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Greg Whyte OBE

Physical Activity Expert


14 February 2014Davina McCall finishes gruelling Sport Relief challenge

TV presenter Davina McCall has completed her gruelling 500-mile Sport Relief challenge, after seven days of physical endurance.

McCall, 46, ran a full marathon on Friday to reach her goal, outside London's Tate Modern.

Preparing for the run at the start of the day, she once again broke down in tears, telling BBC Breakfast: "I don't think I have ever cried this much."

The former Big Brother host has raised more than £760,000 so far.

Some of the donations will help people in areas affected by floods, Sport Relief confirmed on Friday.

McCall was joined on Friday's 27-mile run by several celebrity friends, including tennis legend Martina Navratilova, comedian Jo Brand, newsreader Sophie Raworth and DJs Chris Moyles and Nick Grimshaw.

Her husband, Matthew Robertson, drove alongside with their three children, shouting encouragement on the way to the finish line.

McCall was given encouragement by friend and comedian Jo Brand as she set off for London

She appeared on BBC Radio 1 around the 17-mile mark, where DJ Scott Mills asked how she had kept her mind off the pain.

"Sometimes I just can't take my mind off it, it's felt all-encompassing," she replied.

"I've had to literally talk to myself. I've gone to very dark places where I literally don't want to do it anymore, and I've been annoyed with myself and I've been angry."

"But I just know I'm going to finish it," she added, as her voice cracked.

She began the final stretch of her journey at Windsor Castle

Chris Moyles was among the celebrity friends who turned up to support McCall on the home leg

She crossed the finish line at 16:15 GMT, greeted by her husband, who put her wedding ring back on her finger.

Celebrating the end of her ordeal, the Million Pound Drop presenter said: "I can't believe it was me! Thank you to anybody that's donated, that's why I did it.

"The team that got me here, they just carried me through. And Matt and the doctors and the physios.

"My kids - I just hugged them, it was amazing! I've just got to stop crying!

"This challenge was for Sport Relief, it was for women and children living really hard lives, not just here but all over the world. It was a really important cause for me to be able to help other women."

McCall requires physiotherapy and thousands of calories - often at the same time

McCall has covered 500 miles over the last seven days

McCall endured gale force winds, driving rain and even snow on her journey from Edinburgh to London.

The public was won over by her resilience, with TV viewers seeing her sobbing and barely able to enter the water during a 1.5-mile (2.4km) swim across Windermere on Monday morning.

By the time she reached the far side, her body was limp and she had to be carried from the water.

Fighting exhaustion and the bitter cold, she then had to get back in the saddle for a further 65-mile cycle to Accrington.

Across the week, she has struggled to take in enough nutrition after losing her appetite, despite needing 8,000 calories a day to tackle the challenge.

The presenter cycled 77 miles on Thursday

A swim across Windermere on Monday almost proved too much for McCall

The presenter is following other celebrities who completed tough Sport Relief challenges, including writer and actor David Walliams who swam down the River Thames, contracting stomach bugs and developing wetsuit sores along the way.

Comic John Bishop did back-to-back marathon distance runs from Paris to London and was in great pain amid worries about stress fractures.

This year's Sport Relief takes place from 21-23 March.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26188493