Horsham runner to take on gruelling 100k challenge for two charities

A runner from Horsham is taking on a gruelling 100k route from Eastbourne to Arundel to raise money for two charities.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 9:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 9:01 pm

Chris Sampson is competing in the South Coast Challenge on Saturday, September 4, and hopes to raise £1,000, which he will split equally between Prostate Cancer UK and Mind.

The 39-year-old – who discovered a love of running during cross country races as a pupil at The Forest School – has had to fit his training runs around his job as a surveyor with Connells Survey and Valuation and his volunteer role coaching junior football for Horsham Sparrows, meaning plenty of early mornings.

But he is sure the 3am wake-ups will be worth it when he crosses the finish line in Arundel.

Chris Sampson from Horsham is competing in the South Coast Challenge SUS-210825-132719001

He said: “It has certainly take a lot of time and effort to prepare for this run, but I’m really looking forward to it.

“The charities I am supporting are both close to my heart. A close family member was diagnosed with stage three prostate cancer in 2017 – one of 128 men diagnosed with the prostate cancer each day in the UK – and I am so grateful that following radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy they are still with us today.

“I also know several people who live with mental health conditions; it can be a daily struggle and although mental health is now widely talked about there are still many people facing real challenges and needing support.”

Earlier this year, Chris achieved his ambition of running an ultra marathon before his 40th birthday when he ran 50k from Christ’s Hospital to Hove seafront as part of the Run to the Sea race.

He followed that up with another 50k, this time round the town of Reading.

However, having caught the ultra marathon bug, he is now doubling up his target distance from 50k (31 miles) to 100k (62 miles).

And as well as the 100k distance, his forthcoming run also includes plenty of hills – with competitors climbing up Beachy Head, running along the cliff top at Seven Sisters, and up Devil’s Dyke on the outskirts of Brighton and Hove.

On race day, he will be cheered on by his wife, Emma, and their two children, Oscar, ten, and Florence, eight. In fact, Oscar and Florence have already been helping their dad by cycling alongside him on many of his longer training runs.

“I’ve been training all year,” said Chris, “and can’t wait to be on the start line. It is going to to be a real challenge but one I’m hopefully prepared for. It will certainly be emotional when I finally cross the finish line.”

And will that be the end of hisrunning challenges for this year? Not quite.

“I do have one final event,” he said. “I will be doing the Run Barns Green 10k alongside my mum. She discovered running a couple of years ago but usually sticks to the early mornings to avoid being seen.

“It will be her first race, but hopefully not her last. After that,I’m sure I’ll find time to have a short rest from running.”