If you find yourself engaged in a battle with the duvet as you struggle to make the start of your local parkrun, spare a thought for 1,500 runners and walkers who will be setting out for the Race to the King Ultra Marathon this morning (Saturday 25 June). Race to the King is a fully supported 53.5 mile double marathon along the stunning South Downs Way from near Arundel to the ancestral burial place of the first Kings of England in Winchester.
The inaugural Race to the King follows on from the highly successful Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones – 100kms on the 5,000 year old Ridgeway path to Avebury stone circle. Both events are organised by the experienced Threshold Sports team, whose motto is simply ‘More is in You’.
Competitors can run or walk the breathtaking route through the South Downs National Park and may choose to compete non-stop or stay overnight at the event base camp. While every finisher will be a winner in their own way the official event charity, Save the Children, should be the biggest winner.
Among the entrants is Carl Adams from Romney in Kent, who will be taking part in his first ultra-marathon. Carl founded Nature’s Gym, a collaboration of local charities and fitness professionals committed to helping participants to hit reset and begin the process of recovery through a fitness and nutritional programme.
Liam Peltell, 25, a trainee accountant from Lincoln - otherwise known as Liam the Viking - will run in 18kg of chain mail for Save the Children and the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Service.
80-year-old David Baird, from Bath, who has been running for 40 years, is running non-stop with son-in-law Dave and hopes to reach Winchester Cathedral in time for a hearty supper on Saturday night. David’s daughter Monica and her friend Sally are walking overnight to join them for breakfast.
Although places for this weekend’s challenge were snapped up long ago you can still follow all the action as it unfolds on the live event page