TWO years after his inspirational Big Run, Saints legend Franny Benali is taking on an even bigger challenge.

Having raised £265,000 for Cancer Research UK with his 1,000-mile, three-week journey to every Premier League ground over August and September 2014, Benali is hoping to boost the total to £1m by covering more than 1,400 miles in just two weeks.

He will be running a marathon and cycling at least 70 miles every day as he travels to every Premier League and Championship club.

Benali starts at AFC Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium on Sunday October 2 - the first leg is to Bristol City - and finishes at St Mary's on October 16, when Saints host Burnley.

"To raise £265,000 the first time was amazing but I always said I wanted to raise £1m so it feels like there's unfinished business," says the 47 year-old.

Benali and his wife Karen have lost two friends to cancer since the Big Run, while his father-in-law, Bill Welch, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and another friend is battling colon cancer.

Another motivation is to help ensure the Centre for Cancer Immunology opens at Southampton General next year.

"There's such an incredible amount of work going on, none more so than the scientists in the laboratories themselves who need that funding to continue the work.

"Southampton being at the cutting edge of that is very exciting  and we're very driven and eager to hopefully raise another huge amount of money."

The idea for Benali's Big Race was born earlier this year.

"I always knew I wanted to  do something again," he continues. "I had no idea what but when we tried to come up with the concept we thought about how we could raise the bar.

"After conversations between the family and the team we thought it would be a good idea to make it better and bigger by adding the Championship clubs to take it from 20 to 44."

As if running 14 back-to-back marathons is not tough enough, Benali will be cycling more than he has ever done before.

"I did a few bike rides for the Saints Foundation and enjoyed those but I'm not a seasoned cyclist," he admits.

"Apart from a few family bike rides the last time I cycled regularly was on my Grifter as a kid."

There is space on the support team for a bike mechanic, while sponsors are also needed.

"There's an awful  lot of work going into making this happen, we want to cover the whole cost so every penny raised goes to Cancer Research UK like last time," continues Benali.

"If anyone's interested there's still space on the shirt. I've been fortunate enough to be supplied with a bike and lots of businesses are offering support.

"We're also in discussions as to whether we need a second bike because there'll be punctures and bits of kit that need replacing and we'll be doing a lot of 12 hour days as it is.

"I'm excited about it and an element of me just wants to get started. But the challenge for now is finding the hours to get the training in."

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