Harrogate local Dr. Neil ‘Doug’ Munro has completed his ‘Stray Marathon Challenge’, lapping the landmark 13 times to raise much-needed funds for Citizens Advice Craven.

Doug was due to run the London marathon in April 2020 before it was suspended due to COVID-19, and decided to complete the 26.2 miles by lapping the Stray in Harrogate.

He completed the amazing feat last weekend in a fantastic time of 3 hours and 43 minutes, and has spoken about the mental challenges of running laps rather than the London Marathon route:

“After thirteen laps, each time you come around you’re thinking oh my goodness, and always think you’re one lap in front of where you really are!

“It was difficult in that sense but I’d done quite a lot of training and my pace was fine, so I knew I could get to the end.”

Doug also credited his support team for their help in his achievement, particularly his wife for her support in providing gels and water to keep him fuelled throughout the run:

“She was at the start and finish… each time I went round she had a big sign that she held up telling me what lap it was, so that was very helpful!

“Any time I’ve done any long runs I’ve been nervous before, because you never know how it’s going to go but it went really well.

Having put his name down for the London Marathon last year, Doug began training in December before the London Marathon was cancelled, and was forced to stop and start his training over a ten-month period.

As someone who has now completed his challenge, Doug had some advice for anyone looking to do something similar:

“It’s really important to have a schedule and keep with it. Just think about crossing that line in the end, and the thrill of completing the challenge.

“You’re going to feel really good in the end, maybe not physically, but you’ll feel as if you’ve done something really good!”

Doug has raised just over £1,100 of his £1,500 target – his JustGiving page can be found here.

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