SWINDON ultra-distance star Nathan Montague is back in training – after recovering from a mystery snake bite.

Montague appears to have suffered the bite in the recent Ultra Trail 400k across Gobi Desert in China, in which he finished an excellent third.

On returning home to The Parks he was suffering with lower leg pain, with his shin area swollen and red.

Various tests and consultations with leading medical experts in Swindon and Bristol failed to detect the precise cause of the problem.

“The leg was really red and numb across the shin and I just could not put any weight on the leg at all,” said Montague.

“I had to go to hospital where I had x-rays and scans but they were all inconclusive as regards bone or muscular problems.

“Eventually a consultant said it was probably the result of a snake bite that I must have suffered during the Gobi race.”

Montague can’t recall a single incident when the bite could have occurred but such were his levels of tiredness in the 400k non-stop endurance event that saw him run through the day and night with minimal rest that is no surprise.

“I never felt like I had been bitten but I suffered numerous cuts and grazes on my legs and also fell over a few occasions so it could have happened at any time,” added Montague.

“Plus when you are racing your adrenalin levels are high so that may mask any problem.

“But I was definitely struggling towards the end of the race and the pain in the muscle around the shin got so bad that only intensive physio kept me going to the finish line.

“Once I did finish the shin was totally numb and really red and I thought it must be a stress fracture or something like that.”

Treatment and rest have seen the infection work its way out of Montague’s system and now feeling much better he has started running again to prepare for his next big test.

“The whole thing has been bizarre but in one respect it has done me good by forcing me to rest and that means I have recovered from the Gobi event both physically and mentally,” explained Montague.

“I have felt pretty wobbly on my legs since starting back running but that will pass as I step up my training for my first 24 hours track race in Barcelona on December 16.

“My long-term target is to win my first GB vest in that event in the next 18 months.

“Whether I will have recovered in time from my China effort to race well remains to be seen but I will give it a go.”