ENTREPRENEUR Imran Hakim was last night on the verge of completing a gruelling international run which has seen him clock up 100km in just five days.

Starting with the Great Manchester Run on Sunday, his challenge was broken up into 10 separate 10km runs in 10 countries.

However, Mr Hakim and his fellow racers were nearly thwarted by the volcanic ash cloud.

The team were due to fly to Amsterdam after the Great Manchester Run, but the flight was cancelled.

They caught the train to London in the hope of getting the Eurostar, only to discover it was fully booked.

Instead they decided to catch a ferry to Belgium.

But the runners met another hurdle when they were told they could not travel as foot passengers and had to hire a minibus and driver.

They finally had to do their second run in Ostend in Belgium, instead of Amsterdam, followed by runs in Brussels, Cologne, Luxembourg, Geneva, San Remo, Monaco and Nice, before finishing last night in Barcelona.

Speaking before he embarked on his final run, the 32-year-old businessman said: “It was such a mission getting the second run in. We ended up running at midnight in Ostend.

“But now we’re in Barcelona and I’m pleased to say everyone has made it. We’re all feeling it now and it’s going to be a painful last run but we are going to get through it because it’s for such a good cause.”

The former Smithills School pupil, of Blackburn Road, Bolton, and the nine other volunteers who are all business people from Greater Manchester, have pledged to raise at least £10,000 in aid of the NSPCC’s Child’s Voice Appeal, contributing a total of more than £100,000 towards Manchester’s £2million target.

The money aims to make sure Childline, the children’s helpline, is equipped to deal with the volume of calls it receives Only two thirds of the 2.3million calls from children and three quarters of the calls from adults are answered.

Mr Hakim, inventor of the iTeddy, said the last six months of his life had been taken up by a punishing physical training schedule and a strict dietary regime.

He added: “This is without doubt the hardest physical challenge I have ever put myself through. But it’s great to know we’ll be helping alleviate the suffering of the children whose calls to NSPCC’s Childline go unanswered every month.”

Mr Hakim, who shot to fame when the interactive iTeddy toy featured on BBC2’s Dragon’s Den, was helped in his training by former boxer Ricky Hatton. To donate visit: justgiving.com/100kchallenge