Briton to run coast to coast in US
A British runner is to run coast to coast in the United States - despite already having run 7,000 miles in the last eight months.
Rob Young, 32, embarked on a gruelling plan to run at least a marathon a day in April which sees him get up at 2.45am on weekdays so he can finish before work, plus marathons and ultramarathons at weekends.
But on Saturday he will also be the only European lining up for the 3,000-mile Race Across the USA, through mountains and desert from Los Angeles to the White House in Washington DC.
The kilt-clad runner is one of 12 people undertaking the herculean run through 12 states in 140 days, sleeping in churches and school halls, and sometimes camping out.
He said that he had not looked too hard at the route, saying: "It's going to be tough, I have been told the Rockies are quite hilly.
"They are having a bit of banter with me about it but I think it will be good fun and I'm going to enjoy it and meet new people along the way."
The route sees the runners take in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia before ending up in the capital. They are running to raise awareness of child obesity and hope to encourage people to join them as they run.
By the time he starts, Rob will have already have run 7,350 miles across 266 marathons and he will also have to cope with flying back to the UK to take part in events here as well as running across the US.
The former soldier, from Mortlake in south west London, is looking to beat the world record for the most marathons run in a year by the time he takes part in this year's London Marathon. He was inspired to embark on his epic running feat while watching last year's event on television.
A childhood abuse survivor, he is raising money for charities helping disadvantaged children: the NSPCC, Dreams Come True and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He is supported through this by his fiancee Joanna, and their son Alexander, two.
Keeping up his regime means he plans to fly between the UK and US to race here as well as take part in the coast-to-coast event, he said.
He added: "When the terrain gets tough and the distances get long and hard, that is when I get into my game.
"I'm a mentally strong sort of person and I think that is my (racing) strength really.
"I want it to be as tough as possible."
He said that wish may also see him emulate one of the runners - for a short stretch - who is running coast-to-coast barefoot.
To donate visit http://www.marathonmanuk.com and www.raceacrossusa.org.