Vet’s marathon challenge

Honiton veterinary surgeon, Greg Axsel, of New Street Vets, gets set to take on one of the toughest ultra marathons in the world.

A vet from Honiton will be swapping his surgery for his running shoes when he takes on one of the toughest ultra marathons in the world.

To celebrate turning 50 Greg Axsel, who is a partner and veterinary surgeon at New Street Vets, decided it was time to finally fulfil his dream of entering the Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

It will be the first time he has taken on the 56-mile event on June 3 which starts from Pietermaritzburg and will finish up in Durban.

“It is something I grew up with in South Africa. Everybody knows the Comrades race. When I was growing up I said to myself one day I want to do that,” says Greg.

Greg, who joined the veterinary practice in Honiton in 2001, has been busy training and has been following a six-month training programme to build up his stamina and fitness for the race.

He has already taken part in the Cornish Marathon last November and in March took on the Duchy Marathon in Redruth.

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“It is fantastic to be taking part in the Comrades Marathon. I feel a combination of total excitement and trepidation,” he adds.

“It is a mixed bag of emotions – I am really excited as it is something I have wanted to since I was a teenager.

“I finally get to do it.”

Greg will join 18,000 competitors who have to finish within 12 hours to complete the race but hopes to be able to make it over the finish line in 10.5 hours.

The Comrades Marathon has been running since 1921 and has run ever since except during the World War Two years of 1941 to 1945 and was originally set up to honour the soldiers of the Great War in South Africa.