Marathon effort for King’s Lynn college lecturer

Five marathons in five days for tutor at College of West Anglia

Running one marathon is usually enough in anyone's book - but a King's Lynn college tutor has just completed the ultimate challenge of five in five days.

Alex Harrison, a lecturer at the College of West Anglia, ran a staggering 133.19 miles to raise money for military veterans as part of an annual challenge - the Forces March.

Mr Harrison, 37, lost six stone while training for his adventure and, despite blisters galore, is determined to do it all again next year.

'It was tough, very tough, but I felt fine when I finished apart from blisters. There are huge hills round almost every bend and it was hard work,' he said.

The route took him from Ilfracombe, North Devon, through Exmoor and the Quantocks before finishing at Bulford Camp army garrison in Salisbury.

The chef tutor said he had problems on the first day with a knee injury, but after some on-site work with a physiotherapist he was able to carry on.

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But half of the eight-strong Hertfordshire-based Team Warrior he was running with had to pull out before the end of the event due to injury.

'I walked the first couple of miles each morning to warm-up and made sure I ran the flat and downhill, but walked the uphill and I got on fine,' he said.

Each day saw a minimum trek of 26 miles, and the longest day saw a 32-mile stretch which took Mr Harrison more than seven hours.

'I was with another guy who had an injury and couldn't bend his leg, so we were slow. He dropped out eventually but I had lost a lot of time,' said Mr Harrison, who has rasied more than �800 for charity and hopes to top �1,000.

When he started training almost a year ago, Mr Harrison weighed 21 stone, but after months of running and gym-work is now 15 stone- although he said he 'hadn't stopped eating' since finishing the marathons last week.

'I will begin training again once my foot has healed. I had a massive blister which got infected and the foot was really swollen - but I'll be back on the road again,' he said.

The Forces March attracts military and civilian teams each year and raises money for charity, including Project 65 which supports former and current military personnel. It follows the route taken by troops training for the D-Day landings at Normandy during world war two.

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