Vernon Kay completes Children in Need 116 mile ultra marathon

BBC Radio 2 presenter Vernon Kay has completed his ultra-marathon for Children in Need, having raised £4.1m for the charity.

The DJ ran from Leicester to Bolton – a distance of 116 miles – over four days.

Speaking to Radio 2 breakfast host Zoe Ball as he reached the finish line, Kay described it as “one of the most painful and joyous experiences I’ve ever had”.

He added jokingly: “Is there anyone here who can replace a knee?”

Kay has regularly been appearing live on Radio 2 to update listeners on his progress since he started the marathon on Tuesday.

“I’m absolutely exhausted, absolutely spent, physically, mentally,” Kay said as he crossed the finish line just before 10:15 GMT.

The presenter stopped off at some local landmarks in his hometown of Bolton, including his old school, St Joseph’s RC High School in Horwich near Bolton, before reaching the finish line.

“I’m so glad I went to St Joseph’s first because that was a real boost,” Kay said. “It just really elevates you… that’s the pick-me-up I needed.”

He told Ball: “It’s been one of the most painful and joyous experiences I’ve ever had. People we’ve met along away. We’ve met some brilliant people who’ve donated all they can.

“It was just one foot in front of the other, that’s what it was, and we’ve had a great team who’ve been absolutely brilliant, pushing me along and motivating me.”

Kay joined the station as the new mid-morning host in May, following the departure of Ken Bruce.

Earlier on Friday, Kay joked that the rain had started just as he was heading for the finish line.

“We get to God’s country, the beautiful sun is rising as I turn to my left and the rain is falling at a constant pace, I can’t believe it. Can you believe it? We’ve done all them miles and we get eight miles away from Bolton and it starts chucking it down,” he said.

Children in Need, the BBC charity which helps improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people around the UK, will see actor Lenny Rush, 14, become its first-ever child presenter when the fundraiser airs on Friday.

The Bafta-winning actor will be joined by Ade Adepitan, Mel Giedroyc, Jason Manford, Chris Ramsey and Alex Scott for the three-hour live show.

The televised appeal starts at 19:00 GMT on BBC One.

• Vernon Kay attended He attended St Joseph’s RC High School and then spent two years at St John Rigby RC College, Orrell and eventually graduated in environmental science at Manchester Metropolitan University. On 12th September 2003, Kay married Tess Daly at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Horwich. Together, they have two daughters, born in 2004  and 2009.

In an interview with the Guardian in 2004, Kay said: “I believe in God. I’m Catholic. I’ve had 18 years growing up, saying prayers every morning, every afternoon, every evening, every dinner. Me and God have this Vern-God relationship going on.”