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Fitness fanatic, of Collingham, to run the length of his homeland The Netherlands to raise money for multiple sclerosis charities




A fitness fanatic has challenged himself to run the length of his native country to raise money for charity, writes Elliot Ball.

Bob Overbury, of Collingham, but originally from The Netherlands, has set himself the epic test of striding his homeland in under four days.

The Dutchman will run a total of 387km in August, starting from North Cape ­— the most northerly point of The Netherlands ­— to the most southerly point at Klein-Kuttingen.

Bob Overbury, of Collingham, but originally from The Netherlands, has set himself the epic test of striding his homeland in under four days. (44551693)
Bob Overbury, of Collingham, but originally from The Netherlands, has set himself the epic test of striding his homeland in under four days. (44551693)

It is the distance of more than nine marathons.

He said: “I never felt the urge to do something like this until I started listening to this bloke who went from the north of Europe to the south of Europe, so Norway to Spain ­— and he did it bare foot. I just thought wow, now it’s my turn.

“A van will drive ahead that will act as base camp and someone will also always cycle along with me.

“It will not be an athletic tour de force, nor will it make the sports news, but I can promise you that I will give everything I have.”

The 41-year-old is planning on resting as little as possible to make up time and admits he has aspirations to complete the stretch faster than his own team have recommended.

Bob has already taken on mammoth challenges in the past but this next adventure is set to be his most daunting.

When he isn’t running, Bob works as a dog walker and believes that is helping him train.

He said: “I completed 100km in the mountains of Germany in 25 hours, but I’ve never done further than 100km.

“It hurts so much. You have to deal with really dark feelings and ideas that you have to deal with but you never forget it.

“For instance, I was hallucinating while sat on a bench in the mountains of Germany. I thought I could see the joker from Rummikub and it smiled at me and winked ­— and I thought I better get going again.”

Bob has set a target of raising £5,000 for the Nationaal MSfonds NL and The MS Society UK.

Both charities support research into treating multiple sclerosis, which his mother has.

“I have been able to do this because I am lucky enough to have no physical limitations that prevent me from running,” he said.

“I can’t imagine what it would be like if my body suddenly started to deteriorate.

“I want to celebrate with this adventure that I have the happiness and freedom to physically do this.”

Anyone wanting to help Bob reach his target of £5,000, can donate on his JustGiving page here.

He also has a Facebook page and you can follow his journey here.



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