Distance Runner Heather Founding-Hawker has just returned from Antibes
on her latest running adventure. The French Ultra Festival brought runners
from several countries to compete in Antibes just outside Nice on the
Sunny South of France. Heather was competing in the 48 hour race which
started on 10th June at 16:00 and finished at 16:00 on Saturday 12th
June, running through the heat of the day and the humid nights. A true
test of stamina and endurance to keep running for 48hrs with no sleep,
the occasional toilet stop and quick break for food, although food was
mainly eaten on the go. The course consisted loops of a 1295 meter circuit
on and around the Saint-Roch Fort and running track on the coast of
This was the longest race Heather has competed in since her 24hr race
in Athens this March and with daytime temperatures expected to reach
32 degrees, two day's of running began. Heather's is a amazing Athlete
and after 24 hours of running she completed 114 Miles to take the overall
lead of men and women in the race. As the late evening approached Heather
went to take a rest for 1 hour, only for her friend to fall asleep and
forgot to wake her. Heather was asleep for 9 hours and woke to find
her friend still sleeping. Heather got up to meet the sun rise and ran
finishing the race in 4th place and first lady beating many top Male
Athletes. Heather completed 217 laps and running 175 miles. Heather
also broke the Female Course Record by 50 Km, beating Anne Delaroche's
previous best for the course.
This was a amazing run in daytimes temperatures of 32 degrees plus,
that the French Organizers were giving out ice lollies to help cool
the runners down.
Many of the French and South American Runners are used to these temperatures
and is testimony of Heathers outstanding talent to keep running in extreme
hot conditions, dry air, dust, in which many of the Athletes likened
it to Les Stables, in which they had run. It was Heathers first gator
race as the course was gritty which was excellent preparation for Heathers
dream race of Spartathon in September. If Heather had not suffered the
unforeseen extended rest it would have been interesting to see how far
Heather could have ran.
The Race Organizer and other Athletes of race called Heather the true
winner and a Supreme Lady.
Heather has a invite for next years The World 48 hour Championships
to be held in France.
On return from the race, Heather was grateful to receive her big toe
operation on her right foot. Hopefully this will enable her to run pain
free and balance better. Thankyou to all who encourage her and we wish
her a speedy recovery.