Neurological physiotherapist and ultra-runner Colin Green recently completed one of the world’s most brutal races, a non-stop 268-mile race across the Pennine Way.
Mr Green, clinical director at Physio Matters in Oldham, trained for 12 months before taking part in the Montane Spine Race 2019 back in January.
It involves racing non-stop for seven days and nights and he completed the challenge in 166 hours, while many other competitors behind him dropped out.
He told Frontline: ‘This was the hardest race I have ever run in my life. The conditions were tough. By the end I was completely exhausted. The biggest challenge is sleep deprivation. I had a total of 13 hours over the whole week.”
Physio skills help with mental and physical challenge
Mr Green said his physiotherapy training had been invaluable during his preparation.
‘Treating people with life-changing conditions has made me very aware that not everyone can take part in sports and ultra-running, and I’m fortunate to have the opportunity and to make the most of it while I can.
‘My physiotherapy background has helped me prepare physically and mentally for ultra-running challenges, and I understand the importance of regular training, quality rest time, proper nutrition, and how to manage injuries, of which there have been quite a few.
‘It enables me to go into these races with confidence, knowing I have done all I can to prepare for the challenge.”
Determined to succeed
However, Mr Green admits there were times he was close to pulling out: ‘After a short sleep in Kielder Forest on day five, I woke up in a lot of pain, cold and extremely tired and thought “I can’t go on”.
‘But I’d come so far and this year I was determined to succeed. I told myself to get up and get going. I visualised being at the finish line and focused on just putting one foot in front of the other.’
Out of 126 runners who entered the race, Mr Green finished in 73rd place - after 53 runners dropped out along the way.
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