A FATHER-of-two who completed 40 half-marathons in as many days has thanked the people of Droitwich for helping him to finish his charity challenge.
Stephen McAlinden ran 13.1 miles everyday from 29 May until his 40th birthday on July 7 as he looked to raise funds for children’s charity NSPCC.
The 40-day challenge saw the 40-year-old clock up a total 524 miles, the equivalent of running from London to Italy.
Mr McAlinden said there were times when he doubted whether he could continue as the successive half-marathons took their toll on his body.
But he insisted the support he generated over the 40 days – with some people even joining him on his regular run around the Droitwich Lido – inspired him to finish the challenge.
“My heart and my mind were completely on the challenge all the way through, but it was just whether my 40-year-old body could keep up.” Mr McAlinden said.
“The shin splints were the biggest issue as walking up and down stairs became an absolute nightmare, but you just push on through the pain barrier.
“Also, the fact it was such a public challenge as it was around the school and the local area inspired me to complete it.
“I saw so many people out and about who were expecting me to run.
“I don’t think I would have been able to do it without them.”
Mr McAlinden said he was also determined to raise money for NSPCC, which aims to end cruelty to children, as well as attempting to make his two sons, Gabriel and Jude, proud of him.
“The charity helps vulnerable children and that’s something I feel passionately about.” he said.
“Unlike cancer the mistreatment of children is preventable. It does not have to happen.
“I want my children to be brought up in the right fashion, so they know about giving and that’s what inspired me to do this challenge.”
Jenny Sedgwick, community fund-raising manager for NSPCC, which gave Mr McAlinden a birthday cake to celebrate his success, said: “Stephen’s epic marathon challenge is nothing short of astonishing and an amazing way to raise money.
“His efforts really will help make our work with vulnerable children possible.”
To donate visit http://www.justgiving.com/40Marathons