A former cancer patient from Orkney is today beginning an 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 take on the North Coast 500 mile tourist route in northern Scotland, which has been hailed as one of the greatest drives in the world.
Ironically he uses The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” on his jogs.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
But starting at Inverness Castle today, William 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.
Good luck to William Sichel as he sets off on Scottish North Coast 500 Mile Run in his Freet Connect2 #Williamsichel #ultrarunner #barefoot #CLANnow
“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 William.
“Following that experience I decided to have a go at running the whole thing.”
William, 65, 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.
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 William.
“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.
“I’m aiming for between 57 and 70 miles a day depending on the severity of the terrain. I’ll be having a 20 hour day, broken up into three – four hour run sections followed by a short break in the campvan. Longest rest will be the four hours at night.”
William will be using the run to raise funds for the cancer support charity CLAN.