Wiltshire Publications

Ultramarathon heartache for Westbury officer

Neil Turbull.

Neil Turbull.

A LOCAL police officer  fell just short of a 172-mile ultramarathon tour of Wiltshire Police Stations as he suffered from a severe case of cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin.

Neil Turnbull, a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) in Westbury, was about 130 miles and four days into his week-long challenge when intense pain and swelling, caused by cellulitis, forced him to stop and go to hospital. He was running a challenge to raise money for Help for Heroes and his support crew of Stacey Turnball, Jonathon Hoare, Cameron Venn, Joshua Venn and Megan Mounty stepped in to complete the final leg of the 172 mile course.

He started the ultramarathon at Alderbury Police Station, south of Salisbury,  on Wednesday 5th November, before ultimately having to stop when he reached Pewsey.

Neil, 49, who had been posting on Facebook throughout said, “After a trip to Chippenham Hospital I was diagnosed with cellulitis in both of my legs. Unfortunately it also tracked up into my knees as well. This left me with both ankles, both lower legs and both knees swollen and intensely painful. I heard the dreaded words from the doctor, “No more running.” My efforts on this journey were therefore over at 130 miles in four and a half days.

“Not the full distance that I had I anticipated, nor the full amount of days that I intended. It wasn’t my decision to stop, but that of a medical professional. I am many things and an idiot is not one of them – some, many even, may disagree with that comment! However, to defy the doctor’s instructions would have firmly placed me into the idiot bracket.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to all those who have supported me including Gav Hucks and Kerein Duncan for being foolish enough to follow me around the Wiltshire countryside and be my gophers for the week.

“Thanks also to Stacey Turnbull, Jonathon Hoare, Megan Mounty, Cameron Venn, and Joshua Venn, for running with me and/or instead of me. Thank you to Donna Mounty for her support through all the training and for being the voice of reason when I was at rock bottom.

“At present I have raised £405 which leaves me a bit short of my £1,000 target. So I have to look ahead to a new challenge to raise the remaining money. I do have something in mind that involves a bit of running again!”

If you would like to donate to Neil’s fundraising, go to www.bmycharity.com/neilturnbull. You can also  visit the challenge Facebook page by searching ‘The Far Side of Beyond’.