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Tim Holsgrove
Tim collects his hard-earned prize
Grand Union Canal
The longest sit-down Tim allowed himself during the race was four minutes

Internal News - 29 May 2007

PhD student triumphs in Britain’s longest non-stop footrace

While many people spent the Bank Holiday relaxing, a PhD student from the University had a different idea: Tim Holsgrove chose to run Britain’s longest non-stop footrace, from Birmingham to London along the Grand Union Canal.

Tim won the 145-mile race, which is the equivalent of almost six marathons, in an unimaginable 29 hours 39 minutes. This is the (joint) fourth fastest time the course has been completed and, at 24 years old, Tim is the youngest ever winner.

Out of the 75 runners to start the epic race, fewer than half finished.

Tim was featured in The Bath Chronicle less than two months ago when he won a gruelling 75-mile race on the south west coastal path, which, it now transpires, was simply a training run for the Grand Union Canal.

‘I trained really hard for this race,’ said Tim, who is doing a PhD in Orthopaedic Bio-mechanics at the University of Bath.

‘It’s not easy to fit it all in around my work, but it has paid off.’

Last year Tim entered the race but found after 70 miles he could go no further. This year, however, he passed the 70 mile checkpoint feeling strong, and soldiered on to London and the finish line a mere 75 miles ahead.

‘The last 25 miles were very hard. Every time my foot hit the ground it felt like my whole leg was falling apart,’ said Tim yesterday.

And the secret of Tim’s success? ‘Well, I certainly couldn’t have done it without my support team, Pete Giddings and Dave Phasey, who drove between checkpoints with supplies and ran some of the stretches with me.’

So what’s next for Tim? ‘A warm bath and a few weeks off, I think! But there is a race around Mont Blanc I’d like to do…’