IF you thought getting into work early was a sign of dedication and stamina, think again. Stroud AC runner Darren Jewell has set himself an epic challenge.

Jewell aims to complete one marathon a month throughout 2018.

Jewell, who turned 40 in December, kicked-off his gruelling schedule last month in Israel, taking part in the Israman Ironman.

This event, considered to be one of the world’s hardest Ironman competitions, featured a 2.4-mile swim race in the Red Sea, a 112-mile bike race in the hot rolling hills of the Negev Desert, finishing with a 26.2-mile marathon run.

After a good swim, followed by a gruelling 112-mile bike ride, which consisted of an eleven mile ascent totalling 9100ft, he crossed the line in 26th-place (4th in his age category) in a field of more than 400 competitors. His total time for the competition was 12 hours and 16 minutes.

This Saturday he will be pounding the streets of Stroud taking part in a group challenge put together to specially to raise money for the Acorn Children’s Charity.

The Top of Town Marathon consists of 12 loops of the hilly Bisley Road and Bisley Old Road loop. If any local runners would like to challenge themselves and enter to run the marathon or just parts of it please contact Darren at Mrallugot@gmail.com for details.

If you would like to donate to Acorn Children’s Charity the link is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/topoftown