A WOMAN has smashed her 24-hour target for running the length of the River Tyne.

Jen Lapping, of Hindley near Stocksfield, ran the challenging 93-route from the source of the Tyne at Kielder, to Tynemouth, where the river joins the North Sea.

And the 43-year-old reached the finish line at 8.30am on Sunday - one-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.

She stopped only a few times to change clothes and footwear, and to refuel on food and water.

“I enjoyed the whole thing,” said Jen, who ran through the night, and in energy-sapping temperatures during the day.

“I thought there might be points along the journey where I would feel horrible, or I’d be hallucinating. But that wasn’t the case at all. I never once felt like I wanted to stop.

Jen, the founder of the Jog on the Tyne running group, completed the challenge in nine stages, ranging from seven to 15.5 miles each.

She was joined by other runners who took on smaller sections to support her along the way.

“I was joined by lovely people,” said Jen. “I enjoyed chatting to them along the way and they looked after me. I couldn’t have done it without such great support.”

Jen took on the challenge to mark the 10th anniversary of Jog on the Tyne, and in doing so has raised over £2,000 for Josie’s Dragonfly Trust.

The group has supported the trust, which supports young people living with cancer, for the past five years.

Jen’s mammoth task was carefully planned, with the route taking her to Bellingham, Barrasford, Warden, Corbridge and Wylam.

She explained: “Jog on the Tyne is about encouraging everyone from beginners to elite runners, and this was a big challenge for me because I’m not an ultra runner. I needed people on hand to supply enough food and water to keep me going.

“During the journey I snacked on flapjack and pasta, but you never quite know what type of food your body wants. Towards the end of the run I was given lollipops, and they were just perfect.”

Jen met her son Denis (13) at the halfway point, at Warden, and other family members, including her other son George (8), and step daughters Charlotte (22) and Georgia (24) at the finish line. To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jennifer-lapping.