An editor’s energy-sapping 12 months of running 80 races around the UK has been chronicled in a new book.
Dave King, news chief at the Swindon Advertiser, started his mission with the traditional New Year’s Eve race in Milford, Derbyshire, at 11.57pm on 31 December, 2006.
At the time, he was deputy editor of Southampton-daily the Southern Daily Echo and over the course of 2007 he covered 730 miles and travelled 22,000 miles between events as well as taking on a new job in Wiltshire.
After running in places as far afield as Penzance, in Cornwall, and Wrath, in North-West Scotland, Dave finished the year where he started with the same 2km midnight run in Derbyshire.
He estimates that his 80-race challenge raised £15,000 for the Hampshire Autistic Society with proceeds from Around the British Isles in 80 Races also going to the Fareham-based charity.
Dave, whose 11-year-old son Ross suffers from autism, said: “The whole adventure – and it was an adventure and a challenge – was to raise money and also raise awareness of autism which touches the lives of half a million people in the UK.
“I got to see parts of the British Isles I wouldn’t have and met some amazing characters. “It was probably the most worthwhile thing I have ever done.
“I would also like to say a ‘Thank You’ to all the editors around the country who have been brilliant in supporting me.
“Everywhere I went I was able to contact papers and radio stations which helped me talk about autism.”
Next Friday Dave will be doing a book signing at the WestQuay Shopping Centre, in Southampton, with former Southampton footballers Matt Le Tissier and Claus Lundekvam and local radio DJ Steve Power already confirming their supporting for the event.
The book will then be officially launched at a special ceremony hosted by two Swindon MPs in the House of Commons on 19 January.
Asked if he would do it again, Dave said: “I said afterwards ‘No’, but I’ve got this idea in the back of my mind to spend a month travelling round Europe in a campervan and running races.”