Not many people can say they’ve run the equivalent of the length of the equator – and David Gill made sure he marked the milestone in style, by physically finishing the final mile on the equator itself.

This epic challenge was all in aid of us, as a thank you for the support he’s received over the years.

David, now 62, was a firefighter with South Yorkshire FRS for 11 years, before moving to the Highlands and Islands in Scotland, where he eventually retired in 2012.

Having always been a keen runner, David began thinking of a way he could combine it with his travels to see as much of the place he was visiting as possible.

During an eight-month trip to Australia in 2015 with his wife, David set himself the challenge of running eight miles every day – for the duration of his time there – and that’s where his mammoth fundraiser began.

“To make sure I saw as much of the country that I could, I would run 8 miles every morning. I ran through towns, cities, deserts, rain forests, the Outback and beaches and I saw some amazing sites,” says David.

“When I got home to the UK I decided to keep running every day for a year which I did. After I had completed a full year, I set my sight on running for 1,000 days.”

David went on to up that goal to 2,000 days and allowed himself to only miss one day for the purpose of travel – as long as he did two runs the previous day to make up for it. And he never once broke the rule.

“I have always loved to travel and I have always wanted to visit the equator so the thought came to me, around the 1,200 mark, that I ought to work out how long it would take me to run the distance of the equator – 24,901 miles,” says David.

“With that in mind I set myself the task of running the equator, and at 2,000 runs, I knew I could do it.”

David would have been due to complete the miles by December this year, but keen to hit the milestone on November 27 – exactly eight years after he started – he upped the daily mileage and managed it.

Not only that, he travelled to the Island of Borneo for his final runs, where the equator passes through near the city of Pontianak – and had support from locals there throughout.

To celebrate the achievement, David’s wife, Wendy, was waiting for him to return to the hotel after his final run to present him with a medal that his daughter’s family had had made for him.

So far, David has raised more than £1,200 for us, with that figure still rising, and he says it’s his thank you for the support he’s received.

“I used to be a coal miner before I joined the fire service and I hurt my back. Ever since I’ve suffered with bouts of sciatica,” he explains.

“Twice I’ve been to Jubilee House in Penrith and it’s been fantastic both times.

“In my job in Scotland, we had a massive retained service and as an officer, I pointed a couple of people through to the Charity while they were on long-term sickness. For them, many would be working two or three jobs to make ends meet, so they needed to get back to work as soon as possible.”

What an incredible achievement! To support David’s fundraiser, click here.