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'Mr Happy' finishes 1,000-mile run

Press Association - Sun, May 8th 2011

Andy Jackson, dressed as Mr Happy, has completed a 1,000-mile run. He has defied some of the warmest spring temperatures the UK has ever seen to complete a 1,000-mile run from John O'Groats to Lands' End - dressed as the Mr Men character Mr Happy.

Andy Jackson, 26, ran the gruelling distance in 71 days, running at an average of 22 miles a day, including the London Marathon on April 17, to raise money for the Children with Leukaemia charity.

As he finished in Cornwall on Sunday, he admitted that the warm temperatures and dry weather seen in March, April and now May, had made the run even more gruelling than it would have been as a normal runner.

"It is a hell of a long way and I'm feeling very happy at the moment," Mr Jackson said, minutes after crossing the finishing line at Great Britain's most westerly point.

"It's hard enough to run this as a normal runner but obviously wearing the suit made it especially hard, I was getting very dehydrated.

"I don't feel tired at the moment, that will come later. I feel just the opposite, I feel energised."

Mr Jackson was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 18 and ran his first marathon weeks before his life-saving bone marrow transplant.

He later astounded doctors by producing his first "healthy" blood cells in record time. But days after he left hospital he was dealt another hammer blow when his mother died of cancer.

His journey down the length of Great Britain started on February 27 and he has received messages of support from people including former England rugby international Will Greenwood and Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie.

Mr Jackson's 1,074-mile route took him through major cities, visited famous landmarks and attractions. While running he took on various challenges including skiing at Aviemore Ski Resort, curling at the Youth World Championships and putting at Gleneagles golf course.

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