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Editor completes year-long 80-race running challenge

Swindon Advertiser editor Dave King was back at his desk this week having completed a charity challenge to run around the British Isles in 80 races during 2007.

He welcomed the new year with a midnight run – 12 months after starting his fund-raising mission.

On New Year’s Eve Dave, (44), ran two races within the space of five hours and spread 160 miles apart to complete the taxing task.

At 11.57pm on December 31, 2006, the then Southern Daily Echo deputy editor ran a 2km race in Milford, near Derby.

His mission was to raise thousands of pounds for the Hampshire Autism Society as his young son Ross suffers with the condition.

His challenge took him to all four corners of the country, culminating in him finishing the same 2km midnight run, to see in 2008.

Dave said: “My 80th and final race was also in Milford.

“So having run into 2007, this was a chance to run out of it. It was a small race with just 31 runners, so very much a low key event, but a neat way of rounding off what has been a tough 12 months.

“Just a handful of folk had congregated outside a social club, in Derbyshire, to witness the finish of the race.

“Among them was my dad who has been a huge supporter of the challenge.

“He’s been to quite a few races to encourage me, including the London Marathon.”

Just hours before racing in Derbyshire, Dave had been running in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales for a race known as Nos Galan. The 5km race through the streets of Mountain Ash attracted thousands of spectators for a spectacular evening of celebration, including fireworks and the lighting of a beacon by Welsh rugby international, Kevin Morgan.

  • Runner extraordinaire Dave King
  • During 2007 Dave has completed the London Marathon, in an impressive 3hrs 29mins, and the 400-yard Maldon Mud Race.

    He also ran the Great North Run and the Chiquita Bananaman Challenge where he led off a 10km race dressed up as a banana while other runners chased him down.

    He has run in races as far north as Cape Wrath in north-west Scotland, to Penzance in Cornwall, as well as events in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

    Dave has also competed in a dog race, gone head to head with a train and run inside a prison – that was the only race he won of the 80, helped by the fact that the three fastest inmates had been released a week earlier!

    Over the course of the year it is estimated he ran 800 miles, doing between four and 11 races per month.

    Dave, who has previously worked for the Essex Chronicle, Uxbridge Gazette, Eastern Daily Press and Portsmouth News, is also writing a book about the challenge.