A GRUELLING running challenge led to a trio of fundraisers collecting more than £4,500 for Harlawhill Day Care Centre.

Gus Hillhouse, Craig MacDonald and Scott Thomson completed the challenge, which saw them run four miles every four hours for 48 hours last weekend.

In doing so, they collected thousands of pounds for the day care centre, with a small welcoming party greeting them on Sunday evening.

Gus said: “I think a small part of me enjoyed it!

“The other boys would agree that part of us did enjoy it.

“It is a good challenge but I would not rush to do it again!

“The mental side was as tough as I thought it would be but physically I managed to deal with it better than I thought I would have.

“We just prepared well for it and did the right things in the time in between each run to make it as easy as possible.”

All three of the Port Seton residents play rugby for local club Preston Lodge.

Running together, they set off on the Friday evening and completed four miles every four hours in a challenge created by former Navy Seal David Goggins.

Gus, 22, said running in a group of three, covering routes in the town as well as along the coast, meant they could help each other when the going got tough.

He said: “The first 4am run for me was tough.

“I had fallen into a bit of a sleep before it and woke up thinking ‘if this is the first night, what’s the second going to be like?’

“The second night I was in a routine so it was easier for me.”

Together, the trio raised more than £4,600 for the day care centre on Prestonpans’ East Loan.

Gus added: “I was a bit stiff on the Monday and slept quite a fair bit as well.

“The day after and the Wednesday, I was quite surprised, I think we were all back at training with the rugby club on the Tuesday and I thought I was going to be like a zombie for a week but I think the extra food we ate meant we were maybe a bit better than we thought. The challenge was tough but I am glad we did it.”

Fiona Mitchell, manager at the day care centre, described the trio’s efforts as “inspirational”.

She had gone out on each of the three days to see the runners and was there for them at the finish line.

She said: “We open on May 3 in limited numbers and we are going to make up for all the things they missed. We are going to have a Christmas week, a Hallowe’en week and everything that was missed.

“Their money will pay for beautiful meals and a silent disco so they [day centre clients] can enjoy being young.”

To sponsor the trio, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GusHillhouse1