SIX pals clocked up 450 miles of running in just 26 hours as they completed a gruelling ultra marathon challenge.
The thought of running one marathon is enough to deter most – but the Hartlepool Endurance Team took on the mammoth effort of clocking up as many as they possibly could by running non-stop for more than a day.
Matt Turnbull, James Campbell, Stewy Allison, Paul Wilson, Paul Swales and Darren Rowbotham, all from Hartlepool, started out at Seaton Carew at noon on Saturday.
Twenty-six hours later, after continuously running around a five mile loop, the exhausting effort was complete.
Stewy Allison and Paul Wilson both had a staggering 95 miles under their belt, helping to make the total mileage covered around the 450 mile mark.
And to give the lads even more satisfaction after their challenge, they have now raised £4,226 for charity.
The impressive amount, received in sponsorship for the run and a cycle challenge earlier this year, will all be donated to Butterwick House Children’s Hospice in Stockton.
“I can safely say the challenge was the hardest thing I have ever done,” said James, 33, a strategy design analyst.
“But it was a fantastic experience and looking back I actually enjoyed it.”
James’ challenge was cruelly cut short after 16 hours when he suffered an ankle injury, but he still managed to cover 52 miles in that time.
“I had been through a real bad point, but I could see the sun coming up at about 4.30am and I was feeling ok again,” added James, a dad-of-three who lives in the West View area of Hartlepool.
“Then I just felt my ankle go.
“Two members of Burn Road Harriers were there supporting us at that time of the morning and they helped me back in, they were amazing.”
Burn Road Harriers provided support and even ran with the lads at different points to help them through the challenge.
And as extra motivation, Sharon Gayter, who holds various ultra-distance running records, also joined the team for spells throughout the 26 hours.
“The support was absolutely fantastic,” said James.
“They definitely made it that little bit easier for us.”
There isn’t too much time to rest for the endurance team before they are back in training for their next challenge.
The pals are planning a swimming effort in October this year, but exact details are yet to be confirmed.
To support the Hartlepool Endurance Team click this link