A FORMER international Strongman is running 48 marathons in 48 counties in 48 days to raise money for a charity close to his heart.

John Clark, 34, is fundraising for the Miles4Meals charity to help children living in food poverty.

He set up the charity himself after his family struggled to survive on benefits after his roofer father Alan broke his back and shattered his foot in a fall after scaffolding collapsed.

Mr Clark said: “I grew up in a household with a disabled father and a mother who was his full-time carer.

"We lived in food poverty, reliant on government support to make ends meet.

“I understand the difficulties families face and the hard choices that need to be made with minimal budgets available for basic living expenses.

"I hope to make a difference, so others don’t have to experience the same as I did.”

Now based in Worcester, Mr Clark was crowned Britain’s Natural Strongest Man in 2015 and 2016.

When injury curtailed his strongman career, the former Malvern rugby union player from Ripon took up triathlon training, with the aim of becoming an Ironman triathlete.

The Miles4Meals charity, which he set up in May this year, works with the Trussell Trust, campaigning to end hunger and destitution and supporting more than 1,200 food banks in the UK.

Mr Clark, a former Ripon Grammar School student, will start his challenge in Northumberland on July 5, passing through the North-East and North Yorkshire and will eventually arrive in Worcestershire on August 21.