"I have chosen to raise money for Shelter as I believe homelessness, particularly homeless families is one of the biggest problems in the UK. I'm hoping the money I raise will help them to address the issue of the 80,000+ families without a permanent roof over their heads." Bernhard Elber
Bernhard's challenge began with the Benfleet 15, a 15 mile trail race on 18th January which he completed in an impressive 2 hours 29 minutes, just under his target of 2 ½ hours. The race was held in Hadleigh Park in Essex, covering 400m of elevation change in the freezing winter weather.
The second of Bernhard's races was the formidable Ragnar Relay on 5th February; a 196.5 mile team relay ultra-marathon from Miami to Key West. This is a non-stop relay, continuing through the night. The five members of Bernhard's team, Team 'Gator-Raid' averaged just 45 minutes of sleep each, but finished the race 11th overall and 5th in their age division with a time of 29 hours and 36 minutes. Normally the relay teams have six members, which makes the achievement even more remarkable.
Bernhard covered 45.3 miles of the race and 9 legs of running - 26.4 of these were overnight including 8 miles through the Everglades - home to the famous man-eating Burmese Pythons and American Alligators.
The Steyning Stinger Half Marathon was held on 1st March marked the mid-point in Bernhard's running. The race involved 13.1 miles of hilly and very muddy trails around the South Downs, with two arduous 700ft hill climbs. Bernhard completed this race in 2 hours 20 minutes, and described it as "a true test of my endurance and trail shoes".
This was followed by the Fleet Half Marathon, just over three weeks later. This is one of the longest running half marathons in the UK, now in its 34th year. The Fleet Half Marathon was a pleasant change to the hilly runs previously undertaken by Bernhard, and this flat trail meant he was able to achieve a personal best of 1 hour and 39 minutes across the distance.
Bernhard's running spree culminated on 26th April with the London Marathon, alongside the other 38,000 marathon participants. The 26.2 mile route starts in Greenwich Park, continuing alongside the Thames and finishing close to St James's Park. The weather was perfect for the occasion, and Bernhard crossed the finish line after 3 hours and 38 minutes - another personal best!
By the end of April, Bernhard had run 112.7 miles, in 5 races, over 4 months. During his runs, he climbed a total elevation of 28,100 ft and burnt around 43,000 calories, all for charity. If you are interested in supporting his efforts please follow this link to donate - www.justgiving.com/Bernhard-Elber-runs-London-Marathon-2015-for-Shelter/.