WESTCLIFF’s runner Dean Ovel is taking a well-earned break after completing his tenth marathon in eight days.
Mr Ovel, a member of the Leigh Striders running club, ran the London race on Sunday to reach his target of 262 miles in just eight days.
Beginning in Brighton on April 6, Mr Ovel then ran the equivalent of eight more marathons in the six days leading up to the grand finale in the capital, a race which he finished in a remarkable three hours, 32 minutes and 57 seconds.
He raised money for Southend Hospital’s Keyhole Cancer Appeal and he has already beaten his £5,000 target.
Mr Ovel said: “I had to drawon the energy of the crowd at times and it was quite an emotional experience.
“I amazed myself with my time, especially having run 52 miles on Saturday as well.
“I am doing all right, physically, not quite as bad as I expected.
“I’ve got a couple of niggles but it’s safe to say a run won’t be on the cards for a few days.”
Mr Ovel endured some low points, including getting drenched, lost and tired when running alone from Brighton to London last Monday – but said the good outweighed the bad.
The 37-year-old added: “Running 106 laps round Garon athletics track was amazing, the fact so many people donated and wanted to run with me was amazing, it was only the very last lap I ran by myself.
“Saturday started with the Shoebury Park Run and I just kept on going and had people with me all the way up to Pitsea.
“It was a real Forrest Gump moment when I kept looking behind me to see a gaggle of people running with me.”
His family, wife Sian, fouryear- old Eira and seven-year-old Isaac supported him all week.
He said: “Sian has been an absolute superstar, I am so grateful to my family and everyone else who helped out with massages, making me food, donating or running with me.”
A spokesman for Southend Hospital said: “We cannot put into words just how grateful we are to Dean for taking on this incredible challenge.
“Dean has been a supporter of our hospital for many years and we are delighted his latest challenge has been such a success.
“Dean is a true inspiration and we are keen to see what he will come up with next.”
To sponsor Mr Ovel visit www.justgiving.com/10in8chalenge
Days of awe - Dean's gruelling schedule
Day 1: Brighton Marathon (26.2 miles)
Day 2: Brighton to London (52.4 miles)
Day 3: London to Southend (26.2 miles)
Day 4: 105 laps of Southend Athletics Track (26.2 miles)
Day 5: Marathon around the outskirts of Southend Borough (26.2 miles)
Day 6: Marathon around Prittlewell, finishing with a lap of the hospital with staff (26.2 miles)
Day 7: Southend to the London marathon start (52.4 miles)
Day 8: The London Marathon (26.2 miles)