Freezers at Thame butchers prove best training ground for Arctic runner

Andrea Fawell and Tom Newitt
Andrea Fawell and Tom Newitt

An ultra runner from Thame called on a friendly local butcher for some truly cool help with her training.

Andrea Fawell ased Tom Newitt, of the famous award-winning butchers Newitts of Thame, if she might use their freezers for training for a trip to the Arctic Circle and was overwhelmed with gratitude when Tom said yes.

Tom said: “We only go down to a balmy -18c” but Andrea, from Postcombe, was thrilled.

She will be facing temperatures as low as -40c whilst taking part in Northern Canada’s Yukon Ultra Marathon, but having spent several Saturday mornings in Tom’s enormous freezers she is now aware of just how cold that will feel.

Andrea departs for The Northern Territory in Canada later in January ready for the epic 100-mile race following the route of the 19th century Klondike Gold Rush along the frozen Yukon River.

She will be pulling a sled carrying the 40kg of essential survival kit she needs for the self-supported event.

Andrea said: “Tom and his team have been amazing in allowing me to practice with all my kit in their freezers. Everyone has been so kind, encouraging and great fun and they never forgot I was in there which was reassuring!

“I am so grateful to Tom for allowing me this unique opportunity to train, and I will of course be fuelled along the 100 miles by many of the delicious foods Newitts of Thame has to offer.”

Tom said: “It’s been a pleasure and very amusing to see Andrea disappear into the freezer these Saturday mornings. The shop is always busy but we found time to welcome her. We constantly have fabulous new recipes and meal ideas for our valued customers and it’s great to know her success will be in part to our food and freezers.”