FOUR Middlewich firefighters ran their first ever full marathon in their full uniforms to raise money for MIND and the Firefighter’s Charity.

Ashley Powell, Paul Leigh, Simon Calvert and Peter Daniel all took part in the event and they are now preparing for their next big challenge in six weeks.

Ashley Powell, aged 28, said: “This was our first full marathon. After 20 miles it became a challenge just keeping one foot in front of the other. It was definitely the hardest thing we have ever done.

“We have done the half marathon in our full gear before but this was much more challenging.”

The firefighters have raised just under £700 on their just giving page and this will be staying open until the half marathon which takes place on Sunday, May 19.

Ashley said: “We have raised a lot of money. We also had our collection buckets with is during the marathon and we have not counted it yet but we think there is about £250 to £300 there so we are delighted with that.

“It is challenging and the first thing you want to do at the end is get out of the gear but it is just pure elation when you cross the finish line.”

The four fighters are now preparing to run the Manchester half marathon in their uniforms but they will take this challenge on with breathing apparatus as well.

Ashley did reveal that it was quite difficult for them to stay together during the event.

Ashley said: “We stayed together for the most part but we did have to split off in pairs at times due to how busy it was.

“It worked out well because it meant we could get more in the collection buckets.”

Ashley was one of the firefighters that took part in the half marathon last year which saw their collection buckets stolen after the event.

After a big effort from the community the four firefighters ended up raising more money than what was stolen.

For more information and to donate visit the Just Giving page.