Last weekend 27th - 28th March saw Honiton Ultra Distance Runner Heather Foundling-Hawker embark on her latest racing
adventure at the Athens 1000 Mile Festival.

Held within the beautiful city of Athens, the course for all distances was a 1km loop around a old airdrome
in the Glyfada district of Athens. Heather entered the 24hr race with started on Sat 27th March at 1pm and ran
thought the night until 1pm on Palm Sunday. The aim of a 24 hr race is to see how far you can run within the 24 hours.

Heather had a target of 120 miles to gain entry to the Spartathlon Marathon in September later this year which is based on Herodotus’ description of the Athenian ‘Imerodromou’ or messenger who arrived in Sparta the day after he departed from Athens and also on well known historical events of that time. It is considered the nearest route to that which Pheidippides must have followed and is 153 miles long up mountains tracks with wild dogs, snakes and scorpions to deter her ( Heather is now looking for somebody to run with). It has been Heathers dream to take part in this famous race, which only allows the Worlds top runners to take part after strict qualifying procedures.

Due to the windy gale conditions experienced during Heathers 24hr race the target distance to qualify for Spartathon was reduced to 105 miles. Heather started at a nice even pace whilst the wind was picking up all the time and reached 69 miles at 12 hours, well on target. With not only the wind to battle but the mental battle of doing 1km loops and running through the middle of the night Heather showed the true requirements to become one of the worlds top 24hr Runners. At the 21 hour stage Heather has reached 111 miles and gained the qualifying time for Spartathon 2010 her target and dream had been reached.
Heather increased her distance by 12miles in only her second race,if heather continues at this rate her place in the 2011 24hr world championships is well secure.

Heather holds 3 Gold medals and 2 silver medals at 100km and 50km as well as the worlds best time for over 40's 50km. A true champion, grateful to all her sponsor's past and present. Temper mattresses, powerplate international profeet orthotics since her injury, and her current sponsor Clarks,with thier revolutionary Atsu footbed, Thank you.

With 3 hours left to race Heather saw the doctor to check out her feet who took also her blood pressure which they do to all athletes at certain stages of the race. Heathers pressure was a low , she had a headache and was giddy, battling the 25 degree heat and gale force winds had taken their toll on Heather, on 8 miles short of her place in the world championships in BRIEVE france.
so Heather took the sensible decision to stop running in preparation for her next adventure.

Heather finished 8th over all and 1st Lady winning a lovely trophy. The race was won overall by the current world 24hr Champion
Ryoichi Sekiya from Japan running 150 miles in the 24 hours.

Winner of the 1000 mile race was Schwerk Wolfgang from Germany who completed 1000 miles around the 1km loop in an amazing 11 and half days.