Heather prepares for her biggest challenge yet

PUBLISHED: 16:02 10 November 2009 | UPDATED: 00:31 16 June 2010

THE Honiton bigtime superstar athlete who has battled her way to success across Europe is preparing for the greatest challenge of her life. Heather Foundling-Hawker - just back from a gruelling 50k world event in Gibraltar - will be in Monaco next month

THE Honiton bigtime superstar athlete who has battled her way to success across Europe is preparing for the greatest challenge of her life.

Heather Foundling-Hawker - just back from a gruelling 50k world event in Gibraltar - will be in Monaco next month attempting to qualify for a remaining place in the British ultra distance squad for a World and European 24-hour challenge in France next year.

Her task in Monaco will be to complete the national standard for women - 120 miles in 24 hours.

"I will give it my best shot," an excited and dedicated 43-year-old told me this week.

"And then I will have one major event to focus on in my life - the 135-mile original run in Greece from Marathon to Athens. She wanted to do that before her 45th birthday.

"I just love running," she said.

A sports therapist and personal trainer, Honiton's ultra runner is the current British 100km champion and top of the rankings in the 5-mile, 10-mile and half marathon.

Four years ago she won the European 50k race at Polermo, Sicily. She is also the AAA English 50k road race champion, and has the demanding Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor Discovery race - plus the local Grizzly - under her belt.

In 2006, in Seoul, Korea, Heather finished ninth in the 100k world championship.

She is also the over 40 British record holder for the 50k race.

The recent International Association of Ultra Runners' World and European 50k event in Gibraltar gave Heather a sixth place finish for women and second European woman.

"I am proud of me," she said.

"I beat the Gibraltar male runner and loads do not finish. It was ridiculously steep with hair-pin bends," she said, adding: "My leg will never be pain free or enable me to run free after I broke it two years ago, yet I hope and pray that God will lenable me for it brings so much joy to me does running.

"I love meeting the other competitors from around the world."

By David Bazell

Ultra distance running


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