Wheelchair trailblazer setting off on incredible marathon challenge - starting in Antarctica

A paralysed Shrewsbury man is heading off on a gruelling wheelchair marathon challenge - beginning in Antarctica.

Darren Edwards. Pictures: Taylor Harford
Darren Edwards. Pictures: Taylor Harford

Darren Edwards has already raised more than £41,700 for a charity close to his heart as he attempts to become the first person with a disability to complete the gruelling World Marathon Challenge of seven marathons in seven days unsupported.

"I feel a bit nervous," said Darren, who was paralysed from the chest down in a near-fatal accident in 2016, falling 30ft during a rock climb.

"Antarctica is a beast with temperatures of minus 10 and minus 20 so there is a risk of frostbite. I've got to do 26.2 miles on ice and I just don't know how my wheelchair will perform."

Darren is due off next Tuesday and is determined to be a trailblazer for others after being given "negative messages" by medics as he lay in a hospital bed six years ago.

"It is scary being a guinea pig but I hope to be a trailblazer for other people.

"I hope that I can provide a bit of reassurance and inspiration to anyone who was told they won't be able to do anything."

Darren is also on a mission to raise anther £80,000 for the Armed Forces Para-Snowboard Team (AFPST) which helped him piece his life back together.

He said: "On August 6, 2016, my life changed forever. Whilst rock climbing in North Wales, I was involved in a near-fatal climbing accident that would leave me paralysed from the chest down for the rest of my life. I was incredibly fortunate to survive, but life would never be the same again.

"Since that day, I have been on a journey of rediscovery, and have refused to let disability stop me from dreaming big and taking on tough challenges.

"In June 2021, I was part of a world first expedition (Kayak 4 Heroes) to kayak from Land's End to John O' Groats by a team of adaptive adventurers."

He says the 777 challenge is his "biggest personal challenge."

Along with a group of 30, he will start in Antarctica, then to Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe, South America and then finish off in North America.

You can follow Darren's incredible marathon journey on Instagram @DarrenEdwards.

His JustGiving crowdfunding page is at justgiving.com/fundraising/darrenworldmarathonchallenge.

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