A MAN who grew up in Highmoor came “home” as he completed seven marathons in as many days, writes Dan Robinson.
Andy Persson, 47, ran 184 miles from the source of the Thames near Cirencester to the Thames Barrier.
The former student at King James College, now The Henley College, arrived in Henley to complete the fourth leg of a day’s journey that began in Wallingford.
Mr Persson, who was a member of Upper Thames Rowing Club and competed at the Henley Royal Regatta, said: “It was really nice coming back and a nostalgic day for me, having spent many hours on that stretch of the river.”
The mother of an old college friend, who lives in Goring, joined him for part of the run.
“It was great to catch up,” said Mr Persson. “It was also particularly nice being welcomed by my old deputy from the college, Gareth Rowland, and his wife, who happen to be parents of a friend of mine.
“He’s a role model for me because he is constantly active and still does triathlons. I was always impressed by him so it was great to see him again. They had primed people at the end of the route, so I was cheered into Henley by several people I didn’t know, which was a real boost.
“The rest of the challenge went really well. I finished still feeling good with virtually no aches or pains and had a good crowd of friends and family too greet me at the Thames Barrier.”
Mr Persson, who consulted a sports nutritionist to ensure he remained in shape ahead of the challenge, ran each leg without a break. He was joined by friends along the way but he was the only person to complete the entire route.
He said: “I ran in alternating conditions. When I set off it was sunny and so tiring but when I came through Henley it was raining.
“Although it was quite nice because the rain was cooling it wasn’t much fun to run in and I got quite muddy.”
Mr Persson, a father-of-three who now lives in Bristol, where he runs a café, has so far raised more than £5,600 for Frank Water, a charity that funds clean water projects in India.
To make a donation, visit www.7in7.co.uk