Window cleaner’s epic 48-mile Norfolk Coast Path run for Crohn’s and Colitis charity
- Credit: Submitted
A determined window cleaner has run the distance of almost two marathons along the Norfolk coast path to raise money for a charity close to his heart.
Karl Warnes, from Castle Acre near Swaffham, said he had never previously run more than 14 miles before taking on the epic 48-mile route from Hunstanton to Cromer on Good Friday.
He completed the gruelling challenge in 9hrs 25mins, battling against wind, rain and difficult coastal terrain underfoot, including sand, loose shingle and muddy footpaths.
The 24-year-old was backed by his brother Craig Warnes, also from Castle Acre, and cousin Robin Clarke, from Great Dunham, who both also completed the journey on bicycles, carrying much-needed supplies of water and energy snacks.
The run has so far raised more than £800 for Crohn's and Colitis UK – a charity founded to offer support and research into the bowel conditions which can devastate lives and have no known cure.
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Mr Warnes' 21-year-old girlfriend Rebecca Mack has suffered with Crohn's for seven years.
'It is important, because my girlfriend has Crohn's so I wanted to raise awareness really,' he said.
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'I have only done about 14 miles before. I play football every other week and I go the gym, but I've only done proper training for a long run since Christmas. It has been whenever I have had time to run in the mornings or at the weekends.
'I was hoping to do it in under 10 hours, so I'm very happy. Some of it was a pebble beach and the weather was pretty bad at times as well, which does not help. There was a lot of wind and heavy rain, that was the worst part.
'I am pretty proud of my brother and cousin doing it too. Seeing how they struggled, it was really difficult on the bikes as well, but they were behind me the whole way.'
Miss Mack, 21, from Necton, who is a student at Norwich University of the Arts and also works at Waitrose in Swaffham, is one the estimated 260,000 people in the UK who are affected by Crohn's and Colitis.
She said: 'Every day life is quite hard, I am always really tired and worn out. It affects my bowels and my immune system attacks itself. I have had it for seven years and it took four years for doctors to diagnose it.
'Karl's run was about raising awareness as much as raising money. If it was a cancer charity, then people can instantly relate to it, but with something like Crohn's it can be difficult to get people interested.
'Not many people know about it – it is called the invisible disease because on the outside you're putting on a smile, but on the inside is where all the problems are.
'I am so proud of all of them (Karl, Craig and Robin) for completing the challenge. I was there the whole way, and made a stop-off at each village they went through to make sure they were OK.'
To contribute to Karl's fundraising total, visit www.justgiving.com/karl-warnes.