A WATCHET runner has completed an extraordinary challenge to raise money for a local charity at the age of 66.

In early 2020, Jan Hoare made a plan to run the South West Coast Path - 630 miles from Poole in Dorset, all the way round to Minehead in Somerset.

Unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic meant Jan's original plan could not go ahead.

But undeterred, Jan has been running the challenge 'virtually', covering the same distance she would have done on the coast path challenge, while remaining local to Somerset.

Jan finished her journey on Saturday in Minehead. Having added 10 Parkruns to her original target, she has covered a mammoth 660 miles in total.

Jan is running to raise money for the Watchet-based charity Elliot's Touch, which was set up by Paul and Donna Stevens after their 13-month-old son passed away from mitochondrial disease and cardiomyopathy in 2015.

Cardiomyopathy affects the heart muscle, compromising the organ’s ability to pump blood around the body, while mitochondrial disease is a rare genetic condition which can affect any organ, leaving cells unable to produce enough energy to work.

Events such as a silent disco, sponsored walks and cake competitions have all been held to raise money for research into the conditions, including the annual Elliot’s Touch 5km Fun Run set up by Paul and Donna in Watchet.

This new challenge hopes to raise an additional £10,000 for the charity.

After catching the running bug just over two years ago, Jan has been a regular face at the Minehead Saturday morning 5km running event, Parkrun, and runs regularly with groups including RED January and RunMummyRun.

"At the moment I need to find the fine line between gentle exercise and too much time spent on my feet," says Jan.

A Facebook page and Instagram account have been set up to follow Jan’s training schedule, complete with her anecdotal charm.

To find out more about Jan’s challenge on Facebook, visit facebook.com/JansCoastalAdventure, and for more information about Elliot’s Touch, visit elliotstouch.org.