Neil Wheeler, from Collingbourne Ducis, ran 107 miles around his 200 metre back garden last weekend. He was participating in a virtual race challenge for ultra-runners in order to raise money for the Friends of the Savernake Hospital. He had set a target of raising £250 but so far has raised £642.
Neil was keen to raise money for the Friends of the Savernake Hospital. He told Marlborough.news, “I was born there and grew up in Marlborough. Friends of the Savernake Hospital is a very worthwhile local charity.”
Neil started the challenge at 6.30 am on the morning of Saturday April 18 in heavy rain and finished at 12.30 on Sunday lunchtime. He ran through the night with only one stop to change a pair of shoes and socks and to take a shower at 4.45 am on Sunday morning.
The rules of the race stated that competitors would be disqualified if they stopped for more than an hour during the challenge. Neil says he ate on the run, just grabbing a snack from a table of food he had set up and he took minimal loo breaks.
Neil trains at the Fitness Space gym in Marlborough and is no stranger to marathons. Last year he ran 52 marathons in 50 weeks. He had planned to participate in the Cyprus Marathon in March but it was cancelled. He’s hopeful that the Kennet and Avon Marathon from London to Bristol, set to take place in July, will go ahead.
He is currently on Day 14 of a challenge to run 19 miles a day for 19 days.
Neil’s interest in running and fitness started 8 years ago. “A friend challenged me to run 10K with him. I had no idea how far that was. I suffer from epilepsy and I was fed up with people telling me you can’t do this or that because you have an illness. I’ve found that running helps to control the epilepsy. I think I’ve proved that so long as you’re sensible you can achieve all sorts of things.”
If you would like to support Neil’s fundraising efforts for the Friends of the Savernake Hospital go to: https://www.facebook.com/donate/813463302476627/?fundraiser_source=external_url