Running 160 miles across unforgiving terrain and in unpredictable weather conditions may sound like the impossible dream - or nightmare depending on your viewpoint! However, this was not the case for Stoke FIT’s Frank Murphy whose ‘never say die’ attitude resulted in more than a race finish.
The UK Athletics qualified run leader and founder of Stoke FIT running club is on a mission to improve the fitness levels of kids in Stoke-on-Trent by encouraging them to take part in sport. He set up a community project called Potteries Active Kids to raise funds for their junior parkrun that is open to all youngsters aged 4 to 14. In addition, he is looking to purchase sports equipment for local kids with the aim of instilling positive, healthy lifestyles.
A target of £3,000 was set on a crowdfunding website with the slogan ‘let’s get better together’. This provided the incentive to complete the epic Hardmoors 160, a challenge that tests the resolve of even the toughest ultra-runner! The 160 mile race is part of the Hardmoors series of events that take place each year in Cleveland and the North Yorkshire Moors.
The Hardmoors 160 is a single stage race connecting the Tabular Hills Route with the Cleveland Way and runners have a 50-hour time limit in which to complete the event. It started at 5pm on Friday 29 April, finished at 7pm on Sunday 1 May with six checkpoints, and cut off times in between.
Frank completed the Hardmoors 160 in 72 hours and 37 minutes on only 2 hours 40 minutes of sleep during the entire race. He was determined to finish despite being timed out and was suffering to the extent that walking was the only option. The race organisers, his partner, friends and supporters from Stoke FIT saw him cross the line, exhausted, but delighted to have finished. More importantly, he exceeded his target, raising nearly £5,000 for Potteries Active Kids.