A West Lindsey endurance athlete has started nine months of preparations which will climax with him running 200 miles – non-stop!
Gainsborough distance specialist Dale 'Ronnie' Staton will draw on his experience as a personal trainer and stress consultant in a bid to take on the challenge.
The determined 31-year-old's staggering task will be the Wainwright Coast To Coast route, from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood's Bay on the North Yorkshire coast – normally completed by seasoned walkers in 12 to 14 days.
But, with only minimal breaks, Mr Staton intends to attempt the trek in one go inside 60 hours on a date still to be fixed next summer.
He has been inspired by a friend's three-year-old son, William Stones, who has cerebral palsy – and he will be using the challenge to raise funds.
Mr Staton, who lives near the Gainsborough Trinity football ground in Northolme, acknowledges that all his previous efforts will simply be warm-ups compared to his greatest challenge. He has already launched a training regime which will involve 4am starts and regular long-distance runs which most marathon athletes would only attempt on race days.
And he will have the full support of colleagues at the Outklass Gym at East Drayton near Retford where he is based.
William's father, Dave, has already volunteered to help with the rigid programme by acting as Mr Staton's driver on 'reconnaissance missions' to the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.
"The Wainwright Coast To Coast is a dream I had even before I knew I could run over really long distances," Mr Staton said.
"It isn't a realistic goal – I have no right to even attempt it.
"It is approximately 200 miles and I am already having cold sweats.
"Yes, I am doing this for me, too but to fund treatment that may enable William to walk unaided is the real focus that will pull me to Robin Hood's Bay when I feel I am down and out."
The toddler had a cardiac arrest when he was 14 months old, but he can now stand in a specialised walker.
"It's hard to put into words what Ronnie's doing," said William's dad, Dave.
"The challenge is colossal and for him to take nine months out of his life to do this is just amazing."