Derbyshire fundraiser back home after American adventure of a lifetime
A big-hearted fundraiser is back on Derbyshire turf after completing the adventure of a lifetime in America.
Eric Keeler, of Woodview Close, Wingerworth, ran through 16 states over 186 days last year - covering a phenomenal 3,646 miles.
The 30-year-old started in Lubec in Maine on April 29 and finished on the sands of Mission Beach in San Diego on December 3.
Generous Eric raised £12,000 for the Spinal Research charity during the mammoth challenge.
He said: “It was incredible on so many levels.
“I passed through so many wonderful states and met so many fantastic people.
“Lots of amazing things happened and I’ll never forget what I did in 2018.
“It really was the American adventure of a lifetime and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported me.
“I’m over the moon to have raised so much money for a very important charity.
“After such a big adventure, it feels strange to be back home - but it’s nice.”
He added: “Running across America was always something in the back of my mind.
“I kept on telling myself ‘that’s a stupid idea, you’d never make it!’ - but you never know unless you try.”
Eric said there were far too many highlights to mention.
He passed through cities including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York and saw sights like the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.
He conquered the Rocky Mountains before heavy snow came, visited a massive balloon festival in Alberqueque and saw tornados blow away his intended camping site.
Eric’s mum, dad, brother and sister flew out to meet him at the finish line on the beach at San Diego.
His dad Eric Keeler said: “We’re so very proud of him - what a journey.
“He can now tell our grandchildren some stories to make them proud.
“Now it’s all over we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s taken an interest in Eric’s adeventure.”
Will Eric do anything like this again?
He said: “Hopefully in the future.
“I’m now considering writing a book about my unforgettable travels.”