Emotional charity champion Lee Dodgson has told of his relief after he reached the end of his toughest challenge yet.
Lee, 31, from Hartlepool, ran the length of the UK in a bid to raise £40,000 for Alice House Hospice.
The gruelling 827-mile trek from Land’s End, in Cornwall, to John O’Groats, in the far north of Scotland, saw Lee battle physical and mental pain in a gruelling 20-day challenge.
He completed it yesterday, supported by father-in-law Kevin Fincken, and was emotional after achieving the incredible feat.
Lee, who has raised thousands of pounds over the years for the hospice through various challenges, said: “I’m so pleased it’s over.
“It was above and beyond anything I could have imagined. You train yourself to a certain level and have to hope your legs can take it.
It was above and beyond anything I could have imaginedLee Dodgson
“There are some things you can’t train for, though.
“You can’t train for being rained on for 30 hours across three days, torrentially.
“You can’t train for entering Scotland and being hit by nearly 30C heat.
“In training, if you feel a slight niggle, you can rest it, but that’s not an option when you’re actually doing the challenge. It becomes a phenomenal task to try and run through the pain.”
Lee, who is married to Claire, 40, has vowed that this will be his last major challenge.
He added: “I’ve done a lot of challenges for charity, like seven marathons in seven days, and really enjoyed them. I wasn’t able to enjoy this one, though, because of the relentless pain. It’s the toughest thing I have ever, or will ever, experience.
“This is me finished now. Physically, I’m at the end for my abilities. I have nowhere to go now. I’m a believer that if you do something for charity, you have to go above and beyond to get people to part with hard-earned money.
“You have to raise eyebrows, but I don’t think I’d be capable of doing that with any further challenges.
“I’m still in a bubble and I’m sure the magnitude of what I’ve achieved will sink in eventually.”
Lee has so far raised about £35,000 of his £40,000 target, and is hoping to smash through the figure in the coming days.
Donations can still be made at https://give.everydayhero.com/uk/lejog17
Greg Hildreth, corporate fundraiser at Alice House Hospice, said: “It has been absolutely phenomenal, and the most far-reaching fundraising project we have ever been involved in.
“I’d like to think people will still support him and help him reach his target.
“He has absolutely done the hospice and the town proud.”