Why have men been seen running around Cardiff with ironing boards on their backs

If you’ve been out in Cardiff recently, you’ve probably seen three men running around with ironing boards, irons and clothespins wondering what’s going on.

Friends Gareth Anthony, Chris Seymour and Scott Neale are participating in an ‘Extreme Ironing Ultra-Marathon’ on February 20.

In February the ‘Extreme Ironers’ are participating in the 70km from Brecon to Cardiff, which will see them run an ultra-marathon of no more than 43 miles with a one-meter ironing board, iron and clothes-iron.

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In order not to get in the way of the other runners, the group will be 15 minutes behind everyone else, but with the same cut-off time.

Friends will raise money for When You Wish Upon a Star, a charity that helps families with seriously ill children make a wish.

Gareth, 47, who ran the fundraiser, said he used to do half marathons and marathons for charity “years ago” before starting ultra-running.

“I stopped doing it for charity because we started doing 100-terrorists and long-distance events, so I didn’t want to do anything for charity if I didn’t finish it,” he said. They said.

“So I was trying to think of something we could do — a small ultra (well, 70k) that had a little bit of a twist to it.

“I was seeing these guys who were extreme blacksmiths and there was a guy who did the Marathon de Sables in the desert. No one in Britain had done an ultra-marathon [with an ironing board] As far as I could see, I thought I’d give it a try.”

The ‘Extreme Ironers’ also offer sky-diving, mountain climbing and scuba diving, all while carrying an ironing board, an iron and some clothespins.

Gareth, who lives in Marshfield, said event runners would let him participate with an ironing board on condition that he start 15 minutes after everyone else but with the same cut-off point.

“For me I thought it was more of a challenge,” he said.

Gareth training with his ironing board

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Scott (left) and Chris (right) on one of their runs

Gareth said he was inspired to choose the When You Wish Upon a Star charity after talking to a friend whose child had leukemia. Her partner then suggested that she raise money for When You Wish Upon a Star.

Gareth said the group’s goal was initially £500, but at the time of writing, they have raised £1,470 through their own. justgiving page,

Chris, 48, who has run the Brecon to Cardiff Marathon twice before, said Gareth asked him to join them to raise money for the charity this year.

“Then I realized what I really cut out,” said Cardiff resident Chris, who has an ironing board on your back for the best part of two months after getting training.

“We’re turning some heads.”

The three friends are train drivers for Transport for Wales. Chris has been a train driver since 2002 while Gareth started his career in 2001.

Chris says he has known Gareth for his entire career, getting to know Scott over the past five years. Friends go out for a run together when their shift allows them.

While Chris regularly runs and completes ultra-marathons, he said he’s never done anything like it before.

“I always run — I run to work, I run home from work. I do about 10 miles a day but the actual training with an ironing board started around Christmastime,” Chris said.

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Chris Out Training

Scott and Gareth will both be running the Wild Horse 200 as part of their training for the grueling 200-mile journey using this ultra-marathon later this year.

This month Scott is also completing Badwater 267—all with an ironing board on his back. From New Year’s Day, competitors have 31 days to complete the 267-mile walk and can cover the distance anywhere they wish.

As well as an ironing board, iron and clothes, the team will have to carry the necessary kit to run the ultra-marathon. They plan to stop during the race to iron clothes – at the beginning, middle and end.

During training with the ironing board, Chris says he has attracted the attention of passersby.

He said, “I even had a guy a moment ago who stopped his car in front of me and went out to chat. He said he saw all the stuff on Twitter and how awesome it was.”

“I find working vans blowing their horns. January is a month where I usually train and it’s pretty dark and tough but now whenever I actually go out it turns into a parade. It’s great to see smiles on people’s faces.”

Gareth said: “It’s fantastic. I have to be honest, I’ve gotten ahead of some people and they haven’t blinked an eyelid which I think is even more fun.

“Others are banging their horns. I was running to work the other day and the A48 was going down and people were stopping their cars and making videos. I think it’s a little bit fun.”

The team is raising money through its JustGiving page Here,

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