A South Tyneside runner who took on his most challenging marathon to date in the Swiss Alps is making a return visit to the gruelling course.
Carl Mowatt, who got back into running following a 15-year break, will take on the Sierre-Zinal trail race on August 12.
However, this time the 56-year-old will set off with the elite runners for the 31km route through the Swiss Alps after his time last year qualified him for a place within the group.
He finished in the top 300 out of 4,000 runners taking part in the non-elite section and came eighth out of his age category finishing the course in just over four hours.
Carl will join the likes of elite marathon runner Kílian Jornet Burgada who holds the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Denali and Everest.
He will be running this year to raise funds for Cancer Connections which provides support and advice to people diagnosed with cancer and their families.
He said: “The run was the hardest thing I ever done in my life. I fell over three times, I was covered in blood and bruised by the time I got over the finishing line.
“When I finished I said never again. But after talking to one of the other runners who said they would be taking part, I decided to do it again.
“Because of the time I finished last year I have been moved upto the elite category, which is quite overwhelming.”
Carl has chosen to run for Cancer Connections, based in Harton Lane, after being inspired by the work they do supporting people diagnosed with cancer and their families. Carl’s dad Richard died of cancer aged 58 in 1994.
He added: “I know of the work Cancer Connections do and I know a lot of friends who have been and received support from the charity. It is such a great facility that have been diagnosed with cancer and their families.
“Fortunately it wasn’t something that was around when my dad was diagnosed. Cancer Connections is such a worthwhile charity to raise funds for, I am honoured to be running for them.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Carl visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-mowatt6