Africa record run in jeopardy after kidnapping attempt - Onlinetimesgh

Africa record run in jeopardy after kidnapping attempt

An attempt to beat the world record for the fastest person to run the length of Africa is in jeopardy – after safety issues halted the challenge.

Keith Boyd, from Wargrave, Berkshire, has been running from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt, for 270 days.

Security issues in northern Ethiopia have stalled his progress – preventing him from passing through on three separate occasions.

He has been held at gunpoint and narrowly avoided being kidnapped.

Mr Boyd, who is British-South African, said he thought an attempt by rebel groups to take him and his videographer, Michael, hostage was “game over”.

“I had nightmares of them getting us away from the road,” he said.

“I was telling Michael we have to stay near the road and hope police or army would come fast and see this.”

He added it was turning into a “full-blown kidnapping”, before the situation was “defused rather remarkably”.

It comes after Russell Cook, the man nicknamed “Hardest Geezer”, successfully ran the full length of Africa, crossing the finish line in Tunisia after 352 days, last month.

He also faced several setbacks including being robbed at gunpoint.

Ultra-runner Mr Boyd has now launched a petition urging the Ethiopian government to allow him to run his final 500km (310 miles) across the country – and ensure his run is recognised officially by Guinness World Records.

He said: “I think it would be a real tragedy if the last 500km scuppered our chances of [breaking the record] and it would be really disappointing if 26 years after the record was set that that’s the only thing that tripped us up.”

He continued: “It’s down to the Ethiopians now. They’re going to decide whether I can get this record or not. It’s 100% in their hands.”

Mr Boyd aims to complete his challenge on 7 May – and beat the current world record by about 30 days.

“If I, an overweight 57-year-old, can break a 26-year standing record in one of the toughest endurance challenges out there in the world, just imagine what you could do if you put your mind to it?”

source: bbc

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