Electrician who bounced back from crisis powers through 45-mile run
- Credit: Andrew Palmer
Not only has Honiton’s Andrew Palmer set up his own business as a self-employed electrician during the pandemic, he also found time to train for and complete an ultra-marathon.
On Saturday, May 22, Andrew successfully ran the Classic Quarter, a brutal, off-road ultra-marathon from the southernmost point of England, Lizard Point in Cornwall, to the western most tip, Land’s End, along the legendary South West Coast Path. This translates to running 90 degrees of the compass, hence the name, Classic Quarter.
The 45-mile course was over challenging terrain and included 7,000 feet of climbing. Race conditions were extremely wet and windy to start, turning into blistering sunshine by the afternoon.
This was not Andrew’s first attempt at this race. In fact he has entered twice before. The first time he was forced to pull out at 35 miles with rhabdomyolysis, a serious condition where the breakdown of muscles affects the kidneys.
His second attempt saw him get to the 40-mile mark but again he pulled out due to similar symptoms. This time it was third time lucky. After a change in training technique and armed with a robust hydration and salt intake plan, Andrew completed the whole distance in 10 hours and 13 minutes.
Andrew was featured in the Midweek Herald last year as he had lost his job during the first lockdown and took the plunge to start up his own business despite the restrictions. He hoped to inspire people in a similar position.
Andrew is pleased to say that www.honitonelectrix.com has really taken off but this meant it was hard to fit in training alongside servicing his many clients across East Devon.
He said: “The business has gone from strength to strength. I have some fantastic five-star reviews and it was important to me that I maintained this high standard of work whilst training. I made sure that I did something almost every evening no matter how late I finished work and did the long runs on the weekend, sometimes starting at 6am so that I could fit in other things afterwards.”
Andrew explained that he decided to do this race as he was born and brought up in Cornwall and it meant a lot to him to complete an ultra on his home ground. He told the Herald that the best and worst part of the event was that for most of it you could see where you were running to and it looked an incredible distance but you could also look behind and see how far you had come.
When asked what made him try a third time he said: “I am 45 years old and I wanted to run 45 miles at 45 years. And it just goes to show, never give up. If your first plan doesn’t work, change your strategy and try again. It can be the same at work when fault-finding and fixing, you may not solve it the first time but you have to keep trying and rethinking until you are successful.”
What’s next? He said he was going to have a bit of rest and run for fun before he thought about the next challenge – there is always the potential for 50 at 50!