Able2Do Anything: Achievements

Paralysed man completes seven marathons in seven days

Darren Edward in Antarctica holding a medal

Completing a marathon is quite an achievement, but running seven in seven continents in seven days is something rarely heard of, especially if you are a wheelchair user.

But that is exactly what Darren Edwards, from Shropshire, has just achieved when he recently passed the finish line in Miami.

Participating in the World Marathon Challenge saw Edwards starting in Antarctica on 31 January before taking part in runs across Australia, South Africa, Dubai, Spain, Brazil and Miami to raise money for the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team and pay for injured veterans to enjoy alpine sports.

A life-changing climbing accident in North Wales left Edwards paralysed from the waist down in 2016, he told BBC News it "refused to let disability stop me from dreaming big and taking on tough challenges".

The first race in Antarctica was a shock to the system, Edwards recalls it being "the most challenging five hours and 50 minutes of my life, battling high winds, freezing temperatures, 500m of ascent, and snow drifts".

In contrast the next marathon in Cape Town was “hot and windy” followed by the “blazing afternoon heat” of Perth. 

But the race which sticks in his mind for being the most “gruelling” was the one in Madrid where the surface was on “rutted streets' which consisted of completing the loop circuit 33 times.

Edwards completed his final marathon in Miami on Tuesday at 08:00 BST, before “crashing into bed” after crossing 18 time zones in 168 hours.

[ Darren Edwards kayaked from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in 2021 with a team of adaptive adventurers. ]

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