Disabled Shropshire man completes seven-day marathon feat

A wheelchair-user from Shropshire has completed his challenge of taking part in seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

Darren Edwards, from Shropshire, started in Antarctica on 31 January and finished with a marathon in Miami.

The World Marathon Challenge also saw him take in Africa, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and South America.

He said it had been a “truly unique whirlwind of a week”.

Mr Edwards was left paralysed from the waist down after a climbing accident in North Wales in 2016, but said he had “refused to let disability stop me from dreaming big and taking on tough challenges”.

The West Felton resident said he had been on “a journey of rediscovery” since his injury and in June 2021 he kayaked from Land’s End to John O’ Groats with a team of adaptive adventurers.

He was taking part in the World Marathon Challenge to raise money for the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team and hoped to pay for injured and wounded veterans to enjoy alpine activities.

Mr Edwards completed his penultimate marathon, in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Monday in “growing heat and humidity”, before flying to Miami.

After he completed the marathon there at 08:00 BST on Tuesday, he thanked his supporters before “crashing into bed”.

He said his challenge had raised £48,000.

The former Army reservist completed marathons in Antarctica, South Africa, Australia, Dubai and Spain before he arrived in Brazil.

After finishing his first event in arctic conditions, he said it was “the most challenging five hours and 50 minutes of my life, battling high winds, freezing temperatures, 500m of ascent, and snow drifts”.

That was followed by the “hot and windy” sunshine of Cape Town and the “blazing afternoon heat” of Perth.

He described Madrid as a “gruelling” marathon, on “rutted streets” and said it was particularly challenging because he had to repeat the same loop 33 times.

Mr Edwards said there had been logistical challenges along the way, as he crossed over 18 time zones and spanned the globe in just 168 hours.

But he said: “We have persevered with grit and determination.”

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