Runner's World (UK) - - HUMAN RACE - just­giv­ing. com/ fundrais­ing/ melanie- ir­win3

Tom Evans had al­ways been a keen sports­man but run­ning only en­tered the equa­tion last Novem­ber. ‘I was in Wales do­ing some mil­i­tary train­ing and I came across route mark­ings that looked as if they might be for a race,’ ex­plains the 25-year-old army cap­tain. ‘They were for a 76km trail ul­tra tak­ing place the next day and I de­cided to sign up.’ Tom not only won the race – he broke the course record. A few months later, he was lining up for the Marathon des Sables: ‘It was a case of jump­ing in at the deep end,’ laughs Tom. ‘My first multi-stage race, first self-suf­fi­ciency race and first time run­ning on sand!’ Tom came third and his suc­cess con­tin­ues; he won the 62.6-mile Race to the Tower in June be­fore head­ing to Switzer­land for hill train­ing. ‘ It’s a like a dream come true,’ he says. There’s noth­ing half-hearted about the chal­lenge Melanie Ir­win set her­self at the start of 2017. The 50-year-old from East Sus­sex is run­ning a half marathon ev­ery month in aid of Tommy’s, a char­ity that funds re­search into preg­nancy com­pli­ca­tions. ‘I suf­fered six mis­car­riages be­fore I had my twins, Charlie and Al­fie,’ says Melanie. She is more than half­way through her chal­lenge, and has raised nearly £1,000. ‘I’m sup­port­ing Tommy’s be­cause there was no need for me to lose so many ba­bies,’ she says. So far, Melanie has run her fastest half (Brighton, 1:54) and her tough­est (The Hurt, 3:14 – ‘the time says it all!’). ‘The boys love com­ing to watch me run,’ she says. ‘They can’t wait to join me.’

TOM EVANS Ul­tra tal­ented

MELANIE IR­WIN Do­ing things by halves

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