Robert Sargeant ran 50 miles on his 50th birthday.

Robert Sargeant ran 50 miles on his 50th birthday.

Runner celebrates 50th with 50 miles

To celebrate his 50th birthday on New Year’s Eve, Robert Sargeant got up before the crack of dawn, laced up his shoes and proceeded to run 50 miles through the streets of Comox.

His ultra-marathon consisted of several 10-kilometre loops along Lazo, Guthrie, Pritchard and Knight roads.

He started running at 5 a.m. and finished when the sun was setting.

Sargeant had previously competed in a few ultra competitions in Victoria and the Lower Mainland, but this was his furthest solo distance.

Sargeant wasn’t alone in his adventure. Veteran marathoner Ken Richardson paced him to the halfway point, and some members of the Comox Valley Road Runners provided moral support and refreshments at an aid station at Point Holmes.

“They sang happy birthday at the midway point to give me some encouragement,” said Sargeant, a master corporal at CFB Comox. “That was big encouragement.”

After 12 hours of running, it took him about two hours to warm up.