Richard ran 100kms in temperatures over 35 degrees across country from The Royal Crescent, Bath to Cheltenham last Saturday, to raise money for The British Heart Foundation and Motor Neuron Disease in memory of his two close friends, Addie and Jon respectively.
Richard began his attempt at 8 o’clock on Saturday morning, climbing out of Bath and feeling comfortable over the first 25 kms. He was on his target time at this stage.
However, the swiftly rising temperatures were brutally felt by all the runners, and exacerbated by the steep terrain, rising some 7000ft. The soaring temperatures caused all of the competitors problems, with most suffering some symptoms of heat stroke. Nausea, faintness and fatigue enveloped them more quickly and severely than they anticipated, resulting in a high rate of withdrawal at 50kms.
At this stage, Richard too seriously considered pulling out, as he felt physically and mental exhausted to breaking point. His committed and loyal wife, Carol, refused to let Richard dwell on his negative thoughts, and cajoled, urged and supported him at every rest stop, and points she could reach in the car, throughout the whole night.
As soon as the sun went down, the air cooled slowly and Richard began to recover a little, managing to run more often, and feel less sick, to the extent that every stage became easier as he got closer to the finish, not harder. Running through the night he found relaxing and peaceful, after the mental and physical chaos of the sweltering daytime temperatures.
Never has a sunrise been so welcome, as for Richard, it signified that the end was in sight. Richard finished the Ultramarathon at 06.00 hours on Sunday morning, in Cheltenham.
The months of training had paid off. He had no blisters, no joint nor muscle problems, nor any other injuries . The camaraderie of the runners was wonderful, and they all supported each other where possible through the trial, sharing jokes, food and medical kits.
Richard’s run was truly inspirational. Butler Sherborn are extremely proud of him, and delighted that he has raised a considerable amount of money for the two charities in memory of his two friends, Addie and Jon.
As Richard says, ‘They and their families are legends. I simply went on a long, hot journey.’