A father is aiming to run 100 miles non-stop in under 30 hours to raise awareness of his six-year-old daughter’s rare condition.
Rob Mach, 39, will be setting off from Dunstable on Friday June 4 and heading across the Three Counties, passing through Watford and St Albans, to run what is the equivalent of nearly four back-to-back marathons.
The saxophone player and dj is doing the charity run to support Microtia UK, which he says has given his daughter invaluable help and access to a wider community of other people living with microtia.
Microtia affects one in 6,000 babies and Rob’s daughter Ava was born with unilateral microtia affecting her right ear.
This means her outer ear and ear canal did not develop properly, resulting in a ‘little’ ear and almost complete hearing loss on her right side.
Rob said: “Despite being a completely normal, happy girl in every aspect of life, Ava’s Microtia means that she often has to work twice as hard in a lot of settings.
“From being at school to crowded shopping centres or other noisy environments, she can lose her spatial awareness quite easily and find certain loud sounds distressing.”
He added: “When Ava was born, there was the initial shock and we felt quite overwhelmed – will she be able to hear properly? How is it going to affect her life?
“But now on a day to day basis we actually forget about it most of the time – Ava is such an active and outdoorsy girl who loves riding her bike.”
Rob started running in 2018 with a one mile adventure, and nearly died from an attack of exercise-induced anaphylaxis whilst on a run in 2019.
During lockdown in 2020 Rob went from half marathon distance to completing a 50 mile run at the end of the year.
In February 2021 he completed his first 60 mile run, he says: “the 100 miler is something that I’m not completely sure I can achieve, as it will be incredibly painful mentally and physically, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while now and am ready to give it a go!”
A video promoting Rob’s 100 mile run can be watched here.
To support Rob click here.