ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: From left, Steve Moss, Skye Archer, Linda Scandrett and Jane Gill are training for ultra marathons
ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: From left, Steve Moss, Skye Archer, Linda Scandrett and Jane Gill are training for ultra marathons

A QUARTET of dale athletes are in the final stages of training for the ultimate running challenge – ultra marathons.

Steve Moss will mark his retirement from Glaxo by joining his son Andrew to line up for a 44-mile event along the Cornish coast from the southernmost point in England at Lizard Point to the western tip at Land's End.

Meanwhile, Jane Gill, Skye Archer and Linda Scandrett have signed up for the Race to the Stones, a two-day event covering 100km from the Chilterns, along The Ridgeway, the oldest recognised path in the UK, to Avebury, in Wiltshire.

Steve, 60, from Cotherstone, has been running with Teesdale AC for the past 15 years and will take on the ultra marathon in early June, just a week after retiring.

“I have done quite a few marathons, but this will be the first time I have done an ultra,” he said.

In preparation for the event, he has completed the 31-mile Roche Abbey Ultra near Rotherham, in South Yorkshire.

In addition to his normal running activities, he has followed a special 20-week training programme for the Cornwall event.

“I have been doing about 50 miles a week, but that will reduce nearer race time. This is quite a hilly course, so I have tried to do similar training runs and races in preparation.”

Steve and Andrew, 29 – who also used to be a member of Teesdale AC – will be about among about 150 athletes taking part.

Steve said they chose this race as Andrew now lives and works in Dorset.

He said he was hoping to complete the 44 miles in 11 hours, but said anything under 12 hours would be a good time.

Jane, 60, from Lartington, Linda, also 60, from Barnard Castle, and Skye, 49, from Staindrop, will tackle their challenge in July.

They began training in earnest last December.

“We run on a Saturday and then again an equal distance on a Sunday to get used to running on tired legs,” said Skye, who last ran a marathon seven years ago.

“We have been increasing the mileage sensibly.”

Jane completed her first marathon just last year, while Linda will be taking on the ultra marathon before doing a marathon.

As far as the training is going, Skye said the trio, who are all members of Teesdale AC, had actually found it harder on a Saturday than a Sunday.

A unique feature of the event will be a night spent under canvas after the first day’s run. The trio are hoping to finish each 50k section inside seven hours.