5 marathons in 24 hours!

PUBLISHED: 14:20 04 October 2007 | UPDATED: 15:16 12 May 2010

David Bowker with some of the Royston Runners youngsters – Pic: Daniel Wilson

David Bowker with some of the Royston Runners youngsters – Pic: Daniel Wilson

MARATHON man David Bowker is set for another gruelling ­challenge on Saturday when he attempts to complete FIVE marathons in 24 hours. David, of Garden Close, Royston first appeared in The Crow almost a year ago when he ran four marathons in four weeks.

MARATHON man David Bowker is set for another gruelling ­challenge on Saturday when he attempts to complete FIVE marathons in 24 hours.

David, of Garden Close, Royston first appeared in The Crow almost a year ago when he ran four marathons in four weeks.

But in what makes his usual marathons look like a mere leg stretcher - the granddad of five is all geared up for the highlight of the ultra-distance calendar.

He said: "Every year I like to set myself a goal. In 2006 it was the four marathons in four weeks.

"Now it is five marathons in one day.

"I'm sure people think that I'm crazy but I believe I can do it.

"I've been training hard, and although I haven't tried to replicate the distance I'm confident I can do it on Saturday."

The 48-year-old will travel to the Tooting Bec athletics track in London, and line up alongside 39 other entrants.

The race, which is known as the Self Transcendence 24-hour Track Race, will start at noon and finish at noon on Sunday.

"It works out as the equivalent of five marathons and is something like 132 miles and approximately 500 laps of the track. You can eat, drink and sleep when you want, but that obviously means having to stop and that will affect your time," said David.

In the past three years David, who is a member of Royston Runners, has completed a 12-hour track race in which he covered 66.5 miles.

He has also run from London to Brighton in eight hours 57 minutes.

He said: "Of course it's going to be a challenge, but that's why I'm doing it. I think we should all set ourselves goals - it's good for us."

He has even set his target for 2008 - which is to qualify for next year's Paralympics.

"I've had stargotits disease all my life - it's a disease that affects my focal vision.

"I'm registered disabled and the Paralympics are my next goal," said David.

"I've got until July 1 to complete a marathon in under three hours and 20 minutes in order to qualify. That's a time I'm certainly capable of achieving."

He also hopes to inspire some of the younger ­members of the Royston Runners.

He said: "They show so much enthusiasm for running.

"Hopefully I can inspire a few to set their own goals, and who knows, perhaps some of them will represent Britain at the 2012 Olympics?"

Wendy Jones of Royston Runners said: "David is a great example to our junior members. He's an amazing character who has a lot of ambition.

"What he's attempting is unbelievable, and if I'm honest, I think he's barmy! But I'm sure he'll do well."

David said: "I can't wait until Saturday - it should be another great experience.

"Barring any injuries, I'm going to run for 24 hours!

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