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Runner takes to the hills with his kayak…on his shoulders!

A RUNNING enthusiast ran 12k last month, carrying a five-metre long kayak weighing 8kg on his shoulders, in a bid to raise money for charity.

Frome local, Dave Chant, who is a regular off-road runner and a member of a racing kayak club, completed the “non-stop” challenge in less than two hours, without putting the kayak down. Dave, who has raised over £200 for the national charity, Cancer Research UK, was assisted on his challenge by a support crew of five members from his kayak racing club in Bradford on Avon.

He explained, “The challenge started because all of our club kayak races and the running races that us keen runners at the kayak club had entered have been cancelled.

“I was planning to do some of these races sponsored as I had wanted to raise some money the conventional way for Cancer Research UK for a while, but due to the pandemic situation, it was becoming unlikely that this would be possible as they all involved large groups of people.

“So after some time thinking of a suitable challenge that combined running with my racing kayak, it occurred to me that in my sport of marathon kayak racing there are compulsory overland elements called ‘portages’, so why not do an off-road portage over the Avon Valley Runners’ race route called ‘over the hills’.

“This route is a demanding mainly off-road race and is a firm favourite as a fitness training route at my racing club.

“The racing k1 kayak that I carried is five metres long, so it took some balancing in the very wet and muddy conditions, yet neither me or any of my club followers fell over!

“The off-road running training for this event totalled over 300 miles and wore out two pairs of fell running shoes!”

To support Dave and donate to Cancer Research UK, visit the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/donate/ 1216356335413428/385112235917325/

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