A Worksop man covered an incredible 164 miles in a gruelling 48-hour race in Hungary, taking second place and bringing a trophy back to the UK.
Steve Battle, an ultra distance specialist, travelled to Balatonfured for a race that attracted athletes from 23 countries.
The 50-year-old was out to improve on his previous personal best 48-hour distance of 13.8 miles, and smashed it by almost 25 miles.
He told the Guardian that the support of his loved ones back in Worksop drove him on.
“I kept motivated in the knowledge that my friends back home would be supporting me and watching online on the live results board and webcast,” he said.
“I kept positive thoughts in my mind throughout the race, not allowing any negativity to creep in.”
The race took place on a 900m tarmarc track, and Battle slept for just four of the 48 hour duration.
He said: “The first 24 hours without doubt was when I was at my strongest, reaching 100 miles in 22 hours 35 minutes.”
“I decided to have a 90 minute sleep before going back.”
“The hardest period was around 3am with a feeling of fatigue creeping in, but a black coffee certainly helped.”
Along with the camaraderie between the athletes, Battle said his duel with Hungarian winner Deak Laszlo Attilia was a great experience.
“I passed the time talking to fellow runners, helpers and support crews who gave us meals, snacks, drinks and even ice lollies,” he said.
“I enjoyed my battle Deak Laszlo Attilia who finished first with 283km.”
“I loved how he encouraged me to keep running, and laughed when he told me of his tips in Lake Balaton to refresh his tired legs.”
Battle, who is now ranked 27th overall in the world and third in his age category, insisted it was a pleasant experience, despite the obvious pain and discomfort of an ultra run.
“The course was very beautiful, beside the lake, and that was motivational in itself.”
“On the final day at 5am, the sun came up and it turned out to be a blazing warm day.”
“I had already reached the magical 150 miles I aimed for, but made a final push during the closing hours and put in some of my fastest miles before the horn sounded to finish the race.”
“A lot of people say it’s one of the best 48 hour races in the world and I can see why, the Hungarians can be proud to have put on such a good event.”