Eastbourne resident, Dan Huggins is preparing to run the South Coast Ultra Challenge on Saturday 2 September 2023.

Dan is taking on the 100km (62.5 mile) challenge to raise funds for UCEP, a charity with its roots in Eastbourne which supports children in West Africa into educational opportunities they could not otherwise access.

Anyone wishing to lend their support can visit Dan’s Just Giving Page www.justgiving.com/page/dan-huggins-1690902305229

Dan said: “Up to now a marathon is the furthest I’ve ever run and the course is very hilly so this is going to be a huge challenge but it all just adds to the excitement for me. Training hasn’t been as ideal as I’m recovering from a couple of injuries but I am absolutely determined to complete this challenge – nothing will stop me.”

“In April 2021 at the end of lockdown I weighed 135kg and knew something had to change. I was badly overweight with a BMI of 37 and my diet was terrible. I was only doing weights on and off at the gym and that wasn’t achieving anything. My father had passed away in sleep due to heart attack in 2019 so I knew I was heading same way unless changed quickly. I didn’t want to end up the same way and inspired by the birth of my daughter, Hattie last year I resolved to get fit. In April 2021 I started to do more in way of cardio training then in 2022 started to run more and more. I have never run over 27 miles in 1 go so this ultra marathon of 100km/62.5 miles will be far and away the hardest challenge I have ever done but well up for the challenge. It will be mainly off road, a lot of it on the south downs. It starts in Polegate and ends in Arundel and is called the South Coast Ultra Challenge.”

It has been an inspirational journey of health improvement for Dan. This will be the second fundraising challenge Dan has undergone, having raised £1700 in support of a close friend’s daughter with cerebral palsy in March.

On his choice of charity for the challenge Dan said:

“UCEP is an inspirational charity which supports children in West Africa to overcome barriers to education. Many children live in extreme poverty and are homeless which I think is totally unacceptable in 2023. All children should have a right to be fed, looked after properly and educated. I’m hoping my run will bring some further support to and awareness of UCEP and the children it supports.”

The challenge will kick-off at 7am in Polegate on Saturday 2 September.

More information about the work of UCEP can be found at ucepcommunity.org