A man who ran a marathon despite seriously injuring himself in a triathlon has been named this week’s Local Hero.
John Challen, of Downside, Shoreham, said he was honoured to receive the accolade after slashing himself after falling off his bike during the triathlon.
Despite eventually needing 26 stitches Mr Challen carried on to compete in the Brighton Marathon.
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The 35-year-old freelance journalist has so far raised £5,000 for the Worthing branch of the National Autistic Society and MS Treatment and hopes to raise £8,000.
He set off from Hove around 5am, swam 1,500m and started his 40km ride when disaster struck.
He plunged from his bike and slashed his leg.
Mr Challen said: “About 20 seconds afterwards I knew I had to carry on.”
So he did and ran the final 10km of the triathlon – before starting the Brighton Marathon, where he ran 26 miles.
This, he admitted, was against the advice of medics.
He said two St John’s Ambulance people: “told me my leg would fall off”.
In the end he completed the marathon in four hour and 59 minutes and spent the next six hours in Worthing General Hospital’s accident and emergency department.
He said: “I crossed the finish line at Brighton Marathon having spent nine hours either running, swimming, cycling and walking during the day.”
On Monday he had his stitches taken out.
Mr Challen wanted to raise money for the charities as his mother-in-law has MS while his friend Zoe Green’s son, James, has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Hundreds of heroes go almost unnoticed in our local communities. But The Argus is determined to give them the recognition they thoroughly deserve. We have teamed up with housing repair and maintenance company Mears to launch our weekly Local Hero Awards. We are inviting readers to nominate their candidates and tell us why they have put them forward for the award. Contact Ben Leo on 01273 544682 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.