A COTSWOLD man with Parkinson’s has run almost 1,000 miles for charity.

Neil Russell, from Bourton, is due to arrive in Barcelona this afternoon, having run 920 miles from London to the Spanish city.

The 65-year-old is hoping to arrive in time for the opening of the World Parkinson’s Congress, which will see 5,000 delegates from 60 countries gather at the Barcelona International Convention Centre.

“Parkinson’s affects every part of my life, but it is not stopping me doing what I want to do,” said Mr Russell.

“I’m running from London to Barcelona because I still can.”

Mr Russell set off on the daunting run on May 25.

Having run through France and over the Pyrenees, he crossed the border into Spain at Le Perthus over the weekend.

He is due to arrive in Barcelona at 2pm today (June 30).

Accompanying him along the way has been his wife, Nicky, in the family camper van, their seven-year-old Labrador, Oscar, and experienced cyclist, Katie Miller.

“I’m so glad to have come through the Pyrenees,’ Mr Russell added.

“Those mountain roads just kept going up and seemed never-ending.

“This journey has been tough but I have a wonderful team with me on the road and the messages from home have been so uplifting.”

Mrs Russell added: "Neil is amazing. I don’t know how he does it at all, let alone with the Parkinson’s issues he has and I’m not sure he does either.

"He’s doing so well. There have been some back, hamstring and glute issues but I give him a daily sports massage and his morning stretching exercises have helped immensely.

"We’ve been up at 3.30am to start running at 4.30am to beat the heat. Apart from the very steep hills, he’s run the whole way."

Among those who have supported Neil’s run is broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, the former host of Newsnight and University Challenge who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2021.

He called Neil "an inspiration".

Mr Paxman added: "He shows that having Parkinson’s need not be a barrier in life."

It's not the first time Mr Russell has taken on such a challenge.

Two years ago, he completed the 900-mile journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End, much of it with a broken bone in his right ankle.

His run to Barcelona is supported by Parkinson’s UK and Cure Parkinson’s and sponsored by Imagine Cruising.

He is hoping to raise £50,000.

To find out more about his challenge visit https://www.neilstillcan.run/.