MEET the marathon man.
Athletic Andy McMenemy was in Sunderland for his 63rd marathon in as many days.
The 49-year-old aims to set a Guinness World Record by running 66 ultra-marathons – 31 miles instead of 26 – in 66 days to raise money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
The businessman clocked up the Wearside leg of his Challenge 66 event at Silksworth Sports Complex, joined by runners from the city.
“I’m doing loops of the lake and coming up to the running track,” he said.
“I decided to do circuits like this to get people more involved and make it so people could come and run with me.”
Andy, who has a daughter Lauren, 10, added: “It is great to be running in Sunderland and I welcome anyone who wishes to show support for my marathon journey to help The Soldiers’ Charity continue their fantastic work.
“The support Challenge 66 has received so far in the county is incredible, but we do need people to go to our website and donate to help us hit our target.
“We’ve raised about £65,000 so far and the money is coming in all the time. If you look at the website, each area has a total so you can see how much Sunderland has raised.”
Andy, who works as an inspirational speaker and business coach, decided to take up the challenge while taking part in the Namibia desert 24-hour Ultra-Marathon.
“I’d been reading a book about a runner who’d run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days,” he said. “I hit a bit of a barrier about 3am in the desert and thought ‘could I get up and do this again? That was where the idea was born.”
Andy was in Durham for day 64 of his challenge and was due to finish in York today – his 50th birthday.
Andy, from Harrogate, aims is to raise £1million for the charity. He formerly worked as an interpreter for the Army in Germany, and his father was a serving soldier.
Visit www.challenge66.org to donate. Donations can also be made by texting “ARMY” to 70700.
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