Rugby player runs from Scotland to London for charity

Nathan Berry, who plays rugby for Keighley RUFCNathan Berry, who plays rugby for Keighley RUFC
Nathan Berry, who plays rugby for Keighley RUFC
Inspired by his uncle's death and friends' battles with eating disorders, Nathan Berry is taking to the road. Catherine Scott reports.

Leeds rugby player Nathan Berry sets of today to tackle the biggest challenge of his life - running from Edinburgh Castle to the Tower of London to raise money for charity.

Nathan, who plays rugby for Keighley RUFC, sets off on the 410 mile journey today. He plans to complete the distance in 10 days, running around 40 miles a day.

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“This challenge is going to be incredibly tough mentally and physically,” says Nathan. “Marathon runners talk about hitting ‘the wall’ I will probably hit at least one every day. Apart from the hills and the unpredictable British weather, I think the biggest obstacle is going to be in my head.

“I believe I can do it but there will be times when I am so drained that I will feel like I can’t continue. My family and friends are used to me testing my limits, I’ve done a couple of ultra marathons in the past, but no one expected me to come up with this idea.”

The 28 year old from Silsden, is taking on the challenge in a bid to raise £3,000 for B-eat and Macmillan Cancer Support.

“My uncle died of cancer last year and I have friends who’ve battled eating disorders. The strength those individuals showed made me realise that the pain and the exhaustion I will be feeling is only temporary.”

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Andrea Auburn, B-eat Community Fundraising Officer said: “We are so grateful to Nathan for taking on this ambitious challenge to show his support for anyone affected by eating disorders, including sufferers, their families and friends, and the professionals supporting them.

“It is only through the commitment and enthusiasm of fundraisers like Nathan that B-eat can continue to campaign on behalf of and support people affected by eating disorders.”

Nathan has been preparing for nine months - taking on longer and longer distance runs, as well as doing conditioning circuits and power work at Primal Gym, Leeds Dock, to improve his fitness whilst giving his legs a rest. Friends and trainers from Primal will be showing their support by joining Nathan on the Leeds leg of his journey on Sunday.

“I will be about half way through the run by that point and probably feeling really drained so to see a lot of familiar faces running alongside me into Leeds will be a massive lift and help to drive me on,” says Nathan.