Video: Mountain challenge is one of the toughest of races

Three colleagues at Strutt & Parker in Chelmsford and Ipswich are taking part in the Skyrace in the

Three colleagues at Strutt & Parker in Chelmsford and Ipswich are taking part in the Skyrace in the Italian Dolomites mountains in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust Left to right, James Simkins, Matthew Hague and Alex Poulteney - Credit: Archant

Running in thin air to help Teenage Cancer Trust

Most families are touched by cancer and most of our cancer charities, and hospices, rely on family and friends of cancer patients to help raise important funds for research, care and treatment.

Three friends who work as property consultants Strutt & Parker, in East Anglia, are in training for a race with a difference.

Matthew Hague,25, James Simkins,25, and Alex Poulteney,24, are in the land management department of Strutt & Parking, living locally and working in the Ipswich and Chelsmford offices,

On Saturday, June 13, the trio will be in Italy raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust - by running over mountains.

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It is known as the Skyrace - the Dolomiti Ultramarathon.

Matthew said: “Everybody knows someone who suffers from cancer. It seems to be in every family.”

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They will be taking on a very tough challenge, a race across mountains and at high altitude - the annual Dolomiti Ultramarathon - Skyrace.

The Skyrace is 53km (32.9 miles), with an inclination of 3,800 metres and a descent of 3,710 metres.

It starts and finishes in Forno di Zoldo in the heart of the Dolomites.

The race encompasses snowfields, exposed ledges, mountain forest trails and variable terrain.

Checkpoints are positioned throughout the race, marking stages which must be reached by certain times which adds to the task in hand.

The group looks to complete the course in 13 hours, setting off at 5.30am.

Matthew said: “It is a test of strength and endurance to `ill proportions.’

“The heat could be a problem and the lack of oxygen with the high altitude. You have to be quite sensible at high altitude not to do too much.”

Having decided, at the beginning of the year, to take part the colleagues have been busy training and preparing.

“It is difficult finding altitude in Suffolk,” he added.

“We did the Halstead marathon and the Colchester half marathon, and we have been to the Peak District for hill training, to build up our experience.

“We fly out on June 9.”

The Skyrace has a cut-off point of 13 hours, he said.

They have already begun fundraising.

“We have £1,000 from Strutt & Parker and have another £4,000 in pledges. We are aiming to raise £5,000,” he added.

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