IT WAS a lion-hearted effort that tested former soldier Richard Burn to the limit.
It doesn’t seem humanly possible, but the 23-year-old ran a marathon a day – covering 90 miles in total over three days.
He’s broken his big toe, two little toes, sprained his ankle, and collapsed in agony at one point – but still managed to cross the finish line at Portsmouth Naval Memorial yesterday morning.
He said the image of his comrades in the army – some of whom have lost limbs or been killed in warfare – kept him going.
After crossing the finish line Richard, from Waterlooville, who was in the Second Battalion Royal Anglian for five years, said: ‘There’s a big sigh of relief it’s over and a sense of achievement.
‘It has been quite emotional – there was a tear or two.
‘Now I am starting to feel the pain. I need to go to sleep now!’
Richard’s charity run began in Waterlooville town centre last Friday.
He ran up to Petersfield, then to Chichester, and down to Bognor, before heading back to Southsea.
He took short breaks every six hours and ran through the night with a head torch on.
Alongside him in a support vehicle was his mum Sue Myland, 53, her friend Jane Whiteley, 55, who was the map reader, and Richard’s older brother Daniel Briggs, 30.
The low point came at Bognor when Richard collapsed and blacked out for a few minutes.
Richard said: ‘I went down with fatigue and heat stroke.
‘It was terrible. I just passed out and I didn’t know where I was.’
Richard was able to get up and run again after resting for a couple of hours.
Although she was only driving, Richard’s mum Sue said she needed a lie down herself.
‘It’s been quite traumatic,’ she said.
‘As a mother it was quite hard because he was in such terrible pain.
‘We have been doing lots of massages, strapping his feet up with tape and rehydrating him.
‘It’s been the most gruelling few days of my life!’
The run raised almost £1,000 for Help For Heroes.
Richard added: ‘There’s a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me.’