A DEVOTED husband pounded the pavements as he took on a marathon challenge inspired by his wife’s battle with MS.

Neil Dulieu, 47, spent 11 months running the distance of a marathon a week to raise money for Colchester-based MS-UK.

The teaching assistant, from Langenhoe, completed the challenge with his first whole marathon around Abberton and Langenhoe on his birthday.

He has so far raised £3,000 for the charity after completing 2,018km.

Neil’s wife Amanda, 46, was diagnosed with MS more than 16 years ago.

She said: “I’ve benefitted from the services of MS-UK and Neil found it fitting to do the challenge for them.

“I was 29 when I was diagnosed and we were living in Germany.

“For the first ten years my MS was manageable with medication. I lived my 30s to the full and we lived in Singapore for three years – I smashed my 30s.

“Then a month before my 40th birthday I really started to deteriorate and I was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS.”

The advancement of her illness meant she could no longer take medication and her mobility became limited.

Amanda said: “It was around this time last year Neil came up with the idea.

“He is not a runner – he did a half marathon before but has just done a bit to keep fit.

“He came up with the idea to run 2,018km in 2018 and would finish on his 47th birthday.

“We all thought he was crazy.”

Neil, who works at Stanway Primary school and Kendall Primary School, ran approximately 42km each week to help him reach his target.

“Our friends who had done marathons before said why didn’t he just do a marathon,” she said.

“But he said he wanted to do something bigger.

“He has been amazing and had been really motivated to do what he can for MS-UK.”

Neil completed his marathon on Saturday in a time of four hours and 50 mins. He was treated to a running themed birthday cake.