A firefighter has completed 20 marathons in one year as an emotional tribute to his late wife – and raised more than £10,000 for charity.
Steve Holder, from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, ran marathons across the UK as well as France, Norway and America – one for every year he and his wife Sharon were married.
The 44-year-old Havant firefighter raised money for The Fire Fighters Charity, The Loss Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
His adventure included a midnight run, a double marathon and a rock ‘n’ roll-themed event, and covered more than 500 miles.
Steve, also known as Noddy, said: ‘I had the idea to create a memorial and fundraising year. I wanted to raise money for charity, I needed Sharon to be remembered and I needed to run.
‘Running was helping. We’d been married for 20 years – it almost made sense. To be honest the runs were more emotionally challenging than physically and sometimes I’d be wondering what I was doing there.
‘I knew I wanted to complete the challenge for Sharon and I am glad I have. I will run other marathons, but not this many in one year again – I want this achievement to be special.
‘I was inspired by the help I had received from The Fire Fighters’ Charity and The Loss Foundation and really wanted to do something to help them.’
Sharon died in February, 2015 after a battle with breast cancer.
Steve went on to say that while some planned marathons had been cancelled and replaced with others, he also wanted to finish the challenge where he and his wife were born and grew up.
It started with the Enigma Winter marathon in Milton Keynes on January 3 last year - where he achieved his best time 3hrs 26 - and ended with the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside marathon on December 18 with a time of 3hrs 29.
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