(C) Jeremy Hemming, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge at the Tower, London (November 2002)
(C) Jeremy Hemming, press conference for Flora 1000 Mile Challenge at the Tower, London (November 2002)


Six of the best try marathon challenge
The Times 18/12/02

Clockwise from top: Selby, Coleman, Gayter, Crombie-Hicks, Lake and Scott

Four men and two women were selected yesterday to try to duplicate an historic endurance feat of walking 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours, and then immediately running the Flora London Marathon.

In 1809 the British sports man Captain Allardyce Barclay earned almost £3 million in today's money in bets when he covered one mile every hour non-stop for 1,000 hours.

On March 2 the competitors will start walking or running the London Marathon course for almost six weeks. They will eat and snatch brief periods of sleep on an adapted bus.

The competitors, who were selected from 170 applicants, will receive £6 for every mile covered and bonus of £1,000 for completing the 1,000 miles. Bonuses will also be given for their marathon performance.

Lloyd Scott, one of the competitors, who this year walked the London and New Year marathons wearing a 120lb diving suit, said: "It has caught all our imaginations to try to do what Captain Barclay did and he did not have the benefit of modern preparation and dietary knowledge."

Captain Barclay lost 32lb in weight during his effort, but recovered sufficiently to leave for the Napoleonic Wars eight days later.

The Challengers

Rory Coleman: 40, 6ft, 12st 12lb.
Lives in Long Eaton. Has set treadmill world records, including covering 283 miles in a week. Has completed 345 marathons. Works as a business manager in a printing firm.

Shona Crombie-Hicks: 31, 5ft 2in, 7st 9lb.
Lives in London. Has run a marathon in 2hr 40mins. Will take part in the Miami Tropical Marathon in February as preparation. Works in a sports shop.

Sharon Gayter: 39, 5ft 4in, 7st 9lb.
Lives in Guisborough, Cleveland. Ranked fifth in world at ultra distance-running, having covered 135 miles in 24 hours. Works as a remedial masseur.

David Lake: 25, 6ft 2in, 12st 10lb,
Lives in Aldershot, Hampshire. Believes training in Army to cope with sleep deprivation will help. Lieutenant in Royle Welch Fusiliers.

Lloyd Scott: 41, 6ft 2in, 17st 1lb.
From Rainham, Essex. Has completed both the Everest and the 145-miles Sahara Desert Marathon. Former professional goalkeeper with Leyton Orient. Works as a charity fundraiser.

Paul Selby: 56, 6ft 1in, 12st 12lb.
From South Africa. Has finished 440 marathons, including running the London Marathon course three times non-stop in 1999. A company director.

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