Rutland Running and Triathlon Club athlete Bryan Clary has gone beyond the extreme to complete an endurance race victory double.
Oakham-based Clary claimed success in the gruelling Equinox24 event at Belvoir Castle before taking top spot at the Lon Las Cymru Ultra event in Wales which is the UK’s longest non-stop road race from Holyhead to Cardiff.
Clary was one of three solo runners at Belvoir from the Rutland club with the aim of running as many laps of the 10k course as possible in 24 hours.
He managed to break the course record by completing 21 laps in 24 hours and said that going without sleep for one night was ‘easy peasy’.
Bryan commented: “I did a 200-mile race last year where I didn’t sleep for two nights - and that was quite tough.
“I couldn’t find any of the Rutland club members to start with, but I bumped into someone who had run other endurance events so we set off together.
“The other chap was running a lot faster than I planned so I managed to do a personal best for 100 miles of 18.47 hours. Not many people can boast a time for 100 miles let alone a personal best.
“The key to success is in the planning. I am a self-confessed Excel and mapping geek. For Equinox24, I had a detailed spreadsheet to tell me where I should be at what time and luckily everything went better than planned.”
The Lon Las Cymru Ultra event was 250 miles which resulted in three nights without sleep as he completed the course in just over 72 hours.
Bryan explained: “There are some fairly tough rules as no-one is allowed to help you, it’s totally unsupported.
“However, you can go into shops or cafes and there were water stops every 25 miles and bag stops every 50 miles where runners could retrieve dry clean clothes and trainers.
“I had to slip into a charity shop to purchase an old sweatshirt because it was so cold and wet and then had 10 minutes sleep in a telephone box at 200 miles.
“It was the best sleep I’ve ever had because I felt great afterwards and trotted into the check point all cheerful.”
At that point Bryan was in second place and the leader was six miles ahead of him. By the time he reached Merthyr Tydfil he was only 1.5 miles behind the leader with 10 miles to go so his plan was to catch him up and run the last few miles together.
But Bryan never saw the front-runner because the leader took a wrong turning and, by the time he found himself back on route, the Rutland runner was in the lead which he held until the finish.
His extreme exploits have also helped to raise £1,709.26 for Macmillan Cancer Support.