Hotelier raises thousands with gruelling 50-mile downland run

Neil Kirby has completed a 50-mile run SUS-180417-105733001
Neil Kirby has completed a 50-mile run SUS-180417-105733001

An Eastbourne hotelier has successfully completed the South Downs Way 50 mile race.

Langham Hotel owner Neil Kirby has been running marathons all his life and described the hilly course as ‘exceptionally challenging’.

He ran the race in nine hours 45 minutes in aid of aid of Hospitality Action and SimPal, a cancer networking charity.

Neil faces both a busy year with running his business the Langham Hotel and also training for the various running events he is participating in.

He said, “I am very proud of this wonderful achievement which has really helped me to mark my 50th anniversary year in the hospitality business.

“This was my first 50 mile race. I finished 160th out of 425 runners and completed the race in nine hours and 45 minutes.

“The course was exceptionally challenging,

“I have been training on the course in sections and I am all too aware of the additional challenges of trail running.

“It is a hilly course climbing more than 9,000ft which is very demanding on the body.”

Mr Kirby is pleased to have raised £2,500 in total for his two chosen charities.

He added, “I would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me. The money raised will be split equally between my two chosen charities.”

Despite this tough challenge, Mr Kirby has more training and multiple events planned for the rest of the year.

He said, “Although this was certainly my biggest challenge of the year running wise, I am running my 17th London marathon on Sunday (April 22).

“ I am hoping to complete this in less than four hours so I will qualify automatically for free entry to next years race in the over 65s category.

“In June I am running the Weald Way 32-mile race which is also a trail run, I am looking forward to both the training and the run.”

And he has done some additional charity work recently, supporting the Golden Friends of Hospitality Action by hosting a lunch at the Langham.

The programme specialises in offering social event for lonely and sometimes isolated older people who have previously worked in the hospitality and catering industry.