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Getting to know… Lee Dellar

Fundraising hero Lee Dellar raised £4,580 by running and trekking 50x 50k’s last year. We managed to grab five minutes for a chat with this unstoppable athlete!

Fifty 50k’s in a year! What on earth made you decide to take on such a huge challenge Lee?

After our Black Lab Max had an accident in October 2022, I wanted to raise money for an animal charity. I was inspired by a friend who did twelve 100mile runs in a year, and I wanted to do something similar.

Is this your first big fitness challenge or is this a regular thing for you?

I have done a couple of big challenges over the years; firstly a 100m run on the Jurassic Coast for Devon Air Ambulance, after my best friend’s brother had a motorcycle accident. Secondly a 117mile run, from Wembury on the South Coast to Lynmouth on the North Coast on the 2 Moors Way path, but had to pull out after 55miles.

Out of all the charities you could have chosen to raise funds for, what made you choose RSPCA Little Valley Animal Shelter?

It was important to me to keep it local. After a little research, I thought you guys were the perfect candidate as you help many different animals and cover Devon.

You mentioned that your dog Max was in an accident. How is he doing now?

Max’s accident happened when we let him out in the garden last thing at night. He chased a badger and took a terrible tumble landing awkwardly, damaging his spine. He has partially recovered, but has minimal use of his rear legs, and a lot of nerve damage and shaking to the rear legs. Importantly, he is still loving life.

What has been your toughest trek over the last year?

My toughest was definitely the Dartmoor 500’s. This is a 100km route of all the Tors on Dartmoor over 500m in elevation. I did this in just over 20hrs and it was on one of the hottest days of the year. After 40k, I didn’t think I could carry on any further, but I got second wind when I received a donation and managed to get the job done through gritted teeth.

… and, what has been your most enjoyable trek?

The most enjoyable was 50k’s number 48, 49 and 50, which I did all together over 24 hours.

My friends and family coming out to join me and cheer me on meant the world. We also got a massive amount of donations throughout that last adventure, really spurring me on. What an amazing experience that was.

Did you ever feel like giving up?

I often had tough days out on the trails, sometimes getting to 30km and calling it a day. It was tough to keep going every weekend to keep on top of it. Mid summer I fell behind and had to start playing catch up. That was tough having to double up. Also getting up at 2 or 3am to run for 7 or 8hrs on your only day off and sometimes not getting a single donation for weeks. That was mentally tough and sometimes disheartening … feeling that it was all one way traffic. Getting those donations really does keep the spirits up.

You had some incredible support from family, friends and the public, that must have kept you going?

Yeah 110%! I had friends and family that joined me on many runs, especially at the start of the challenge. My friend Becca joined me on around 20 of them. Donations were definitely the largest inspiration for me … they really spurred me on … especially the larger donations and the donations from people I hadn’t seen for years or had never even met!

You completed your endeavour with an epic 150k around East Devon, through the night, finishing at 9am the following morning! How did it feel to finally be finished and what did you do to celebrate?

Oh … what a relief it was to finally complete this challenge after a really long 12 months. I celebrated by having a week away over Christmas in Snowdonia with my fiancée, Max our Labrador and NO 50k’s in sight!

What advice would you give to anyone considering taking on a similar challenge?

The only advice I could give is to make sure you can spare the time required to get the challenge completed. I really struggled some weeks to fit a 50k in, especially working 5, 6 or sometimes 7 days a week.

So, what’s your next personal challenge? Got any big plans?

My challenge for 2024 is a personal challenge. I’m going to attempt the Paddy Buckley Round with a local company Climb South West. This is a 100km circular route, taking in 47 summits of Snowdonia, with over 10,000m of elevation (more than Everest) I will be doing this over 3 days.  oh! And I’m also giving up alcohol for the whole of 2024. Wish me luck!

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