Local man and ultra competitor Orran Smith has signed up to run 330km in Italy next month, but it's all in a good cause – raising funds for Cruse.
Described as probably the island’s grittiest athlete, Orran has undertaken numerous challenges over the last few years. Earlier this year he undertook The Spine challenge raising funds for the MS Society. This 268-mile (431km) challenge is called the Winter Ultramarathon.
Next month will see Orran competing in the Tour des Geants race which involves running the distance, equivalent to over 200 miles in the mountainous areas of Donnas in northern Italy near the French and Swiss borders.
While the scenery will be spectacular it will be a tough event. It's the only race to combine long distance with the individual style of runners. There are no compulsory stages with the winner achieving the fastest race in the shortest time. Orran will decide how long to rest for and when to take on board water and food. There are no actual support cars or people but food and ‘life’ stations along the route where the runners can rest or eat/drink.
The Tor des Géants® is the first race of this kind to cover an entire region, running along its spectacular paths at the foot of the highest Four-Thousanders in the Alps and through the Gran Paradiso Natural Park and the Mont Avic Regional Park. All of these particular features help make this such a unique, inimitable race.
Our Chief Executive, Mary Doyle, said: “As a charity we are grateful to anyone that supports our charity. This is a gritty, tough event and we would like to thank Orran for all his endeavours for us. I have chatted with Orran and am very touched by his empathy to be a difference to our small community. With his previous challenge he raised £11,000 for the MS Society – it would be terrific if this amount was raised for our charity. The biggest issue with this event will be heat exhaustion so we wish him luck with this amazing challenge and look forward to hearing all about it when he has completed it.”
Orran added: “I like a challenge, and this will certainly be one but raising funds for a local charity, such as Cruse Bereavement Support, will help me plough on through an arduous, tough course. I am much more compassionate and have changed my perspective over the last few years so to use my running to help raise funds for a very worthwhile cause means a lot to me.”
To donate, please visit Orran’s JustGiving page.