KERRY Clapham celebrated the new year with a Surf ‘T’ Surf course practice run yesterday morning.
Clapham, 58, completed the 10-kilometre trek in readiness for Sunday’s annual Warrnambool fun run.
The Surf ‘T’ Surf will serve as his warm-up event for the gruelling 56km Two Bays trail run along the Mornington Peninsula on January 12.
Clapham finished the Two Bays course in seven hours and 36 minutes last year.
His personal best in the Surf ‘T’ Surf is 48 minutes.
“(My aim is) around 55 to 60 minutes but I am not going to push hard because it’s before Two Bays,” he said.
“In all honesty it’s a training run the week before.”
Clapham caught the running bug in 2009.
“Once you see the change in yourself it does inspire you to keep going,” he said.
Clapham has run two 89-kilometre Comrades ultra-marathons and wants to compete the gruelling South African course, which takes at least 11 hours to complete, again in 2015.
Clapham completed his first marathon in 2009 and has done 11 since. He wants to almost double that figure this year.
“The endurance of it is mind, body and soul testing,” he said. “It is so hard. I really love the challenge.
“I just really enjoy it and it’s good health-wise. I have never been so fit and healthy.
“I was healthy but not fit and I decided to get fit, as well as healthy.
“I started with one-kilometre runs and then three kilometres, then half-marathons, then marathons and then ultra-marathons.”
Surf ‘T’ Surf organisers believe the 33rd running of the event, which also includes a six-kilometre run and walk and a three-kilometre Lap of the Lake, could surpass 2000 entries for the first time.
Clapham said people were now more aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
He said the Surf ‘T’ Surf was an inclusive event.
“It’s not a competition. Everyone runs the same course, they just do it in different times,” he said.