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An ultra runner whose attempt to run from John O'Groats to Land's End was curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic is preparing a second bid at the 860-mile (1,384km) distance.

Michael Williams was one of just six runners competing in the 2020 race, cancelled following "vile threats" amid concerns over Covid-19.

Mr Williams, 70, of Northampton, said the cancellation had been "a huge disappointment".

"I can't wait to get going," he said.

This year's Jogle event, which will see competitors tackle the distance over 17 days, starts on 11 June.

Jogle 2020 deserted route
IMAGE COPYRIGHTMICHAEL WILLIAMS
image captionOrganisers said Jogle 2020 was safe as runners were socially distanced, but they had to cancel it following threats
Last year's race was cancelled after three days due to concerns for the safety of runners, following a number of what organiser Steve Worrallo called "unsavoury, nasty" comments.

Shortly afterwards, the country went into the first coronavirus lockdown, which would have forced the race to be abandoned anyway.

Mr Williams, who is running for Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of his sister, June Locke, who died from the disease in 2002, said: "It was a huge disappointment - absolutely devastating.

"I said straight away 'I'm going to be back.'"

Michael Williams training
image captionMichael Williams has been training extensively indoors and outdoors ready for the event
His training has seen him run a virtual race covering 600 miles (965km) in February and March, and he recently completed 107 miles (172km) in three days.

Mr Williams is used to running long distances, once finishing joint first in a three-day, 135-mile (217km) event, despite hallucinating in a field of cows in the final miles due to exhaustion.

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"It is incredible what you can do when you put your mind to it," he said.

"People think, 'I couldn't do a marathon, let alone what you are doing' but when I first ran a half-marathon I didn't think I could do a full one. But I did.

"Everyone has those 'it is not possible' feelings but the human body is quite amazing."

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