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Dan survives the Great Wall

26th May 2017

LEEK United manager Dan Berrisford has arrived home from China this week after completing the charity run of a lifetime…along the Great Wall.

He joined over 2,000 other competitors on Saturday 20th May to take part in The Great Wall Marathon, widely regarded as one of the toughest in the world.

Dan, aged 30, spent almost eight months preparing for the challenge, which he undertook in aid of three charities close to his heart.

“It was undoubtedly the hardest thing I have EVER done –26.2 miles of pure torture,” said Dan, of Northwood, Stoke-on-Trent.

“I feel so proud to have finished the full marathon, but a lot of people who started didn’t make it; the temperature at the highest point on the wall was recorded as 43 degrees –the hottest it’s ever been for the race –and at least 50 people fainted due to the heat.”

Although he was not competing with a specific target time in mind, Dan completed the race in six hours 26 minutes –almost three hours longer than his time for the recent Manchester Marathon.

His traveling companion and fellow Stoke FIT (Friends In Training) running club member Michael Beasley, of Burslem, also successfully completed the Great Wall run.

The causes Dan will divide his fundraising between are: the Stroke Unit at the Royal Stoke University Hospital –where his aunty’s life was saved after a suspected severe stroke (which turned out to be viral meningitis); Bloodwise, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, following the death of a colleague from leukaemia; and The Donna Louise Trust, in memory of a close friend’s young son.

During his preparation for the race, Dan’s training diary was published on the Society’s website, and he also posted regular blogs from China during the trip.

He has set up a fundraising page for anyone who wishes to sponsor him.

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