FIREFIGHTER Andre Turner admitted being proud but weary after conquering an energy-sapping physical and mental challenge.

The 50-year-old took on a gruelling 4x4x48 event – running four miles every four hours for 48 hours – and raised £700 for the Fire Fighters’ Charity.

As if that wasn’t enough of a test, he then added another ‘bonus’ four hours, taking his total to 52 hours and wearing a rucksack weighing a massive 16½kg.

Andre, of Grove Road, Tiptree, said: “I’m a big believer in exercise to support mental health and this challenge was about pushing myself physically and mentally.

“The physical toll on the body was great, as I effectively ran the equivalent of two marathons in two days.

“But then there was the mental effect of sleep deprivation making it even more of an effort.

“It was tough and my legs were weary afterwards but, to be truthful, it probably wasn’t as bad as I thought.

“Friends gave me tips and advice and I tried to get a bit of sleep between the night runs at 10pm and 2am.

“It was particularly tough when my alarm went off just before 2am on the Saturday morning. But I knew the end was in sight by then so managed to get through it.

“The challenge was inspired by former US Navy Seal David Goggins – reputed to be the toughest person on the planet. The idea is to push yourself outside your normal routines and workout schedules, to challenge yourself mentally and physically, to experience a little bit of sleep deprivation, irritability, soreness and mild suffering.”

Andre, who has a daughter, two stepchildren and three grandchildren, had been due to take part in an event called the Fan Dance Race Series, in the Welsh mountains. When it was called off due to coronavirus, he decided to set himself another challenge and raise money for a cause close to his heart.

Andre has been with the brigade for 20 years and is a watch manager at its Kelvedon HQ.

He said: “I set out with a target of raising £200, so to get to £700 totally exceeded my expectations. It’s an important charity to me and one that provides life-enhancing support to our fire and rescue community.

“I’ve seen first-hand how the charity has helped friends and colleagues and also the impact the lockdown has had on its funds. It seemed like the natural thing to do and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from my family, especially my wife Diane and the people of Tiptree.

“They’ve been wonderful – full of support and encouragement.”

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