Having been a high-level football player for most of my life it wasn’t until age 34 that I actually discovered my love of real long distance running and Ultras. Even though I was cross country and 1500-meter champion at School and ran on an almost daily basis I never thought of myself as a runner. I was a footballer who prided himself on being the fittest player and running was a big part of that.
It wasn’t until one day that I came across a copy of Dean Karnezes book “Ultra Marathon Man” and decided to browse through it. I read the whole thing and the next day I was an Ultra runner! I haven’t Looked back since. I instantly had some good results and wins in Ultras from 50k to 100 mile races however my obsessive, perfectionist personality quickly lead me down the overtraining road. I still feel I am a baby in the world of running and especially Ultras and am still on a steep learning curve. I still have big plans and races I would like to win and am confident my best is still to come.
The idea of putting on my own event came around about 4 years ago and after having had some great experiences at various Ultras I had a vision of how my perfect race would be. With such a strong passion for the sport and a desire to leave no stone unturned in everything I do I am confident we here at UK Ultra will deliver a fantastic event and race experience for everyone involved.
Mat Dowle and Dale Anderton are both experienced athletes living in Eastbourne. Dale and Mat organise the award winning Eastbourne Triathlon and several other multisport events in the Eastbourne area. They have many hundreds of hours of racing experience at all levels and over all distances, both running and triathlon.
Mat Dowle started out as an Ultra runner before completing his first triathlon in 2006 at the age of 29. Since then he has completed over 15 Ironman distance races and countless shorter distance events.
"I started running in my 20's and completed many marathons and ultra-distance running events, including 24-hour races, London to Brighton and the 145-mile Grand Union Canal Race. After 10 years of running I needed a new challenge and entered my first triathlon (Ironman France). At that time, I had never learned to swim, so the build up to that first Ironman was a steep learning curve. I conquered the swim, mountains and the heat of the run, ending up with a decent result… I loved the experience and there was no going back!
"Over the past 12 years I've completed many triathlons over all distances from sprint to Ironman. I've picked up some good results over the years and I've been on the GB Age Group Team at several World and European Championship events. At age 42 I'm still getting quicker, smashing my Ironman PB with a 9:39 last year, and this year I'm planning to have a go at qualifying for Kona 2020.
"I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I hope my commitment and attention to detail will result in an outstanding race experience for everyone involved in our events."
Local athlete Dale Anderton has been involved in triathlon and endurance sports for 40 years.
"I fell in love with triathlon and the endurance sport way of life in the 1980's whilst serving as a Royal Marine and doing my first sprint distance event. Since then l have competed in 100's of races across the globe at all distances including the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii; an experience l will never forget and one I hope to repeat once again in 2020 as l attempt to qualify this September at the infamous Ironman Wales!
"I moved to Eastbourne to study a Sports Science Degree in 1994 and now I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I train with many great local clubs such Meads Runners, Team Bodyworks and Tri Tempo and see this event as a way of giving something back to the community and sport that has given me so much over the years.
"Our aim is to provide everyone the best experience possible at our events, whether you're an international professional athlete or if this is your first event."