ELATED Tim Bridle will soon be putting away his well-worn trainers - after running an incredible 10km every day for a year.
The father-of-two, of Hatcliffe Close, Grantham, started the mammoth challenge on January 1, and has so far raised £2,500 for Cancer Research UK.
And although he has fallen significantly short of his £20,100 target - to symbolise the year 2010 times 10km - he is still proud of his accomplishment.
Two-and-a-half-stone lighter Tim, 34, said: “It has been hard, there’s no two ways about that.
“I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved and glad that I’ve proved those who said I couldn’t do it wrong.
“Some said ‘you won’t do it for 30 days’, then it was 60 days, and then it was 100 days.
“I was thinking a week ago that it’s coming to an end and I had a knot in my throat. When I look back, I can say ‘wow, I did that’.”
Tim ran his final 10km this morning with members of Grantham Athletics Club and pals.
He started and finished in front of the Guildhall, and there was a big hug from daughters Lucy, 4, and Amy, 2, upon his return.
As he crossed the finish line, an emotional Tim said: “I lost my grandparents to cancer and that’s what the runs are all about, to raise money for Cancer Research. It helps people with cancer but also everyone else who struggles through it with them.
“I feel so relieved I’ve finished and tomorrow I can relax and, more than that, get over the cold I’ve harboured all week.”
The 10k every day challenge has not been without its trials and tribulations. Tim has ploughed on despite suffering minor injuries and food poisoning, and facing treacherous weather conditions.
Snow and ice forced him on to the treadmill every now and again, and also led to the cancellation of fund-raising parties he had lined up.
However, raising cash for Cancer Research UK, which he chose to support after losing friends and relatives to the disease, spurred him on.
Lynn Daly, a spokesman for the charity, praised Tim for his support.
She said: “Tim has our full admiration. Running 10k every day for a year is a phenomenal achievement - not only the distance but battling against everything the weather could throw at him too.
“He has shown an enormous commitment to Cancer Research UK and we are very grateful for the time and energy he has put into this enormous challenge.”
Although today marks the 365th day, Tim plans to carry on running for a few more weeks, to encourage more people to donate.
He believes many people doubted he would last the entire year, and hopes that now he has, they will part with their cash.
l To sponsor Tim, visit www.justgiving.com/10keveryday
Alternatively, drop a few coins in the donation box at Grantham Honda, in Spittlegate Level.