Wiltshire Publications

He’s on the run! Westbury policeman’s charity ultramarathon

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Neil Turbull.

Neil Turnbull.

A LOCAL police officer will be running a 172-mile ultramarathon tour of Wiltshire police stations next month to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Neil Turnbull, a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) in Westbury, will be running the total 172 miles for the charity in just seven days; an event he has named ‘The Far Side of Beyond Ultramarathon’.

He will begin the ultramarathon at Alderbury Police Station on Wednesday 5th November, before running to 19 police stations in Wiltshire and finishing in Royal Wootton Bassett on Tuesday 11th. The PCSO will then join the Royal British Legion’s Remembrance Day service and lay a wreath on behalf of Wiltshire Police.

To complete the challenge Neil, who spent 12 years in the Royal Tank Regiment before becoming a police officer, will have to run between 25 and 30 miles – a marathon or more – every day. He is confident his 35 years of running experience will make the physical element much less daunting than the mental effort.

Neil, 49, said, “People have told me the running will be 10% physical effort and 90% mental. I ran 50 miles in one go once, but I’ve never run such a great distance in this short a time before. No doubt the run will be longer than planned as I fully expect to take the odd wrong turn!

“There will be a range of emotions during the runs, but I think the hardest part will be getting up and starting every morning. My training was going really well until the summer; I got distracted while my daughter was off school, then injured the medial collateral ligament in my knee. I’ve just finished a three-week hiatus ordered by the doctor and am starting to build the miles back up with my  brace on.

“I know it’ll be hard but I’m really excited about the ultramarathon and just want it to happen now!

“I believe greatly in the value of  Help for Heroes’ work, because the military has always been such a huge part of my life. Finishing the event in Wootton Bassett on 11/11 seemed very apt and poignant.

“I’d like to give a huge thanks to my sponsors Prosec Consultancy Ltd who are providing essential clothing and equipment and a support vehicle and driver for the duration of the event. I would also like to thank The Royal Tank Regiment in Tidworth, The Bear Hotel in Devizes, The White Hart in Calne, and The Mayfield House Hotel in Crudwell, for providing me and my crew with accommodation and meals. And finally a big thanks to my beat manager, Gavin Hucks, who has been so keen to support me and will be supporting me during the event.”

If you would like to donate to Neil’s fundraising, go to www.bmycharity.com/neilturnbull. You can also  follow Neil’s progress on Facebook by searching ‘The Far Side of Beyond’.