Newbury's Daniel Hawkins is first British runner at Spartathlon event in Greece
Newbury ultra-runner Daniel Hawkins was the first British athlete over the line at the 2021 Spartathlon in Greece.
The 26-year-old finished the 245km road race in a time of 26:58.39, coming 13th overall, while the overall winner was Fotis Zisimopoulos from Greece.
Hawkins, who used to be a member of Thames Valley ABC when he was younger, expressed his delight at finishing as the best British runner.
“I was very surprised really because I went out and took it fairly easy and I noticed at night time that I was catching people quickly and the momentum never stopped.
“It was very surreal and I have never come across people friendlier or helpful in my life, the course was amazing because going through Greece was incredible – it’s such a wonderful country.
“When I was a couple of kilometres away from the finish, it really hit me about what I was about to achieve and it was an amazing moment.”
Hawkins has taken part in a number of long distance events and he has achieved success in those.
“My first event was running 100 miles around Exmoor and I got the course record on that, and I still hold that.
“I have also done a 24 hour run around a track and back in May, I ran from Birmingham to London which was 145 miles and I finished second in that.”
Hawkins is trained by local ultra-runner coach Wendy Whearity and he started running a few years ago before stepping up the distances.
“I realised that I enjoyed it and I then moved full time to it and through the years I have become more into it really.
“For the event I spent about a year and a half training for it, and all of this year has been put towards it really.
“It’s about consistency and putting the right training in for it.”