A distance runner who had to give up his dream due to anxiety issues will now be attempting to run the length of the UK in less than ten days for charity.
Chris Bertins, 39, a former national level distance runner from Nettleham in Lincolnshire, will be attempting to run from Lands End to John O’Groats in less than ten days this August.
He was supposed to embark on this in April, but COVID-19 restrictions have pushed his plans back to the summer.
His challenge will see him run 17 hours each day for almost ten consecutive days, and his journey through life is inspiring his bravery.
Chris was ranked in the top ten runners in the UK at youth level, but performance related anxiety took over his life and forced him to stop.
He went on to join the Royal Auxiliary Air Force at RAF Waddington, but again had to leave that job due to his anxiety.
Nowadays he runs for Skegness and District Running club and has also set up his own club in his local village of Nettleham, helping others get into running.
He has been back running for seven years and has spent his time doing mammoth challenges, including 50 mile runs and trails of the Lake District.
It was in October 2019 that Chris came up with his latest, most daring challenge yet: to run from Lands End to John O’Groats in a world record time.
The current record is held by Dan Lawson, who ran the gruelling near 850 mile distance in nine days and 21 hours, but Chris thinks he can beat that.
He told The Lincolnite: “It’s a big challenge, particularly because I had to back off my training due to coronavirus delaying the run.
“I’m really excited, mainly because I think it is achievable, I really think I can do it, but I am also nervous because you just never know what can happen.”
For context, this feat would typically take off-road walkers around two to three months to complete.
In order to run seventeen hours every day and complete his mission, Chris has had to seek advice from sports science experts about how to get the nutrition his body needs.
Due to the number of calories he will burn off by running 85 miles each day, it is not physically possible for the human body to replenish naturally.
Chris will have to train his gut to be able to take on food while he is on the move, and balance his energy releases efficiently.
He is currently training with Conterpoise Wellness, who train Team GB athletes and help with strength and conditioning.
Chris will be running to raise money for four charities that are close to his heart, and is hoping to raise £5,000 for them.
Umbrellas Lincoln, a charity who help families with learning difficulties, Epilepsy Action, the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre at RAF Honington and Mind, the mental health charity, were his selections.