Keighley’s Kiravans supporting athlete Jake Hayes

Online VW campervan parts retailer Kiravans is supporting ultra-runner Jake Hayes as he prepares to tackle the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) at the end of the month.

Keighley-based Kirvans has been helping the 44-year-old by ensuring his Volkswagen T5 campervan is in peak condition as it will be his home for the two weeks’ before the 103-mile race, which starts on 28 August, in Chamonix, France.

Jake, who works as a senior chiropractor, has added several Kiravans products to his van including an SCA roof, a swivel seat and kit such as a rail sail canopy and door stores.

He said: “The T5 is the first van I’ve ever owned and with it being my family’s home for a couple of weeks before the UTMB, adding a few extras and tweaks here and there makes a lot sense; so I’m really grateful for Kiravans’ help.”

Jake and his wife Sara along with their children; Lucy, nine, and Ben, eight, will be heading to the Continent in mid-August for a holiday and so that Jake can “taper”, which is when long-distance runners cut down on their training in the weeks ahead of a big event to help them recover from their previous workouts.

The morning after the race the Hayes family will be heading straight back to the UK so that Sara can take part in the Dart 10k river swim, between Totnes and Dittisham, in Devon, the following weekend.

The UTMB sees around 2,500 runners tackle around 9,600 metres (31,500ft) of ascent often in difficult weather conditions and overnight.

Jake, who lives in Bristol, said: “I’m feeling confident of completing the route, and I’m expecting to finish it in about 30 hours.

“I’m well prepared having done the Bob Graham Round, last year, which is a 24-hour, 66-mile challenge in the Lake District with 8,230m (27,000ft) of ascent.

“The seed was sown for doing the UTMB when I was doing that as I was support by members of Bingley Harriers, and it came up in conversation. Afterwards I started looking at the qualifying events for it, one of which was the Cotswold Way Century which I finished in 20:49.”

Jake has also run the London Marathon eight times, with his fastest time being this year’s race which he completed it in 2:42. His fastest marathon time is 2:41which was in Chester in 2102.

Mike McCandless, Kiravans director, said: “Well done to Jake for taking on the UTMB, and I’m sure he’ll be taking a well deserved flop on his Kiravans swivel chair afterwards.”

Jake Hayes and Kiravans director Mike McCandless

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