Marathon men add cycle route to challenge

(l-r) Jon Smith (45), Martyn Webb (65) and Andy Smith (36)
(l-r) Jon Smith (45), Martyn Webb (65) and Andy Smith (36)
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Running a long-distance race is no mean feat.

Running a long-distance race is no mean feat.

But three work colleagues from Gosport are planning to take part in the Great North Run and also cycle 660 miles to Newcastle and back.

Jonathon Smith, 45, who works at HMS Sultan in Gosport, has always been into running.

‘I started running longer races about 10 years ago and really enjoy it,’ he explains.

‘I started cycling last August and have been doing it ever since.

‘Then I thought about doing something more prestigious and decided to do the Great North Run.’

He is going to be joined by colleagues Andy Smith and Martyn Webb.

They will be starting their journey from the Centurion Building, Grange Road, Gosport, where their office is based.

To make things more interesting, Andy and Jonathon plan to cycle to Newcastle, setting out two days before the run.

Then after taking part in the race, they will cycle back to Gosport.

Jonathon adds: ‘We’ll be setting out on Friday morning from our workplace and we reckon we’ll be cycling for 10 hours over two days to reach Newcastle.

‘Martyn will be following us with a car, which has spare cycling parts and our sleeping gear.

‘We want to reach Newcastle by Saturday night so we can do the Great North Run half-marathon on Sunday.

‘Then as soon as it’s finished we want to set out straight away and cycle back.

‘The roads can be quite precarious, so we’ll be sticking to side and A roads as much as possible, so we don’t get into other motorists’ way.’

They are hoping to invest in helmet cameras, so they can record their journey.

The footage will then uploaded on to YouTube.

‘Rather than just having bruises and sore bums from the cycling and running, we want something more to remember the trip by,’ says Jonathon.

‘It’s an event we want to remember as we’ll have worked hard to get there.’

The trio are seeking sponsorship for their challenge, with money going to various charities who help members of the armed forces that have suffered traumas.

The Great North Run takes place on September 18 and the Gosport lads will be pounding the streets with around 50,000 other runners.

The half-marathon course of 13.1 miles starts in Newcastle and ends in South Shields.

To sponsor this fundrasing challenge, call Jonathon on 07790 492566