Firefighter Craig Neil Successfully Tackles the 496 Challenge

Firefighter Craig Neil, from Newtown Fire Station, has completed his remarkable 496 Challenge – by running a total of 496km during January.

The 496 Challenge involves running 1km on day one, 2km on day two and so, increasing to 31km on day 31 - which is the equivalent of completing 12 marathons in one month!

On Wednesday, January 31st, Craig successfully completed the challenge and crossed a makeshift finish line at Newtown Fire Station.  There, he was met with his fellow crew members and his family who have all supported him throughout this epic challenge.

On finishing the 496 Challenge, Craig said:

“I can easily say this has been one of the hardest things I have ever done!  This has been more challenging than joining the Armed Forces, the Fire and Rescue Service and on par with spending over six months on duty in the sandy deserts of Afghanistan.

It has certainly taken its toll mentally and physically so I’m going to be putting my feet up for a while and start looking for some new running shoes – mine are a little worn now!

I’d like to give a special thank you to my wife, Sioned, who has been holding the fort at home and taking care of our young son, Ioan, all while being heavily pregnant, to Dave Latham who has joined me on the majority of my early morning runs and to my fellow crew members at Newtown Fire Station for their unwavering support.

What I’ve learned from completing this challenge is that you can always do better than yesterday by going the extra mile, or kilometre in this case!  There’s still time to donate to my GoFundMe page, if you’re only able to spare the price of a pint or a coffee, I’d be so grateful.”

Throughout his challenge, Craig has been raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity - which provides lifelong support for serving and retired members of the UK’s fire and rescue services. 

You can look back at how Craig completed the challenge on his Strava page.

Everyone at Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue congratulates Craig on his amazing achievement.