Five 100-mile charity runs

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Most people find a marathon is enough of a running achievement but an Eastbourne dad is taking on five 100-mile runs this year.

Mark Fox is taking on the challenge for Demelza Children’s Hospice and his first race takes place tomorrow (March 23).

The 42-year-old, together with his friend Richard Tickner, will run along the Thames path from Richmond to Oxford. This first run will be the flattest the pair undertake and in June they will running closer to home when run over the undulating hills of the South Downs from Winchester to Eastbourne.

Mark, from Latimer Road, has caught the fitness bug and is running 75 miles a week to train for the five races .

He said, “Up until five years ago I didn’t do any running but I started running marathons and then last year I did the South Downs Way.”

He completed the Eastbourne to Winchester stint in 26-and-a-half hours last year and is hoping to knock more than two hours of that time for 2013 and complete the run in 24 hours.

Mark and Richard do not stop to sleep during races, they continue running through the hours of darkness, stopping only to refill their water supplies and consume energy gels.

When asked why he had decided to take on such an epic challenge, He said, “A moment of madness.

“I am feeling nervous because you forget the pain of running 100 miles as you become so overwhelmed by completing it.

“There are some amazing highs when you run such a distance but some real low points too.

“I am nervous and excited. I am also thinking why am I doing this?”

In the past, Mark has run to raise cash for Diabetes UK, Cancer Research and Cardiac Risk in the Young. This year he is hoping to raise as much a possible for Demelza.

He said, “I have two healthy kids and I am very fortunate but I don’t even want to think about what some parents go through. Charities like Demelza are so important.”

Wife Sam and sons Luke, five, and Dylan, three, hope to see their dad cross the finish line at some of his races.