A WREXHAM man went full steam ahead to raise funds for charity by racing against a train in a gruelling 14-mile run.

Keen runner Owen Ward took on the Race the Train Challenge at Tywyn, Mid-Wales to raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Owen, a children’s wear superviser at Debenhams’ in Eagles Meadow, failed to beat the train and admits the race was a “nightmare,” but added it was all for a good cause.

“The challenge was really tough, a 14-mile race against a train,” he said.

“More than a 1,000 runners took part with some travelling from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, America, Hong Kong and Africa.”

Owen raised £300 from the race, which goes towards the Debenhams’ total of £1,400.

“The race was a nightmare. It rained all day before and on the day itself. The course was ankle deep in mud and energy sapping. To be honest it was tougher than a marathon. The train beat me, but it was all worth it to help such an important charity.”

Staff and customers of the Royal Oak in Wrexham’s High Street, run by licensees Sean Corcoran and Tracey Johnson, have also been supporting the Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising efforts of Owen, a regular at the pub.

He added: “Sean and Tracey really helped out by holding a fundraising weekend with some of the funds they collected being donated to Debenhams to add to what we have already raised for the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign.

“It was a great effort and I am delighted to have received more than £150 from the Royal Oak to add to what we, as a store, have already raised for the charity. I am not in a position yet to announce how much that is as cash is still coming in, but we can say we are really delighted.”

Tracey and Sean took over the Royal Oak following a major refurbishment. They and their regulars were thrilled to raise so much cash and to be able to donate some to Debenhams’ 2010 nominated charity.

Tracey said: “We were really happy to support Owen’s fundraising efforts and held a music event. Debenhams kindly donated a cosmetic hamper and free makeovers as prizes.”

Sean added: “It’s vital, especially in difficult economic times, that charities such as Breast Cancer Awareness are supported if they are to continue their incredible work.”