Derbyshire man nears end of 4,200 run across America

Adventurous Eric Keeler on his travels.
Adventurous Eric Keeler on his travels.

A Derbyshire man is nearing the end of an unforgettable charity challenge – a 4,200-mile run across America.

Eric Keeler, of Woodview Close, Wingerworth, started the mammoth fundraiser in Lubec, Maine, at the end of April.

The 30-year-old hopes to finish on a beach in San Diego early next month.

So far, Eric has run more than 3,500 miles through major cities, craggy mountain passes and golden plains of wheat and maize.

He has seen sights including the Grand Canyon, Sedona National Park and Route 66.

Generous Eric is raising much-needed funds for Spinal Research while enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.

Eric said: “I feel sometimes now that my body is starting to fall apart.

“It’s been tough and it’s getting tougher – but it’s worth it and I’m still ploughing through.

“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.”

In a surprise admission, Eric said: “I don’t really like running!

“It’s tiring and it’s painful – but I love doing things I can’t do well, and I love the people I meet along the way.”

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'He thought I was a goner'

Recalling his most frightening time, Eric said: “I got run off the road by a large articulated truck on a desolate road in Iowa.

“The driver was on his mobile, drifting over on to my narrow hard shoulder.

“I moved as far as I could off the road when I saw him coming.

“Thankfully there was a huge deep ditch running alongside the highway.

“The gust from the lorry blew me into the ditch.

“The guy in the lorry following behind stopped and helped me out and back on to the road.

“He reckons that it missed me by less than a foot.

“He thought I’d gone underneath the wheels and thought I was a goner.

“I had an added day off just to catch my breath.”

For more information about Eric’s fundraising challenge and to donate to support him and Spinal Research, visit www.cornertocorner.run
You can also keep up-to-date with his travels via Facebook at www.facebook.com/CornerToCornerUSA
Eric has been fundraising for Spinal Research for the last five years and so far raised more than £10,000 to help fund research into curing paralysis.