A FUNDRAISER has gone the extra mile and then some for a charity.

Rob Spencer was one of hundreds of participants in the 2018 Race to the King event, which saw entrants run, jog or walk from the Slindo Estate in Slindon National Park, through the South Downs Way, in West Sussex, and finish 53.5 miles later at the statue of King Alfred in Winchester.

Rob was running under the banner of the Wote Street-based Merit Group and was flying the flag for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is raising £5m towards a new cancer treatment centre in Basingstoke and is Merit’s Charity of the Year.

Completing the gruelling challenge in 10 hours and 18 minutes, Rob was the 44th runner to cross the finish line on June 23.

Rob, with the help of the Merit Group team, has raised £2,700 for Ark so far.

The 31-year-old said: “The furthest I had ever run prior to this event was a marathon, so from mile 26 onwards, it was all new territory to me. I had to dig deep both in body and mind to keep going.

“I am extremely proud of my achievement and time, and it was an honour to run for Merit Group and on behalf of Ark. It is great to support a local charity and to contribute to raising funds for the charity as well as awareness of the cancer treatment centre project.

Rob added: “I spent four months training and preparing for this event, and had to overcome injuries on the way. I am so grateful to my partner Gemma for her wonderful support, and also to the Merit Group team for helping with the fundraising and spreading the word through social media. Race to the King was a well-organised event and it really pushed me to my limits. I am just glad that I was able to rise to the challenge.”

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications at the charity, said: “Congratulations to Rob on completing this awesome achievement. Race to the King is a really challenging event, and everyone at Ark is grateful to him for really going the extra mile for the charity.

“Rob has put so much time and effort into training, and it is great that he has been rewarded with some super fundraising support."

“The Merit Group team are great supporters of Ark Cancer Centre Charity, and Rob has certainly done himself and both organisations proud.”

Anyone who wants to sponsor Rob can do so by going to https://bit.ly/2smHPJY.