When Vinnie Purdy began running in 2001, he had no idea 13 years later he would soon be completing his 100th marathon - and becoming a member of the elite 100 club.

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The 37-year-old father-of-three first put on his running shoes to shift some extra pounds and get fit.

But six-stone lighter and with 98 marathons and ultra marathons under his belt, Mr Purdy is gearing up for his 100th challenge in Sheringham’s Poppyline marathon in June 8.

And Mr Purdy, who lives in Cromer with his three daughters and wife Kirsten, 40, said being sporty did not run in his family.

He said: “We never did any sports when we were younger and I would never watch sports on television.

“One morning I just got up early and went for a run. I could run half a mile if I was lucky but I just got up every day from then.”

This year Mr Purdy, a member of North Norfolk Beach Runners, is running the Poppyline Marathon to raise money for Norfolk charity Nelson’s Journey.

The race has been extended to 30 miles in celebration of its 30th anniversary, taking in Felbrigg park, Holt country park, Sheringham Park and the cliff tops from Weybourne to Sheringham. But for Mr Purdy, who enjoys off-road ultra marathons, 30 miles is not the biggest challenge he has tackled.

He said: “The longest race I did was from Birmingham to London which was 145 miles in 40 hours. It was tough, if you stop for more than 20 minutes you are taken out of the race.”

And building up the numbers has meant some years the North Norfolk District Council worker has completed up to 21 marathons - including eight this year.

But after nearly 100 races, Mr Purdy’s friends and family have become used to his sporty obsession.

“I remember coming home from a 100-mile race and being told to be quiet until The X Factor had finished.”

And as he crosses the finish line on June 8, Mr Purdy will become a member of the official 100 Marathon Club.

But before the Sheringham marathon, Mr Purdy will have to complete a 40-mile ultra marathon in Sherwood Forest on May 11.

To sponsor Mr Purdy and support Nelson’s Journey, a charity which helps bereaved children and young people, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/VinniePurdy

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