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Monday 24 May 2021

Hands-on support to aid world-record attempt

UCLan sports medicine team to follow Land’s End to John O’Groats charity runner every step of the way

The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) sports medicine team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists is gearing up to support a serving member of the Coldstream Guards attempt to break a world record for charity.

On 18 June Richard Perkins will begin a run of 874 mile from Lands’ End to John o’ Groats. His aim is to break the current Guinness World Record which stands at nine days and two hours.

To help in his quest, a carefully selected group of skilled and experienced physiotherapists and physiologists from UCLan will support the serviceman along the gruelling route.

Leading the UCLan support team is Head of Performance and Rehabilitation Medicine Karen May, a first-choice physiotherapist of many British fell and mountain runners. Joining her will be UCLan physiotherapists Russell Hitchin and Adam Cook, both with extensive experience in sports injuries and rehabilitation, together with the University’s Jo Rycroft, a clinical physiologist providing support in relation to performance monitoring and nutrition.

"Once we found out about the plans we just had to help. It’s for such a great cause "

Karen May, UCLan's Head of Performance and Rehabilitation Medicine

Commenting on the UCLan team’s involvement Karen said: “I treat a lot of fell and mountain runners, so Richard was recommended to speak to me. Once we found out about the plans we just had to help. It’s for such a great cause and we want to provide Richard with the best possible support so he can complete this amazing challenge and hopefully break a world record at the same time.”

Richard Perkins added: “With Karen heading up the physio team from UCLan I know I’m in safe hands. On average I will need to cover more than 150 km a day to break the current world record of nine days and two hours. Without an experienced and dedicated team of physiotherapists and medics it simply wouldn’t be possible. Karen’s impressive expertise in this field and her experience working with professional athletes makes her, and the UCLan team, the ideal people to work with on this world record attempt.”

To create the record, it’s likely Richard will be pounding the roads for virtually 24-hours a day so the UCLan team will split into pairs with each working 12-hour support shifts.

"Karen’s impressive expertise in this field and her experience working with professional athletes makes her, and the UCLan team, the ideal people to work with on this world record attempt"

Richard Perkins, who is attempting to break the Guinness World Record

Karen added: “Our support team members also compete in ultra-events and marathons, so we’ll run and cycle sections of the route alongside Richard, continually monitoring his health, offering support and advice where needed.”

In addition to setting up regular pitstops the UCLan team will assist in areas such as blister prevention, soft tissue analysis, manual therapy and blood flow in the lower limbs. The UCLan physios will also make use of a cryotherapy compression garment to help reenergise Richard’s tired limbs.

If everything goes well the determined serviceman will be passing through Lancashire on 22 or 23 June as the final route is still being determined.

It’s hoped the charity run will raise £10,000 and go some way to help provide a dedicated holiday space and support for former Guardsmen and their families.

To find out more about Richard’s challenge follow him on Facebook @stravalejogchallenge or to help him reach his £10,000 target visit his JustGiving page.

*Pic caption
The UCLan team, from left to right, Adam Cook, Karen May, Jo Rycroft and Russell Hitchen

Richard Perkins01 / 01