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VIDEO: Moray runner showered with love after running 5,100 miles round UK coast

More than 100 well-wishers formed a tunnel of willow branches to welcome home a campaigner from a phenomenal 5,100-mile run round the coast of the UK.

Simon Clark, from Findhorn, set off from the Moray village on Easter Sunday last year on the epic journey despite having only run one marathon in his life.

And yesterday, on his 58th birthday, the architect powered through the entrance of the Findhorn Foundation before breaking into tears.

A band of drummers sang “we love you Simon” while beating rhythms as the runner made his way into the park before triumphantly shaking his fundraising bucket.

Musicians then led the crowd, who had supported the runner on his journey, in a chorus of the Beatles hit “With a little help from my friends”.

Last night, while clutching a well-earned ice cream, Mr Clark revealed a Christmas present had inspired the amazing journey.

He said: “I was given a copy of ‘A little run round the world’ and I just thought I have to do this – by the end of it I had decided I had to run round the UK.

“If there was ever a time of an influence coming along at exactly the right time, then that was it.

“There were a lot of emotions going on at the time and it just seemed like the thing to do.”

Mr Clark ran between 15 and 25 miles a day during the 15-month journey – wearing through eight pairs of shoes on the way.

In that time the architect also found time to continue working on designing buildings using the laptop he carried in his rucksack – even taking a detour to one of the projects he is working on in Herefordshire.

The only other items carried on his back were extra layers of clothes as well as a sleeping bag and bivvy bag, used for sleeping in the wilderness.

Remarkably he wore the same pink t-shirt for the entire trip – and yesterday Mr Clark joked that he smelt like it too.

He said: “I managed to work from Tenerife when I was on holiday so I knew I was able to work on the road.

“I was able to finance myself through working while I made my way round and bought the best kit, which was lightweight.

“It’s pointless to carry food too, it’s just extra weight. I spent most of my time in cafes.”

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