THE owner of a Sheffield gym is aiming to test his own powers of endurance by cycling and running 2,650 miles around the coast of Britain in just 31 days.
Kris King, aged 25, will be raising money for the Huntington Disease Association, inspired by the man who has been like a father to him and now suffers from the incurable condition.
The ‘Coasthunting’ challenge is to cycle 100 miles one day, then run a marathon the next, until he has completed the distance. He will start in Southport and take a clockwise route around Britain.
“I have the mental toughness, but your body can be frail when it is tired and I am concerned about injury and the little things that can go wrong,” said Kris, who started Vision Health and Fitness in Stocksbridge four years ago.
“I am confident I can get around. Whether I’ll be in one piece ...”
He will put himself to the test in July next year, giving himself this year to build up his fitness - he has only recently started cycling - and to make all the organisational arrangements and to promote his cause.
This year Kris is part of a team of 20 - eight from Sheffield - which aims to ‘run around the world’ to help Huntington’s Disease research. Each runner covers 24 miles a week every week to clock up almost 25,000 miles, the circumference of the earth, between them.
He hopes to raise £30,000 for the charity in tribute to Dr Phillip Stavish, who is now in a care home in Rotherham.
Kris, of Miller Street, Deepcar, moved in with Dr Stavish and his family at the age of 14 when his home life fell apart. His best friend from schooldays in Doncaster is Dr Stavish’s son, Dylan.
He is inspired by Dr Stavish, who used to live and work in California. “He was a well-known chiropractor in America. Eric Clapton and Sting were among his patients, and he used to play tennis with them. At 18, he was the second best in karate in America. He had his own TV show, and he won a medal for bravery for taking down an armed robber outside a jewellery store.
“He is insanely optimistic, even with the disease. He would still want to do things, and he has already outlived the expectancy for Huntingdon’s Disease. He was funny guy and encouraged others by the amazing life he has lived.”
Now Dr Stavish is unable to speak and his life is controlled by drugs as a result of Huntington’s Disease, which damages nerve cells in the brain. As the disease is inherited, there is a 50% that Dylan and his sisters, Phoebe and Chloe, could be affected.
In particular, Kris wants to raise awareness of the condition. He is looking for corporate and other sponsors.
After completing a couple of fell marathons for the charity, he was looking for “something a bit crazier. I had seen perimeter challenges for running and perimeter challenges for cyclists, but couldn’t see anything that combined the two within a time limit.”
Kris can be followed on Facebook or on twitter on @coasthunting.