A former cancer patient from Orkney is to attempt to become the first person to run the 500 plus miles of Scotland’s answer to America’s Route 66.
Pensioner William Sichel is to next month take on the North Coast 500, which has been hailed as one of the greatest drives in the world.
Starting at Inverness Castle on April 13, Mr Sichel will attempt to run that distance – and a bit more – on the iconic route, solo, in eight days or less.
He has assembled an experienced support crew to help his bid.
“I completed a recce run on the whole course in November last year when I was driven around the whole route, which is actually 518.7 miles and ran for up to three hours a day to get a feel for the area,” said Mr Sichel.
“Following that experience I decided to have a go at running the whole thing.”
Mr Sichel, who has completed 107 ultra marathons since 1994, last competed in the summer, when he ran 2904 miles of the Self Transcendence 3,100 Mile race in New York – the world’s longest certified footrace.
As far as is known no one has previously run the North Coast 500 route although cyclist James McCallum, completed the route in 31 hours in 2016.
“I’m the first to admit that this run is entirely out of my comfort zone,” said Mr Sichel.
“I’ve never done anything like this before, being far more comfortable running multiple laps in parks or on running tracks. After the 3,100, I felt like tackling something completely different and this is what I came up with.”
Mr Sichel will be using the run to raise funds for the cancer support charity CLAN. His fund raising page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/Mr Sichel-sichel
Mr Sichel is currently persuing his record-setting project called “Journey to 750” in which he is attempting to set 750 running records at World, British and Scottish level, including age-group records.
Currently he has set 687 records, including 45 world age-group records and two Guiness World Records. His shortest record is for 30 miles on the track and his longest is an overall British record for 3100 miles/5000km on the road.
Mr Sichel, 65, was inspired to take up ultra-running 23 years ago.