Peterborough gym owner to ‘bear crawl’ on hands and feet for 24 hours to set world record in aid of mental health charity

A Peterborough gym owner is planning to set a Guinness World Record by bear crawling on his hands and feet for 24 hours in aid of a Cambridgeshire mental health charity.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 12:00 pm

Liam Richardson (27) will be taking on the challenge today and tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday, May 22-23) to raise money for Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire (CPSL) Mind, who support people from across the region who are experiencing challenges with their mental health.

Liam started his own personal training business, LiamFit, five years ago and has since opened his own gym, The Workout Hub at Brightfield Business Hub in Orton Southgate.

He is taking on the challenge to show people that anything is possible, after seeing first-hand from clients and friends/family the devastating effect the pandemic and other personal circumstances can have on a person’s mental health.

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Liam Richardson.
Liam Richardson.

The challenge is going to be physically tough and just as much of a mental battle. A bear crawl involves a person crawling on their hands and feet, without their knees touching the floor. This puts particular strain on the upper arms, chest, shoulders as well as the core which is needed to keep the body still. It is an unnatural movement and makes it harder for the body to recover oxygen than more conventional forms of exercise such as jogging.

Liam will be bear crawling between 150-200 yards each time before taking a 60 second break to recover and refuel, he estimates that he will burn 1200 calories an hour while completing the challenge.

The challenge will start at The Workout Hub at 1pm on Saturday, then head to and around Ferry Meadows before ending with bear crawl down Oundle Road to the final finishing point in Cathedral Square on 1pm Sunday, a journey of roughly 16-17 miles.

He has been training since October, having to push back the date several times due to the pandemic. This has involved a completely stripped back training programme from a lot of the weight sessions he was doing previously, in favour of two cardio sessions and three bear crawls. In that time, he has spent over 1260 hours bear crawling.

Liam out on one of his practice bear crawls.

It is the first time a challenge like this has been attempted. Unofficially, a man in America is said to have bear crawled 26 miles in 20 hours but nothing of this duration has previously been recorded. The Guinness Book of World Records will be present on the day to ratify the achievement.

This is not the first time he has taken on a grueling challenge for charity though, last March he raised £3000 for the NHS by completing a triathlon which included a marathon run and bike ride as well as jumping onto a training box 2503 times in a row, equivalent to the height of Ben Nevis.

The previous year, he took on a half Ironman challenge to raise money for new equipment for a local school.

He said: “I’ve completely stripped back my training routine for this and have lost a stone and a half. The biggest challenge is going to be mindset though, sticking at it when it’s freezing and I should be in bed.

A map of Liam's route.

“The support of my clients/gym members has been fantastic though and I’ve got people coming each hour to cheer me on and join in for a bit themselves.

“I want to help CPSL Mind because they are a local not for profit organisation who need help and have helped people I know.

“It’s been a real struggle for everyone, especially over the past year, and I want people to know that it is ok to feel that way and hopefully to inspire others and show that you can do anything. If you have a goal or a dream then you should pursue it because anything can happen.

“I also want to show that by helping someone else you can actually get so much back for yourself. If everyone lived their life on that principle, the world would be a better place.”