A stock broker turned gym-owner and long-distance runner has launched a new 55-mile race that will begin in Berkhamsted.
The Trail of Herts was created by Cliff King, 40, who lives in the town’s Park Street and sits on the board of the British Trail Running Association.
He regularly takes part in – and sometimes wins – races that are more than 100 miles long, but has wanted to launch his own long-distance race for ages.
He said: “I love Berkhamsted and the good countryside around here, so I thought I would just go for it. It is only a short distance – it is very achievable.
“The Trail of Herts is going to be very, very, very scenic, the whole way.”
The 55-mile race, which is 97 per cent off road, will begin at Berkhamsted Cricket Club at 8.30am on Saturday, September 21.
The race goes along disused railways, canals, rivers and on long-distance footpaths the Chiltern Way, Hertfordshire Way and Hertfordshire Chain Walk before finishing in central London. The route will be marked by red and white reflective tape and all competitors must have finished by 9.30pm that day.
Entry is limited to 150 people and costs £40 for members of the Trail Running Association and English Athletics and £42 for everyone else. The deadline for entries is September 1 and you can sign up and learn more about Cliff at www.cliffking.co.uk
Cliff took up long-distance running professionally more than 15 years ago after abandoning a career as a stock-broker. He now owns gym The Health Hub in Northbridge Road, Berkhamsted, and gives one-to-one running tuition for £50 an hour.
He trained Matthew Loddy, managing director of nearby firm Framework Scaffolding Contractors, to run 100 marathons in 100 days for charity last year, waiving his usual charge.
Matthew, 47, who lives in Watford Road, Kings Langley, is now running 30 marathons in 30 days to raise sponsorship for the Teenage Cancer Trust.
He got his best time yet with his 23rd marathon in the task, the Brighton Marathon, on Sunday, finishing in 2hrs, 59 mins 47 secs.
Cliff said: “He’s doing amazing – absolutely brilliant.”
You can sponsor Matthew Loddy at www.frameworkfoundation.co.uk