Somerset woman on record-breaking 12 hour run

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 October 2011

'Ultra Mum' Val Muskett

'Ultra Mum' Val Muskett

Archant

A SOMERSET woman has broken the world record for running for 12 hours non-stop, to add to the five 'ultramarathon' world records she already has.

Val Muskett, aged 57, originally from Cheddar, ran a record 114km in 12 hours last month, at an ultramarathon World Championship event in North Wales.

She usually runs for 24 hours straight, but due to knee problems was forced to run for half the distance.

In the past, she has managed to run 205km in 24 hours.

Val said: “I don’t stop at any point, I always keep running. Even if I’m eating I don’t sit down, I keep moving.

“Most people start to struggle at about 16 hours. But then you have to dig yourself out of the hole and try to keep going.”

She took up the strenuous hobby when she moved to New Zealand with her husband John.

She only started running in her forties, and first represented her adopted country, New Zealand, when she was 43.

She trains by doing consecutive marathons on the weekend.

Asked about how difficult it is to run for so long, she said: “You go into your own little world, it is like being hypnotised.

“The first time I did 100km it was an amazing feeling. Once you conquer that distance you will want to do it again.

The mother of three had to stop running when she suffered from a collapsed lung at the age of 47.

But she trained hard to get back to fitness and has toppled several records since, ranking 11th in the world in two separate events.

She said: “It’s never too late to start running. Now I’m trying to inspire other people, young and old, to take it up. Just try it, just keep running!”

“I am quite pleased to hold so many. Hopefully I can know a few more down before I hang my running shoes up.”

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