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Nell eats up the miles in African bush challenge

By David Young, PA

Published 23/04/2016

Nell English is ahead of schedule in her quest
Nell English is ahead of schedule in her quest

A Belfast woman aiming to run almost 500 miles (800km) across Zimbabwe is ahead of schedule after covering more than a marathon each day in the first week of her charity challenge.

Nell English is hoping to complete 17 marathons in 17 days in a solo run from Harare to Victoria Falls.

Apart from the distances, the 27-year-old is having to cope with temperatures in excess of 30C (86F) while being on the lookout for marauding lions or hyenas on dirt roads which run through bush terrain.

The Leeds University graduate grew up in the African country but as a teenager spent a lot of time in her mother's homeland of Northern Ireland. Ms English, who now calls Belfast home, is raising money for the Zimbabwe National Association for Mental Health.

"This run is enormously challenging," she said. "But I am so enjoying it and the cause makes it worthwhile."

For information on the charity run or to donate visit

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