FORMER Woodroffe School student and Bridport Rugby club player Phil Hutchinson came back to his childhood haunts to take on the Oner – the equivalent of three marathons in 24 hours.
Phil, 39, who now lives in South London, but grew up in Charmouth, ran the excruciating 78.6 miles along the Jurassic coastline in around 23 hours, finishing 20th out of 29 runners to complete the event.
He was cheered on by his partner, Jo Craddock, who has family living in Bridport, as well as by his oldest son, Tom.
During the event, Phil had to navigate himself along the tortuous cliff-top route, using a compass and a map, taking care during the long hours of darkness to stay on the coast path and not disappear over the edge onto the rocks far below.
Phil said: “The undulations of the coastal path were such that it was like climbing up and down Ben Nevis three and a half times, while having to cross a very annoying 50 stiles.
“Some 200,000 heart beats and 150,000 strides, slides, steps and stumbles later I crossed the finishing line, having burned about 15,000 calories.
“Unfortunately, my leg started aching at 20 miles.
“By the 30 mile mark it was starting to swell and for the last 50 miles it was very sore and I really had to grit my teeth to carry on. “I ended up walking the last two miles along the beach, quite unashamedly, but I finished and did what I set out to achieve.”
Phil’s inspiration for running this event was his wish to raise as much as he could for Brain Tumour Research. The best friend of his partner, Jo Craddock, has been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
Phil said: “Brain tumours kill more children and people under the age of 40 than any other cancer and those who are diagnosed have had no choice in the matter.
“It doesn’t matter whether they are non-smokers, do not drink, or are really fit and healthy, brain tumours can affect anyone.
“I found it quite shocking therefore to discover that brain tumour research receives very little funding – less than one percent of national cancer spending – yet the brain is so much more complicated than any other part of the body.
“There is no cure for brain tumours and currently just 14 percent of brain tumour patients survive five years.”
To sponsor Phil or for more details about his epic coastal challenge, visit his charity webpage at http://www.justgiving.com/Phil-Hutchinson0