Former Southampton FC legend Francis Benali is now over half-way through his amazing challenge to visit all 44 Premier League and Championship grounds in 14 days. As you read this he will have visited 26 stadiums and covered 800 gruelling miles all in aid of raising £1 million for Cancer Research UK.
It hasn’t been easy and the combination of running 26 miles a day and cycling 75 miles a day have certainly taken their toll on the man both physically and mentally. A hamstring injury early in the challenge didn’t help, but such is Benali’s focus and attitude to completing the challenge, that it means he will not let this faze him.
I was lucky enough to be part of the support team on day one and it’s worth mentioning how much the success of the challenge is dependent on his team. Franny is flanked by his family, friends, a physio, route manager and more and they all contribute to making sure he reaches St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton on 16h October.
Even Saints legends Matt Le Tissier and Gordon Watson have lent a hand. The last leg of his challenge sees him run the 5 miles from Lower Swanwick to St Mary’s Stadium all in time to relax and enjoy Saints take on Burnley in the Premier League.
Its not late to support the challenge so please visit http://www.benalisbigrace.com/#home for more information on the challenge and on how you can donate.