Trio complete ultra marathon

PUBLISHED: 17:35 02 June 2010

Allie O'Donovan celebrates finishing at 3am in 18hrs 11m

Allie O'Donovan celebrates finishing at 3am in 18hrs 11m

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Three members from OA Rugby complete 78 mile ultra marathon in Namibia

THREE members of OA Rugby successfully completed the Across the Divide Namibian Ultra Marathon this week

OA Saints’ Allie O’Donovan and CJ Hallet and Jack Ricketts from OA Rugby competed in the ultra marathon which is a 78 mile race.

They all had a serious undertaking to train hard enough to cope with the onslaught of the Namib Desert on their bodies, covering the 126km (78 miles) in less than 24 hours. The route crossed the vast expanse of desert, through the endless space of gravel plains framed by distant ridges and mountains, past dramatic upheavals of granite inselbergs and all under the clearest of blue skies during the day and a full moon during the night.

The ultra marathon runners were completely self reliant from the start of the marathon until the end, and needed to carry their food and equipment on their backs. Water stations and medical tents were provided at 21km intervals along the route and temperatures ranged from 5ºc up to 36 ºc.

Since Christmas the trio have squeezed in a 45 mile run from Northampton to Tring, a 50 mile route from Oxford to Henley, 58 miles over two days near Grantham, and some hilly marathons over the muddy hills of Devon and just for fun the Brighton Marathon a few weeks before leaving for Namibia all in between their ‘training runs’.

Of the 24 runners, 19 completed the amazing physical task, and all the training paid off as Allie ran in third, and CJ fourth, the fastest two female competitors from the three years that the race has been going. Jack finished a very respectable 13th.

The trio did have some serious motivation running in the event for the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) - the soldier’s Charity. CJ spent five years in the Army and this charity is very close to their hearts. The ABF not only looks after soldiers when they are on operations and at home, but they also look after the families that are left behind. You can still help in the group’s sponsorship efforts by making a donation at www.justgiving.com/CJ-Hallett.

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