NATHAN Montague is gunning for a Team GB call up after smashing the Ridgeway Challenge course record, writes Matt Abbot.
The 33-year-old Swindon Harriers runner completed the gruelling 86-mile trail run route in 12 hours 13 minutes, 12 minutes quicker than the previous record set by Great Britain runner Andrew James in 2009.
And Montague said he completed the race on just an hour’s sleep, which he managed to snatch after getting his baby daughter off to sleep and preparing the drinks and nutritional goods he need for the race.
“I’m ecstatic. It was quite unexpected,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of injuries and had been working really hard to get back. I didn’t expect it to go so well.
“I knew I was in good shape but I wasn’t really paying attention to the time.
“With ultra running, you know you’re going to have a bad patch, it just didn’t come.
“It wasn’t until I got to Barbury Castle (the ninth checkpoint of 10) that I really realised and then I gave it everything.”
Montague spoke of the psychological peaks and troughs endured throughout the 12-hour race.
He added: “There’s a really hard point at half way, just after you’ve done your bag drop. That stage is really hard, after coming through that, I felt spurred on a little bit.”
Over the third stage of the race, Montague was embroiled in a battle for first with quick-starter Paul Radford.
But after catching him between the second and third checkpoint, Montague passed Radford at the third and never looked back.
Now Montague, who has represented England in trial running, is looking to race again in the middle of this month, with one eye on retaining his Swindon half marathon crown in October.
He is hoping to accumulate enough points over the next few months to earn a spot in the Mont Blanc ultra-trail race next August and also achieve a Great Britain best to win a place at the World Trail Running Championship.