A HERCULEAN marathon man has completed the challenge of a lifetime by running 100 miles in 25 hours.

Martin Willis, originally from Fairford, took part in the Singapore Craze Ultra 100 Marathon on September 3 in temperatures of up to 40 degrees.

The punishing event was staged over four different distances and a total of around 400 people took part. For the 100 mile race, 44 people started and only 21 finished within the 32 hour cut off.

Remarkably, Martin, who finished in 25hrs 36mins, came third.

Super fit Martin, 36, said: “I have been doing long course triathlons for the past few years and I decided this year to focus on ultra-marathons. I did a 50 mile event in March and a 100k race in July building up to this event.

“The conditions meant that hydration, nutrition and temperature control were key to completing the course and so a massive shout out to my support team who were there at various stages of the day.

“It was the first time I had run a 100 mile ultra, so going into it I was excited about the challenge but anxious at the fact I would be taking on limited calories and have no sleep for the duration.

“I also felt a great sense of support from all the kind sponsors who had generously given to Brighter Futures and did not want to let them down.”

Martin, currently on an expat assignment in Singapore, managed to raise £3,500 for the radiotherapy appeal, a cause particularly close to his heart as his father is currently being treated for lymphoma at the Great Western Hospital.

“With the possibility of radiotherapy on the horizon, the lack of a local unit makes a tough situation even tougher. So I wanted to do my bit to help put vital, life changing treatment in reach of the people of Swindon and the surrounding villages.

“Over this period of any endurance event, the mental side of the race was a challenge and you often ask yourself "what are you doing? Why don’t you just stop?".

“I drew on various things to motivate me, but the radiotherapy appeal and the help Brighter Futures provides families was at the front of my mind.”

Martin seems to have recovered well from the tortuous race.

“In the days since the event my body has responded well to the rest, although my legs and feet were rather stiff and sore for the first few days. Now it is time to try and find my 2017 fundraising project.”

So far £934,495 has been raised for Brighter Futures. The team is very grateful for every single donation and wish to thank everyone for their support. To donate you can send cut out and send in the attached form or log on to www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk.