Aylesbury personal trainer completes seven marathons in seven days in memory of fitness fanatic friend

Nicola wanted to complete a gruelling endurance challenge that her late friend would be proud of

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st October 2021, 1:00 pm

A personal trainer living in Aylesbury completed seven marathons in seven days in tribute to her endurance loving friend who passed away.

Nicola Banks, rowed seven full marathons in a week, to pay tribute to her friend, Mike, who passed away two months ago.

Her friend perished in a car accident and Nicola wanted to do a challenge befitting of his memory.

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Nicola Banks

Previously, Mike completed the scarcely believable, Marathon des Sables, where runners are given six days to run 250 kilometres of the Sahara Desert.

In the searing heat of the desert, runners are challenged to complete six full marathons on six consecutive days.

Nicola said: "I thought, you know what, as a tribute to him, I'll do something like that.

"I'm not a long distance runner, I don't like running, my body doesn't like running really. So, I thought right, I'm going to do seven marathons on a rowing machine.

Nicola Banks celebrating another successful marathon

"I got myself a second hand one, done a little bit of training for it, a little bit of prep, nutrition wise, seeing what works well, and set up a fundraiser from there."

As well as running in tribute to a lost friend, Nicola also set an ambitious target of raising £1,000 for charity.

She picked Pancreatic Cancer Action a charity she had worked with to fundraise in the past, meaning she knew first hand the valuable work it does.

Nicola has already claimed over £1,000 for the national charity, at the time of writing her fundraising page, which can be viewed here, shows £1,143 has been raised.

Nicola being cheered on

She has also organised a raffle to further supplement the work she's doing which people can enter via her Facebook page.

Prizes include: a £50 Amazon voucher, a series of fitness related goodies, bottles of wine and a retreat voucher for an Aylesbury-based business.

Nicola took the challenge in her stride, but did explain the one major challenge-related injury she suffered.

"The only thing that was really bad was the state of my hands", she said.

"Blisters! But you know what I got up after every row. I worked in the morning. I was rowing usually in the middle of the day and then training people again in the evening."

The Bucks-based trainer explains she enters a zen-like zone when testing herself.

She is able to concentrate on every day activities and switch off the part of her mind that's aware she's putting her body through the ringer.

She said: "People do it when they run, your mind becomes a filing system. I'm thinking about my client's programmes and what I might be having for dinner later.

"I'm a big heavy metal fan so I had a big playlist on YouTube. I had three hours worth of music to keep me going and then I just hit repeat.

"I work at Reflexions Health & Leisure, so I started there, where I've got a little treatment room, because I'm a sports massage therapist as well.

"A client of mine has taken over ownership of what used to be a crossfit gym in Bicester, so he invited me there. I was invited to Blueprint Fitness on Thursday.

"So, I was either in a gym watching classes going on, one-to-one PT sessions, that was another form of entertainment, or back in the treatment room listening to my playlist.

"A had a group of them around me on Wednesday, and the adrenaline just kicks in. That's the point where you are firing on all cylinders. You can see that finish line and you're thinking, I'm pushing, I'm pushing, I'm pushing."

Each day Nicola had to complete 42,195 metres on a rowing machine, her times varied from just under four to just under five hours per day.

There's still time to contribute to Nicola's fundraising page.