A FATHER-of-four has raised more than £50,000 for charity after completing a marathon challenge which would leave most runners standing.

Bolton School governor Charles Cowling ran 10 marathons in 10 days after completing the gruelling Brathay 10in10, which is described as one of the country’s most extreme endurance running events.

Describing it as an “amazing” experience to have been part of the event, the 51-years-old father-of-four, is in no hurry to do it again.
Mr Cowling said: “My one and only previous marathon was the Windermere Marathon two years ago.

“I saw the 10in10 runners back then in 2012, and was not only very impressed, but I sensed what a huge emotional journey they had been on and what a great sense of achievement they had — and I wanted to be part of it.

“Then I discovered more about the great charity that all this is done for — the Brathay Trust — and decided it was something I just had to do.”

He ran 262 miles over 10 days around England’s largest lake.

He said he overcame blisters, injuries to his knee and ankle, and immense physical pain in the final days to complete his goal.

Mr Cowling, who lives in Markland Hill with his family, ran the final marathon in five hours 10 minutes and 21 seconds, and his total time for the 10in10 was 61 hours 33 minutes and 8 seconds.

He said: “There were many highlights, on day 10 in particular the huge support, particularly form the other marathon runners, the massive sense of achievement getting over the line at the end.

“End of day eight and most of day nine were also highs when I discovered that my injuries had abated enough for me to be able to start running properly.”

Mr Cowling said the encouragement throughout helped him carry on.

He said: “I also had to keep reminding myself that the pain was temporary, but this was something, if I achieved it, that I would be able to look back on for many years.”

And he said that to be part of the 10in10 club — which has less than 100 members — gave him a “great sense of achievement” but that he would “never do it again”.

The Brathay Trust is a charity which specialises in inspiring disadvantaged young people and Mr Cowling raised £12,876.46 for it, which his employer, JLT, has promised to match.

He also raised £39,471.27 for the Company of Actuaries Charitable Trust Fund.

Since he completed the challenge Bolton School girls' division chose the Brathay Trust as their charity for the summer term 2014.