A FORMER soldier from Andover has finished a mammoth cross-country challenge of running 15 marathons in 15 days in aid of charities close to his heart.

Dad-of-one Jordan Wylie ran through the 15 National Parks of England, Scotland and Wales in a bid to add to his £250,000 fundraising target.

While others were taking on the London Marathon the 35-year-old was tackling some 393 miles.

Starting off in the New Forest, Jordan worked his way across the UK, visiting the remote locations which acted as his running tracks.

“It was really tough, there were days I wanted to give up but it was a great experience.”

But on day eight, the challenge almost came to an end as Jordan was taken to Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, with respiratory issues and a chest infection.

“I probably massively underestimated what I was doing, I had only ever done one marathon and that was in Afghanistan.

“I really thought I was going to have to call it a day, but I got back on the road.”

Fortunately for Jordan he was given the all-clear by doctors and was able to carry on.

For the majority of the time Jordan was going it alone, running across hills, through picturesque fields and meeting ponies in the New Forest, but he was joined for some of the journeys by volunteers.

“I was by myself but I had invited members of the public to come along and run at some of the parks with me. It was great for me to see people some of the places were quite remote and there wasn’t anything around.”

Jordan was approached to carry out the challenge, which he concluded on April 28, as his fundraising missions often take him to far-flung destinations.

“People often think to have an adventure you have to go to the other side of the world, but there are incredibly beautiful places here in the UK which often you don’t get up and go to see.

“It was quite amazing to do, some of the National Parks I hadn’t been to and they are right on our doorstep.”

With two National Parks in Scotland, three in Wales and 10, in England Jordan travelled across Britain to get to his running tracks.

Jordan has taken medication for anxiety and depression in the past and this experience also spurred him on his latest fundraising mission.

He said: “I have always found running great for mental health, it is the best medication in the world. As someone who has taken medication for anxiety and depression there is no better way to do it than running through the National Parks.”

Money raised from the challenge will be added to Jordan’s Rowing Dangerously mission fund in which he will row unsupported across the Bab-El-Mandeb Strait, and funds will be donated to Frontline Children, Epilepsy Action and Seafarers UK.