Bristol cafe owner runs seven marathons in seven days
A CAFE owner has completed seven marathons in seven days to raise money for a Bristol-based water charity.
Andy Persson, 47, who co-owns and runs Hooper House Cafe in Stokes Croft, ran 184 miles from the source of the River Thames near Kemble in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier in London.
He finished the gruelling task on Saturday afternoon after setting off on Sunday, August 26.
Mr Persson completed the final marathon – from Kew Bridge to the Thames Barrier – in three hours and 56 minutes. He said: "I seemed to get stronger each day and felt really good when I finished. I felt like turning around and doing it again.
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"I loved the week and was amazed at how much I've enjoyed it.
"It was easier than I thought it was going to be – I never once thought about stopping."
Mr Persson, who has completed many coastal path marathons and recently took part in the Zermatt Mountain Marathon in Switzerland, said he found the first day of his challenge the toughest.
He said: "Starting at the source, it was hard to find the path and I got chased by an angry farmer.
"He came up on a motorbike and started berating me because I had gone onto his land.
"There was a lot of boggy fields and I had to wade through a river – I was up to my shorts in water. The first day took about six hours for 29 miles. My wife was a bit worried about me because I was exhausted. The paths got better as the days went on."
Mr Persson, who lives in St Andrew's, has raised £5,200 for FRANK water, which will pay for a clean water project for a community of around 4,000 people.
He became aware of the charity, which has provided 82 sustainable water projects in developing countries, through selling their bottled water in his cafe.