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An exhausted former cancer patient from Orkney, Scotland has become the first person to run the 500 plus miles of Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66.
Pensioner William Sichel completed the circular North Coast 500 mile tourist route in northern Scotland when he ran into Inverness at around 2am on Monday.
The route has been hailed as one of the greatest drives in the world but has never been run before.
William started at Inverness Castle in Scotland on April 13, with the goal of finishing the iconic route, solo, in eight days. His official time was 8 days, 19 hours, 7 minutes and 7 seconds.
It took him to the west coast, up to Cape Wrath, through Caithness, through Tain and then down the east coast, to finally complete the loop in Inverness.
“I completed a recce run on the whole course in November last year when I was driven around the whole route, which is actually 518.7 miles and ran for up to three hours a day to get a feel for the area," William said.
“Following that experience I decided to have a go at running the whole thing.”
“I am completely drained. I haven’t slept for 21 hours but I made it in under nine days,” said William at the end of the run.
“It was incredibly demanding in every sense – mentally and physically. We made it – thanks to the team, it was a team effort. I’m now just looking forward to my bed.
“I was running into head winds at times but overall I got lucky with the weather. I had a lot of support. I was amazed how it caught on with people as I went round. I hadn’t expected that at all.”
William has completed 107 ultra marathons since 1994. Last summer he ran the Self Transcendence 3,100 Mile race in New York – the world’s longest certified footrace.
No one had previously run the North Coast 500 route although cyclist James McCallum, completed the route in 31 hours in 2016.
The Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. Called 'The Mount Everest of ultramarathons' by The New York Times, is the longest certified footrace in the world. Athletes are able to test themselves in a format unlike any other ultra-marathon event. In order to meet their goal of 3100 miles in 52 days, they must log an average of 59.6 miles per day....more...