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Andover Triathletes tackle Ultra Challenges

Our very own Neville Breach took on Iceland's most challenging foot race, covering 250km over six days in the uninhabited heart of the country.

Neville participated in Iceland's Fire + Ice Ultra 2023 in August. It is a self-sufficient event, meaning competitors must carry everything they need for the six days on their backs, except for a tent.

The event started in central Iceland, 100km from the nearest tarmac road. During the gruelling six-day event, competitors endured deserts of volcanic ash, glacial river crossings, lava fields, sand dunes, lush meadows, canyons, and valleys in volcanic terrain.

Neville said: 

"This was an epic adventure, from making the decision to do it, to putting in the long training hours, to showing up on the start line. I have only found positive things from this experience and would encourage everyone reading this to find their own epic adventure."

Closer to home, Matty Hardy and Karl Gailer took part in 'The Lap' Lake Windermere Ultra Marathon. The race covered 75km (47 miles) on trails in the stunning Lake District.  Competitors had 24 hours to complete the race, and it was open to both runners and walkers alike. This popular event, nicknamed The Beautiful Ultra, was a sellout this year, and the 2024 edition has already sold out.  The route took competitors around Lake Windermere, climbing Wensfell Pike and Loughrigg Fell, boasting outstanding views and landscapes.

Karl, who was competing in his fifth ultra event said: 

"The route itself was challenging, with relentless hills both ascending and descending."

Upon leaving the event, he told teammate Matty that he would not be doing it again, but then the following day, he booked his place in next year's event.

Matty, a seasoned ultra runner who has successfully competed in 100 kilometres and 100-mile races, said: 

"It was the hardest race I have ever done but by far the most beautiful and well-supported. I'm really looking forward to doing it again in 2024."

Inspiring stories from these seasoned atheletes - we are all very proud of you!