Phil's ready to run the length of Britain – in just 28 days
MANY a hardy fundraiser has cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End.
But few have run the well-known route at a rate of more than a marathon every day.
That is the challenge facing Phil Newman, a martial arts instructor from Kingswood who is determined to complete the gruelling distance in just four weeks.
To complete his challenge, in aid of The Special Friends Club, he has to run about 36 miles every day for 28 days, without a day off.
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Starting on October 1, he has been building up his training for three months.
His punishing regime has seen him running up to 40 miles in a single day as he gears up for the route he has chosen, which is about 1,000 miles long.
The 52-year-old support worker and Bristol Observer delivery man said: "I am quite nervous. Apart from the physical side it's going to be a mental mountain I'm going to have to conquer.
"I've gone through all the wounds and cramps now during training and I feel the fittest I've ever been in my life.
"It's a really funny feeling – I just feel like I can keep on running at the moment.
"I'm determined to do it and if I had not got these hours of running in the bank, I wouldn't stand a chance."
Mr Newman, of Grace Drive, chose the charity as one of his partner Jackie Lewis' children, 12-year-old Kyran, has severe autism.
Mr Newman is also being supported by his daughters Hayley, 20, and Laura, 17, and Kyran's sister Kayleigh, 15.
He added: "I have chosen to do this challenge to raise funds for a special group of people, as I have seen first-hand the amazing work they do for families with children with wide ranging disabilities. Any amount, small or large, would be gratefully received.
"I've set a modest target of £2,000, but I would love to raise a lot more than that.
"The Special Friends Club are self-funding so they need all the help they can get."
Running to work every day as well as his training, Mr Newman says he is eating anything and everything – foods high in carbohydrates, protein and sugar to fuel his punishing regime. And he hopes the mental toughness learnt as part of his martial arts will also help him when times on the road are tough.
The Special Friends Club operates throughout Bristol and South Gloucestershire and is run by parent volunteers.
It provides support by organising a wide range of activities and social opportunities for the 100 member families with more than 180 children whose ages range from the to 18.
The children have a broad range of needs and disabilities, from severe learning and physical disabilities to sensory or speech and language impairment, autism, Down's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder.
To donate to Mr Newman's cause, visit www.charitygiving.co.uk/philruns1000. For more information about the charity, visit www.specialfriendsclub.org.uk.