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University helps runner Ian train like a Spartan for gruelling race

Ian Hammett

Thu 28th September, 2017

The University of Bedfordshire has opened up its sports labs to help an athlete prepare for a gruelling 153 mile race in the unforgiving Greek heat.

Ian Hammett from Northamptonshire is due to take part in the Spartathlon, an exhausting 153 mile race from Athens to Sparta in Greece, a distance that athletes must cover in 36 hours.

To help him prepare for the conditions he will face during the race, Ian has been training in the heat acclimatisation chamber at the University’s Human Performance Centre at the Bedford campus.

“The team at Bedfordshire have been taking care of me by getting me acclimatised to running in heat, ready for the temperatures that I’m likely to face while I’m doing the Spartathlon, which could reach around 38 degrees,” said Ian, a seasoned marathon runner.

Beds team at work

“The Spartathlon is a notoriously difficult event, one of the toughest non-stop foot races in Europe, with a 30% completion rate among the participants on a good year. I think the sessions will increase my chance of success in completing the event.”

Dr Jeff Aldous from the School of Sport Science & Physical Activity said: “We were delighted to help Ian prepare for the Spartathlon and we wish him the best of luck. We are always pleased to welcome athletes into our sporting facilities – not only to help local athletes train for their events in the community, but to give our students first-hand experience applying the practical skills they have gained whilst at university.”

To find out more about the University’s Human Performance Centre, visit:

Bedfordshire University

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