Newspaper Editors to run African Ultra

Posted on February 22, 2008 by


News chiefs to take on 120km ‘ultra’ marathon

Two newspaper executives are swapping the comfort of the newsroom for the heat of the desert when they take on a 24-hour ultra marathon.

Plymouth Herald editor Bill Martin and executive picture editor Pete Holdgate will be running 120km through the Namib Desert to raise money for a local hospice.

The race, which takes place along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast from Spitzkoppe to Jakkalsputz, will encompass gravel plains, rocky ridges, massive expanses of sand and dry water courses.

The duo has to be totally self-sufficient and carry all their food, water, clothes and equipment.

Temperatures are expected to range from between five and 35 degrees Celsius.

Bill, (40), said: “Pete and I have been talking about doing a run in the desert for about eight years.

“We always thought we’d do the Marathon Des Sables, which is in the Sahara Desert, but that’s become so popular now that it’s very hard to get into and we couldn’t get there until 2010.

“We found this race – it’s a beautiful place and it just seemed like a challenge.

“As I get closer and build up the training I’m starting to get a bit worried about it, actually.

“I think the challenge is going to be time on our feet and we’re dedicating a lot of time to that right now, and getting our heads right.”

Pete added: “I’ve always been fortunate in being fit and well, so to be able to do something like this and help St Luke’s Hospice is a huge privilege.

“This race is definitely about understanding endurance, physiology and of course the desert – a case where the tortoise will challenge the hare, and I am, without doubt, not the latter.”

Bill and Pete are hoping to raise up to £10,000 for St Luke’s Hospice which serves the whole of Plymouth, south-east Cornwall and south-west Devon.

To sponsor them visit their online fund-raising page.