For most of us the idea of running 26.2 miles in a marathon would be daunting, but for St Helena Hospice’s IT Manager Tim Clifton, it’s little more than a training run.
On February 25th Tim will line up with fellow `ultra’ runners at the start of the St Peter’s Way run, a 45 mile off-road race across Essex in order to raise funds for the hospice. Starting at 8am, runners have a maximum of 13 hours to complete the course between Chipping Ongar and Bradwell on Sea.
“An `ultra’ is anything over 26.2 miles”, explains Tim. “I’ve done a few marathons but recently I’ve started doing ultras. I’ve done one of thirty miles, and in my head I would like to tackle 100 miles, but I don’t know if I’ll get there.”
Tim, who also does Jujitsu in his spare time, describes the 45 mile event as `a nice challenge’.
“It’s reckoned the muddiest and wettest ultra in the UK, but it’s doable in one day and I can fit the training in around work and my other activities. At the moment I’m doing a couple of short runs a week plus a couple of longer ones back to back at the weekend. The idea is to get your legs used to running tired because that’s what it will be like in the event.”
Tim says participants have to be completely self-sufficient during the event.
“You have to navigate yourself because there are no arrows marking the route, and the checkpoints are only every eight or nine miles. There’s a list of items which every runner must carry with them, including spare base layer, waterproof trousers, a head torch, energy gels or chocolate and a fully charged phone. If you don’t have the kit you can’t run.”
Tim is hoping to raise £450, equivalent to £10 a mile, by completing the event. Anyone who would like to support him can do so by visiting Tim’s JustGiving page