Longest run on longest day

The Northern Echo: LONGEST RUN: Charity ultra runner Paul Smith runs 100 miles in circuits on the longest day of the year at Maiden Castle in Durham City. Picture:TOM BANKS (7387131) LONGEST RUN: Charity ultra runner Paul Smith runs 100 miles in circuits on the longest day of the year at Maiden Castle in Durham City. Picture:TOM BANKS (7387131)

ULTRA runner Paul Smith undertook his longest challenge on the longest day of the year over the weekend.

The 50-year-old clocked up 90 miles on Saturday by running laps of Maiden Castle sports ground, near Durham City, dressed as Superman.

He started at a minute past midnight on Saturday and ran until around 1am on Sunday morning.

He had been hoping to reach 100 miles, but after almost 25 hours running he had achieved his aim of completing his longest ever run.

Mr Smith, a keen Hartlepool fan, previously ran 61 miles on the shortest day of last year between St James’ Park, Newcastle, the Sunderland Stadium of Light and Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, ending at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park.

He said: “I was hallucinating by the end and as I had got close family and friends watching I knew that enough was enough.

“It would have been nice to reach 100 as it is an iconic number, but the aim was to do the longest run and I certainly did that. I am aching from head to foot. Although there were lots of highs and lows I really had to dig deep to keep going.”

Mr Smith, who lives in Sherburn Hill, near Durham, was joined by ultra runner Sharon Gayter for 16 hours of his run, and briefly by Olympic long jumper Chris Tomlinson, who was training at Maiden Castle, as well as Northern Echo sports editor Nick Loughlin amongst others who did a number of laps with him throughout his challenge.

He is raising money for the Retired Greyhound Trust and the Finlay Cooper Fund, set up Hartlepool United manager Colin Cooper and his wife Julie in memory of their son Finlay who died after a choking accident.

Mr Smith has raised more than £800 so far. To support him, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Paul Smith or use the link on this page. 

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