Honiton’s ultra distance star digs deep for GB selection

Ultra Distance International Runner Heather Foundling-Hawker has just returned from France after competing in two races in four days to gain Qualification for the Great Britain and England 24 hour squads.

Heather had a target of 180km/112 miles for the England team and 200km/125 miles to make the Great Britain squad as an individual.

The distances had to be met by Dec 31 and, with only two races planned in Europe before the deadline, Heather went to Monaco first and had a invitation to run a 48hr race just four days later in Evreux France.

First stop to gain qualification was the usually warm climate of the South of France Monaco, except this time the temperatures were just like England. -2 degrees with sleet, snow and heavy rain, combined with bitter winds.

The race started at 8am, but the stormy conditions had an affect on the athletes and, after covering 90 miles in 20 hours, qualification was not to be achieved as Heather was suffering from sick and giddiness. Not wanting hypothermia and aware of a chance to qualify four days later, Heather opted to stop, finishing third.

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Heather arrived home on Sunday tired and, after a quick turn around of washing and treating her legs and feet, left for the only the race left to gain the required distance It was an Invitation Only event for the top European Ultra Runners in Evreux, Normandy.

The course was a 160 metre loop in a old warehouse and was physically and mentally demanding.

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Crewing for herself, Heather ran 125 miles in 23 hrs 58 minutes and 07 seconds to make the England and Great Britain team for 2011.

She covered 100 miles in 20 hrs 07 mins earning Commonwealth distance for England and individual selection for world 24hr of 200km /125miles non-stop in 23hrs 58mins and 07 seconds.

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