Ever watched a hamster going full pelt on a running wheel and thought: just how does it keep going like that?
Many spectators may well be thinking much the same thing on Saturday when Max Newton takes on an epic and very unusual challenge.
The Sheffield fundraiser is one of just 45 top endurance runners across the country who has been selected to take on an ‘ultra marathon’ in London.
The idea with this bizarre event is simple, if brutal.
Competitors try to stay on their feet for 24 hours while running round a 400-metre race track as many times as possible. (You see, the hamster analogy isn’t so far off.)
Chafing is promised. Blisters are a cert. Cramping will be fearful. Runners wishing they’d taken up a gentler hobby, such as origami, is a strong possibility.
Still, Max is undaunted. He’s hoping to cover around 130 miles – nearly 600 laps – on the day, but recognises it’ll be gruelling stuff.
He said: “The real kicker is that it’s all centred on a single athletics track – just round and round and round.
“Literally the only variation will be when we change direction after 12 hours, then it’s round and round and round the other way.”
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But Max is determined to do well, for one very good reason: “It’s for a brilliant cause – the British Red Cross. That’s why I’m doing this, and I’ll be very grateful for any donations – each one makes my task seem even more worthwhile.”
So, if you can spare a few quid, please help. And whatever you’re doing on 9 October, spare a thought for the human hamster who’ll be running – rain, hail or snow – throughout the whole day and night.
PS. Reports that Max will be given a bucketful of seeds to stuff in his cheeks beforehand and a nice bed of straw to snooze in following the race are at this point unconfirmed.
Donate to Max’s fundraising effort