Parnell ready to tackle the stormy British coast for next challenge
Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 06:00 am
There’s the time he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in a matter of hours. And who could forget the time he ran 250 marathons in a single year.
And now Martin Parnell is at it again, travelling to England for his latest quest: Rotary Coastal Quest 630.
This particular challenge will see Parnell lacing up his running shoes again, tackling the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path. Having set a goal to accomplish the miles — about 1014 kilometres — in 25 days, Parnell will be averaging the distance of a marathon a day during the trek.
“This is the most unpredictable quest to date — I don’t know the routes and the weather is going to be a challenge,” said Parnell.
England’s southwest shores were recently battered by 90mph winds, heavy rainfall and powerful waves. On Feb. 5, Britain recorded its largest wave, which measured about 75ft.
“Chunks of the pathway have fallen away,” said Parnell. “Luckily I have a logistics guy over there who’s keeping an eye on the route for me.”
Rotary Coastal Quest 630 is the ninth-leg of Parnell’s 10-challenge Quest for Kids, an initiative that is attempting to raise $1 million for Right To Play. So far, the five-year fundraiser has raised more than $580,000 for children and youth facing adversity.
Parnell hopes to raise £100,000 on his latest quest along the stormy southwest coast of England.
The pathway includes 13 river crossings, which are typically traversed by ferry. Never one to be typical, Parnell’s trek will be completely human powered. He plans to kayak across the waters, or bike if the weather is too treacherous.
Along the way, Parnell will be put up for the night in the homes of individual Rotary Club members. He’s scheduled a number of speaking engagements over the course of the course of the long-distance run.
Parnell said he’s hoping the weather won’t keep him from meeting this promises.
“All I have to say is, ‘Bring it on,’” he laughed.
Meanwhile, Parnell is preparing as best he can for the 630 miles. In addition to investing in rain gear, he’s been training on Cochrane’s hills to ready himself for the elevation changes expected in England.
Parnell leaves for his quest Feb. 22 and starts running March 4 from Minehead. He is anticipated to wrap things up April 1 at South Haven Point.
To donate, visit righttoplay.com/rcq630.