Ipswich: Epic 80-mile achievement for triple marathon man Tendai Simbai

AN IPSWICH resident has achieved his goal of running three marathons consecutively in one day to raise money for children in his home country.

Tendai Simbai has been training to run a phenomenal 80-mile route from London back to the Bobby Robson statue in Portman Road since January.

And when the 32-year-old Zimbabwean finished his sponsored 20-hour run at 10pm on Saturday night he said he felt “good and “proud” of himself.

The seven-foot-tall former basketball player said: “There were times when it was very hard, especially in the last hour. At Colchester I was finding it difficult but I was very lucky to have my support team with me.

He added: “They were with me every step of the way and this is our achievement.”

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The money raised by Mr Simbai’s triple marathon is still being calculated but every last penny will be going to the Zimbabwe Benefit Foundation.

Motivating Mr Simbai are the children he met on a trip to Zimbabwe’s neighbouring country Zambia last summer.

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He is hoping to help these youngsters with his fundraising efforts and the poverty they face on a daily basis motivated him during the his epic journey.

He said: “I thought of them and how hard things are for them and said to myself ‘I have to do this’. I want to help make things better for them and show them anything is possible.

“These kids go home and they have no food,” he added.

“If you see how little these kids have, you realise running three marathons is nothing.”

Nick Drane, Mr Simbai’s best friend, was part of his support team which was with him throughtout the entire run.

The two men have been friends since Mr Simbai moved to Suffolk nine years ago.

He said: “When Tendai said he was going to do this my first thought was that this could be a remarkable achievement. And if anyone could do it, it would be Tendai.

“During the run, there were times when he was finding it difficult and that was hard to watch but he just kept saying ‘I have to do this’, over and over.

He added: “Of course he did it. We are so proud but not surprised. It’s such an achievement.”

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