Chris Morris

Focus on Chris Morris

World record holder Paula Radcliffe will run more than 110 miles each week as she bids for Olympic gold. The doyen of long-distance running believes that level of commitment is essential for her to win at Athens. Each day, she will average more than 15 miles across all terrain.
But such distances are peanuts to Black Country electrician Chris Morris. The champion athlete can run more than 110 miles - in a day! Morris, who runs for Tipton Harriers, is a lithe 54-year-old whose appearance belies his age. He started running 20 years ago and is today one of the best known faces in ultra marathon running.

Focus on Chris Morris

World record holder Paula Radcliffe will run more than 110 miles each week as she bids for Olympic gold. The doyen of long-distance running believes that level of commitment is essential for her to win at Athens. Each day, she will average more than 15 miles across all terrain.
But such distances are peanuts to Black Country electrician Chris Morris. The champion athlete can run more than 110 miles - in a day! Morris, who runs for Tipton Harriers, is a lithe 54-year-old whose appearance belies his age. He started running 20 years ago and is today one of the best known faces in ultra marathon running.
On one occasion, he ran 113 miles in a day during a 24-hour race at London’s Tooting Bec Stadium - which equals a staggering 452 laps of a 400m track. And in May he finished third in the inaugural Gordon Bentley Memorial 12-hour Race, at Tipton Harriers, clocking a shade over 70 miles. Morris, who lives in Gospel Oak Road, in Tipton, says: 'I didn’t start running until 1983. To be honest, I was more of a fun runner for the first six years. But in 1989 I started training properly and soon I was hooked.' Morris’ earlier training partner was Tipton Harriers stalwart Billy Carr, who introduced his friend to ultra distance running. The pair ran together during weekend sessions and Morris learned tactical skills that have carried him through his ultra marathon feats.
He made his debut as an ultra marathon runner in 1990 when he competed in the Two Bridges Road Race, a forbidding 36-mile endurance event in Scotland. It is a race he has not missed since and in 14 starts he has recorded a best finish of 11th and a best time of 4hours 18mins. 'I love running the Two Bridges,' says Morris. 'That’s where I began my career as an ultra distance runner. Some people think I must be made to run 36 miles in a race, but there are few things in life that I’d rather do.'
Morris’ love of marathons has taken him as far afield as South Africa, where he competed in the Two Oceans Race in 2000. 'The Two Oceans was an incredible experience,' he explains. 'It is a 36-mile course across the country, literally from one ocean to another.' Closer to home, he has completed some of the toughest running challenges that there are. Morris is a veteran of the fabled London-to-Brighton 56 mile race, with a best time of 7hours and 51minutes.
He is ranked 12th among all UK 24-hour runners and his personal best in 50-mile races is a dazzling 7hours and 4minutes. But Morris’ love of long distance does not mean he cannot compete with younger runners over shorter distances. 'I prefer running ultra distance,' he says. 'But on my day I’ve run reasonably quick over shorter distances too.' Indeed he has. Morris has a sub-three hour marathon to his name - which was run across the notoriously difficult Potteries course in Stoke. And he has also clocked a sub-60minute time in 10 mile races. When Morris, he switches off from his day-to-day work as an electrician and relaxes into his running. 'Some people wonder what you think about when you’re running for all that time,' he adds. 'But I’m never bored. You always find something to spur you on and keep you going.'

Article written by Andy Richardson.