Supporting KEMP Hospice, Simon Birks is taking on the ultimate challenge by running 7 half marathons in 7 countries, in 7 days, accompanied by his trusty companion, 18 month old Labrador Chloe. Simon and Chloe kicked off the first half marathon on Saturday 31st August at 7am at Fitness 24/7 in Stourport, running to Woverley and back again before driving down to Dover and travelling to Dunkirk to run the French half marathon on the Sunday afternoon. Simon’s friends of about a dozen people from all over the world including France, the USA, Australia and Bristol joined him running the first mile at 7:00 GMT, regardless of the time in their own time zones. Simon is now running 13 miles a day in under 2 hours, training for the last 8 months and running between 50-60 miles. When asked what his inspiration was to do the challenge Simon said: “My wife Claire and I bought KEMP’s previous house and I have always competed in big events every two years to support KEMP. “It is also our wedding anniversary and we are spending it in Italy, and because we planned to drive there one of my friends said I should complete all the half marathons down to Italy and it just went from there.” Simon’s planned half marathon journey: Saturday 31st August – Fitness 24/7 in Stourport Sunday 1st September – Dunkirk in France Monday 2nd September – Charlevoix in Belgium Tuesday 3rd September – Luxemburg Wednesday 4th September – Black Forest in Germany Thursday 5th September – Austria Friday 6th September – Finishing with a 22 mile around Lake Garda After his challenge Simon and Claire will have 3 weeks off to relax to enjoy their wedding anniversary in Italy. Simon has already raised £1,500 for KEMP and if you would like to show your support please sponsor Simon at www.justgiving.com/simon-birks, and he’ll then send details of how you can follow him on his personal blog.