AN ULTRA-distance runner has completed 250 miles to raise money for a Warwickshire animal sanctuary.
Mitso Keheyioglou, a long-term volunteer at the Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary (FARS) in Wolverton, ran the notoriously difficult Thames Ring – raising £1,200 of his £1,500 target for the sanctuary.
The 53-year-old was one of 14 out of 47 participants to complete the four-day journey which follows an anti-clockwise loop alongside the Thames and the Grand Union and Oxford canals.
Mitso described the run as ‘extremely tough’, made worse since he was unable to sleep the entire time.
He said: “The run was extremely tough as personal crew were not allowed and only a few refreshments were available at the race stations every 25 miles. It was also difficult because we had to navigate using maps, and of course running through the night meant visibility was restricted, so we ran about an extra 25 miles because of trying to get back onto the river paths, or tow paths after we had had to divert off them in the towns. The tow paths in places were very overgrown and narrow, which made running virtually impossible and with a risk of falling into the canal.
“The third night was the toughest due to sleep deprivation and mentally tough because of losing the way, thus losing time. I managed to get through this because of my past experience in running ultra races, but most importantly because of the money that I was raising for FARS kept me going.
I have been overwhelmed by people supporting me and the donations that FARS have received due to my efforts. came joint third in the race, which was another bonus for me.”
The donations will be a welcome boost for the sanctuary – set up over 30 years ago by 76-year-old owner Carole – which has faced much hardship over the last two years with food shortages, broken equipment and Covid cases adding to the financial toll of the pandemic.
Visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mitso-kehayioglou to help Mitso reach his target.