Thorpe St Andrew fundraiser to tackle 69-mile ‘ultra marathon’ along Hadrian’s Wall

A gruelling 69-mile 'ultra marathon' is set to be a Thorpe St Andrew fundraiser's greatest challenge yet.

Tristan Cossey, 43, will run the route of Hadrian's Wall on Saturday, June 23 to raise money for Stepping stones - a charity founded by his parents and two others 20 years ago.

The standard marathon of 26 miles is just another day's training for Tristan, who has completed marathons in cities across Europe and achieved his best time so far in Rome in March of this year.

But despite all his long-distance running experience, Tristan is describing his run between Carlisle and Newcastle as 'a huge step beyond' anything he has previously attempted.

Tristan said: 'Whilst I want to run the distance as quickly as I can, it is as much about endurance as timing. And the mental preparation is going to be very important too.'

He is interested in archaeology and the history of the famous Roman wall, so he hopes to focus on his surroundings to assist in the mental endurance required. Previously, he has even taken photographs of wildlife during a marathon.

The charity he is supporting, Stepping Stones, was set up 20 years ago by his parents and two others, who felt that there was a lack of support for young adults with disabilities when they left formal education.

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The organisation focuses on helping young people to develop life skills whilst maintaining and furthering numeracy and literacy by providing training in IT, cookery and communication skills amongst others.

Tristan has estimated he will take about 13 hours to complete the challenge and predicts the second to last section of the run, which is divided into five parts, will be the toughest.

His family will be there to cheer him to the finish line though, with Tristan adding: 'My mum and dad have been very involved with Stepping Stones for many years so it was an obvious choice for me.

'They, together with my sister, are going to be my support team on the day, meeting me at the various stops along the way to dispense refreshments, and loads of encouragement too, no doubt!'

To find out more about Stepping Stones and to support Tristan go to www.steppingstonesproject.com, where there is a link to his donations page.

Have you got a story for Local Life? Contact editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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