THE MP for Torfaen has completed the #516 challenge, raising money for two charities in the process, with a month to spare.

Nick Thomas-Symonds signed for the 516km athletic challenge earlier in the year and chose to support the Bowel Cancer UK and Motor Neurone Disease charities.

Although the challenge allows participants to run, walk, swim or row, the MP ran 516km – the equivalent of running Torfaen's Afon Lwyd trail more than 20 times – in 11 months.

He completed the task on Wednesday, November 22 – a month and nine days before the deadline of Sunday, December 31.

Mr Thomas-Symonds said: "I am thrilled to have completed the #516 challenge and thoroughly enjoyed pushing myself to run the 516 kilometres required to complete it.

"The #516 challenge was designed to raise awareness and money for Bowel Cancer and MND, both are charities that I feel passionately about and indeed have supported for many years, and the work that Mary Davies does for this cause is highly commendable."

Mary Davies, the challenge co-founder, said: "We are extremely proud that Nick Thomas-Symonds has taken part in our challenge and even more so that he has achieved his goal.

"The work of the 516 challenge team is to raise awareness and money for MNDA and Bowel Cancer UK, and with Nick's help, we are achieving this goal.

"Every mile/km makes a difference and every participant can be instrumental in changing the outcomes for those diagnosed in the future."

Figures from the Motor Neurone Disease charity states that there are 132 people living with the condition in south Wales and Bowel Cancer UK statistics reveal that nearly 16,000 people die each year from the disease, making it the second largest cancer killer.

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