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Imagine running for 24-hours. No, imagine running for 24-hours as part of your career. That’s what Robbie Britton does. He’s part of the GB team heading to Belfast this summer for the 24-Hour World Championships


How the 24-hour running began

“I was doing 100-mile races, I won one and finished second at another and then I suddenly got a call up to run for England which was an absolute dream.”

Personal limits

“With 24-hour running it’s not about finishing – there’s no finish line. It’s about running laps around a course and locating your own personal limits. It’s fascinating to me; finding out how far I can run in one day and how close I can get to the edge of oblivion. I love it unrepentantly. I’m not a masochist, it’s more about personal discovery. Those questions – can I get a PB? Can I set a British record? Can I win a World Championship? I love the sense of purpose they give me, it gets me up in the morning.”

The goal

“My current personal best is 261km in 24 hours, which included a 3 hour 23 minute marathon to finish. That was at the World Championship in 2015. I was in sixth position with an hour to go and I ended up finishing third, just 40m behind second place. At this year’s World Championships in July, I’ve got my eye on breaking the British record which is 274km. That’s been a long term aim of mine. But I want to be world champion at some point. I’m one of the younger runners on the scene and I know I can do it, it’s just a case of when I can do it.”

The life of 24-hour runner

“When I tell someone I’m a 24-hour runner they just look confused. It doesn’t impress people, people just think I’m weird. It’s so far-fetched and ridiculous that some people can’t really get their head around it. Most of us who do it have other jobs. There are IT technicians, office workers and builders. We’re all normal people who are a little bit weird and have dedicated the best part of our lives to this sport. It’s full of relatable people who are great role models, with healthy attitudes to exercise, eating and life in general.”

The Wings for Life World Run

Robbie Britton

“It’s quite similar to 24-hour running as there’s no finish line, but in this case you don’t stop with the clock, you stop when David Coulthard catches up with you in his car. I’ll approach the event this week in Cambridge the same way as I approach the 24-hours. I’ll just focus on myself. I’ll let people go past me at the start with the idea that I’ll be passing them eventually. I’d like to cover between 60 and 70km which will take some pacing and eating and drinking. I’ll have to do 4.05 minute kilometres for 60km and four hours of running. That could put me up there in the mix to win it.”

 

Returning for the fourth year, Wings for Life World Run, is a unique synchronised charity race that brings together runners of all levels around the world to run simultaneously, no matter what time it is in their location. Whether you think you can run 2km or 88km, Wings for Life sees participants of all abilities in 25 countries run day or night across 6 continents with 100% of the entry fee going towards spinal cord research. The UK event is taking place on in Cambridge on Sunday 7th May 2017. Visit www.wingsforlifeworldrun.com

Robbie was speaking to Will Renwick