Born to run in the USA - Tom’s 3,000 mile epic challenge to help recovering addicts

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A recovering alcoholic has completed an epic 3,000-mile run across America to raise awareness of addiction.

Doctors warned Tom Fitzsimons, 38, not to attempt the 33-mile-a-day run because he suffers from potentially fatal heart condition long-QT syndrome.

But Mr Fitzsimons, who once drank 20 pints a day before turning his life around, has succeeded in the challenge.

He battled through temperatures of over 40C and altitudes up to 10,000 ft in the 100-day run from San Francisco to New York.

He began the Run 4 Sobriety in May to help raise awareness of the need for more support for alcoholics.

Mr Fitzsimons said: “I’m immensely proud to have achieved something like this.

“It’s been a really tough three months.”

Mr Fitzsimons regularly drank 60 units of alcohol a day – 15 times the recommended safe limit – at the height of his addiction.

He lost jobs, relationships and thousands of pounds in savings, and walked from his first attempt at rehab to the nearest pub.

But he began turn his life around after his partner Zoe said she would leave him, and took part in a 10k run to help get himself sober.

Now Mr Fitzsimons is one of fewer than 100 people to have completed the run, which crosses two time zones through California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri. He was accompanied by his brother Sean, 30, who drove alongside him during the run.

He said: “We deliberately chose the toughest route possible. Temperatures reached 47C.

“My feet have grown two-and-a-half sizes from the impact of running. The blisters were just horrendous.”

Mr Fitzsimons also carried a sobriety coin from a former addict he met in America to the end of the run.

He added: “It was a big honour to do that. I want people to know there are a lot of recovering addicts and we should be celebrating them, not putting them down.”