Ultra running attracts a certain breed of person. Among this breed is a pedigree named Mike Inkster, who has international renown amongst the hardened ultra running community, not only for his participation in numerous arduous competitions but his staging of them through his business Challenge Hub.
A new book by fellow Kent-based runner Peter Ewance has been released entitled 'Unstoppable! Mike Inkster's Story', which covers his remarkable life. It tells the story of a colourful career and the successes and failures starting from his first ever ultra run, a circumnavigation of the whole county of Kent - all 180 miles of it!
The book includes his participation in the Marathon des Sables race, his launching of three separate city marathons in one year and how his army bomb disposal training was once put to the test.
Here's an extract of Mike's attempt to run around the whole of Kent in 1981: "He ran well throughout the first night, saving enough rest breaks to give him a bath and change of clothing in the morning. By then he had lost half a stone, after which his weight remained remarkably constant. During Saturday morning the weather got steadily colder, and Mike's knees started to hurt. He inserted short spells of walking between long periods of running, and used mild analgesics.
"On Saturday afternoon disaster struck in the form of a freak April snow fall. Mike's temperature began to fall, and then his blood pressure. Despite rapid and frequent changes of clothing, by four o'clock his temperature had dropped to 35.5°C and he was hypo-tensive. It suddenly struck me that he was suffering from exposure and becoming hypothermic--a previously undocumented problem in marathon running.
"Luckily the organiser had set up a number of safe houses around the route and we drove to one of them, bathed our runner and put him to bed under two continental quilts. Having run a mere five snowy miles with Mike I had had it, and as he had already done 100 miles I was sure his running was over. It proves how wrong you can be, because two hours later the snow had stopped and he was on the road again. As he started his second night he became strangely euphoric. I feared exposure but was comforted to realise it was only exhaustion."
The book is available on Amazon for £4.59. Click here