Running 1,000 miles in 30 days

Carrying everything they need on their backs, three friends from England are setting out to run 39 marathons across eastern Europe.

Tom, Rob and Guy ran the Marathon des Sables last year and were looking for another challenge. "Where do you go from there?" asks Tom. "Then someone said, 'Run 1,000 miles'. And the idea was born."

The three friends are running from Odessa in Ukraine to Dubrovnik in Croatia in 30 days, to raise awareness of child trafficking and to raise £150,000 for the charity Love146. The money will enable Love146 to build a home in the UK to provide specialist aftercare to victims of child trafficking.

The run – the equivalent of 39 marathons in 30 days – will take in nine different countries and pass through some of eastern Europe's most remote terrain, without the assistance of support vehicles or medical aid. The three men will carry everything they need, sleeping where they can and finding food and water along the way.

"What really inspires us is the idea that people will join us at various points along the way, Forrest Gump-style," says Tom. If that sounds like your idea of fun, it's not too late to sign up on their website and jet out to join them for a spot of extreme fundraising over the next month. The aim is to arrive in Dubrovnik on 3 May.

Only days before they set off, I asked Tom what his biggest concern was at this late stage. "The cold," he said. "We hadn't imagined Europe would be this cold in April. Some nights the plan is to sleep outside in bivvy bags. I'm terrified about the weather."

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