Forget the London or New York marathons - superfit Mark Ketteringham really went the distance when he took part in a gruelling ultra marathon.
And that’s because Mark, aged 41, ran a staggering 122 miles in just 24 hours - the equivalent of five regular 26-mile marathons or the same as running all the way from Doncaster to Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire.
The British Ultra Fest 24-hour race was only his second ultra-distance event - and his efforts were so good they earned him second place in the race overall.
He said: “It was pretty intense going and I only spent about 10 minutes or so off the track every four hours for a chance to change and rehydrate and take on food.
“I broke the running down into manageable little chunks, rather than thinking about running non-stop for 24 hours, and that seemed to make it easier,” added Mark, a former Yorkshire junior 800m champion and English schools 800m finalist.
In the 24-hour race, which was held at Radley College in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, competitors had to cover as much distance as possible by completing laps of a standard 400m athletics track.
He said: “I was initially inspired to complete a 24-hour race through watching and supporting a similar event hosted by my local athletics club, Doncaster Plant Works AC, as a very young child.
“I was fascinated by the stamina, determination and application and always vowed to have a go.”
Mark, a teacher in West Yorkshire, first entered the Energia 24-hour race in Belfast with the target of completing 100 miles.
He said: “I promised my wife I’d stop at that.
“But I completed 100 miles and there was a nagging thought about just how far I could go.”
So he pulled on his trainers again, underwent a gruelling training regime, and clocked up a remarkable 122 miles - making him the leading British athlete and the leading veteran over 40.
“Special mention must go to my long-suffering wife, Catherine,” he added. “Not only did she endure numerous 4am ‘get-ups’ for training runs but she ensured throughout the 24 hours that drinks, nutrition, kit changes and much needed pain medication were available.”
Keep on running - when 26 miles is just not enough...
An ultra marathon is any event involving running and walking longer than the traditional marathon length of 26.2 miles.
There are two types of ultra marathons - those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during a specified time with the winner covering the most distance in that time.
The most common distances are 50km or 31.069 miles, 100km or 62.137 miles, 50 miles or 80.4672km, and 100 miles or 160.9344km, although many races have other distances. The 100km is an official IAAF world record event. Other distances include double marathons, 24-hour races, and multi-day races of 1,000 miles or more.