CHARLEY Jennings ran an incredible 105 miles in 24 hours to secure a stunning victory at the HARP 24 event.

The Rayleigh based 42-year-old broke the course record for a female runner to finish first overall.

And Jennings was able to triumph despite not being fully fit.

“It was amazing to win, especially as I had been struggling with a hamstring injury and only decided the day before the race to take part,” said Jennings.

“Everything had been going really well in training but a week before the race I injured my hamstring as I was finishing a parkrun.

“I went to see my physio on the Wednesday and he just told me to take the run nice and steady.

“I was going to stop if I felt too much pain in my hamstring because I didn’t want to make it any worse and be injured for longer, especially as I have a few other events coming up.


Picking up her prize - Charley Jennings is awarded her winning trophy

“But thankfully it didn’t flare up and I was able to keep going and beat all the men!”

Jennings completed the course, which started and finished at Westcliff Rugby Club, 25 times.

And it was the encouraging nature of the fellow runners which kept Jennings going.

“I’m naturally quite stubborn which helps but HARP 24 is such a friendly event that there’s always someone to talk to or someone to cheer you along,” said Jennings, who recently joined Southend AC.

“It’s obviously very tough but it’s a great event and also very enjoyable.

“I had run a few 50 milers in the build up to the race but I was quite shocked with how well it went if I’m honest.


First male finisher - Jeff Bolton completed more miles than any other male runners at the HARP 24

“I didn’t sleep during the 24 hours and the longest break I had during the day was 15 minutes when I was getting something to eat.

“Other than that I was just having a short break at the end of every hour and it went to plan really.

“I had been hoping to beat the course record of 113 miles but it wasn’t to be this time and I’m definitely happy to have broken the ladies record.”

HARP 24 - which raises money for the Southend based homeless charity - saw 329 runners taking part with many of them forming small teams to complete the distance in a relay format.

The winning teams were Team Victor, Scrambled Legs, Team Larry, Wrong Direction, Too Stupid to Stop, Kingston Runners, LoSS Ladies and Odds and Ends.


Winners - Wrong Direction won the three to five males category after running 201.6 miles between them

Jeff Bolton was the first male finisher, running 24 laps, and the event is on track to surpass the £12,500 raised last year.