A MAN has run in the footsteps of an Athenian hero, completing a 153-mile ultra-marathon.

Laurence Chownsmith, 53, who works in Langley, completed the gruelling race, that runs from Athens to the former location of Sparta, in just 35 hours.

The race re-treads the route of Pheidippides, an Athenian messenger sent to Sparta in 490BC for aid against the invading Persians in the Battle of Marathon – and then ran all the way back. The messenger’s feat is what granted the marathon race its name. According to legend, Pheidippides completed the run to Sparta in a day and a half, a time his modern-day counterparts hope to match.

Mr Chownsmith faced rough tracks, muddy paths, and running up and down Mount Parthenio in the dead of night. He was one of 25 British runners to take on the Spartathalon 2017.

Mr Chownsmith, who has been an avid runner for over 30 years, said: “It was quite a challenge to complete this ultra marathon, but I am really happy that I was able to push through and get to the finish line.

“I have been training diligently and have been running at least three times a week with a long Saturday and Sunday run in the Windsor Great Park.

Mr Chownsmith thanked colleagues at polymer processing firm REHAU in Langley, for their support.

“I am very grateful to the support extended from all my colleagues at REHAU, and my family and friends that followed my progress through the race and am looking forward to the next challenge.”