Dereham runner, Ed Kerry, to complete 1,000 mile charity challenge
PUBLISHED: 11:40 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:26 02 August 2017
A Dereham fitness fanatic and world record holder is set to embark on his toughest challenge yet - running over 1,000 miles.
Ed Kerry, 34, a fitness instructor from Dereham, is a Guinness World Record holder and has trekked the wilds of the Sahara Desert.
But his latest adventure - running a double marathon every day for 22 days, a total of 1,058 miles - is inspired by tough events much closer to home.
After losing his older sister, Tracey Baker, to a brain tumour, in 2003, Mr Kerry decided to push his body to the limit in aid of the Brain Tumour Charity. He aims to raise “an obscene amount of money”, to prevent other families suffering. Tracey was only 34 when she died, and when her brother reached the same age he felt that the time was right to challenge himself in her memory.
Mr Kerry will set off on the epic Castle-to-Castle run on Saturday, August 5, and run between the castles in all of the UK and Ireland’s capital cities.
His training began last February, and he devoted himself to improving his strength month by month, before focusing entirely on running for the last four months, and pushing himself to run over 100 miles a week
He said: “Whether I’ve got it right remains to be seen!”
Mr Kerry added that organisation and logistics were taking up 95pc of his time in the run up to the challenge, with everything from accommodation, support vans, and drivers requiring confirmation in the days before setting off.
He added: “Once I’m out there, there’s no going back.”
The route Mr Kerry has planned for the Castle-to-Castle challenge will see him run most of the length of Britain: from the Tower of London to Edinburgh Castle.
He will then head on to Belfast Castle, followed by Dublin Castle, and Cardiff Castle, before pushing on for the home stretch back to the Tower of London.
He described the preparations for the challenge as “enveloping my whole life”, and added that support from everyone in his life, from his wife and close family to neighbours and friends, had been essential.
He said: “the list of who made this happen is endless.
“I’m under no illusions that this challenge would be a success without these integral people.”
World record holder
Ed Kerry is no stranger to taking on a tough challenge.
Serving in the RAF in the Falklands, on April 27, 2004, he was one of a group of eight who achieved the Guinness World Record for the fastest time to climb to the height of Mount Everest - 8,848m, or 29,028ft - on a step machine.
They achieved it in just 1hr 56min and 8 sec, on a so-called ‘versaclimber’ exercise machine.
Mr Kerry said that the group’s record “hasn’t been beaten yet!”
He added that they had to keep the step machine going as fast as physically possible throughout the entire challenge, and that the most difficult part was swapping between team members.
The Guinness World Record site states that: “Royal Airforce firefighters Richard Saville, Edward Kerry, Steve Wilson, Chris Grimshaw, Charlie Boyes, Dan Levy, Dave Rome and Kevin Williams (all UK) broke the record at the NAAFI Bar, Mount Pleasant Airfield, Falkland Islands”.
The Brain Tumour Charity
Over the next five years, more than 46,000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with a brain tumour.
According to The Brain Tumour Charity, the charity Ed Kerry is fundraising for, almost 25,000 of these people diagnosed will die.
The charity has set out its two key goals: to double the survival rate of brain tumour sufferers within 10 years, and to halve the harm that brain tumours have on sufferer’s quality of life within five years.
The charity states that: “brain tumours are quite complex - at present, over 130 different types of ‘high grade’ (cancerous) and ‘low grade’ (non-cancerous) brain tumours are known”.
They also state that: “Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40, and the ten year survival rates for brain tumours is just 13pc”.
Despite this, “less than 2pc of the £500 million invested in cancer research in the UK every year is spent on brain tumours”.