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Ultra runner Colin conquers 200 mile GM Ringway trail

Ultra-runner Colin Green, 53, from Greenfield has become the first person to run the entire 200 miles of the GM Ringway, Greater Manchester’s walking trial all in one go.

The neuro-physiotherapist who helps people living with brain injury or conditions like Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis at his practice, Physio Matters Neurological, in Oldham is raising money for a charity called Day One Trauma Support which supports survivors of major traumatic injuries.

Colin set off at 8am on Friday from Greenfield station which is the start of Stage 8 of the GM Ringway trial and only 400m from his house.  His wife, Jane, acted as his support crew, helping him switch from his day pack to night pack and kept him supplied with dehydrated meals, sugary and salty snacks, gels and drinks.

In order to complete the challenge Colin only slept for eight hours in total, two on the first night near Bromley Cross in Bolton, three and a half on the Saturday night near Irlam in Salford and two and a half in Poynton on the Sunday.  He continued non-stop through Sunday and finally made it back at Greenfield Station at 8.12pm on Monday evening on 6 May having run anti-clockwise through all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester in just 84 hours and 12 minutes.

Colin, who has completed other ultras including the 268-mile Spine Race along the Pennine Way, the 215-mile Race Across Scotland twice and the 200-mile Ultra Great Britain said: “The pace was slow which was key to me completing this, and I often walked up and down hills. On average I did four miles an hour.  And I even managed to stop at a few cafes along the way.  It was a long, lonely slog at times. I did have friends meet me at some of the stages which gave me a real boost.

“The GM Ringway is still a new walking trail so nobody had tackled the whole thing non-stop before, so I wanted to give it a go and it’s great to be the first.  I hope others will now try and beat my time.

“The last stage from Broadbottom to Greenfield was the hardest.  You go to the Chew Valley reservoir then drop down to Chew Plantation before ending up near the squash club and back to Greenfield station and then I went straight to bed. I was lucky that the temperature was fairly mild for the time of year. The weather was mainly fine and not too hot. It rained heavily on the Friday night and Monday evening but at least that kept me cool. My feet are very sore and I struggled with pain in my ankles, but I’m now planning to do the Spine Race again in a few weeks’ time.” 

Andrew Read, GM Ringway Project Lead, said: “We designed this trail to help promote the joys of walking to local people.  What Colin has achieved is very impressive. The stages vary in difficulty, with some easily accessible and fairly flat, and others hilly and more challenging. The landscape is surprisingly varied, meaning that no two stages are the same.  Some can be tough to walk let alone run, so hats off to Colin and any other ultra-runners who take this on.”

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