Andy runs length of the Severn in just five days

June 27 2014

RUNNING just one marathon is a challenge in itself, but completing nine in five days is almost unthinkable - unless you are St Andrews' resident, Andy Persson.

RUNNING just one marathon is a challenge in itself, but completing nine in five days is almost unthinkable - unless you are St Andrews' resident, Andy Persson.

Five years on from his first marathon along a coastal path in Cornwall, Andy has run 225 miles along the River Severn from the source near Aberystwyth, Wales to Severn Beach, raising an astounding £6,000 for FRANK Water - a Montpelier-based charity that funds sustainable clean water projects in developing countries. Andy Persson

Andy, 49, initially started raising money for the charity in 2012, when he completed seven marathons in seven days, running along the River Thames.

He said: "I felt that raising money for a charity that provides water to developing countries was quite apt. I also run a cafe which sells FRANK Water too."

In the build-up to the race, which started on May 29, Andy was running between 60 to 80 miles a week.

For the challenge, he ran 26 miles the first day, 46 on the second, 64 on the third and fourth, and another 26 miles on the final day.

On one of the days he unexpectedly found himself in the middle of the Worcester 10k race.

He added: "The fourth day was definitely the most difficult. I started at 8am and didn't finish until 3am the following morning.

"I did manage to stop at a pub for a pizza though. I wasn't sure whether it would be a good idea, but I ate the whole thing, and I felt good afterwards - I needed all the calories."

Andy is one of 10 people to ever complete the Severn Challenge.

The race started with just two people, but the other runner dropped out halfway through, leaving Andy to complete the challenge on his own.

Checkpoints were provided along the way where Andy could stop for food. He also camped out each night.

He said: "I really enjoyed the whole thing, despite having swollen feet on the last day. I'm now feeling fully recovered.

"It's surprising because I never used to enjoy running at all. But if you run enough, it doesn't become a chore any more."

It hasn't been all rest and relaxation though for Andy since his return - he has already competed in the Scafell trail marathon in the Lake District as a "gentle warm down" from the Severn run.

Andy Persson