Vet’s marathon challenge

Honiton vet fulfils lifelong dream.

A vet from Honiton has fulfilled a lifelong dream after completing one of the toughest ultra marathons in the world.

Greg Axsel, who is a partner and veterinary surgeon at New Street Vets, recently joined thousands of runners to take on the Comrades Marathon in South Africa to celebrate turning 50.

The marathon, stretching 56 miles, was established in 1921 and has run ever since - except during the World War Two - and was originally set up to honour the soldiers of the Great War in South Africa.

“It really was the fulfilment of that childhood ambition,” said Greg. “It was a fantastic experience.”

Greg joined thousands of runners who competed in the race, which started from Pietermaritzburg and finished at the Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.

However, he admits the challenge proved to be much tougher than he ever imagined but he was encouraged by the many supporters who turned out to watch the race. “I was hurting so much – it was so painful during the last 10k,” added Greg. “The support was amazing. The whole length of the 56-miles people were on the side of the road.”

Most Read

Greg completed the marathon in a time of 10 hours 38 minutes and his family were waiting for him at the finish line,

He told the Midweek Herald that he won’t be taking on the ultra marathon again and says it was a “once in a lifetime” experience and that he is glad to get his life back after months of training five days a week. I knew it was going to be hard but it was harder than what I imagined it to be.”