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Students complete seven marathons in seven days to fundraise for NHS

Two university students have completed seven marathons in seven days in a bid to raise money for the NHS.

Henry Blois-Brooke, of Kiln Green in Wargrave parish, and friend Jack Peck of Beaconsfield, completed the marathons separately in their local areas, starting on Sunday, April 20 and finishing on Sunday, April 26.

Henry, who is a rower at Oxford Brookes University, and has previously won Gold in the men’s 8+ while representing Great Britain at the Under 23 World Rowing Championships in Florida, said the pair decided to take on the challenge just days before they started, leaving them little time to prepare.

The 21-year-olds – who were inspired to raise money for the NHS by Captain Tom Moore - set off at about 6am each morning, taking quieter routes to limit human contact and maintain the social distancing rules.

Jack, who is a student at Newcastle University and rows for Maidenhead Rowing Club, averaged a time of four hours and 17 minutes for all seven marathons, while Henry averaged a time of three hours and 40 minutes.

Henry said: “It was an extremely challenging week but looking back on it, I feel very proud of what Jack and I have achieved.

“It was the most painful week of my life but challenge creates character. It really tested my physical and mental strength and shows that if you put enough passion and effort into something you will succeed and can achieve anything.”

Jack added: “I learnt a huge amount over the run, more through just having four hours 17 minutes to introspectively think about what’s happening at the moment regarding COVID-19 and my personal life.

“It was good as well to have some competition in a summer where most competitions are cancelled or postponed.

“For both me and Henry competition is what drives us in everything, and to do it virtually with my best mate was perfect as it provided a sense of companionship in a pretty solitary time.”

The pair have raised more than £9,300 and are aiming to reach £10,000.

To view the fundraiser visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/7in7isolationrunforthenhs

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