never cried.  He never cried when he cut the end of his finger off, he never cried when his dad died but he started crying and I couldn’t deal with that. Then I started crying and I’m a bloke’s bloke and we were both crying and my mum came out and said oh my god you’ve done terribly. And my dad said he hasn’t and he started swearing and yelping and leaping in the air.  He never got any O’Levels he was always told that he wouldn’t do them and he left school at 14 and here he was seeing his son get all A’s and B’s in his GCSEs and that has a massive affect on me and it makes me well up now. I can talk about the day of his death without crying but when I talk about the times he got emotional because he was happy that chokes me up and I think it is such a superb memory and that one will stay with me for much longer than the day he died.  So I use that to drive me on and I used it to make me want to go and play rugby again because rugby was a passion. And I turned up and I played my first game, I got an hour into this game and I was loving it. I was rubbish, I was rusty, I was fat, I was slow. I went to hand off a prop forward which I do every game and I was slower than usual so when I pushed him in the face he grabbed my wrist, he dislocated my shoulder, it then felt like he pulled my arm off and beat me over the head with it before putting it back in again.  And it turns out I had a fracture dislocation of my shoulder which tore my rotator cuff.  It tore one of the nerves that supplies my infasponatous muscle and it broke a bone or two. It was agony I was screaming and screaming and all that time I felt like a failure because once again I’d let my dad down.

And I went to the hospital and I was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and that was it.  I just thought this can’t be right it hurts too much.

Kevin: Did anybody pick up the break at all?

Kevin B: No they refused to x-ray me, it took two years to have any sort of proper diagnosis and by the time I had an MRI scan the nerve that had snapped had caused my inflasponatus to wither away which was why my shoulder wasn’t anchored in correctly and because of that it kept subluxing, half dislocating, half not. And it would happen every other day.  So I would never play rugby again they said I needed a complete reconstruction I had onset of arthritis and they told me what they were going to do which essentially was remove a quarter of my right bicep and use that to anchor my shoulder in.  And I remember coming out of the doctors surgery and the doctor had told me what they were going to do and I started crying and he said don’t worry the surgery is very safe.  And I said I’m crying because I can’t play rugby again you’ve just ruined what I told my dad I would do and he obviously couldn’t fathom what I was on about.  It was a case of pull yourself together but to me rugby was the link that I had to my old man and it was no longer there.  So they said you are having your surgery you are going to be convalescing for three months.  You have to sit in a chair because you can’t lie down and you have to sleep sitting upright.  That was it.  I had lost my dad and now rugby was gone.

Things were falling apart big time.  I was in turmoil you know I was in the depths of despair and now I had this.  And I got talking to Amy’s dad and unfortunately we had also lost Amy’s mum in this time so we struggled and Amy’s dad said to me you need a goal.  And he said do a marathon.  And I was like no way I don’t do running Bill, you know I’ll do something else. And he said do it, do it, I’ll give you £200 to any charity you want if you do it.  So I signed up for the London Marathon and that’s where my life changed.  I had 12 weeks of nothing, I wasn’t allowed to physically exercise at all and I was told that I shouldn’t run the Marathon because at the end of my convalescing it was the end of February which meant I had six and a half weeks to train for a Marathon.  What I realise now is that was a good thing, I went in beautifully naive I didn’t think well here is my training play I need 12 weeks, I need 16 weeks, I went in blind.  And if you go into something blind often if you try your hardest you will far exceed what you think you can do.  And I completed that Marathon and it is the most painful Marathon I have ever done but I got through it and that was it then I said no Marathon ever again I’ve done that challenge.  And then something.

Kevin: Before you do that, that little line you said about going in blind to something because you can go a lot further than you believe you are capable of.  Just talk about that a little bit more.

Kevin B: This is something I believed from a long time ago and something there is a lot of theory around.  There is a theory, if you Google ‘Central Governor Theory’ it basically states that your brain limits what your body can do.  It is a safety mechanism, it’s a net that says no more now because then you will get dangerous.  If you can control that central governor and you can flip the switch you can go much further.  I think if you go into a challenge without fully knowing just what is expected without having any strict goal or regime to get there you go far beyond what you think you can achieve.  There are lots and lots of examples out there but let’s say when you watch a marathon, I know marathons inside out, when you watch a marathon and someone says to you the marathon is the hardest thing you will ever do. It then becomes the hardest thing you will ever do. But if somebody said to you a marathon is one of the most fun things you will ever do you will hopefully think it is fun when you are doing it because you expect it to happen.

Kevin: So the self for filling prophecy.

Kevin B: Exactly.  And when you get to the last 100yds of a marathon and you can see the finishing gantry that’s where the majority of people collapse, it’s where they stop, it’s where they fall over and they almost can’t make it beyond that point.  For me the theory states that if you moved that finishing line another half mile up the road and a marathon was 26.7 miles people would get to 26.6 miles and then they would see that final 100yds as the tough bit and then they would collapse there.  The same people with the same fitness with the same effort levels.  But it is seeing the finish line that makes you think you are almost there.  And I think it is absolutely true when I am in a marathon and I’m really, really struggling and mentally and physically I am exhausted and I feel I can’t go on any further I will immediately think of the people in my life who can’t just stop.  They suffer 24/7, they can’t switch it off and if I’m running that marathon and I dare to stop and walk what does that show of me as a person to not face it head on and say I’m facing this and I’m going through it. Because the end goal is much more important than the pain that I’m feeling at that time.  And I guess in a way I’m masochistic you know I chase pain.  I think if I ever wrote a book it would be called ‘Chasing Pain’ because I really enjoy the fact that I get to the point where I think I need to stop and then I carry on. I punish myself to feel even just a small part of what my dad possibly felt.  I don’t want to be like him.  I don’t want to be the man that my dad became. I want to be the man that my dad wanted me to become.  And I am and I’m using him as a strong influence to do that.

So I can go to people and I can say to them look I’ve done this, I’ve done that, this is how I felt.  Not to rub it in or to say look how good I am.  I couldn’t care less about what people think of me as a person I want them to see that actually I am leading by example.  If they don’t like me that’s absolutely fine so long as they say I don’t like that bloke but have you seen what he’s done and the difference that he’s tried to make.  I think that’s the difference.  I don’t go out there looking for recognition I go out there looking for people to be inspired by what I’ve done and to look at it and say well if he’s done it, he’s an average Joe, he’s not the most talented, he’s not the fastest, the strongest and that’s because of what I’ve been through and what I have put myself through.  I have constantly challenged myself.  2011 I did 52 marathons in the year all under four hours.  And four hours is a time that people see as a runner’s time I guess.  My personal best was three hours thirty.  When I went into London beautifully blind and I kept that PB for about 25 more marathon’s because I saw 3:30 as my limit.  That was the thing that I couldn’t go faster than.  Then when I changed my mind set on my stag do of all things, I’m weird I did a marathon on my stag do in Los Vegas, a week of partying and I ran a 3:21 on my stag do.  And I just thought god I did sports nutrition and I’ve spent a week going out partying until late at night in Las Vegas and now I’ve run a 3:21 what else can I achieve.

Kevin: How did you do that? You just said you changed your mind set.

Kevin B: I think I relaxed. Again I went into the Las Vegas Marathon hoping to god that I would get through it because I’d had a week of awful food, of no sleep, of tiredness and because of that I expected nothing to come of the Marathon but enjoy it because it’s your stag do marathon.  So I relaxed so much that I looked at my watch after ten miles and went oh my god I’m going too fast and then I said to myself well are you or should you keep going this fast until you can’t go this fast any longer.  And I got to 20 miles and I was still going that fast and I just thought god these six miles are going to be horrible for you, you are punishing yourself but hell carry on and see what happens.  And I knocked nine minutes of my PB because of it.  Because that barrier was down.  Expect nothing get the world.  You know your goal should be so far ahead of you that you never quite get to them.

Kevin: Go on talk more about that.

Kevin B: Someone said to me, a coach I once used said if you achieve more than 50% of the goals you set yourself in life you haven’t set your goals far enough away.  Goals aren’t a rite of passage; success isn’t a rite of passage.  Failure leads to success.  You have to not achieve some things in your life to really appreciate the things that you do achieve.  And I really believe that.  I think if we succeed in everything we do we would end up watering down what success is.  You know when you succeed in your life because you’ve worked so hard and when you succeed in your life because you’ve been around other people who you’ve influenced and who have influenced you that makes the success worthwhile.  And I really believe in that and I think I have a right and a responsibility to say to people do whatever you want don’t be restricted by other people around you, be inspired by whatever inspires you.  You don’t need a sob story, you don’t need tragedy to push you on you need perspective. You need to realise that you are doing what you are doing because you enjoy it.  That is important.

Kevin: Just taking you back when you were saying about goals, success and failure and how it is not a divine right to succeed.  How do you approach failure?

Kevin B: I expect it.  If I went out for a PB every day of the week I would not get that PB.  I think once you realise and you overcome the fact that failure will happen then you get over it. You say to yourself what have I failed at? And then you break it down, well why have I failed? Okay so this is the reason.  What can I now do to change it? There is a great Nike advert with Michael Jordan in it, it’s on YouTube, it is a 30 second one and in it he says something on the lines of I’ve missed 3,000 game winning shots, I’ve not done this, I’ve failed at that and I didn’t do this but that’s what I do to succeed.  And that’s exactly what it is.  You don’t look at Michael Jordan and go well he wasn’t very good he missed all those shots.  He’s the best MBA player there ever was.  You only remember the good things, that’s the beauty of our human nature.  If we can overcome the fact that we’ve failed and use that failure to make us succeed in the future then that failure wasn’t a failure in the first place. You’ve converted it into a component of your success.

Kevin: So it is just us inherently because we know we experience failure enough that we make such a big deal about it.

Kevin B: Yeah you have to challenge yourself.  Like I said we are what’s classified in as naff people need to avoid failure so we do much simpler things but you have to want to succeed.  And if you expect people to feed you everything it will come back and it will bite you on the bum.

Kevin: And so how did the marathons when you were either half way through that incredible journey of doing 52 of them in 52 weeks, inside a year, how did that start to impact your life?

Kevin B: The worse bits were the middle bits.  Beginning of the year there were some fanfare people enjoying hearing about it and that kind of thing.

Kevin: So novelty value.

Kevin B: Absolutely you know I had a number of people say he won’t do it, he can’t put himself through that it takes a lot of dedication.  And as soon as I heard that I was then more motivated to succeed but then you get to May and in May you’ve completed 20 – 22 marathons and you think hey I’ve done 22 marathons and then you get knocked down and you say well I’ve still got 30 to go.  This is hard, no one cares now.  And then you go through the summer months and you think summer is not too bad a time to run in because it’s nice and warm and you know.  And then you get to September, October and its getting dark and I remember approaching the later part of the challenge and then thinking that I still have 15 marathons to go and now it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s wet.  Every week of this entire year I have essentially worked a six day week because a marathon takes up at least a day and I’m exhausted.  General rule of thumb for a recovery from a marathon is that it takes one day for every mile that you run in marathon to fully recover so it would take roughly four weeks to recover from a marathon and I had six days between marathons at best.  So my body was slowly getting worse and people were saying to me oh my god you are going to lose weight, you know you won’t be able to eat enough.  I put on a stone in the entire year because I was doing less exercise than I did in the previous year because I commuted to work on my bike in the previous year, I played football, I went to the gym.  Marathons were now taking over my life and I spent six days a week recovering, one day a week burning the 2,500 calories it requires to do a marathon so that was really tough. You know physically not being in shape, carrying more weight around the course was really challenging.  Mentally getting up and being so down because you know you’ve got to walk to a marathon or get in a car and drive to a marathon or go somewhere and do a marathon to me was like a swear word. I didn’t want to talk about it and it really mentally challenged me. Physically I could go and run a four hour marathon right now without a problem but mentally I wouldn’t ever want to without a desire to go and do it, a reason for having it and that’s where perspective comes in.

Kevin: I was going to say, that’s what I was going to ask you, I know you’ve been touching in and out of this all the time but, so when you were feeling sick to your stomach when someone said it’s marathon day come on lets go what did make sure that you laced up your shoes and got yourself there?

Kevin B: I think half the problem wasn’t other people saying come on its marathon day.  As soon as someone tells me I’ve got to do something I’ll do it, you know I think it is mainly being married to my wife that does that, but if someone else is doing it with me I look forward to it.  It was a pleasure. It was actually when I was doing the marathons on my own and it was me telling me to do it. You can’t use the same emotional treatment 52 times in a year.  You know when I was doing my first ever marathon I used my dad and I heard my dad in my head shouting at me that pushed me to run further. But if you do that 17 times in a row you are just going to tell your dad in your head to shut up because you’ve heard it all before.  So I had to come up with other strategies to succeed, to get through those marathons and I realised that 42.2km is a marathon distance, that’s a really long way to run in one go.  So why not break it down, why not do four sets of 10km and 2.2 because that way you’ve got four smaller goals each of those smaller goals took under an hour so it wasn’t a four hour process it was four less than one hour efforts.  And eventually you see the finish line so it’s about constant little goals that build up to your end one and I think perseverance and desire are key to that.

Kevin: Let me ask you what do you take from those lessons or what do those lessons give you that you can then take into other parts of your life?

Kevin B: This sounds very clichéd but ultimately my life is dedicated to myself.  It is not about my dad anymore it is about how I can ensure to myself that I can’t have done anymore in my life than I have currently done.  I won’t stop until people sit and talk about mental health as a normal conversation.  I think that’s the thing you know.  I live my life to please myself and to please the people I love and if they see that and people take influence from it and they enjoy what I do then all the better for it.  I won’t ever look at the negative things in my life and think god imagine what could have been.  I look at the things I have in my life now and say these are all a result of overcoming the failures that I’ve had in other parts of my life.  I have no doubt I wouldn’t be as good a person as I am now had my dad not died.  Such a shame to put it like that.  I would love to be an average Joe who’s done absolutely nothing with their life and have my dad around to go to the pub with but I don’t so I’m making a better life because of it.

Kevin: Because it’s almost forced you to do something.

Kevin B: Yeah exactly.  And every single day I will remember him and I will say to him this is all for you.  Because he will be proud of me and he would be there and he would be doing that thing where he gets emotional because he’s happy.  He wouldn’t get emotional because he’s sad.  And he would see me complete these races and he’d think my god that’s my son how good is that.  That’s why I do it.

Kevin: I’m going to draw this up now.  Finish off with a couple of things.  You’ve just finished another amazing challenge with the Arch to Arch but this time you actually did it with other people and I’m not going to focus on the bits where you were working with everybody in France and getting them across to the UK but you said to me before we started recording today that by the time you guys reached London there were about 60 people there who had all just joined in along the way.  Tell me about that.

Kevin B: I love raising money.  Money is important for Rethink Mental Illness to keep them going but for me it is about getting people talking, about getting people involved.  It is about participation.  Life is about getting involved in anything you wanted to.  The 52 marathon challenge was a very personal thing, it was a very one man banned approach and all these people had got in touch with me and said Kev you’ve done something amazing let’s do something together I want to do something with you. So we had a core of eight runners and we ran to Marble Arch from the Arch de Triumph, 165 miles and then a bit more for when we got lost, and then other people were saying we want to get involved.

Kevin: I think you should add that you did it in four days.

Kevin B: Four days, yeah, yeah sorry.  I can still remember those four days vividly as well.  And other people were saying well we can’t do the whole thing but I want to be involved and.  So I said to people well come and join us.  There was a fella from just down the road from here in Surrey actually, a guy called Brian who is a top bloke.  He was on holiday in France and he said you are running from France I’ll come and join you.  So he came to Paris and he started to run with us and he only run six miles but he left us there and he said thanks for the opportunity.  So I started blogging about it and I said to people we get into Newhaven at 8:30 in the morning come and join us if you want.  And a few people turned up a couple on bikes, couple with dogs, couple of friends of friends who had heard about it.  Running clubs had heard about it so a couple of people joined in.  And slowly as we travelled north from the coast towards London we got more people.  And we got through Reigate and a couple more said we’ll come and join you including a bloke I’d met on a ferry in New York because we keep in touch with Twitter.  We got to I guess Mitcham and more people were with us and Dave who was the slowest of our runners was at the back and he had his running club come along and a bunch of them who didn’t know me but did know Dave but didn’t know the other runners, but might have known someone who knew someonelse and joined in.  And we were running through Hyde Park and the group said to me can you lead us through this is your run.  And to me this wasn’t my run this was our run I just happened to be the idiot who was organising it.  And I looked behind me and there was an arrow head of people with my runners, my group of people, the people I had learnt so much about over those four days ahead of a bunch of people I have never met in my life.  And they all had the common goal of running to Marble Arch and they had all decided to join in.  And at that point I couldn’t care less whether they were running for a loved one, for themselves, for me, for Rethink Mental Illness, the fact is that they had heard about what we were doing, they had inevitably read about what we were doing somewhere and they were inspired to come and take part.  And they did.  Some people ran half a mile other people ran 40 miles.  I shook more hands on that day than ever before.

Kevin: So how did that make you feel?

Kevin B: Seeing all those people take notice of what we were doing, this group of normal people can’t stress normal people doing something extraordinary.  That’s what I want everyone in this world to be.  And it was brilliant but if truth be told I looked round and I saw these 60 odd people and I thought to myself how can we make this 100 people, how can we make it 200 in the future.  Why aren’t more people joining us, because I hadn’t reached my goal because I’d see that I had got close to the goal of getting those people to join us and I had moved my goal on already, I am already thinking of what I need to do in the future to get more people involved.

Kevin: You just answered the question there your mind was already planning ahead.

Kevin B: Never stop.  I will not stop.

Kevin: I’m going to ask you one final question.  I always like to leave people on this podcast with one thing that they can take away, one key lesson that you believe is probably your strongest lesson that you will always come back to time and time again when you want to maximise your potential and you want to strive towards that.  What one thing would you like to leave people with?

Kevin B: Oh that’s an easy one probably the easiest question of the day and that is that you are the architecture of your future, nobody else.  You are in charge of what you do.  And if anybody tells you you can’t do something you preserve you move on and you find someone that will let you do it. You are in charge nobody else make yourself happy and people around you will become happy.


Kevin: In a similar fashion to the honesty and openness of Chris Brizley, Roz Savage and several others who have appeared on the podcast Kevin has provided us with an incredible insight into the events that have been so instrumental in shaping the direction of his life and by doing so sharing so many lessons that he has learnt as a direct result of living through these events.  As you can imagine Kevin is campaigning as hard as ever to continue raising awareness for mental illness. So if you would like to connect with him to keep in touch and to support his fundraising activities he has recommended that you simply search on Twitter or Facebook for 52marathonman and he will come straight up.  As Kevin mentioned the charity he does so much fundraising for is called Rethink and you can learn about their excellent work over at  Kevin thank you again for taking the time out of your schedule to appear on the podcast.

Now on to a few updates.  Firstly please accept my apologies for how much time has elapsed since I last uploaded a new episode.  Over the last month or so we’ve encountered some technical issues with the podcast and I was unable to upload any new content whilst we were solving them.  The sight is now fully back to normal and I’ve got several new podcasts episodes ready to release in the very near future.  And if you’ve been following the podcasts for a while you may remember that each year our sponsors the Jenrick Recruitment Group run an annual charity photo competition.  The winning 12 photos for this year have just been released and I would urge you to go to the Jenrick blog and take a look as the standard is absolutely superb.  We’ve also reserved a number of the desk calendars for our listeners to the podcast so if you would like one please just send an email to

That’s all for today I am going to leave you with ‘We can finally see’ from Xerxes music to finish off with and if you want to connect with Klaus on Facebook to keep up with all of his latest projects I’ve left a link to his fan page on the show notes.  Thanks’ very much. Bye for now.


About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!