Northern Fitness Gym team completes ‘brutal’ challenge of a marathon a day for 13 days on tropical island of Fiji to raise money for Eden Smith

By Andy Hirst

Super robust members of a Colne Valley health club have simply accomplished a gruelling fundraising problem on the opposite facet of the world … but it surely’s taken a toll on them and so they admit it’s been a ‘brutal’ expertise.

The 5 members from Northern Fitness Gym in Linthwaite lined 315 miles on foot in beneath 13 days across the island of Fiji to boost cash in the direction of the fund to ship seven-year-old Holmfirth lady Eden Smith to the USA for specialist most cancers therapy.

That’s the equal of a marathon a day however they completed simply forward of schedule after getting in a monster 50km run someday. During the run they’ve suffered contaminated blisters and dehydration together with far too many common aches and pains to say.

They’ve needed to battle with searing warmth and difficult terrain on the South Pacific island well-known for its volcanic mountains and dense tropical forest.

The working crew members are health club proprietor Kev Bower, Michelle Anderson, Ryan Whitaker, Craig Lee and Brent Lee, supported by health club members Vikki Whitaker and Adam Peel who’ve been driving a employed van and ensuring the crew has the medical and logistical help it wants.

They aimed to do it in 13 days. In the top it took them 12 days and 17 hours and so they completed round midnight final night time (Thursday) British time.

Northern Fitness Gym ( has an amazing file of doing community-minded work and Kev can be chairman of group curiosity firm #FORRONAN arrange in reminiscence of younger Huddersfield Giants Academy rugby league participant Ronan Costello who was fatally injured whereas taking part in the game in June 2016 and died on the age of simply 17.

They increase cash for native good causes and though the run is #FORRONAN all of the fundraising is now going to assist Eden in the intervening time.

Last December Kev challenged 100 of his health club members to boost £50,000 for the Eden attraction. Now the Fiji run is full, the determine stands at greater than £65,000.

In simply 28 hours this week they lined 84km – that’s the equal of two marathons – and have become well-known on the island after they had been featured on Fiji TV.

The crew on Fiji TV

Kev stated: “Everyone was so prepared for the end line mentally and bodily. From my very own perspective it was a second I genuinely doubted seeing again on day three and 4.

“I don’t know how we’ve achieved what we have now within the final two days not to mention the final two weeks. It can have been with out exception probably the most gruelling and brutal expertise I’ve ever been a part of and to have ex Royal Marine Brent Lee testify to that assertion confirms it for anybody nonetheless doubtful.”

On one other day the crew set off at 4.50am and did 38km. After a meal and a bathe Kev instructed they get again out on the street and do one other 12km, which all of them agreed to take action set off once more at 5pm.

One of the worst days for Kev was Day 11 when he stated: “My joint worst day of the tour – cruised the primary 20km however the final 15 had been torture. Combination of aching blistered toenail-less ft, a thoughts numbingly lengthy street and the warmth slowed me proper down, sapping each ounce of will and power.

“I fell asleep on the bus again to the lodge and the temper didn’t decide up till I’d demolished a 500g steak. Feet had been nonetheless in bits regardless of ice water and therapeutic massage gun remedy.”

Kev selected Fiji as he needed an island they might run round in two weeks and he’d beforehand cycled round New Zealand’s north island.

He stated: “We don’t know of anybody else who has gone around the outskirts of Fiji on the price of a marathon a day.”

Northern Fitness crew montage

All seven crew members self-funded the £2,500 price per individual. Halifax firm Eclipse Energy supplied £3,000 to present the fundraising an enormous enhance. The firm specialises in renewable power options similar to photo voltaic panels and air supply warmth pumps.

Eden, of Wooldale, is present process intensive therapy for a uncommon type of most cancers and as soon as she is in remission must go for specialist therapy within the USA which has a far better likelihood of stopping the most cancers returning than therapy obtainable right here.

Eden was recognized with high-risk neuroblastoma in April 2021, a uncommon and aggressive childhood most cancers that has a 40% to 50% likelihood of long-term survival at prognosis and impacts fewer than 100 kids within the UK yearly. Scans and checks confirmed the most cancers was situated in seven locations round Eden’s physique.

She has accomplished gruelling chemotherapy, undergone a significant operation and had stem cell therapy, radiotherapy and, most just lately, immunotherapy.

To forestall the most cancers returning Eden will now want Bivalent Vaccine therapy which is simply obtainable in New York on the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the earliest she’d in all probability be capable to go could be this summer season.

She might want to go there round a dozen occasions within the subsequent few years and the fundraising tally now stands at round £400,000.

Anyone who desires to donate to the Northern Fitness Fiji Challenge ought to go to

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