After a tough last act on a hot and humid Kilimanjaro, the curtain has finally closed on Laura Jones’ ‘I Can Run 7’ challenge as she celebrates having completed her final marathon and raising three quarters of her fundraising target so far.

The 29-year-old, who pledged to run seven marathons in a year having never previously run further than 5k, has spent the past 12 months tackling 26.2 miles on some of the world’s toughest terrains, in some of the most relentless conditions.

Fresh from completing her penultimate marathon in -40C in the Yukon territory in February, Laura completed her final marathon on Kilimanjaro earlier this month and admitted the experience left her feeling ‘overwhelmed’.

She said: “The Kili marathon was a tough last act, temperatures were hot and humid –around 30C – so about as far from the Yukon as it was possible to get! The course was almost 50 per cent uphill which, in all honesty, felt like it was never going to end.

“When I changed direction and began the descent to the finish line the midday heat was taking its toll and I had to dig deep! It was a huge relief to cross the finish at the stadium in Moshi and the reality still hasn’t quite sunk in. I was tired, ecstatic, and slightly overwhelmed all at the same time. This has been such a big personal journey for me, I can’t believe I’ve completed my challenge, it feels incredible.”

Laura. from Shaftesbury, admitted that while the challenge seemed ambitious when she set her goals last year, she was motivated by her desire to push herself, inspire others and raise money for her two chosen charities; The Jonny Wilkinson Foundation and The Scouts.

She said: “It’s hard to believe that just 18 months ago I had never run further than 5km. This has been such a huge challenge for me in so many ways. When I started this project, it all seemed very ambitious, but I wanted to see just how far I could push myself mentally and physically. As a genuine non-runner, could I really do this?

“When the going was tough, I always thought about the reasons this challenge has been so important; to prove to others anything is possible when you have self-belief and to raise money for two great causes.

The fundraising has been difficult at times, but thanks to the generosity of a number of individuals and organisations, I could always keep the momentum of the challenge. I’m now just over £2,500 away from hitting my fundraising target of £10,000 for them.”

And while ‘I Can Run 7’ is now done, Laura admitted it won’t be her last. She said: “I’ll always be seeking new challenges, but for now I’ll be reflecting on the past year before I look ahead for the next big project. I’m sure I will be planning something soon.”

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