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SIDMOUTH: Runner on epic coastal quest

Thursday, 03 April 2014

A Devon man on a mission to raise more than £600,000 for charity passed through Sidmouth this week, as he reached the latest milestone on his 630-mile run along the South West Coast Path.
Martin Parnell, who was born in Buckfastleigh but now lives in Canada, is travelling the entire length of the trail on foot, from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset, and the Sidmouth check point marked the 500-mile point in the journey.
The run is the ninth of 10 ‘quests’ he is taking on in aid of the Right to Play charity, which helps impoverished children in Africa. The ‘Quest For Kids’ programme has seen Mr Parnell break four world records, and climb Mount Kilimanjaro in less than 24 hours.
Mr Parnell, who only started running 11 years ago, made it to Sidmouth to complete Stage 20 of the month-long challenge on Thursday (March 27th), and he is due to finish at South Haven Point in Dorset today (Tuesday).
Mr Parnell said: “This is the most intense challenge I have taken on yet – it is really full on and I have been doing a lot of it carrying an injury.
“The support of the Rotary Clubs, who have been putting me up for the night wherever I go, has been great. They are providing all the logistical support for the quest.
“I only started doing these types of endurance events in 2003 when my brother challenged me to do a marathon. It has just evolved since then and I am pushing as hard as I can to reach my target of $1 million (around £625,000).”
A committed Rotarian, Mr Parnell is taking on the challenge on behalf of Rotary International and Sidmouth Rotary Club members were on hand to welcome him to the town as he passed through on his latest quest.
Lynn Ellis, President of Sidmouth Rotary Club, said: “It is a fantastic achievement and Sidmouth Rotary Club is very pleased to be supporting him. It is all for such a worthwhile cause, and these sorts of fundraising events are what the Rotary is all about.
“What he has achieved in such a short amount of time really is incredible and we are very lucky to have him as a Rotarian.”

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