A parish councillor who committed to a strict training plan has said he is "proud" to have passed the finish line at the Manchester half marathon this weekend, raising hundreds of pounds for charity in the process.

Lee Navesey, who is the chairman of Shaw and Crompton Parish Council, ran the race on Sunday (October 15) after months of gruelling training and determination. 

The mega event saw a record-breaking 16,500 participants run the 13.1-mile route through Trafford, Sale, Stretford and parts of Manchester city centre while spectators, DJs, charity groups and residents lined the perimeters to spur on the runners.

Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to The Oldham Times’ morning and evening newsletters as well as our breaking news alerts 

But for Cllr Navesey, who had no prior running experience before committing to the challenge, it was raising more than £700 for his chosen charities that put the spring in his step to cross the finish line in an impressive two hours and 56 minutes.

Speaking to The Oldham Times, the 57-year-old said it was "truly a fantastic day" and he was overcome with a "profound sense of accomplishment" when he completed it.

For months prior to the big day, he said his routine was "gruelling", waking up at 4.45am to hit the gym for an intense workout before heading back out to his full-time job as a bricklayer in Manchester - and then back to the gym after work to swim 50 lengths in the pool.

Cllr Navesey continued: "My journey began in June and I knew it would be both a physical and mental test.

"During this time, I managed to shed two stone, primarily due to a strict diet of boiled chicken, rice and broccoli, lovingly prepared by my wife, Lisa.

"My determination was unwavering."

Despite only ever running 5km during his training, and has been healing from injuries sustained in a crash four years ago, he said he also "squeezed" in road runs around his neighbourhood in Shaw "whenever I had spare time".

He even said he also discovered the benefits of an ice plunge to alleviate growing aches and pains and invested in one at home.

Initially, his daughter Demilee Morgan planned on tackling the half marathon with him but faced significant time constraints as a mother of four and despite fitting in some treadmill sessions, suffered a knee injury just a month before the event when on a five-mile run.

Although she believed it had healed, Cllr Navesey said she struggled on race day and insisted he continued without her "as she wanted me to achieve my best time".

The mother then had to stop - still at an impressive 8.2 miles in - due to the torn ligaments in her knee.

Cllr Navesey continued: "I rang her when I got over the line and she was shedding tears of happiness as she was thrilled I had done it.

"She is my partner in adventure.

"A surge of pride and excitement washed over me when I crossed the finish line.

"I never imagined I could participate in such a challenging event, especially considering the life-threatening injuries I endured in a hit-and-run accident in 2019."

The chairman said he selected three local charities to support - the Royal British Legion Shaw and Crompton Branch, Dovetales Christian Centre and Rainbow Trust Children's Charity.

So far, completing the half marathon has seen a whopping £700 go into the pot but Cllr Navesey said he will continue to fundraise for all three causes throughout his term - and he is already looking for his next challenge once he recovers.

Donations can be made to the Councillor's fundraising pot by visiting his JustGiving page by searching for 'Lee Navesey'.  

If you have a story, I cover all things Oldham from food reviews and local business news to music and events, pubs, education, crime, property, health, community concerns and much more. Please email me at Olivia.bridge@newsquest.co.uk or send me a message on Twitter @Livbridge with your news.