Belton adventurer set for movie fame

A Norfolk father's agonising struggle to run across four of the most inhospitable places on Earth has been documented on film.

Tremaine Kent, 42, of Orwell Crescent, Belton, near Great Yarmouth, set himself the goal of completing the Four Deserts Challenge in one calendar year as a tribute to his partner Carla Saunders, who died of lung cancer at the age of 33.

Through 2010, a film crew followed him every step of the way on each leg of the challenge in Chile's Atacama desert, the Gobi desert in China, the Sahara desert in Africa and the frozen wasteland of the Antarctic.

Now Mr Kent, a former member of the special services, has been invited with his children, Kyle, 14, and Star, 12, to New York in April for the launch of the movie Desert Runners at a film festival.

The film, which will be made available on DVD and is likely to be screened on television on both sides of the Atlantic, focuses on the personal stories of Mr Kent and three other runners taking part in the extreme event.

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During the first challenge in Chile the athletes suffered through temperatures of 49C (120F), the heat compounded by the effects of high altitude; in the Gobi desert the mercury climbed even further to 54C (129F).

A knee injury forced Mr Kent to stop after the first leg of a six-day race in the Sahara, but he returned for the last challenge in the Antarctic, enduring four hellish days of white-out blizzards, waist-deep snow and temperatures as low as minus 25C (minus 13F) as they ran 160km.

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In the new year, Mr Kent will hand over �14,000 he raised in event sponsorship to the Palliative Care East appeal to build a centre for patients with life-limiting illnesses in the grounds of Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital.

He helped to raise a further �64,000 by training and leading a team of 58 women to the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland, and is already contemplating his next challenge for the cause - a 2,660 mile run around the coast of Britain.

Mr Kent, who now works in the security industry, describes the people involved in palliative care as 'walking angels'.

He said: 'I looked after Carla for a year after coming back from Iraq in September 2008. Caring for her at home was great but we would have certainly used the centre if there had been one.'

Mr Kent faces an ankle ligament operation in the new year - a legacy of the desert challenges - and has had to put off his round-Britain run until 2013.

Praising his amazing efforts, Palliative Care East spokesman Jenny Watson said the dedicated support of the community had brought the centre in sight.

She said: 'We have reached about �1.35m towards our target of �1.5m and will be starting building in February. We hope the centre will be open by December.'

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