Keith's arctic challenge

A 51-YEAR-OLD man has returned from the Arctic after taking part in a 352-mile non-stop race, and he has raised �32,000 for the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE). Keith Flood, of Broadwater Crescent in Stevenage, entered the extreme 6633 Yukon Ultra Mar

A 51-YEAR-OLD man has returned from the Arctic after taking part in a 352-mile non-stop race, and he has raised �32,000 for the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE).

Keith Flood, of Broadwater Crescent in Stevenage, entered the extreme 6633 Yukon Ultra Marathon - a race which only three people have ever completed.

Competitors had to complete the distance in less than eight days, battling against harsh terrain, unrelenting winds and extreme cold, while pulling all their provisions, equipment and clothing behind them on sledges.

The challenge started in Eagle Plains, a region in Yukon Territory Canada, and finished at Tuktoyaktuk, on the shore of the Arctic Ocean.


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Despite months of careful planning and preparation, Keith ran into trouble within three miles of starting the race when the muscles in his shins became very inflamed and painful.

After seven hours he reached the 23-mile Arctic Circle checkpoint, but by 39 miles his problems were getting no better and Keith was told by medics that they did not think he would make it to the next checkpoint.

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He said: "I was effectively being told to make a life or death call; I had no choice really but to pull out - it was a devastating although sensible decision to make."

Jo Tripp, NSE's programmes manger, said: "On a personal level I know Keith will be saddened not to have completed this extreme challenge, however, people with epilepsy benefitting from his marathon fundraising efforts will applaud him.

"In our eyes he is a hero to have raised so much money in such a difficult time in such a difficult challenge."

Keith has also run across the Sahara desert twice, bringing his charity fundraising total to �83,000.

In two years time he plans to run across the Gobi desert and, with a fundraising target of �17,000, bring his fundraising total to �100,000.

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