Avid Disabled Adventurer takes on his biggest challenge yet – to complete multiple marathons across the world.
Disabled Adventurer and Motivational Speaker, Darren Edwards, is set to redefine the limitations of disability by becoming the first ever wheelchair user to attempt the 777 World Marathon Challenge – a feat which sees participants complete seven marathons in seven days across seven continents.
In October, a group of 30 individuals will be embarking on this gruelling expedition; one that fewer people have completed than have reached the summit of Mount Everest. Starting in Antarctica, before travelling to Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and concluding in North America, the marathons will each pose vast differences in weather, conditions and experiences.
In the summer of 2016, Darren suffered a near-fatal accident after falling 30ft during a rock climb, which would leave him instantly and permanently paralysed from the chest down. Since then, however, he’s conducted and participated in an array of arduous and inspiring activities, refusing to let his disability dictate what he was able to achieve.
Darren said, “I am so excited to be a part of the 2022 World Marathon Challenge. Most importantly, I am excited to show that anything is possible. In my opinion, it is vital that we all push our own boundaries, both physically and mentally, regardless of the challenges we all face in life”.
“Whilst I have much to look forward to – the experience, the comradery, the accomplishment – I am of course a little nervous, too. It is an enormous challenge, and demands a high level of fitness and determination. Add into that, that I am essentially a guinea pig – as no other individual with a spinal cord injury has EVER attempted anything of this stature. Also add to that, due to my paralysis, that I am unable to regulate my body temperature, which puts me at risk of frostbite in Antarctica, and heatstroke in Dubai just days later”.
Darren is aiming to raise £100,000 for the Armed Forces Para-Snowboard Team (AFPST), an independent charity that uses the restorative power of para-snowsport to accelerate the recovery and welfare of wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans. Donations will entirely fund 50 UK athletes to compete in the 2023 International Competition hosted by AFPST, which unites military personnel and veterans from across the globe.
Being no stranger to adventure, Darren has previously raised £110,000 for AFPST in June 2021, by leading a group of five injured and wounded veterans in his Kayak4Heroes challenge, which saw them kayak from Land’s End to John-O-Groats. They were the first adaptive team to successfully complete this 1,400km journey, and Darren is the first person with a SCI to have achieved this.
Elizabeth Winfield, Chief Operations Officer at AFPST said, “We are incredibly grateful for Darren’s ongoing support, and we are wholeheartedly behind him with his latest challenge. There’s no doubt that it will push him to his absolute extremes, but it truly encapsulates everything that we are about – inspiring others, pushing boundaries, challenging perceptions and changing lives for the better”.
If you would like to follow Darren’s journey, including his training and preparation for the marathons, then please visit his website, https://darrenedwards.org.uk/. To learn more about AFPST, and the fundraising for this event, please check out the link, here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/darrenworldmarathonchallenge.
About Darren Edwards
A former mountaineer and Army reservist, Darren Edwards is a Disabled Adventurer, Expedition Leader and Motivational Speaker. Whilst rock climbing in the summer of 2016, he suffered a life-changing accident. Since then, however, he has organised and completed numerous challenges, including Kayak4Heroes – a 1,400km kayaking journey over 26 days from Land’s End to John-O-Groats, and has rowed the English Channel in his late father’s honour who lost his battle to mental health and depression in September 2021.