HOW WE SUPPORT OVERSEAS PROJECTS/ Marathons on South West Coastal Path

Rotarian Martin Parnell to complete a marathon a day, running from Minehead to Poole in 25 days

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Martin Parnell

Born in Devon, educated in Cornwall and now a Canadian national, Martin is a professional speaker and is committed to the children's charity RIGHT TO PLAY. His 'Quests for Kids' has him attempting 10 Quests in 5 years to raise $1m for the charity and helping 20,000 kids. Rotary across the SW of England is facilitating his 'Rotary Coastal Quest 630' which was launched from the recent District Conference.

At the age of 47, Martin wasn't in running shape. Now only 10 years later, he's completed an astonishing 250 marathons in one year, set four Guinness World Records and recently returned from Kilimanjaro after running the marathon and three days later summiting the mountain in 21 hours.

In Rotary Coastal Quest 630 Martin will attempt to complete the UK's ultimate challenge for the long distance runner - 630 miles around the coastline of the southwest peninsula in just 25 days; averaging a distance of a marathon a day (26.2 miles) and covering the equivalent elevation of climbing Mount Everest four times over. Martin is taking on this challenge in order to raise £100,000 for Right To Play.

Rotary Coastal Quest 630 started at Minehead on Tuesday March 4th at 8:30am and will finish at Poole on Tuesday April 1st at 11:00am. During March 2014, Martin is giving himself free of charge to Rotary.

Martin is a member of the Rotary Club of Cochrane, Canada, and is prepared to talk at any local Rotary Club, school or interest group en route. He was kind enough to agree a stopover to attend Wadebridge Rotary Club on Tuesday evening (11 March), following his run from Pentire Point to Portcothan AND after giving a talk to pupils at St. Breock School in the afternoon, which was well received by the children.  

Rotarians, partners and friends were inspired by his illustrated presentation and his dedication to his Quests.   An impromptu collection at the end raised almost £300 for his charity.   Martin was joined at the club meeting by Kurt Kowalchuk, the president of the Rotary Club of Calgary Sarcee, who had flown over from Canada to accompany Martin on his run over the next two weeks.   Both were hosted overnight by our President Graham Renwick and his wife, Tracey (which meant an early morning breakfast and drive to enable the runners to get to their day's starting point at Portcothan.)

To follow Martin's route, with photos and blog, visit his website