Original storySome would call Nick Linton nuts. Others may say he’s plain crazy.
But they’d all be in agreement that he’s got to be admired for his unyielding ability to face up to the physical and mental pain barrier over and over.Linton starts running at 9am on Saturday morning and won’t stop until the same time on Sunday.The Pakuranga athlete is lining up in the national 24-hour ultra-marathon track championships with about 15 other long distance runners from this country and around the world at Sovereign Stadium, at the Millenium Institute of Sport, Mairangi Bay.His first goal is to finish the full day’s run. The second is to complete 450 laps of the 400m track, a journey of 180 kilometres, which is the equivalent of a return trip between Auckland and Whangarei plus 10kms.The world record for the 24-hour run is 303kms set by Yiannis Kouros. Linton says: “That guy’s a freak.”Linton says he’s physically fit and his body’s well prepared for this weekend’s ultra marathon. It’s his mental strength, however, that’ll take the greater pounding.After taking things easy in his teenage years, Linton, 20, decided to get active, outdoors and away from the computers, chips and cola.He’s trained hard and competed in ultra distance sports events in recent years, including the Auckland Marathon and ultra races at 90 Mile Beach (63kms) and the Molesworth’s 84kms in the South Island (Times, April 16; March 23 2006).But he says this weekend’s national championship is his first 24-hour race.His training bag will carry three pairs of running shoes – one new, one two sizes larger than normal for when his feet swell, and, an old set that he’s cut holes for tired toes for the end of the journey.For energy, Linton will snack on his favourites: pizza, gingerbread men, chocolate-coated expresso beans and brownies, washed down by a mix of water and sports drinks.The brother of former Olympic swimmer Rebecca Linton, the Les Mills and UniSports personal and gym trainer dedicates all his competition runs to the Cure Kids charity.