FISHING FOR SCHOOLS founder Charles Jardine completed his marathon Wessex Water Challenge raising at least £9,000.

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Marathon man Charles, 65, ran the equivalent of two of the epic courses. But he did it between three Wessex Water Reservoirs… catching a trout at each in less than 24 hours.

He bagged a 5 lb rainbow along the way as he raised the cash for the main charity and its sister Casting for Recovery, which helps women with breast cancer.

Downton, Wiltshire-based Charles explained: “I had allowed 24 hours but luckily the fish played ball, and I was delighted to complete it in less.

“It was exhausting but gratifying to have received so much support and money for the charities.

“The five-pounder was an unexpected bonus, but one I could have done without as it took quite an age to land – I was hoping for tiddlers.

“To cut the time and distance a little we found a couple of cross country shortcuts. With hindsight, this wasn’t a great idea because of the mud and I had a close encounter with a ditch.

“My only damage was a lost big toe nail due to bruising because of the downhill running.

“I am immensely grateful to my support team who were with us through the night and ensured we made to Sutton Bingham, to the Wessex Water team who made all this possible and to everyone who has donated to the fund so far.

“I’m hoping we will break the £10,000 for the charities which is great news for them both, and makes the pain and exhaustion worthwhile,” he enthused.

Marathon man Charles started fishing at Clatworthy Reservoir near Taunton, Somerset, at 10am and within half an hour he had netted the 5 lb rainbow, and he and running partner Richard Davis, of Downton Running Club, set off for 13 miles away.

Charles quickly caught a fish and they were running again by 3pm for the longest leg, a 45 mile overnight run to Sutton Bingham Reservoir.

They arrived a couple of hours earlier than scheduled at 3.20am but thankfully fishery manager Ivan Tinsley was prepared to get out of bed and let them into the fishing hut where they got a couple of hours sleep.

Then at first light Charles was out by the water to catch his final trout. But two hours on the bank Charles was blanking…. until, at 8.45am, his luck came in and he completed his challenge with a last fish. What a marathon effort!

You can still donate at:  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wessexwaterchallenge

Elsewhere, top Caterham, Surrey carper Hedley Humphreys is running a 50 mile race for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Hedley is running the North Downs Way 50 on May 19 and you can sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hedley-humphrey

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