DIP FIN­ISH

ERIC KEELER CAR­RIES ALL HIS STUFF IN A PRAM AS HE RUNS ACROSS THE US

Athletics Weekly - - News -

Meet the man who is run­ning across Amer­ica car­ry­ing all his be­long­ings in a baby buggy

DER­BYSHIRE run­ner Eric Keeler is just over half­way through an ul­tra-marathon run with a dif­fer­ence across the United States.

Push­ing a con­verted baby buggy con­tain­ing all his be­long­ings, Keeler is due to fin­ish the trek in the state of Cal­i­for­nia in De­cem­ber and is close to 3000 miles through the 4200-mile jour­ney.

“Ev­ery­one I have met is in­ter­ested in my run,” he says. “Ran­dom cars stop and strangers hand me food and wa­ter, or of­fer a place to stay. This run is so much more than just run­ning.”

Keeler has also been stopped by high­way pa­trol cars after mem­bers of the pub­lic have called the au­thor­i­ties to re­port a strange bearded man push­ing a baby pram down a main road.

As well as vis­its from the po­lice, his chal­lenge is con­stantly sur­pris­ing him: the soles of his shoes melted on the hot asphalt, sun­stroke in the mid-west and a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence with a truck that saved him from the di­rect path of a ty­phoon.

Gen­er­ally, though, peo­ple have of­fered help, which he ap­pre­ci­ated as his run is solo and un­sup­ported.

Keeler did his first marathon at the Lon­don Marathon in 2013, after just a few months train­ing, think­ing it would be fun, but he vowed never to run again.

Yet he got the bug and de­cided to com­bine his pas­sion for run­ning with a de­sire to see the United States, in ad­di­tion to rais­ing funds for spinal cord in­jury re­search.

So he be­gan his trip in April this year in Maine and plans to fin­ish in San Diego in a cou­ple of months’ time.

■ See cor­ner­to­corner.run

Un­usual sight: the Bri­ton has been stopped by high­way pa­trol sev­eral times dur­ing his mul­ti­marathon ef­fort

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