MANY people run a marathon to support charities, but Forester Tom Bell is going much further.

He will join dozens of other runners taking on the challenge of completing 10 marathons in 10 days.

Tom is taking on the Phoenix 10 in 10 to raise money for the Children’s Opportunity Centre in Coleford, with the first run on March 23 on the Thames Path in Surrey.

A member of the Forest of Dean Athletic Club based at Five Acres, he is aiming to reach the landmark of running 100 marathons, having done more than 70 already.

Tom, a site manager with Bell Homes, said: “It’s a small event, probably 50 or 60 people crazy enough to do 10 marathons in 10 days.

“I enjoy running marathons and I’m currently on 71.

“The goal is to get to 100 marathons this year so the 10 in 10 days will bump that up quite a lot.

“It’s a pretty tough challenge but I’m confident I’ll be OK doing it.

“I thought about doing such a big challenge about incorporating it with helping such a great charity, raising money and awareness.

Mentally its one of the hardest things, getting up the next day and knowing you’ve got to do it all again.

“Knowing I’m raising money for this charity will give me more of an incentive to get to the start line every day.”

Mr Bell will be getting support from wife Irena and daughter Milana who are travelling to Surrey with him.

He took up running about five years ago after the birth of Milana to lose weight.

He said the first marathon he took part in was “so painful and so horrible” that he had to give it another go so it did not feel so bad and then he was “hooked”.

“Anyone whose trained for a marathon will know how difficult it is and it doesn’t get any easier.

“As you progress to 70 or 80 your body just knows what to expect, you know you are going to be in for a lot of discomfort, especially towards the end.”

“With these multi-day events there is a lot of cameraderie between the runners and you are meeting people from different parts of the world and you spur each other on.”

Mr Bell has not set a target for the fund-raising but the KW Bell Group and suppliers will be giving financial support.

He added: “Over the years the company has done a lot for charity in the Forest of Dean.

“I’m lucky that I will get a lot of support financially from my company and some of our suppliers in Cinderford and elsewhere.”

The Children’s Opportunity Centre provides care, support and facilities for children with additonal needs and those without such needs.”

Donations can be made online at