Gruelling race for Crowborough fitness manager

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Steve Collins, Freedom Leisure’s fitness manager at Crowborough Leisure Centre, successfully completed one of the most gruelling running races in the world.

The Leadville 100 mile run takes place in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Steve was one of few British athletes to finish.

Keen runner and Tunbridge Wells resident Steve, 40, started his training in January, steadily increasing his distances, eventually running marathons for fun.

Once he hit 45 miles he then decreased distances before the race. Steve also included off-road running, and hill sprints in his training. He used the extensive gym facilities at Crowborough Leisure Centre for strength training.

The Leadville 100 was the brainchild of American Kenneth Chlouber who wanted to push the human body and mind to its limits. If running 100 miles isn’t hard enough, the course also reaches an altitude of 12,600ft on rocky terrain over a spectacular backdrop.

Steve finished the race in a time of 26 hours and 47 minutes, and was one of only 52 per cent of athletes who finished.

Steve said: “I had the idea of running this event since reading a book on ultra-running five years ago, so it’s been a long time coming and I’m glad I’ve done it. The race went above and beyond my expectations and I loved the whole experience.

“I trained hard for it and have to say the facilities at Crowborough Leisure Centre and help from my colleagues there were a massive boost to my strength training. It’s odd being the trainee rather than trainer and gave me a whole new perspective on my workplace and colleagues and I’d like to say thanks to them for all their support and understanding.”