A MOUNTAINEERING veteran is taking on one of the world’s most gruelling endurance challenges.
Tim Higginbottom, 42, is to take on a 700km race over land and sea against teams from across the world.
Along with three team-mates, Mr Higginbottom, from Treuddyn, is taking part in the UK leg of the Adventure Racing World Series next month – a five-day non-stop race using skills including trekking, mountain biking, kayaking and navigation.
Mr Higginbottom, Flintshire’s Sportsman of the Year in 2009, said: “Anything goes on the race, it’s whatever they decide to throw at us.
“We will be doing lots of mountain biking, lots of fell running and sea kayaking.
“And sleeping is tactical, we will probably get about four hours sleep over the course of the five days.”
The route Mr Higginbottom will take, along with team-mates Chris Near from Conwy, and Bruce Duncan and Lucy Spain, both of Kendal, Cumbria, will not be revealed until the day of the race.
From Cardiff, where all of the 40 teams meet before the race, they will be taken by coach to the start of the race before being left to fend for themselves.
Mr Higginbottom, a teacher, said: “We have got teams from all over coming – people from Brazil, the United States and Canada.
“The competition will be tough, there are a lot of teams that really want to win, but I’m hopeful we can do well.
“There are five races in the year and the winners of each race go forward to a World Championship, which is a one off race.”
The father-of-two said the team will not sleep on the first night, and would probably only have one hour on the second night “to make sure we don’t fall asleep on our bikes”.
He added: “It’s 700km so you can go a long way but we’re pretty sure we’re staying in the confines of Wales.
“We can’t really practice, all we can really do is be as fit as we possibly can on the main disciplines.
“There has got to be a bit of luck there as well because anything can go wrong – you could get an injury or your equipment could fail.”
Mr Higginbottom has a long history in endurance racing with Chris Near, his regular partner, and said his 2009 Sportsman of the Year success was “after a few good years of mountain marathons”.
He said: “We have won the European marathon race five times, and in the UK we have been unbeaten for a few years.
“We have both got a little bit older and after that the speed goes down but your endurance gets better.
“My long-term history has been fell running for Wales and also orienteering, and I will be navigator on this trip.”