When the call went out last night for a replacement runner for Wight Rose there was less than 24 hours notice for someone to join one of the toughest adventure races on the calendar, so not much chance you might think ... Not so, in fact there were a couple of experienced and trained runners ready to go!
The nearest and the one who got on the team was Andy Sanderson, who lives locally and is an experienced three peaks racer. The first words he heard this morning were his wife telling him the race was looking for a runner. He’d sent a text before getting out of bed and very shortly after that was on Team Wight Rose! Plans to demolish and ol concrete pond were put aside ...
Some runners spend years planning and finding a team, but Andy has form when it comes to stepping onto a team at short notice ... it’s the second time he’s done it! “It happened on the first race I did,” he said, “but at least then I had a whole days notice.” Then he ran with a German ultra endurance fanatic and the team finished and won a trophy for boats under 30 feet.
Now he had the bug Andy then became a regular racer, winning once, finishing a few times, being ‘shipwrecked’ once, and another time becalmed and unable to reach the finish line. “This will be my 6th race” he told me, “and I’ve sailed with Geoff West before, winning that race, so maybe it’s a good sign. I won’t be anywhere near as strong as I was then though!”
It is over 25 years since his first race, and he’s not competed for many years but told me. “I was planning a Snowdon 3000’s attempt with a friend shortly so the training for that is ideal, and I’ve been training for a 100 mile bike ride next weekend too so the cycling won’t be a problem. Not in the race anyway – I might be tired for the 100 miler though!”