A DETERMINED runner has pushed through the pain barrier to raise more than £13,000 in memory of a close friend.

Chris Greco ran more than 250 miles in seven days, reaching the finish line at Hallhill Sports Centre on June 19 – what would have been Adam Cheetham’s 40th birthday.

Coming into the final stages of his gruelling run, which took him from Oldham – Adam’s hometown – to Dunbar, Chris was shocked by the large turnout cheering him on.

He said: “It was pretty surreal; I was not expecting that.

“We did not realise how many folk would turn out.

“It was Father’s Day as well and I thought there would not be that many folk.

“I did not really know what to do – it was quite overwhelming.

“I was running and everybody was clapping and cheering.”

Chris and Adam had been teammates at Dunbar Cricket Club, with Adam also a prolific striker for Dunbar United.

The postman lost his life when he was just 27 years old, having previously been diagnosed with melanoma.

After surgery and radiotherapy, he was given the all clear.

Unfortunately, Adam was diagnosed with cancer again in July 2009 and passed away less than six months later.

Chris took on the run in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of his friend, who still has family living in Dunbar.

He said: “It was tough.

“I would say the first two or three days I was starting to doubt myself.

“I had a few tough days and wondered: ‘What am I doing?’

“But the guys who were with me kept me right, had a stern talk with me and got me through it. It ended up that the last few days were quite enjoyable!”

Day one saw Chris set off from Oldham to Bradford, with the following day taking him north to Kirklington.

The third day saw him run to Newton Aycliffe, before Chris was joined by brother Darren and Adam’s brother Mark in running to Gosforth.

Then it was on to Alnmouth before the penultimate day took Chris, who lives in Dunbar, to Berwick-upon-Tweed and then the final leg back north of the Border.

He described those who joined him on the run as being like “parents” as they ensured he took on the necessary calories to recover.

He said: “Without them, I probably would not have managed to make it through the mental side of things.

“The body is amazing and starts adapting and you say to yourself you feel fine.”

With the finish line reached, Chris was pleased to say that the fundraising total was above £11,000, with Gift Aid boosting that total to more than £13,000.

The 37-year-old said: “My target was £3,000 and it is unbelievable the way everybody in Dunbar reacted and folk further beyond as well.

“It is pretty amazing from everyone.”

To donate to Chris’s challenge, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-greco4