RAC patrol gearing up for world-record charity run

“You have to get every aspect right. If you aren’t mentally in the right place, it will make everything more difficult and every problem bigger…”

RAC patrol Lee Wingate from Portsmouth is making final preparations to be the first to run unsupported from John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE), setting a first new world record for this famous route’s toughest category.

Lee takes to the road with his home-made, custom-built ‘pram’ on 1st September to run the 860 miles or so completely unaided over 18-21 days, raising funds for RMA – The Royal Marines Charity in memory of his grandfather who was a Royal Marines Commando.

He hopes to make this his third world-record for an unsupported long-distance runs. To qualify as being 100 per cent unsupported, Lee cannot accept any help whatsoever. The rules state he must remain entirely alone from beginning to end, relying on his own resources and carrying everything he needs with him in the ‘pram’. This includes all food, drink and equipment (as shopping, too, is off-limits); he will have to wild camp and, in an added challenge, will need to collect all his water from natural resources such as rivers and streams.

“His many months of preparation have included running between 30 and 80 miles a week, sometimes running a half marathon before starting work in his RAC van. He has also completed several shorter runs as ‘real-world’ tests with his now modified, self-made pram.

“I ran 144 miles from Portsmouth to the RAC’s HQ at Walsall in three days and 15 minutes at the end of May, setting a new world record. It was good practice for the state of mind needed for such a long challenge and tested the pram, too, so I could iron out any problems before JOGLE,” Lee explains.

“This run put some real miles into the pram and I had to make quite a few alterations to the design. By this point I had accepted it wasn’t going to be pretty, but it would be efficient.

My wife and kids joked it was Frankenstein’s monster so the pram then got the name ‘Frankie’!

While on holiday in Fuerteventura this summer, and as part of his practice programme, he also clocked the world’s fastest known time for running unsupported between El Cotillo and Correlejo.

“You have to get every aspect right. When you tackle endurance or multi-day challenges like this, it becomes more about the mental strength than physical. If you aren’t mentally in the right place, it will make everything more difficult and every problem bigger than it actually is. it’s always easy to talk yourself out of finishing something – that’s the easy route There will be high’s and low’s, but I’m ready for it.”

Lee is planning to run about 50 miles a day. However:

“I’m not going to stress about that daily distance. I find it is the reason a lot of runners quit their attempts because their ego can’t take it if they fail to keep to a pre-set plan. As a minimum, I’ll be happy with 40 miles a day.“

To ensure that his unsupported run is not jeopardised in any way, Lee asks people not to approach him should they catch sight of him along the way, but rather to show their support by making a donation via his fundraising page.

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