AN occupational therapist at the Countess of Chester Hospital has run an outstanding 181km in under 34 hours in honour of NHS staff who have sadly died during the coronavirus crisis.

Melanie Edwards, 38, decided to run one kilometre for all the 181 NHS workers who have sadly died of coronavirus during the pandemic to raise money for the Countess Charity.

That meant running the equivalent of just under 112 miles, or over four marathon distances, setting off on Monday, June 1 at 6.30am.

To make matters more difficult, Melanie – who lives in Brymbo – was unable to travel far from her home due to the current Welsh Government coronavirus lockdown measures.

She settled on running numerous loops of a trail path near the old Brymbo Steelworks site.

Making the run even more challenging was the intense heat, as Melanie explained how she coped in temperatures which hit 25C.

She said: "It was very hard, especially with the heat. Over the course of Monday it was really demanding.

"The evening and overnight it was much nicer, but Tuesday was very tough. It had its ups and downs.

"One of my friends surprised me by bringing me food and breakfast, and then brought me an ice lolly."

Melanie added: "I live outside Wrexham and obviously guidance is quite strict, so I had to stay local. In the end it was laps of the old Steelworks in Brymbo, using a trail path, as I knew there'd be shade and it wasn't busy.

"I had a short break every 20km, with food parked in my car nearby. At 75km I had a longer break and headed home to put a packet of frozen blueberries on my head, and rested for an hour, then carried on, taking breaks every 20km.

"I had a one-hour nap at home and finished on Tuesday."

In the end, Melanie completed the 181km in 33 hours and 59 minutes.

Speaking about life at the Countess of Chester Hospital currently, Melanie said: "It's a very tough environment. People are working in very difficult areas, working with PPE.

"One of the hardest things is people not being allowed to visit; it's upsetting for families not coming in and for the patients.

"We have had staff members hospitalised with the virus, and quite a lot of people have lost colleagues [in the NHS]."

Melanie is "really pleased" she has already smashed her £500 fundraising target on Justgiving, and is now hoping to raise £1,000 if people are able to donate.