Tireless charity runner Tony “The Fridge” is set to end his epic 40-day endurance challenge today.
Tony Phoenix-Morrison, from Hebburn, South Tyneside, started the Smeg John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge in an effort to raise cash for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
The 49-year-old grandfather has been running a marathon a day for 40 days, covering around 1,009 miles - carrying his 42.5kg fridge with him every step of the way.
He has taken in sights including Buckingham Palace and Stonehenge, and was due to arrive at Land’s End today.
Tony said: “The only thing I can think about is how wonderful people are.
“I’ve had such a great response from the public that it really makes me feel privileged and I could not be more thankful.
“I decided to do this challenge as a tribute to people fighting cancer.
“I have been contacted by strangers who have said that what I’m doing is giving them hope - taking on this impossible journey.
“I wanted to raise awareness of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the wonderful work it does. And this has been an absolute honour.”
At one stage, Tony felt he would have to stop the run. He fell and injured his pelvis during a stint in London. But a physiotherapist from Ponteland came to the rescue and helped to get him back on his feet.
Tony added: “My pelvis was three inches out after the fall. I thought I must’ve broken a hip and that would end the challenge. In my mind I thought ‘it’s over’.
“But this physiotherapist, who I had met in Ponteland, came all the way down to London to help me.
“He fixed me up and gave me the confidence to keep going. If it wasn’t for him, I would not have been able to continue. It’s this type of kindness that has really touched me.
“The fall put me a day behind schedule. I took rest and was taking painkillers. It was pretty hard but I just had to keep myself focussed.”
On another occasion, the charity runner met a group of Christians who carried out a ceremony to bless his feet.
“I have not had a blister on my feet since,” said Tony. Last month, he arrived at St James’ Park, in Newcastle, to the cheers of family, friends and supporters before posing for photos with the statue of Sir Bobby. He moved onto Durham, Darlington, Northallerton and York before heading south.
However the tireless fundraiser has no plans to rest his legs after the punishing challenge. He will be taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday.
He said: “I don’t rest, I am never not running. This is what I do.
“This 40-day challenge has been an incredible journey but I don’t see it as a personal victory. I see it as a victory for all the people who have helped me through it.”
To sponsor Tony visit www.justgiving.com/tonythefridge