A Chichester man will be taking to the Jurassic Coast for a triple marathon race just 18 months after first taking up running.
Dave Jobe is currently in training for the 78.6-mile event known as The Oner which starts in Shell Bay, near Sandbanks in Dorset and follows the coastal path to Studland in Lyme Regis.
And as if the feat did not get difficult enough, participants will be running at the dead of night off-road.
As a postman Mr Jobe, of Langton Road, was always very active, but wanted to do some exercise which would truly test him.
At the beginning he could barely run three miles in one go, but after joining the Chichester Runners for their weekly training he has racked up the miles, running up to 30 miles at a time.
“I don’t know how I got into it, I suppose I just fancied something which would really push me,” he said. “I wanted to do a race and found the South Downs race which is 100-odd miles but found that to do it I needed to do a race of 50 miles to be able to enter. This was the closest one I could find.”
Dave will be among 100 runners who will set off along the stony tracks at 6pm on Saturday, April 17. They will have 24 hours to complete the course.
Reaching ten miles was a breakthrough, but there has been pain including an agonising 50 miles from Eastbourne to Amberley which included some wrong turns at night. Despite this though, Dave managed just over 60 miles in 14 hours.
All the pain will be worth it though as Dave is hoping to raise some much-needed cash for the Royal British Legion.
Mr Jobe said: “I chose the Royal British Legion because they are the ones who provide for all the armed forces. Also ,my son David is in the army and I know people from different forces.”
“I am looking forward to it, it should be a good laugh. My family just can’t understand why I would do this – it’s not the most sensible thing. I think you do have to be a little mad to want to go and run nearly 80 miles all in one go.”
The race is one of a number of events run by endurance running group Votwo and is described as the toughest of its races, saying on its application form, ‘the weak need not apply’.
As well as pushing himself to the limit, Dave said he also just enjoys being out in the country running.
“I think I like the peace, especially running up on the South Downs. Sometimes it’s just you up there and it’s just peaceful and it’s also nice just to see different parts of the country you would probably never ever see.”
If all goes well in April, then Dave hopes to tackle the 110-mile route along the South Downs Way in June.
Anyone who would like to support Dave can make an online donation by going to www.justgiving.com/davejobe