‘I wanted a better time’

Physiotherapist Kerstine Herbert
Physiotherapist Kerstine Herbert

After taking six hours longer than she had hoped to complete a 95-mile “ultra run”, Kerstine Herbert has signed up to the challenge again.

Last year, the Kimberley physiotherapist wanted to finish the 95-mile run in just 24 hours, but was slowed down by 40 miles per hour gale force winds, torrential rain and freezing temperatures.

The West Highland Way challenge in Scotland last June was so tough that Kerstine suffered hyperthermia and needed two weeks off work to recover.

The mental and physical exhaustion made her feel like giving up running, but she hasn’t – and this year she plans to do it all over again.

She said: “I want to see if I can do it in a better time.

“I felt a bit disappointed last year.

“I want as close to 24 hours as I can get, but I’ll be happy with anything under 28.

“I just need a nice sunny day and light winds.”

The mum-of-one said she has been doing longer runs this time to prepare for the event, and has even signed up to the Tour of Arran event later this month – a 60-mile run spread over two days.

She said: “I have done more long, back-to-back runs to prepare for it and I’ve changed my training slightly doing more strengthening and conditioning.

“I learnt quite a lot last year and so did my crew, for example what I needed nutrition-wise and to eat more regularly.”

Kerstine’s crew have drinks and snacks for her along the way, while the route includes steep hills where runners often walk to get their breath back.

Those who sign up to the race must complete it in under 35 hours.

The 43-year-old will be joining 300 others for the challenge – many of whom will drop out before the end.

Starting at 1am to maximise daylight hours, runners will begin the race just outside Glasgow and run along the West Highland Way to Fort William on the west coast of Scotland.

Last year, 150 runners managed it, while 60 dropped out along the way.

It will be the eighth ultra-marathon that Kerstine, who runs the physiotherapy clinic on James Street, Kimberley, has done – her first was just 69 miles from Carlisle to Newcastle.