FIREFIGHTERS from across Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) have completed their marathon charity challenge.

Eight firefighters took part in a 150-mile walk to visit each of the service's stations.

They walked without sleep for the duration of the 62 hours.

The task was made even harder with firefighters making the journey in full kit - tunics, leggings, and helmets, with a breathing apparatus set on their backs.

Many suffered injuries along the way, and there was a trip to a minor injury unit.

More than £9,000 has been raised for Children in Need, including £6,500 that has been donated online and £2,500 in cash donations along the route.

Rich Wheeler, firefighter and member of the charity team, said: “We were looking to finish in around 60 hours but the challenge was longer and more painful than anticipated.

“Due to some of the injuries we had to slow the pace a little but it was all worth it though. We knew it was going to be tough but not just how tough.

“Our pain and suffering is insignificant compared to what some children have to go through.

“The support we received was fantastic and really did keep us going. People were pulling over to show their support and give us money."

Mark Watson, a fellow firefighter and member of the charity team, added: “We would just like to thank everyone for the overwhelming support and donations.

“Our support team kept us going and our colleagues at each station providing support, generosity and company for some of the walk.

“We felt like the whole of Avon was walking with us.

“It took longer and ultimately took more than any of us anticipated.There were many times where we doubted ourselves and times we had so much pain we couldn’t think about anything else. A strong team, good support and the drive to succeed is sometimes all it takes.

“Please keep donating if you can. It’s all for a great charity and we would love to make as big a difference as possible.”

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