A FORMER Somerset newspaper reporter has become the first person to ever run the 299-mile Macmillan Way.

Laura Briggs, who used to work for the County Gazette and sister papers the Bridgwater Mercury and Chard and Ilminster News, covered the distance in just under seven days, raising £6,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The running advocate, also known as Somerset’s Running Mayor, took on the epic fundraising challenge after being inspired by her friend, Mo Laughton, aged 47, who is receiving palliative care for cancer and has been supported by Macmillan.

After achieving the record, Laura, from Somerton, said: “I can’t believe I did it.

"It was one of the hardest things I have done, but I’m so proud to have made it to the end.

"Seeing my family and friends cheering me on at the finish was very special.

“I love running, and I've always wanted to run a challenge for a good reason.

"I couldn't really think of a better reason than to raise awareness and funds for the charity that has supported my friend Mo and her family through the most difficult time of their lives.”

The Macmillan Way runs from Boston in Lincolnshire to Abbotsbury in Dorset following existing footpaths and occasionally joining short lengths of national paths.

The route was devised to raise awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support. And, although many people have walked it, nobody has officially run it until now.

The mum-of-two and PR director was supported by her husband and fellow runner Guy, local businesses and sports specialists.

Laura added: “I had hoped to raise £5,000, so I’m blown away to have raised over £6,500 and counting. Thank you to everyone who has supported me.”

Genevieve Drinkwater, Macmillan’s senior fundraising manager in the South West, said: “We are in awe of what Laura has achieved, setting a record by becoming the first ever person to run the Macmillan Way.

"Laura you are truly amazing, and your friend Mo must be so proud. We cannot thank Laura and her supporters enough for raising such a huge sum for people living with cancer.”

If you would to find out more and show your support visit ustgiving.com/fundraising/briggsy1 and for comprehensive cancer information and support visit www.macmillan.org.uk.

READ MORE: Laura Briggs's marathon run to support Mo Laughton.