A LONG-distance road runner has completed a monumental running challenge after tackling more than 100 miles to help treat those with an infectious disease.

James Byfield, 23, from Colchester, has recently finished the final race of a four marathon challenge which saw him hit the roads of Colchester, Paris, Ottawa and Stockholm.

James, who works as the marketing, communications and fundraising assistant for leprosy charity Lepra, used his close connections with the work being carried out by his employer as inspiration for his fundraising efforts.

The unstoppable and relentless marathoner, who would often run 13-miles a day before work in preparation for races, has now raised more than £680 of his £1,000 target.

The funds will help to diagnose people in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique who are unknowingly suffering from the disease and provide them with treatment and support both during and after recovery.

Speaking about the challenge, James said: “The marathons provided me with an opportunity to see the highlights of Paris, Ottawa and Stockholm through heavy rain and intense midday sun, creating memorable experiences.

“The Ottawa Lumberjack Challenge was a great deal more difficult than I expected having been worn out on the first day of racing, but I felt proud to have completed a challenge.”

Having previously completed a staggering 95 miles in just seven days in celebration of Lepra’s 95th anniversary, James is no stranger to the painful, but rewarding, achievement of running long distances for a good cause and pushing his abilities.

And after smashing his personal best with a 5 hour and 37 minute time during his last outing - shaving 20 minutes off his first marathon finishing time - running addict James now has his sights set on a further two gruelling road races later this year.

“I plan on running the Brussels eco-trail marathon in September, which involves running up the equivalent height of 2.3 Eiffel Towers, and then the Cologne marathon in October with the hope that my marathon time continues to improve”.

You can support James by donating to his fundraising page at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesByfield.