DRINK-drive crash survivor Paul O’Boyle has completed his latest challenge – running 212 miles of the rugged South West Coast Path from Swanage to Plymouth Hoe in just five days.
The Marathon Man Goes West Challenge saw Bournemouth school caretaker Paul, 56, run an average of 42 miles each day.
The achievement comes less than a year after he completed 27 marathons in 26 straight days.
Father-of-one Paul took up running after surviving a horrific hit-and-run in July 2015.
He sustained fractures to his skull, ribs and collarbone when he was knocked off his bike in Wallisdown Road, Poole, and spent a month in hospital before undergoing lengthy rehabilitation and speech therapy.
To aid his recovery, he began running and now runs to raise money for Macmillan Caring Locally, the charity which funds the Macmillan Unit in Christchurch, which provides palliative care and support for more than 1,600 people and their families every year.
“This was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done – harder than the Jurassic 100K, harder than the Three Peaks Challenge and even harder than the 27 consecutive marathons.
“On the first day, I reached Lulworth Cove and stupidly took on too much liquid, which made me violently sick. But thanks to my support crew, I rested, rallied and carried on.
“The longest stretch of the Path – 53 miles – was undoubtedly the hardest. Ferociously hilly and with the Path constantly twisting and turning away from the coast, so I had to really concentrate not to get turned around on myself. Thankfully I had Tango!”
‘Tango’ is the world champion ultra-marathon runner Adam ‘Tango’ Holland, who lives in Devon, heard what Paul was doing and tracked him via his team before joining him for the Dartmouth to Salcombe stretch.
“I still can’t believe this legendary runner came and ran with me. He was amazing. So humble and supportive, and thankfully he had a great knowledge of the route, so he stopped me getting completely lost!”
“When I heard what Paul was doing and has done against such adversity, I knew I wanted to meet and run with him. He is simply amazing.”
All sponsorship raised by Paul through his challenge will go to Macmillan Caring Locally’s Brick by Brick appeal to replace its existing outdated ‘Mac Unit’ with a brand new hospice.
Neal Williams, Trust Secretary of Macmillan Caring Locally, said:
“What can I say? We have all been simply blown away by the strength and resilience Paul has shown during this latest challenge.
“We now hope everyone who hears about what he has done will show their admiration by sponsoring Paul and in doing so help us get another step closer to building a wonderful new hospice.”
You can sponsor Paul via his JustGiving page.