Peak District barrister flies to South Africa for a weekend to run world's oldest ultra marathon and raise money for children's charity Go Beyond

Rob Hall is celebrating his 50th birthday by taking part in The Comrades Ultra Marathon for 'Go Beyond' in South Africa.Rob Hall is celebrating his 50th birthday by taking part in The Comrades Ultra Marathon for 'Go Beyond' in South Africa.
Rob Hall is celebrating his 50th birthday by taking part in The Comrades Ultra Marathon for 'Go Beyond' in South Africa.
A barrister from Derbyshire will travel more than 19,000 miles this weekend to run the oldest ultra marathon in the world.

Rob Hall, who lives in Hathersage, is heading for Durban, South Africa where he will tackle the 90km challenge on Sunday, June 9 at 5.30am local time.

He said: “I'm prosecuting a big trial so I'm leaving Manchester late afternoon on Friday, June 7 and have to be back in Manchester for Monday, June 10 morning! The law never sleeps!”

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Rob will be among 23,000 participants in the Comrades Ultra Marathon and is raising funds for the children’s charity Go Beyond. He has set a goal of £5,600 in sponsorship and so far has achieved 40% of his target. Rob said: “It is fair to say that, when I'm running (6500ft/2000m uphill for roughly 10 hours) I will, generally, have only two thoughts in mind: 1) When will this be over? and 2) 'Do it for the kids!

"This is my first formal ultra so I am a bit scared. It is winter in South Africa but the race has been run in 30 degree heat before now.”

Go Beyond provides getaway breaks for children enduring serious challenges such as bereavement, abuse, bullying, poverty or acting as a carer for a loved one. The charity, which relies on £1.5million to continue its magical work, has transported more than 19,000 children away from their worries into a world of fun, laughter and inspiration.

The Comrades Ultra Marathon was first run in 1921 to commemorate those fallen in the First World War. One of its primary aims is to "celebrate mankind's spirit in triumphing over adversity". Rob said: “Maybe 25 years ago, my best man, Leigh Terry, and I spoke about this race (his idea!) when we were fit and nimble. Over the years it kept coming up in conversation but now his knee is knackered, and if I leave it much longer, I will be too so it is now or never!”

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Every year Rob looks at doing something stupid for his birthday. He said: “As it was my 50th birthday on May 29, 2024, it had to be something especially stupid!”

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Rob has trained for the Comrades Ultra Marathon by running in the Peak District and also had to tackle a marathon in the UK to qualify for the challenge in South Africa. He ran the Northumberland Marathon on a Saturday morning in February, finishing in 4hrs 31mins 23 secs and was placed 33rd out of 171 participants who completed the course.

To sponsor Rob’s ultra marathon run and support the children’s charity Go Beyond, visit www.justgiving.com/page/rob-is-running-56-miles

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