Saturday, 26 April 2014

Audrius Klimasauskas the Relentless Marathon Runner

Audrius Klimasauskas 
On Saturday morning I was travelling in the car along the A52 from Grantham to Spalding. Between Grantham and the east coast there is perhaps 60 miles of nothing. Think, ultra flat Fenland country. There are miles and miles of massive agricultural fields all accommodating huge volumes of commercial crops. I sometimes think the Fen is England's answer to the American Midwest, you half expect to see a child playing a banjo by the side of the road.

Imagine my surprise when perhaps twenty or so miles into the trip, I could make out the figure of a runner in the distance running on the road in front. The A52 is a single carriageway without a pavement. In addition to cars, the road is frequented by HGV's and heavy agricultural vehicles. The straightness of the road lends itself to high speed. In short - the A52 isn't your usual Saturday morning running territory. 

When we got closer it was clear that the runner running in the same direction as us was kitted out in ultra gear. The man was shuffling at a fair pace but he looked as if he had run a long way. He was wearing a back pack and was holding bottles in his hands. As we flashed by I got a glimpse of what looked like a race number of his top. I wasn't aware that there was an ultra race this weekend so I pulled over a bit further along the road. I could sense that Tracy was a bit uneasy because I was about to accost the stranger that was approaching but the man was a runner for goodness sake, there would be no barriers! 

Nice motto.
I now know the runner to be Audrius Klimasauskas and he wasn't taking part in an ultra race. Audrius lost his mother to cancer last December and in her memory he has decided to devote every weekend since her passing, to running ridiculous distances in her memory. Audrius calls his mission the "relentless marathon" and his project has no end. 

When I met him on the A52 in the middle of nowhere he had run about 90 miles and he had about 20 miles left to go before he arrived at his destination. Audrius left Peterborough on Friday evening at 6pm his route took him to Market Deeping- Bourne - Colsterworth - Grantham - Sleaford - Donnington - Spalding - Holbeach and Wisbech. That's 102 miles of running which was due to finish at 1am on Sunday! Audrius has been doing similar runs every weekend since last December.      
Not wanting to delay his efforts any further I shook the man's hand checked the back of the car to see if there was any food that we could offer him (there wasn't) and we left feeling fully inspired. We watched Audrius through the rear view mirror until he was out of sight. 

Audrius is raising money for Cancer Research. His motto "cancer stole my mum, so I'm going to steal cancer from everybody else"

His just giving page is here and it also has a record of the different stages that he has run on previous weekends.

Nice one Audrius - keep on running! 


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