Fridge runner needs scan for back problem

The Northern Echo: Tony 'The Fridge' Phoenix-Morrison Tony 'The Fridge' Phoenix-Morrison

A CHARITY ultra runner who ran the length of Britain with a fridge on his back is awaiting an emergency MRI scan to determine whether he has suffered spinal injuries.

Tony ‘The Fridge’ Phoenix-Morrison was unable to walk on Monday after completing Sunday’s Great North Run, just days after running over 1,000 miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

The Northern Echo: Tony Phoenix-Morrison, with his support team, completing his John O'Groats to Lands End run with a 42.5kg fridge on his back.

The 49-year-old, from Hebburn, was examined at South Shields General Hospital for a suspected fractured hip and taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital for tests after he was referred by his GP.

He said: “The problem was re-occurring during the challenge. I would be fine in the morning but I would run 18 miles then get a bit of numbness in my legs.

“That would get continually worse.”

He is now awaiting a scan to see if he has damaged his femoral nerve by carrying the 42.5kg fridge during the challenge during which he ran nearly marathon a day for 41 days.

He added: “The MRI scan will let them know if there are any spinal problems. I am seeing a spinal specialist because of the nerve problems I have had.”

Mr Phoenix-Morrison did his marathon effort to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation for cancer research and said he is undertaking the medical tests as a precaution but is feeling better already.

He said:” Because of the fact I am not wearing the weight everyday and not doing it continuously I am going to improve quickly.

“I am a very, very fit person and what people don’t realise is I trained for hundreds and hundreds of hours with kettle bells and weights and have ran everyday of the year before this challenge.

“It is the preparatory work that has got me through. I am an ordinary bloke but I have done an extraordinary amount of training for it.

“I have taken a bit of a pounding, but I am repairing very well and am in good nick.”

Mr Phoenix-Morrison has not ruled out undertaking even greater challenges in the future and is considering running 3,000 miles across America.

He said: “America is not out of the question as long as I have got good support and I have learned from the marathons. Plus I am bonkers, which helps a lot.”

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