Ultra runners to set out on Greensand Way challenge

Matt Buck and Ben Whitfield plan to run 111 miles along the traditional long-distance walking path

The route of the Greensand Way which Matt Buck and Ben Whitfield will aim to cover (credit: OS Maps)

The route of the Greensand Way which Matt Buck and Ben Whitfield will aim to cover (credit: OS Maps)

Two ultra runners from Guildford are about to embark on an 111-mile adventure along the Greensand Way from Kent to Surrey and are calling on fellow runners to accompany them.

Setting out next Tuesday (September 25), Matt Buck and Ben Whitfield aim to run the length of the trail in around 24 hours.

“My mindset is that I like to do personal challenges rather than doing races all the time,” said running coach and TR contributor Buck in explaining the reasons behind it. “There’s no harm if you want to do something just coming up with the idea and challenging yourself.”

The route, which traverses two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and some of Surrey’s highest points, is traditionally covered from Surrey to Kent, but the pair want to do it the other way around as they consider “running home” will be mentally easier.

Buck, who has run the Marathon des Sables and Dragon’s Back race, said: “For me it’s the first time going quite this far in one hit rather than multi-stage.”

Running coach Matt Buck says the trail will be a challenge but one they want to enjoy

Running coach Matt Buck says the trail will be a challenge but one they want to enjoy

They already have several runners lined up to join them as they attempt to beat the Fastest Known Time, which is currently outside two days, but they are inviting others to get in touch and join in via this site.

As well as being a challenge, Buck and Whitfield are keen to enjoy their time on the trail.

“We’re not thinking of it as a 111-mile run,” said Buck. “We’re thinking of it as a day or however long it might be just hanging out with mates and having an adventure and a good time. Obviously, there’s going to be a big sense of achievement if and when we get to the finish.”

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