A firefighter has raised more than £1,750 for charity after walking almost 30 miles dressed as a meerkat.

Crew Manager Adrian ‘Dusty’ Miller walked from Poole Fire Station to Weymouth Fire Station to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The 51-year-old, an on-call firefighter in Weymouth, had initially been hoping to take part in this year’s London Marathon, but instead took on the ‘Virtual London Marathon’ challenge when the event was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He completed the 29-mile route in around eight hours – returning to Weymouth Fire Station to cheers and fanfare from his colleagues.

He said: “It was a really wet and miserable day but the support I had all along the way was fantastic.

“Cars were beeping their horns and people came up to me to while I was walking to give donations. I raised around £150 en route. It was a real encouragement to keep going.”

Adrian dressed as Mo LeCule the meerkat, the mascot of motor neurone disease research in Sheffield, for his challenge and was joined along the route by wife Donna and daughters, Madison, 14 and Paige, 12, as well as fellow firefighter, Chris Newman.

He had initially set a fundraising target of £250 but raised it to £500 and then £750 when donations came flooding in. And he said he is absolutely delighted to have smashed the figure, raising £1,754 so far.

“I was trying to be realistic with the fundraising target but I would have been really happy to have reached £1,000. I am delighted to have raised so much, it really means it was worth doing.”

The fundraising trek was the latest epic challenge for the father of two. Back in 2002 he ran the London Marathon, as well as completing a 26-mile row and 26-mile cycle to raise more than £900 for children’s charity NSPCC.

Adrian, who was a wholetime firefighter in Bournemouth and Weymouth for 30 years, chose to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, having known people who have suffered from the illness.

Among them was Spencer Bates, a talented drummer on Weymouth’s music scene who sadly died of the illness aged 49 in 2011. One former colleague, Andy Culliford, was a firefighter in Bournemouth until he was forced to retire.

To donate to Adrian’s fundraising campaign visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dusty999