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Matthew Balding avatar
Matthew Balding

Matthew's Mentalbear spartan challenge page

Medals ,Smiles and mud please support me for Zoë's Place Baby Hospice - Midlands because that what mentalbear loves and supporting others

83 %
raised of £2,500 target
by 113 supporters
  • Event: Mentalbear spartan challenge

Zoë's Place Baby Hospice - Midlands

We provide 24-hour care for babies to give respite to families

Charity Registration No. 1092545


The mentalbear challenge
So my journey began in July 2000, I was a young 17 year old boy in the Royal Air Force doing my driver’s training in Leconfield UK, loving women drink and life. After a night out I had a life changing experience. Two men in a fake taxi took me home, well that’s what I was hoping but what they did was horrific and after that I needed help because I was young and I found help online with a small charity that helped me speak about it and made me into the man I am today, well bear. This charity was just two men that were abused but them talking to me helped me to talk to others. I’m lucky I don’t remember much of that horrible night. But I found out that the charity I received help from had to close down because of no support, so each year I find a little charity and I do what I can to help, so that why.
I saw Zoë’s place hospice Coventry last year at mud7 and obstacle race in Coventry UK when I did 4 laps in a wedding dress for a charity. On lap 3 I was in the Zoë’s place wave and hearing how they help people was amazing so I thought what challenge can I do. Well their mascot is a bear so that was an easy choice, I have to run as a bear. But that year the only race I failed was the Windsor beast (yes ok I ran 48km the day before and 12km in the morning but at 22km of a 26km race my body gave up) So Spartan was my only “did not finish”. So how do you show the world you’re going to make Spartan your bitch and race 10 trifectas as mentalbear all around Europe.
So far I have done 4 sprints, 2 in the Uk, one in Paris, one in Barcelona, 4 supers and 3 beasts.
The Uk South East was the first of the season but it was so hot, in April I ran with the volunteers. The one thing I find about racing a Spartan race is you can know no one but you become everyones friend so fast like a giant family without the big fights. St Claire’s was amazing, so nice a fast sprint and cheeky hills which I found out fast as a bear I over heat.
Next race was the super /sprint at Aston Downs, UK. More hill a valley of death and what started my hatred of hills. This is the point mentalbear became famous, people saying how crazy I was and I just made it to £200 for my charity so was in a good place and my fitness was slowly getting there made more friends now from outside the ocr world.
Barcelona, well what a weekend I still don’t know if I loved it or hated it, I nearly cried. I met people from across Europe and made so many friends from these races and in the Spartan world language has no bound. The race was up and down like a rollercoaster, the heat was cooking me but

with my icepacks I wasn’t giving up it up, it took me 8hrs 15 to finish but I came back the next day and it was hotter but I did it all again another 9 hr day but it was done, then I had a week with the family as my amazing girlfriend said about having our family holiday around my races, I really don’t know how I would do all this without her support.
So after that I drove to Paris as my family flew back home. Paris I called the lake race, loved it kept me cool and was flat, the people were amazing and it was only a super and sprint so finished then when home back to rainy Uk.
Morzine France, this I called the Spartan of nightmares. I loved the views but my god this I hope will have been the hardest Spartan Ive had to do. The beast was so hard I just took it one step at a time. I was gutted I missed the cut off for the sprint but the next day I bounced back and smashed the super and said goodbye to them mountains and said hello to my new friend trifecta x2. The bear suit was getting easier and the Facebook group was growing and friends too from meals with the Italian Spartans Facebook group to meeting old UK friends in France.
Next was the Edinburgh beast and trifecta x3, the weather I must say was my favourite yet so thank you Scotland, the only race I have been to where I think I saw haggis running it with me up on them hills, they
liked mentalbear. The loch swim was fun and I think I was the longest in it cooling off, more hills again up and down but it was my fastest beast yet and one of the longest days with the traveling then work up at 4am then finished my run after 8hrs flew home then I worked until 630am.


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