With days left to the ultimate endurance test a University of Cumbria student says running 10 marathons in 10 days is a phenomenal challenge.
Joe Morrell, from Huddersfield, is up against a punishing feat few are mentally and physically capable of as he prepares for the Lake District based Brathay 10 in 10.
From Friday 10 May, Joe, who is also tackling his sports and rehabilitation degree finals, faces a 262-mile epic in around 60 hours of hard, unrelenting toil.
Recent training for the definitive assessment of ability and staying power has been fraught for the 25-year-old who spent his life up until university overcoming scars left by a childhood malignant brain tumour.
Joe explains: “To do one marathon is draining; all the preparation in the world doesn’t prepare the body for 10 in 10. It’s phenomenal, quite possibly something we are not meant to do, and the risks are huge.
“Up until this month, training was going relatively well, but with my dissertation having to take priority right now, it’s fallen off a bit.
“I’ve suffered foot injury and back pain, which caused issues in recent marathons. There’s also been personal problems to contend with. Balancing so many plates has been extremely tough.”
Joe paid tribute to the support from his tutors, saying they had been truly amazing.
He added: “I’ve made a list of people I’m crossing the finishing line for and they are up there. They deserve a lot of credit.
“My driving force is to prove that even through adversity you can achieve anything you want.
“I want to finish for all those who have given up their time to support me on my journey and for all the young people who benefit so much from funds raised for the Brathay Trust.
“It’s been a hard April and I’ve been on the verge of breakdown, but ironically exercise helps. As well as running, I’ve been doing badminton training and gym sessions every week.”
Joe’s long-term goal is to own a rehabilitation gym for ex-military and says whatever his working life holds, it has been made possible by the commitment and dedication of University of Cumbria tutors.
University students and staff will be providing back-up support for the Brathay challenge.
Anyone wishing to donate to Joe's cause can do it online at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joseph-morrell.