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Marlow running club to take on monster of a challenge

A running club is taking on the challenge of three 10k routes in three countries – in just one day.

The Marlow Striders club has ventured to Chamonix in France every June to take part in a series of trail races there, but this year members are taking on a further mission to highlight the literary link between the Bucks town and two continental settlements.

Marlow, Chamonix and Geneva in Switzerland are bound together by the story of Frankenstein, a novel written by Mary Shelley in 1818 depicting a scientist who creates a monster.

Mary and her husband Percy lived in Marlow from 1817 to 1818. Prior to this Mary had the idea of the story that became Frankenstein while on a writing holiday at the Villa Diodati, Switzerland, travelling from there to Chamonix.

The author’s link between the locations inspired Mike Thompson, 61, and 20 other members of Marlow Striders to run a 10k route in the UK, France and Switzerland in one day on Tuesday, June 25 – all in daylight.

The first 10k will be finished by 6am in Marlow before a flight to Geneva, where the second 10k route around the Villa Diodati will end at about 2.30pm local time. The group will then travel to Chamonix for the final 10k.

While in the French resort, members will take part in a series of trail ‘sky’ races in the Alps, including the Duo étoilé 20k – which takes place overnight – and the Marathon de Mont Blanc.

“I am really looking forward to it,” Mike, from Bourne End, said.

“It is a reasonably significant challenge but everybody who I have spoken to about it is really excited.

“I was not made aware of the link between Marlow, Chamonix and Geneva until we started doing these trail races and I think it is a really special relationship between three locations, [and] the Frankenstein story recognises that.

“That is why we are doing it, because the story of Shelley’s, as encapsulated within Frankenstein, is beautifully captured when one understands the relationship.”

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