MARATHON walker Mara Soto overcame a dislocated knee to finish an epic trek 130-mile trek to Brighton Pier to raise money for bullied children.

The Swindon mum managed to generate more than £1,150 for local charity STEP just a year after undertaking a similar hike all the way to London to help pay for a fellow mother battling a brain tumour.

“It was very emotional. I was exhausted and I was really in pain,” she said after finishing the three-day trek on Sunday. But then she saw she had beaten her fundraising target and was overwhelmed with emotion at the kindness of people who had donated and supported her on the walk.

Accompanying her on the first and last days of the walk was her 16-year-old daughter Cassandra Arntsen, who had travelled from Sweden to take part. They both broke down in tears when they found themselves on the final straight.

On Friday Mara walked with friend Renata Prokop and they managed 45 miles. The last stretch was in the dark through the Blackwood Forest and proved more than a little frightening.

“I always say my biggest fear is cold because I’m Cuban. But now I know my biggest fear is being in a forest that is cold and dark. I thought it was very scary.” she said.

The two women were even more unnerved when men in a car approached them and then parked up some distance behind them as they walked.

One the second day Mara walked alone and pushed herself as fast as possible to avoid walking in the dark. It was a mental challenge, she said.

Then on Sunday she was joined once more by Cassandra and they powered towards Brighton where they were met by supporters ready to encourage them on their way to the finishing line.

“I’m very proud of myself and my daughter and everyone involved in the walk,” said Mara, who is now taking it easy and using hospital-issued crutches to get about while her knee heals.