Competitor who had already run 40 miles

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FOR the thousands of runners taking part in the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, getting across the finishing line was a huge achievement.

But Gavin Felton managed to complete the 26.2-mile course – after running to York from Barnsley.

The former Regimental Sergeant Major, 44, who served with the Army for 23 years, set off at 1.30am yesterday to run from South Yorkshire. He is training for a world record-breaking attempt to run between Land’s End and John o’Groats in April next year. The record currently stands at nine days, two hours and 21 minutes.

Mr Felton took five hours and eight minutes to run the 40 miles to York, before resting up for three hours. He then finished the marathon in three hours and 20 minutes. Mr Felton, whose wife Victoria, 30, and two children, Harrison, seven, and Kiera, three, were in the crowd, has completed 48 road marathons as well as 19 cross-country marathons.

He said: “I have done so many marathons, but I can honestly say this is right up there. My favourite is Calgary, but I think the Yorkshire Marathon must rank alongside that. The atmosphere was brilliant, and it has been so well organised.”

He was running yesterday to raise funds for Barnsley Hospice, where relatives have been treated. The hospice will also benefit from cash raised from his endurance test in the spring of next year.

Mr Felton, who is from Barnsley and works as a personal trainer, said: “It always amazes me that hospices remain charities and rely so heavily on fundraising because of all the good work they do. Barnsley Hospice is obviously a charity that is very close to my heart, and it is great to be raising money for it here in Yorkshire.”