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Home / Latest News / He’s done it! Runner does 39 marathons around 1,030 miles of the Welsh coastline in epic charity bid

He’s done it! Runner does 39 marathons around 1,030 miles of the Welsh coastline in epic charity bid

He started running through the wind and rain of Storm Katie – and has taken in more than 1,000 miles of Welsh landscape.

But businessman Robert Chapman has completed his epic challenge to run the perimeter of Wales in memory of his friend.

And he says that just one year ago he would never have thought he could complete such a gruelling challenge.

Robert, 56, from Cardiff, set off on his 1,030 mile run from Poppit Sands, in Cardigan, on March 26, and he finished his colossal feat in the same location today (Saturday, July 30).

The challenge, named the Moon Shadow Wales Challenge, was carried out in memory of Robert’s friend Tony John.

On the road again

In December 2013, Robert learned Tony had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a progressive disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.

He died on July 30 last year, and Robert finished his run to end on that date, to remember his friend’s life.

As a result of completing the challenge, Robert has raised around £7,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Full on

The director of commercial and regeneration property consultancy Robert Chapman and Company completed 39 marathons over successive weekends running across the Welsh coastline.

Robert said: “I have been running consecutive marathons every weekend.

“There have been moments during the week where I have been feeling tired and I think that’s my body telling me something. It’s been quite full on.

Robert with Tony John (right)

“It’s been a personal journey for me as well and as part of that I have done things I wouldn’t have done before.

“If you said I would be doing this 12 months ago I would have said you were off your rocker.”

Robert has received a lot of support along the way, with his wife Jackie driving him to different challenges all over Wales and he has also had support from Mr John’s widow Lynne who attended nearly all of the challenges and was present on Saturday.

Testing times

Robert said: “My wife has dropped me off and picked me up and sometimes I have met her and Lynne along the route when we reach a village and have a coffee.”

There have been testing times throughout the feat when Robert found himself caught in the midst of Storm Katie when he began by completing three marathons in a row as it was a Bank Holiday.

Many people expressed shock when Robert told them about the challenge, with some claiming it was “hard enough” walking on the Welsh coast.

Robert on his travels around Wales

But Robert said the challenge has given him the opportunity to appreciate the Welsh coastline and take in its beauty.

He said: “I have seen some extraordinary landscapes of beauty like Offa’s Dyke, Anglesey, Cardiganshire and the Pembrokeshire coastline.

“Wales is a real gem and don’t think people who live and work here appreciate it. It’s a remarkable place and we should take pride in that.”

The most important part of the trip for Robert was being able to raise awareness and funds for the Motor Neurone Association to help the charity to continue with its vital research.

All for Tony

Robert said: “If it inspires others to do things then great, that’s an aside from the primary purpose which is to raise money.

“Tony was a decent chap and a guy I worked with closely for a number of years and beyond that. This is in memory of him.”

To find out more about Robert’s challenge visit www.moonshadow.wales or to sponsor Robert, visit www.justgiving.com/Robert-Chapman12

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