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Dartford manager Alan Dowson raises money for the club by completing a marathon distance around the Princes Park pitch

Dartford manager Alan Dowson completed his marathon challenge around the Princes Park pitch last week - but admitted it took its toll.

Dowson had to walk the 26.2 miles - or 140 laps of the pitch - due to injuries and that meant his challenge took him over nine hours. He was so tired afterward that he had to sit out that evening’s training session.

With £3,000 raised, it was still a worthwhile exercise, with the funds going to the Dartford FC Supporters Association who in turn will use the money to support all areas of the football club throughout the coming season.

“I was knackered - I felt terrible,” admitted the 53-year-old manager after Thursday’s challenge.

“Christian (Jolley, assistant manager) had to do the training on Thursday. I tried to get out there but I was hopeless!

“It is done now and I am glad. The ladies’ teams, the boys and our own team should make some money out of it, so I am quite pleased with it.

“I had to walk a lot of it because I have a bad calf and a bad hip but that made it worse as it took nine hours. I have run a marathon before in four and a half/five hours but because I was walking it it took nine and a half.

“I started at half 8, you’re not eating, you dehydrate and I found it hard, to be honest, it was difficult, but good for the club.”

Alan Dowson walked 26.2 miles around the Princes Park pitch last week Picture: Keith Gillard
Alan Dowson walked 26.2 miles around the Princes Park pitch last week Picture: Keith Gillard

By the early part of this week the official crowdfunding page had his money raised as 85% towards a target figure of £3,000 but a bucket collection on Saturday at the game against Gillingham took him just shy of the total.

As promised, one of his former players Ben Gerring was among those sponsoring him, adding £200 to the total after Dowson agreed to start the challenge wearing a Teletubby outfit.

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