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Team to run entire Cornish coast path in seven days for RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A team of fitness fanatics from Cornwall and Devon are taking on an epic challenge to run the entire length of the Cornish coast path, 296 miles, in just seven days this month.

The ten-strong team will be averaging 42 miles and on their feet for around 10-12 hours each day as they push their bodies to the limit to raise £10,000 for the RNLI.

Setting off from Marsland near Bude on Sunday 12 June, they aim to complete all 296 miles of the Cornish coast path in seven days, running the flats and down hills and walking the steep climbs, finishing at Cremyll on Saturday 18 June.

Dean Burchell had the idea whilst he was serving in the Royal Marines but he was medically discharged before his idea came to fruition. After setting up his own personal training company and organising a series of obstacle races in Cornwall, he decided that the time was right to reignite the Cornish Coast Challenge.

Dean used social media to recruit a team of 10, nine runners and one driver, and had so many applications, he resulted in drawing names from a hat! The team is made up of: Dean Burchell from Liskeard; Damian Wallwork from Saltash; Ian Martin from Liskeard; Mike Dingle from Plymouth; John Hooper from London; Jack Llewllyn from Yealmpton; Gary Martin from Plymouth; Scott Brown from Liskeard and Kirstie Martin from Liskeard as driver.

The final team member, Pete Bennett, had to withdraw for medical reasons and will be replaced by a different person each day.

Despite the huge challenge, Dean is confident they will reach the finish line: ‘It would be fair to say that none of the team consider themselves runners! However, every team member is fit enough to complete this challenge. We are feeling strong despite some injury setbacks. We have been training at a 4-mile per hour pace and covering in excess of 25 miles per weekend. We will increase this again to prepare ourselves for the 42 mile a day average required to cover the overall distance.

‘This has been quite a strain on our families, with all members working full time during the week, so I personally thank them all for their efforts. We’ve found that the only way to train and get our legs ready for the coast path is by practising on it, so hopefully we’ve done enough! Nothing else can prepare you for the steep ascents, descents and undulated terrain.’ 

Each team member has a target to raise £1,000 each, with the day-runners raising £150. Dean is also running a Cornish cider fun run at Bush Farm, Saltash on Saturday 16 July and aims to raise a total of £10,000 for the RNLI through both events.

Dean chose the RNLI as it’s a cause close to many hearts. He continues: ‘All the team have an affiliation with the South West in one way or another and are very aware of the importance of RNLI presence on our coastline. The counties of Cornwall and Devon swell significantly during the summer months, so having the right kit to do the job is essential and that costs money.’

Many local businesses are supporting the Cornish Coast Challenge.

The team would love for people to support them along the route. To follow their progress and schedule visit https://www.facebook.com/CornishCoastChallenge/

Notes to editors

The attached photo shows some of the runners. Members of the team are available for interview, to arrange please contact Emma on the number below.

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or emma_haines@rnli.org.uk or the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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