Mansfield runner to tackle historic Spartathlon race in Greece

Ultra-runner Andy Day, of Mansfield, who has been training hard for the world-famous Spartathlon in Greece.
Ultra-runner Andy Day, of Mansfield, who has been training hard for the world-famous Spartathlon in Greece.

A long-distance runner has been pounding the streets of Mansfield to prepare for one of the most historic races in the world.

Police officer Andy Day, who turns 50 in October, travels to Athens in Greece next week to take part in Spartathlon, a 153-mile ultra-marathon.

The race traces the footsteps of ancient Athenian Pheidippides who, in 490 BC, ran to Sparta to seek help in the Battle Of Marathon between the Greeks and the Persians.

“Its history and distance make it the biggest event I have tackled,” said Day, of Berry Hill, who will be backed by his partner, Diane Hamilton.

“I am going into the unknown, but I feel I am the fittest I have ever been, and I am really looking forward to it.”

Day, known to his friends as ‘Daysey’, took up ultra-running after national and international success as a cyclist and in duathlon. He then moved on to triathlon, but hated the swimming!

“I like to keep pushing the boundaries,” added Day, who is full of praise for his sponsor, Gallant Air Conditioning, of Mansfield, and his coach, endurance athlete Nathan Flear.

Although he won last year’s Robin Hood 100-mile race in Sherwood Forest, Day failed to post the time he needed for automatic qualification for the 390-strong field in Greece.

However, he won a place by ballot and has been training intensely, often getting up at 3 am to clock up to 100 miles a week, even though his work as a detective constable with West Midlands Police entails a 120-mile commute.