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86 years' strong, TGO gym user Barrie's 2000 mile trek!

86 years strong, TGO gym user Barries 2000 mile trek!

Great-grandad Barrie de Suys - 86 today - is completing a 2000 mile trek this morning, 1000 miles in aid of the Royal National Institute of Blind People. In total, Barrie has walked more than the length of Great Britain from Land's End to John o' Groats - twice over!

An avid TGO gym user, Barrie lives metres from his local Victory Park in Addlestone, Surrey.  When the local council installed a TGO outdoor gym, Barrie visited it regularly, working out from 1 to 3 hours a day, several times a week.  He has always been active with either swimming in his earlier years, as captain of Victory Park's Bowls Club, walking miles or working out at the gym.

TGO gym user Barrie, 86 years oldHowever, in late March, COVID-19 meant that the government closed all outdoor gym equipment and told the British public to remain local, so Barrie began to walk the 0.6 mile perimeter of Victory Park instead.  He kept going and attracted the attention of the park users, who began to talk to him about his constant lapping.  At 1,000 miles in, Barrie's JustGiving page went live to fundraise for the Royal National Institute of Blind People - so Barrie pledged to complete a further 1,000 miles at the park! Barrie has been a life-long donor and supporter of the RNIB. Since having cataracts fixed in 2008, he appreciates the value of his good sight.

In the week leading up to his half-way 500 mile mark, walking an average of 20-23 miles a day, Barrie had several encounters with local dogs and took several falls injuring his left elbow twice and badly gouging his right forearm. Thankfully, this was at the time that the government declared outdoor gym equipment open again, so Barrie took a short break to recover from his injuries and continued his mileage for a few days on the TGO gym equipment.  His distance was calculated by Loughborough University's Dr Dale Esliger, Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity Measurement at the University's School of Sport, Exercise & Health Sciences. Dr Esliger would like to study Barrie once COVID-19 permits, who says that Barrie's fitness is equivalent to that of a 42yr old.

Barrie was shortly back walking again, continuing his 1,000 mile pursuit to fundraise for RNIB and is due to complete his epic 2,000 mile personal journey on his birthday, Saturday 8th August. The 5-lap victory parade will be attended by Runnymede Mayor, Cllr Sohi.

When asked what he will do once he reaches his 2,000 mile target,  Barrie says that he will continue working out at the TGO gym, walking along local river paths and continuing to keep fit.

TGO is sending all our best wishes, love and respect to you Barrie - happy birthday, congratulations and what an inspiration you are to people of all ages to keep active!

Please sponsor Barrie here to celebrate with him and support the brilliant work of the RNIB.

  08 August 2020

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