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Barnsley man's record attempt fails after accident

By Katia Harston, Chief Reporter Friday 2nd May 2014
Gavin Felton

A BARNSLEY man's attempt to break a world record running from Land's End to John O'Groats has ended after he fell by the roadside just 24 hours into the trip.

Gavin Felton, 44, set off from Land's End but hours later he went into a ditch at the side of the A30 dual carriageway in Cornwall after a lorry forced the cyclist riding at his side for support into him by driving too close.

The former regimental sergeant, who has spent two years training for the attempt, is now back home and can only move around by gingerly hobbling after tearing his calf muscles and damaging the nerves in his left leg.

He had hoped to break the record of nine days, two hours and 21 minutes and said he well ahead of record pace when the accident happened at only the 30-mile marker stage.

Gavin, a self-employed taxi driver of Merchant Croft, Monk Bretton, said: "I was running with a cyclist from my support team, who was at the side of me nearest to the road, and we were both lit up like Christmas trees.

"A lorry passed and came within about a foot or so of the cyclist and as it passed it blew him in to the side of me.

"I had to swerve and ended up in a steep ditch. The lorry never stopped."

Doctors have told Gavin it could take up to six months for the nerves to fully heal and there is a risk the damage could be permanent. He has been told to do 'absolutely nothing' for at least two months.

Fortunately the experience hasn't put him off, vowing he'll be fit enough to take on the record attempt by August 2015.

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