A RUNNER has raised thousands of pounds for charity after joining forces with two friends to complete a gruelling 13 marathons in 13 days.
Ellesmere Port’s Mark Dodd, 36, enlisted the help of Kelvin Dickinson, 39, and Caroline ‘Caz’ Harris, 41, for an epic 857-mile journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
With the trio passing a virtual baton as they took it in turns to run from one checkpoint to the next, they all had to fight through the pain barrier on a daily basis – something Dodd believes was well worth the struggle.
He said: “The first few days were absolute killers and it was a really tough ask to get through it.
“I pulled up on the sixth day with pulled tendons on the front of my shin and didn’t think I would be able to carry on.
“I had to do the support running, with Kelvin and Caz picking up the rest, which was an amazing effort from them.
“I managed to get through 137 miles in five days, which is more than I thought possible when I first injured myself.”
All three runners are members of Wirral Athletics Club, with Dodd a former member of Ellesmere Port Running Club.
The runner, who hails from Ellesmere Port but now lives in Elton, admitted the challenge was a step into the unknown.
“You just can’t plan for something like this,” said Dodd, who raised £1,339 for his nominated charity, Alder Hey Hospital.
“After a few days you are running totally blind and you just don’t know what to expect and there is no way that you can train for it. You just hope nothing happens.
“Kelvin and Caz were phenomenal, though, and they really pushed through the pain barrier to make sure we completed it.”
Dodd’s running partner Dickinson, who along with girlfriend Caz raised more than £1,000 for the Wirral Autistic Society, was delighted with to complete the marathon challenge but said that it pushed the trio to the limit of their ability.
“When Mark contacted me about this challenge, he said that I was the only person he knew who was mad enough to do it with him,” said Dickinson, who then recruited his partner Caroline to join the pair.
“We have all done back-to-back marathons before but never anything of this magnitude.
“We didn’t really know what to expect after three or four marathons, despite running high mileage each week.
“There were dark times during the run but we enjoyed 95% of it and ran our quickest marathons on the last day.
“It was great to do this for charity and to raise so much money for such worthwhile causes.”