A BRAVE Bolton dad is taking on not one, but five gruelling challenges in a bid to raise money for a range of charities.

Paul Carruthers, aged 32, from Horwich, will begin a four-month period of serious endurance tests by swimming 1,000 lengths of a 25-metre swimming pool at Horwich Leisure Centre on May 7.

He will follow this up with a one-mile swim in Lake Windemere as part of the Great North Swim on June 14 but his third challenge, which Mr Carruthers admits is an “absolute monster”, will see him complete a three-day coast-to-coast cycle of more than 160 miles before turning round the following day and running the same route over the next five days.

The dad-of-one said: “Doing the coast-to-coast in three days is very difficult but in order to get people’s attention, instead of sitting back and enjoying that achievement, I am going to run back to the start.”

He will then have just under a month to recover before tackling the ‘Tough Mudder’ challenge that comprises of a 12-mile long military obstacle course.

The “fierce five challenges” as he has labelled them, will be completed on September 7 when he will tackle the 13-mile Great North Run.

Mr Carruthers decided he wanted to raise money for a number of charities he has had personal involvement with, including Bolton children’s charities Daytrippers and Kidz2gether as well as the National Autistic Society, who have all helped to support one of his family members.

Also on the list is the AFC Masters charity which offers footballing opportunities for disabled people in Bolton and the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital in Shropshire that helped his father to recover from a tumour in his hip.

He said: “A lot of people are inundated with sponsorship requests — that’s why I set myself such difficult challenges, to convince people to dig into their pockets.

“I want people to sit up and think ‘what he’s doing is insane’.”

To sponsor his first challenge, visit gofundme.com/fantasticfive-swimming.