The Comrades Marathon

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A Newmarket man has raised an impressive £7,000 for charity after completing 135 miles-worth of marathons across four countries.

Keen runner Alan Shand, 57, of Heasman Close, crossed the finish lines of the Paris, London and Venice marathons, all 26-mile events, as well as running a 56-mile ultra marathon in South Africa.

Alan completed the Comrades Marathon, which follows a course between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, in 10hrs 16mins - 76 minutes faster than his first attempt in 2011.

Out of the 19,500 runners taking part, he finished in the top 20 per cent.

“I was absolutely done in by the time I crossed the line, however my head was the biggest it had been for a long time,” said Alan, who has been a member of the Newmarket Joggers for five years.

He added: “It’s quite wonderful that I was able to do it.”

Alan said the Comrades Marathon, which saw him running in temperatures of 28 to 30 degree heat across difficult terrain, was the “toughest” event he had ever undertaken.

His efforts raised money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Fire Engines for Kenya, Kamcare and Macmillan Cancer Support, which cared for his father, Jimmy Shand, who died in August last year.

“Macmillan helps so many people. It brought normality to a distressing time in our lives, taking the responsibility of care into professional hands,” he said.