A MAN from South Somerset has set himself an incredible running challenge after his dad died suddenly from heart failure.

Carl Hedges, from Merriott, is running 52 half marathons, 52 10ks and 52 5ks in 52 weeks to raise money for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

He is running in memory of his dad, Kevin Hedges, who was found dead by Carl's 12-year-old son in July 2019.

Charlie, Carl's son, found his grandfather in his London home just hours before he was set to move to Somerset to be closer to family.

“Dad had gone back to London to collect the last of his possessions before making the move to be closer to my wife and I and our children," said Carl.

"My son Charlie and I who was 12 at the time, went to pick him and help him bring over the last of his things.

“Charlie ran upstairs to see his beloved grandad, only to find him lifeless. I wish I could have protected my son from this image.

"This is an image that will live with us forever.

"If I could turn back time, I would never have left my dad, and it’s gutting that we never had our chance to say goodbye."

Chard & Ilminster News: RUNNING: Kevin, Charlie and Carl

Kevin suffered with a heart condition for 20 years, and had survived multiple heart attacks.

Carl's challenge is helping him cope with his dads passing.

Once he has completed the challenge, he will have covered more miles than the distance from London to Rome.

"It’s been a fantastic way to honour his memory and I feel that in some way I am being proactive in response to a situation I had no control over," he added.

"The process of his death was traumatic as paramedics and police were needed at his house. He also underwent a post-mortem.

“I started my series of challenges at the beginning of January 2021 and my aim is to finish before Christmas this year (December 2021).

"Most of my runs have been completely solo, running around the area that I live which gives me the headspace to think about my dad. Every run I do is for him.”

Chard & Ilminster News: IN MEMORY: Kevin, Carl's father

Carl has chosen to raise money for the BHF so other families don't have to go through the same heartbreak.

There are currently around 24,000 people living with heart and circulatory diseases in South Somerset and someone dies from these diseases in the area every 17 hours.

The BHF funds research to help discover breakthroughs so more lives can be saved.

So far, Carl has ran 748 miles and is on track to finish the challenge before Christmas.

To sponsor Carl visit justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-chappelle-hedges1.