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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

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Test of endurance brewing for Paul

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LAUREL AND FOOLHARDY: Stan Laurel Inn landlord Paul Dewar will be taking part in the Brathay Windermere 10 in 10 – running 10 marathons in 10 days

IF the words of the medical team tasked with preparing runners for the 10 in 10 endurance challenge aren’t enough to put you off, nothing will.

“The first thing the physio said was; ‘my advice to you is not to do this. At some stage you will get injured, you will be hurting, and you will cry’,” recalls Ulverston man Paul Dewar, having attended a training weekend for the Lake District’s most physically demanding endurance event earlier this year.

“Those words have stuck with me ever since.”

For most people, running a marathon is an incredible challenge – running 10 in 10 days is inadvisable.

The Brathay Windermere 10 in 10, will see 17 athletes undertaking a 262-mile challenge that will push them to the brink, all in the name of charity.

The Brathay Trust is an Ambleside-based national charity that inspires young people to become successful, confident and responsible citizens. Each of the runners taking part will be raising thousands of pounds for the cause along the way.

In the six years it has been going, only 45 runners have lasted the distance, and this year Stan Laurel Inn landlord Paul is hoping to join them when it gets under way next Friday.

“I usually try and do about a marathon a year, so I’ve never done anything like 10 in 10 days before,” he says.

“The regulars think I must be mad, but it isn’t a decision you take lightly. If you are into running and you live in this area, you are going to know about this event, and I’ve been thinking about it for a few years now.

“Last year I went up to watch a couple of times and I took part in the Windermere Marathon, which is the last of the 10. You see just how hard it is and what the runners are going through.

“The fact that only 45 people have ever finished makes it a challenge that I want to get on and meet.”

The 46-year-old grew up in Devon and was a keen rugby player in his school days. When he finished college and entered the pub industry, Paul had to abandon the game he loved because the weekend matches clashed with work, so he decided to take up a sport he could do in his own time.

With several marathons under his belt, including three London Marathons, he finally decided to take the plunge and put his name forward for one of the most daunting endurance runs in the world.

Since finding out last summer that he had been accepted, he upped his training to around 100 miles a week. It has taken up all his spare time, and it also meant that the pub had to take on extra staff to compensate.

But although it’s been tough, as he enters the final stages of preparation, nothing will stand in his way.

Paul says: “The fact that there are people depending on you adds another aspect to it because you don’t want to let people down. I think the Brathay Trust is something I’d like to be involved with for years to come, because it’s a very worthy cause.

“Some of the training has been awful, especially when it’s been so cold over winter, but I’m glad I’m doing it and I’ve never thought about quitting.

“On the training weekend in January I got to meet some of the other runners who have done it before, I got a lot of advice about things like nutrition and looking after your legs, and I know the course, so I’m definitely ready for it.”

All the Ulverston pub regulars have been getting behind Paul, donating money and also buying the limited edition 10 in 10 ale, which sees proceeds going to the Brathay Trust.

And when he crosses the finish line for the final time on Sunday May 20, will he be celebrating with a couple of pints or even a relaxing holiday?

“No, I’ll be going back to working behind the bar. But I don’t think I’ll be going for a run for at least a week.”

lTo support Paul on his challenge, you can donate via www.justgiving .com/paul-dewar10-in-10

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