Fundraiser takes 100-mile run in his stride in only 27 hours

Trav­el­ling vet was his in­spi­ra­tiOn

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Wheely Wet For Big Bike Race - By Vicky Cas­tle

Tor­ren­tial rain, steep hills and a 30-hour time limit were just three of the chal­lenges an Ash­ford man suc­cess­fully over­came when he com­pleted an in­cred­i­ble 100-mile ul­tra-marathon on the North Downs.

An­drew Cairns, 34, from Eger­ton, ran for a whop­ping 27 hours, paus­ing only a few times for quick aid breaks in the North Downs Way 100 (NDW100) race to raise money for In­ter­na­tional An­i­mal Res­cue.

Ex-Army man Mr Cairns said he set him­self a chal­lenge two years ago to trans­form him­self from be­ing a five-mile jog­ger to an ul­tra-marathon run­ner and is proud of his achieve­ment.

He said: “The thing is there is also 10,000 feet of climb­ing in there as well so it’s a bit like run­ning 100 miles and then climb­ing the Shard 10 times.

“I am def­i­nitely feel­ing chuffed that I com­pleted it but I don’t think it has re­ally sunk in yet.

“I prob­a­bly won’t do another though. I am so knack­ered, it re­ally takes it out of you.

“But the thing is it is not just you that it takes it out of. My Mr Cairns chose In­ter­na­tional An­i­mal Res­cue as his char­ity af­ter be­ing in­spired by Lisa Milella, the vet who is trav­el­ling the world sav­ing some of the most en­dan­gered an­i­mals af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease.

He has raised just over £500 but is still tak­ing do­na­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to do­nate visit www.vir­gin­money­giv­ing.com/ andy­cairns

‘I am feel­ing chuffed that I com­pleted it but I don’t think it has re­ally sunk in yet’

fam­ily and friends in my sup­port group went through the whole thing with me and I could not have done it with­out them.”

The mam­moth course, ap­prox­i­mately four times the length of a nor­mal marathon, starts in Farn­ham and snakes through the countryside fin­ish­ing in Wye.

Ex­treme weather and ad­verse con­di­tions led to a 40% dropout rate this year as 71 run­ners failed to com­plete the dif­fi­cult course.

Mr Cairns added: “Hav­ing to give up be­cause you’re be­ing sick or be­cause of ill­ness hap­pens to a lot of run­ners.

“I did a 50-mile race in May and got my first ‘did not fin­ish’ (DNF) be­cause of my ill­ness and when you do pull out it’s an aw­ful feel­ing be­cause you feel like you have let every­one down.

“I think that feel­ing got me through this one as I’m not usu­ally one for giv­ing up and as long as phys­i­cally I could do it then men­tally I would make sure I did.

“They told us in the Army that the body is a lot stronger than the mind.”

Pic­ture: SR Dig­i­tal Fo­tog­ra­phy

Ex-Army man An­drew Cairns com­pleted a 100-mile marathon chal­lenge which took 27 hours

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