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Think a marathon seems like a long way? Think again. Robbie Britton tells Euan Crumley what it takes to last the pace when the race you’re in goes on for 24 hours


The field gets under way at last year’s 24-hour world championships

ROBBIE BRITTON admits it didn’t take long for things to “spiral out of control”. One minute, he was entering his first marathon to stop his friend from winning some bragging rights. No sooner had he completed that, things changed.

“It was 2009 and the London to Brighton ultra-marathon was just a few months later,” he says. “I thought I’d give it a go. I was intrigued about what my body was capable of. From there, as soon as you’ve done one you think: ‘maybe I can go further, maybe I can go faster’. Before I knew it I was doing 100-mile races and then I got asked to run for 24 hours in a circle.”

It turned out he was rather good at it. Britton won bronze at last year’s IAU 24-hour World and European Championships in Turin and was part of the Great Britain men’s line-up which took team gold.

He has the European Championships on the horizon next month, but the big target – the main goal which drives him on – is finishing top of the world pile next year. As he points out, motivation is a huge factor behind even contemplating running for that length of time. Add in the fact that these championships take place either on a standard athletics track or a short loop on public roads and it’s a far from inconsiderable undertaking.

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About AW – Athletics Weekly Magazine

RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES 16 PICTURE SPECIAL Sixteen pages of images looking back the track and field in Rio 2016 ACTION 48 EA U17/U15 CHAMPIONSHIPS Dominic Ogbechie sets two championship bests as the country’s top youngsters are in action in Bedford 54 LAUSANNE DIAMOND LEAGUE Elaine Thompson and Genzebe Dibaba in form as the athletes return to the circuit 56 PARIS DIAMOND LEAGUE Laura Muir and Ruth Jebet set British and world records respectively NEWS 6 Laura Muir to run mile at CityGames 8 The recent world record-setting in perspective 10 Weir in positive mood for Rio 12 World Under-18 Champs to be pulled TALKING POINT 34 British athletics could learn from Team GB’s cycling success, says Steve Smythe PERFORMANCE 42 Sports science news 44 Tom McNab casts a coach’s eye over Rio 46 Kelly Holmes’ killer sessions 47 Healthy fast food for athletes RESULTS & FIXTURES 58 Results round-up, including world record for hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk 68 The stars to watch out for at the Paralympics 75 What’s On – fixtures guide REGULARS 36 YOUR SAY 78 DIP FINISH