Malc Collins prepares for his tenth Brathay 10in10
Each year Brathay hosts an annual fundraising event called the Brathay 10in10, where runners will run a marathon around the ASICS Windermere Marathon course every day for 10 days. It’s a huge challenge that raises thousands for Brathay’s charitable mission to improve the life chances of young people facing inequality and adversity.
As gruelling as it sounds, it is an experience that seems to take hold of runners with many coming back to complete the event for a second of third time.
Take Malcolm Collins as one example. In 2023, he will run his 10th Brathay 10in10 making him the person who’s run it more times than anyone else – a remarkable achievement. Chatting to him recently we dared to ask if his 10th will be his last.
It was never the plan to do 10! But after 5 or 6, I started to wonder if it was possible. Scott (event director) and Joss Naylor (fell-running legend and patron of the Brathay 10in10) have been pushing me along; they have been the main motivators. I would also like my Mum and Dad to see me do it.
I feel like marathon running is one of the ultimate challenges –it’s that one in the middle where you can run a fast pace and really push yourself to your limits.
I have heard stories from the young people who visit Brathay and I think they have often had a tough life. I wonder how many people Brathay have helped who could have been missed. When I’m running the event, I love seeing them on the lawn and in the trees on the high ropes courses. It’s fantastic that these children can come and experience the Lake District and create memories which they will remember into adulthood.
How much have you raised for us?
I have raised £53,000 for Brathay. It has taken 11 years to get to this point and fundraising can be a challenge particularly alongside training. But I like what Brathay does, which helps.
How did you find us?
Being from near Manchester, I used to love going up to the Lake District to run. I ran the Coniston 14 every year and enjoyed the scenery. I found out about the Windermere Marathon, which was fantastic and I remember driving up and seeing people in white t-shirts on day 9 of their Brathay 10in10. I thought it was incredible and the seed was planted.
Do you remember the first?
It was electric to be on the starting line of my first event. It’s totally and utterly nerve wracking. You have no idea what you are going to go through physically and mentally. You listen to the advice of others, holding on to their knowledge. It’s incredibly exciting, like the first time you’re on the start line of a marathon, but multiplied.
What brings you back?
It’s something ultra-special. I have run it with over 100 people and I don’t know one person who has regretted it with many who want to come back and do it again; we call it the Brathay bubble. It’s life-changing for a lot of people.
Which was the best?
My favourite Brathay 10in10 was probably the year I averaged 03:31:36, I think this was in 2015. It is probably my greatest running achievement. But I’m no longer chasing times, now it is just about being able to complete it.
My other favourite year was 2018. The year before I had to withdraw because of a knee injury. To come back to the following year, after a knee operation and knowing I had failed it, meant I was so nervous. It was very special to be able to complete it that year.
Will the 10th be your last?
Yes! It needs to be. It’s been a monstrous journey since I was accepted in 2011.
The last two or three have been really hard going. I know my knees are struggling and I need to reign the running in, but I really hope to do it. For family and for Joss.
Malc has done an impressive 400 marathons. He has ran 99 official laps of the Windermere Marathon course and 106 in total (which includes training runs). This year, he will officially run his 100th lap of Windermere Marathon.
He is looking forward to a break after this.