ULTRA-marathon runner Andy McMenemy received an extra-special 50th birthday present.
The Yorkshire businessman earned himself a Guinness World Record after crossing the finish line yesterday of his 66th ultra-marathon in as many days.
Andy, 50, of Harrogate, rounded off a 2,050-mile run at York Racecourse – smashing the previous record of 52.
The dad-of-two started the epic test of endurance in Leeds on March 16 and ran through every single city in the UK, tackling more than 30 miles, or 50km, every day.
He said: “I can’t believe it’s all over. I’m thrilled that I’ve been mentally and physically strong enough to get through it, but I never started the challenge expecting to fail; I began knowing I’d always reach the finish line.
“There have been days when I’ve felt physically sick at the idea of running for another six hours on tired legs and sore muscles, with low morale. But it was the people who made the difference. I have met some truly inspiring people, who, despite their injuries, have a zest for life and a great attitude.”
He added: “The whole experience has been really humbling and I couldn’t have done it without the support from the public and the military.”
The tour, called Challenge66, involved 66 ultra-marathons, which are 5.5 miles (8.9km) longer than a standard marathon.
Andy, whose father was a soldier, aims to raise £1million for the Army Benevolent Fund: The Soldiers’ Charity, which is celebrating its 66th birthday.
The endurance athlete, who runs a business as an inspirational speaker and mentor, also took on the Marathon des Sables in 2007, running five and a half marathons across the Sahara Desert in six days and has also run 78 miles in 24 hours in the Namibian Desert, battling through 46°C heat and fatigue-induced hallucinations.
To sponsor Andy, visit: www.challenge66.org