WITH JUST a few days left until Franny Benali reaches Southampton and the end of his incredible endurance charity bid, his team are working around the clock to keep him on the road.

The former Southampton player's incredible fitness, amazing mental strength and legions of supporters are helping Franny complete Benali’s Big Race which finishes in Southampton on Sunday.

Behind the scenes, the support team is playing a crucial role in keeping the former Saints star on the road to visit 44 Premiership and Championship grounds in the two week running and cycling challenge to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Franny is now just four marathons and around 300 miles on the bike away from the finish in Southampton.

Yesterday’s route saw Franny visit Norwich – his most easterly port of call with Ipswich on the agenda today before a hectic day covering the London clubs on Friday.

A key member of the team who has been kept particularly busy is sports therapist Kelly Rutledge who was also on Benali’s Big Run team in 2014.

She says Franny is probably the fittest person she has ever worked with and said his mental strength and his ability to recover overnight have been the most important factors in being able to get up every morning, run a marathon and then cycle at least 75 miles.

“Franny is extremely strong and determined and has amazing willpower to do this challenge,’’ said Kelly.

But the event has not been without its health issues. Franny has hamstring and Achilles problems which Kelly has been treating.

Every day begins with an hour before Franny starts his run with a check on his injuries and a warm up for his muscles to loosen up ready for the day.

“I also make sure his feet are in good condition, check he has had breakfast and he starts the day well hydrated and mentally strong,’’ said Kelly.

“During the day I keep an eye on his injuries and make sure he is comfortable and if absolutely necessary he stops for some treatment.”

At the end of the day she said the ice bath is crucial and the five minutes he spends in the cold kickstart the recovery process.

“He is so tired and fatigued that the body can’t flush away the lactic acid but the ice bath shocks the muscles into creating fresh blood and flushes away the lactic acid,” she said.

“Once Franny has gradually warmed up I’ll check his injuries and have a good look at the feet for blisters or any sign of infection, ensure he eats and is still well hydrated and then it’s time to sleep and start the whole process again.”

To support Franny’s efforts you can donate at http://www.benalisbigrace.com/