RUNNING up Ben Nevis three times in one day is a gruelling challenge for any fitness fanatic.
But add into that altitude sickness, a 24-hour diet of jelly babies, four further days of running and dangerously rocky terrain, and you’ll have an idea what David Coxon’s challenge of a lifetime felt like.
The 40-year-old has just completed a 100-mile run high in the Himalayas, along the India and Nepal border.
Determined David, of Prudhoe, took on between 32 and 13 miles a day for five days, finally crossing the finishing line with an impressive time of 25 hours and 45 minutes, coming in 32nd out of 63.
The IT manager at The Baltic in Gateshead decided to take part in the challenge after his mum and his mother-in-law both died of ovarian cancer.
He has so far raised £2,000 for the Eve Appeal and Boots the Chemist's Macmillan campaign.
David, who lives with his wife Lucinda, said, although parts were tough, it was the a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
He said: “The first day was unbelievably hard because it was all uphill.
“I started at 6,500ft and ended-up running a 10,000ft ascent - the equivalent of running up and down Ben Nevis three times. That really was exhausting.
“The high altitude also made a lot of people sick and out-of-breath but I was actually quite lucky and didn’t really suffer. I did, however, get an upset stomach after a couple of days.
“That was horrendous, not least because our accommodation was very, very basic, and the toilets were the ones you squat over and can’t flush.
“I couldn’t eat much so I ended-up just eating jelly babies. That was on the day of the Everest Marathon, which is 32 miles.”
David explained: “I decided to raise money for my two chosen charities because of the treatment my mother and my wife’s mother received.
“When I decided to do the run, I wanted to do something big.
“I’m a runner anyway, so something like the Great North Run was too small. I wanted to do something that represented the battle they both had with cancer.
“After the marathon, on the third day, I took things a little easier and enjoyed the scenery more. It was on roads as well, so it wasn’t as tough.
“It was amazing crossing the finishing line. I surprised myself, as well, as I wasn’t exhausted in the days following - I had loads of energy.”
To sponsor David go to www.justgiving.com/davidcoxon.