TV star Jeff Stelling is storming ahead in his bid to complete a mammoth marathon challenge for the fight against cancer – and he has the perfect running mate for the job.
The Soccer Saturday presenter braved torrential rain and high winds as Storm Katie swept in to make it a great eight walks completed in his epic effort to walk 10 marathons in as many days for Prostate Cancer UK.
The huge Hartlepool fan joked he was keen to pass on the baton to former Olympic 400m runner Derek Redmond, who slowed his stride to take part in the 23-mile route from Northampton to Milton Keynes yesterday, as tough weather conditions took hold.
After proving he can talk the talk as a popular broadcaster, Jeff has shown he can walk the walk.
But after raising more than £200,000 for Prostate Cancer UK – and covering more than 200 miles – he now has the finishing line in sight in the Men United March.
He is now eager to hit a terrific total of over £300,000 before hanging up his walking shoes at the home of English football, Wembley, on Wednesday.
The support from the public has been fantastic.Jeff Stelling
Jeff said: “The first two hours of the day were tough with Storm Katie, but thankfully it eased off.
“We had to cope with driving rain and ferocious winds.
“The pace may have slowed a bit, but we just pushed through during the bad weather. You have just got to keep going.
“If you stop, you will just seize up.”
The former Countdown presenter was delighted to have Great Britain sprinting hero Derek Redmond, who struck gold in the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart in 1991, alongside him every step of the way.
Jeff added: “I found myself in Derek’s slipstream throughout the walk.
“I kept trying to pass on the baton to him.”
The charity champion was also joined on the latest leg of his gruelling journey by Milton Keynes football boss Karl Robinson.
He says every ache, pain and strained sinue is made worthwhile by the chance to raise precious pounds for a life-saving cause.
Jeff said: “At first it was just aches and blisters you would pick up.
“But now it is more about the physical exhaustion of walking day after day.”
Jeff is thankful for the massive support he has received from the public to help him smash through his £200,000 target with days to spare.
He added: “The support from the public has been fantastic. People have been gathering at the end of each day to cheer us on.
“I have had children put pound coins in my pocket and van drivers put £20 in my hand.
“It’s been brilliant.”
Jeff is travelling from Luton to Watford today – before embarking on the tenth and final day of the energy-sapping trek from Kingston to the last post of Wembley on Wednesday,
People can donate to the cause by visiting www.menunitedmarch.org or text ‘JEFF’ to 70004 to donate £3.