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West Norfolk sporting accountants take on ultramarathon



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Two intrepid accountants from a West Norfolk firm have pushed themselves to their physical limits by running an Ultramarathon.

Martyn Benstead, partner at Stephenson Smart, in Fakenham, and Neil Gayton, manager at the Lynn office, took on the 62-mile race on Saturday during one of the hottest days of the year.

The duo began the course at the Peddars Way in Castle Acle at 7am and finished 14 hours and 38 minutes later at Beeston, just after 9.30pm.

Martyn Benstead and Neil Gayton have completed the Positive Steps Ultramarathon. (57365449)
Martyn Benstead and Neil Gayton have completed the Positive Steps Ultramarathon. (57365449)

Run by Positive Steps Events, the 100km course is part of a trio of races participants can enter, named the Positive Steps Grand Slam.

Neil and Martyn ran the 48-mile Peddars Way Trail course in January and hope to complete the third race soon, a shorter 50km in comparison.

Neil said: "Most people start with the 50km and build themselves up, but Martyn and I seem to have attempted the most difficult and left the 50km till last.

Martyn Benstead and Neil Gayton have completed the Positive Steps Ultramarathon. (57365484)
Martyn Benstead and Neil Gayton have completed the Positive Steps Ultramarathon. (57365484)

"It was really hard because there wasn’t a lot of shade on the coastal path and you are very exposed, but there was good camaraderie and everyone looked out for each other.

"The shingle beach at Cley was horrendous and every time we hit the top of a hill at Sheringham we kept thinking we were nearing the finish line only to be met with another hill.

"It was really great to watch the sunset though."

Martyn said: "It was a tough finish.

"The last eight miles consisted of four miles of pebble beach then tough terrain on Sheringham Golf Course hills and Beeston bump.

"A bit of a challenge after already running the equivalent distance of two marathons."

Both men were supported on the day by their wives and children and are just happy they finished the course.

Martyn said: "I think we were both happy with the time because you have a goal you want to reach and we certainly came within that."

Neil said: "I’m not sure what comes next, but I quite fancy entering in the Ironman Triathlon competition. I think the 112-mile bike ride may need some considering though."



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