Franny Benali is finally heading south towards home after seven gruelling days running and cycling on Benali’s Big Race.
But although he’s heading south Franny still has another week of the challenge and has appealed to Daily Echo readers to help him reach his £1million fundraising target for Cancer Research UK, before his return to St Mary’s next Sunday.
The former Saints footballer is running a marathon and cycling more than 70 miles every day on the 14 day challenge which takes in 44 Premiership and Championship football grounds.
“Yesterday we reached the furthest point from home on the challenge with a great welcome at Newcastle United and then at Sunderland and Middlesborough,’’ said Franny.
He was greeted by former Pompey star Kevin Ball at Sunderland and Neil Maddison at Middlesborough. Neil said Franny had always been one of the fittest players he knew and paid tribute to his efforts on the event.
Franny admitted that the challenge is taking a toll on his body with hilly terrain on Friday proving extremely tough.
He’s been suffering with a hamstring issue all week and that has now been joined by an Achilles problem. “It wasn’t so bad on the bike today but I could feel it on every step of the marathon,’’ said Franny before heading off for an ice bath.
“It’s great to be heading south but there is still so far to go and I’m really hoping that Daily Echo readers can dig deep to help Cancer Research UK. Every pound donated motivates me to keep going.”
Today’s route takes in Hull and Monday sees a particularly busy day with visits to football grounds in Leeds, Huddersfield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Sheffield.
For ore details visit benalisbigrace.com. To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/benalisbigrace or text Fran to 70200 to donate £5.