William is a British and Scottish international ultra-marathon athlete and has set multiple ultra distance running records (from 30 miles on the track to 3100 miles/ 5000 kms on the road) at World, British and Scottish level including age-group records.
Highlights in William’s career so far are: Marathon: 2:38 (1995), 100 km 7:07 (1996), 24 Hours: 153 miles/246 km (2000), 6 Days: 532 miles/857 km (2008), 1000 Miles: 13 days, 20 hours, 8 minutes, 1 second (2010) and the World’s Longest Certified Footrace – 3100 Miles/5000 km (2014): 50 days, 15 hours, 6 minutes, 4 seconds. William is the only ever British athlete to have finished this event inside the 52 day cut-off.
Since 1994 William has competed in 101 ultra-marathon events – winning 18 of them.
He has made 18 international team appearances in total (GB 11 and Scotland 7)
“Thanks for visiting my web site. My main interest in the sport of ultra distance running has always been personal curiosity and all aspects of athletic performance. For me the sport is simply an extension of traditional road and track racing – a certified distance and a stop watch! For that reason I have always focused my efforts on road, track and indoor ultras.
Once I got into multiday running, in 2006, the historical aspects of the sport became of great interest and remain one of my driving motivations today.
Setting a record is creating a bit of history and I hope to continue making history for as long as I’m able to. Once a record is ‘in the books’ it is there for posterity and can be an inspiration for others to aim for and break in the future. I hope all my records will be broken at some time in the future.”
Ultra distance running – a diverse sport with a very long history
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William considers himself ideally built for ultrarunning being 5′ 5″/1.63m tall and weighing approx 9st 2lbs or 128lbs/58kgs.
He has an unique physiology being extraordinarily adapted for fat burning, requiring tiny amounts of energy (less than 100kcals/hr) and fluid to produce optimum performance in long ultras.
However, William is far from being a ‘perfect physical specimen’ having had knock knees as a child; having one leg 1″ (2.5cms) longer than the other and a ‘weak chest’, with repeated chest infections in winter, after moving to Orkney. The chestiness lasted for 10 years, until he took up running again in 1992, since when, the symptoms have never returned.
William also had surgery and radiotherapy for testicular cancer in 1997 and is keen to promote men’s health and physical activity into later life.
William struggled with stomach issues for many years, especially in 24 hour and 48 hour races. Illustrated by the fact that, at one point he had experienced vomiting in 29 out of 30, 24 hour races. Nowadays the situation is much improved and doesn’t affect William at all.
William is a big fan of veteran/masters athletics and believes that athletic performances by masters athletes are hugely unsung.
William believes people in their middle age and later years also need role models and people to inspire them – William tries to do that.