First Ever Brutal Deca Solo Challenge – Exclusive Interview


‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’

This is the extraordinary account of why BrutalEvent’s Claire Smith, in her own words, will swim the English Channel, cycle from Lands End to John O’ Groats and finally run 262 miles over the Spine and coast of Wales. Her challenge takes place on 29th July 2015 – visit her website

Claire Smith Deca

In her own words:
‘I am a very ordinary person in terms of fitness and athletic capability. I’m not being modest when I say that, it’s just how it is. I have never won any races or set any course records.
So why take on such a massive challenge as the Brutal Deca? Well, I do this stuff because I seem to need to set myself big goals, the kind that wake you up at 2am and say ‘what are you thinking??? You can’t do this’!!!
In the past I have trained for a few big events and experienced a mixture of results. But to really succeed, I have to get serious with my training and work very hard. I have finally learnt that I cannot ‘wing’ anything!  I just can’t get away with it.  So for the Brutal Deca Solo Challenge I have committed 100% to it and my life has already changed in so many ways.
bike claire smith brutal events deca
The first change is that I now have to eat more. As a woman, I have spent most of my life eating less to try and stay slim but when you start training twice a day, 1200 calories is just not going to cut it.  So for my Deca training I’m actually having to make conscious decisions about food. Have I eaten enough? Could I have made better choices? Did I really need that massive bag of Malteasers?  Another problem I have is that my appetite disappears when I start to train hard or during an endurance event, which leads to exhaustion and DNFs.
The second change is that I have completely given up drinking. I have always liked a glass or 3. but recently I have found it to be affecting my training and also my outlook on life. Making me less of a glass half full person. So I have removed the glass all together and I feel so much better for it. Not drinking has impacted on my social life a little, but as I now longer have much free time, maybe this isn’t such an issue…
The last change is maybe the most important, Positive Mental Attitude. For someone who has struggled with low self-esteem, this is particularly hard for me, but self belief is vital for success.
Claire smith deca swim
Years ago, when I took on a solo challenge in Lanzarote, I completed the 45 mile run without any problems, but as soon as I had finished the run and prepared to start the 11 mile sea swim, I went to pieces! I just couldn’t do it, so I bottled out.  After the short-lived relief, I was filled with a deep regret. I was never going to get the opportunity to do this again, so a few days later I announced that I wanted to try once more.
This time I started the event in a completely different mindset, there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t finish and over 44 hours later, I did just that!’
snowdon claire smith deca
Thanks for the guest post Claire and good luck in the Brutal Deca Solo Challenge.
The first ever Brutal Deca Solo Challenge is set to take place on the tide of the 29th July 2015 by Claire Smith.