100 Miles in 24 Hours

Over a period of 24 hours, spanning 10-11 May, Engineer Officer Flt Lt Si Phillips covered a total distance of 100 miles on foot, running 16 (and a bit) laps of RAF Marham’s airfield perimeter track.

Supported the whole way by a range of people from across Marham running and cycling laps with him, a weary Flt Lt Phillips finished his mammoth run outside the Stn HQ building to the warm reception of supporters and RAF Marham’s Stn Cdr, Gp Cpt Rich Davies.

Having not slept throughout the night and covered such a vast distance, the strain was clear on Flt Lt Phillips’ face. Describing it as an incredibly tough physical and mental challenge, he elaborated as to the rationale behind this extraordinary event. With the backdrop of RAF Marham’s centenary celebrations, the event was a means to raise money for 2 charities close to Flt Lt Phillips’ heart; Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA).

Macmillan provide a vital channel of support and care to those who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families. Their support has been invaluable to Flt Lt Phillips’ family after his father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer almost 7 years ago. Testament to the support the charity has provided to his family, Flt Lt Phillips credits their vital work to his Dad still being alive today to continue fighting his illness.

RAFA play a vital role in providing welfare support to the RAF family. From the youngest recruit to the oldest veteran, and their families, RAFA is the supporting backbone of the Service. For Flt Lt Phillips, it embodies all of the values he believes are crucial to maintaining the welfare of the RAF family and is deserving of support and recognition.

Flt Lt Phillips’ charity page is accepting donations until mid-August and any support for these amazing charities is very welcome: virginmoneygiving.com/run100

Training for the last 8 months, this event has effectively taken over Flt Lt Phillips’ life. Living by the mantra ‘preparation is the key to success’ his furthest training run was 75 miles, covered over 16 hours. A typical week’s training would often be between 80 and 100 miles of running interspersed with strength training, with Flt Lt Phillips’ hardest week of training seeing him cover over 180 miles (averaging a marathon a day!). With a full-time job, commanding a Flt of over 90 technicians, training for 3-5 hours per day in the run up to the event was often demanding and required exceptional time-management. Early morning and late night runs were the norm, coupled with a perpetual feeling of tiredness and sore legs. Hopefully this serves as motivation to anyone making excuses to not spend a fraction of their week exercising; you’ve got to make the time!

Asked what advice Flt Lt Phillips would give to runners thinking about attempting ultra-marathons, his answer was simple; don’t, unless it’s for charity! Events like these aren’t good for your body in the long term and take an extraordinary amount of time and willpower to prepare for. Having previously completed the London and New York City marathons, Flt Lt Phillips would however highly recommend everyone attempting a marathon in their lifetime. He offered his ‘top tips’ for preparing for a distance race:

Invest in some quality orthotic insoles that help prevent plantar fasciitis and subsequent knee and hip injuries.Just get on with it! The only good reason not to train is an injury or an emergency! Don’t over-quantify your training. Numbers are arbitrary, listen to your body instead.

“Just keep swimming”, or in this case, running. Your body should be giving out before your mind does. If you’ve got the energy to complain, you’ve got the energy to keep going!

Special diets are fads; eat what you want, when you want. Just remember to match your calories consumed with your calories expended. Oh, and lay off the booze!

Learn to run without music. Facing up to, and overcoming, boredom is the best mental preparation you can do.

You’ve got to start somewhere. I started 8 months ago struggling to run more than 4 miles. It takes perseverance and commitment to attain your goals.

Inspire others to lead a healthier life through your actions and achievements!

Finally, Flt Lt Phillips wishes to thank all of those who supported him on the day, those running and cycling alongside him, and everyone who’s offered their support along the way. Most of all, a big thank you goes out to all of those who have donated at virginmoneygiving.com/run100 and helped out these 2 amazing and worthwhile charities.

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