VETERAN athlete Lee Charles swapped the variety of his usual triathlon challenges for a straight 100 mile ultra run - to raise money for a blood cancer charity.

Lee, 43, of Derwent Drive, Maidenhead was inspired to do the South Downs 100k run after the three-year-old son of a good friend was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia.

He ran it to raise money for the charity DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support), which campaigns to increase the number of potential life saving blood stem cell donors.

Lee joined a large team of enthusiastic fund raising runners on Saturday, June 11, all taking part in the South Downs 100 mile run from Winchester to Eastbourne - organised by the Centurian Running organisation.

He said: "My old schoolfriend Richard Ferriman has a three year old son George who has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer called acute myeloid leukaemia, which affects less than 100 children in the UK.

"I could see the effect it had on his life and how it affected his family. I wanted to do what little bit I could to support him and others like him."

In the past Lee has been a keen competitor in Iron Man triathlons, undertaking 3.8k swims, 180k bike rides and a marathon in one day - taking part in them as far afield as Hawaii, New Zealand, Germany and France.

But he enjoyed the more straightforward South Downs run, saying: "It was a lovely way to see the countryside but rather lumpy.

"We all ended up climbing 12,700 feet during the run."

About 260 runners took part and 200 finished. Lee managed his run in just under 22 hours with just brief breaks to rehydrate and take in much needed sustenance. He raised a grand total of £1,500.

Lee runs his own IT recruitment company. He is married to Carina and the couple have two sons Archie, four and Connor, 12.

He does not have to worry about justifying his enthusiasm to his wife.

He said: "On our honeymoon he both took part in an Iron Man triathlon in New Zealand."

You can find Lee's Just Giving address on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lee-charles 2