On Saturday (May 23), if you are out and about on the scenic Borders Abbey Way, keep a look out for an athlete, who, he admits, may be running, jogging, walking or crawling along the route.
Hawick man Paul Foster is taking on the whole 68 miles of the route that takes in all Borders abbeys ... and hopes to do it all in 24 hours.
Running long distances is not new to the IT worker for SBHA in Selkirk – he regularly runs a marathon on Sundays – but this is going to be his toughest task yet.
Forty-year-old Paul told The Southern: “I started running properly about three years ago, training for the Edinburgh half marathon for the Anthony Mundell Memorial Fund.
“I found, though, that I was able to progress quite quickly up the distances and I now go out early on a Sunday morning and run a marathon distance.
“But the longest distance I have ever run is the Highland Fling – a total of 53 miles, so this one is 15 miles more than I have ever run.
“It’s a lovely route, one which I do some of if I run to work in Selkirk, and this is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while.
“I won’t be running all of it ... it’s quite normal in ultra distances that you walk uphill or whole sections, until you build up enough energy to start running again.”
The scenic route, which is very hilly in places and mainly off road will see Paul, originally from Sunderland, starting from Hornshole near Hawick at 4am.
He’ll run to Hawick, Selkirk, Melrose, Dryburgh Abbey, Kelso, Jedburgh and Denholm, before heading back to Hornshole.
He added: “I’m collecting sponsorship for Love Life Hawick, which is a local charity that raises money on behalf of Cancer Research UK with any money raised going directly to the local Edinburgh research centre.”
Anyone who sponsors Paul can try to guess his time for the 68 miles ... and the people who guess the nearest times will win one of several prizes. So far, The Drumlanrig Bar in Hawick has donated a magnum of champagne and Lyle & Scott has promised to give an item of clothing as a prize.
If any other Borders organisations would like to donate a prize it would be most welcome.
People can sponsor Paul by filling in the sponsor forms at Think Fitness in Hawick, or any of the SBHA offices, or by visiting www.justgiving.com/BAW
Paul will be wearing a tracking device on the day and people will be able to follow his progress in real time via a link on his blog site – https://paulfoster777.wordpress.com