Epic runner Sam Boatwright has been hailed a hero for his outstanding fundraising effort.

Sam, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Tuesday, ran 50 miles every day for 50 days and raised £16,000 for Help for Heroes, which assists those wounded in Britain’s current conflicts.

And his epic run has been recognised by the charity, which has given him his own Hero’s Award.

It was his second accolade in two days – the night before he picked up a Craven Community Champion award for outstanding achievement.

For his latest award, he travelled down to Help for Heroes’ Tedworth House Recovery Centre in Wiltshire, where he met other winners and those being helped by the centre.

“It seemed quite strange,” said Sam, who lives in Skipton and plays rugby for North Ribblesdale. “I have both arms and legs and all I did was run. But some of those there have no arms or legs, but they have taken part in Ironman challenges and cycled across America.

“It was inspiring to see them and what they were able to do with limited ability. It shows a mindset that you have to keep going.”

Sam’s money went towards the centre’s new gym, fitted out with specialist equipment. “I felt pretty proud going in there. It was a good feeling.”

He is now busy training for his next challenge - a 2,800-mile bike ride along Route 66 in the United States, starting in Chicago and finishing in Los Angeles.

“There are 10 of us doing it and we hope to do it in seven days, which would break the previous record,” said Sam.

“I haven’t done much cycling before, but I have started training and it is going OK.

“It is a question of getting used to being in the saddle, working out the gears and building up endurance in the legs.”

The ride is due to take place in October 2013 and the team is hoping to raise £100,000 for Help for Heroes.

For more information, visit the facebook page, Route66CycleChallenge