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99 %
raised of £1,000 target
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Kenneth Heathcote avatar
Kenneth Heathcote

Ken's 3 Mile Great North Swim

The Great North Swim for Cancer Research UK because It's a worthy cause

99 %
raised of £1,000 target
by 35 supporters
  • Event: Great North Swim 2016, 10 Jun 2016 to 12 Jun 2016

Cancer Research UK

We pioneer life-saving cancer research to help us beat cancer

Charity Registration No. in England and Wales 1089464, Scotland SC041666


Once more into the breach three miles of Lake Windermere. Now at the age of eighty I am doing it for the second time.

Ken Heathcote, a coal miner’s son from a Northern council estate, became one of the most influential men in the fitness industry – a pioneering visionary who transformed Britain’s health culture and helped a Premier League soccer team overcome its players’ psychological problems.

The former paratrooper launched the country’s first multi-facility fitness club in his home town of Bolton, and for 30 years was involved with more than 100,000 people – local folk who simply wanted to get fit, but also dozens of sporting household names.

At one point, Ken was training more than thirty people, aged over 40, who were running marathons in under three hours. He coached a cerebal palsy victim, who won six Gold Medals at the Paralympic Games in New York.

And, as a Mister Universe judge, he met Arnold Schwarzanegger, who told him he would one day be a Governor of California!

For his 40th birthday, Ken raised money for a leukaemia charity by: Running 40 miles before breakfast…Lifting 40,000 lbs, in a series of exercises, in 40 minutes…Playing four, best of five, squash matches against the world squash champion, two England footballers, and a disc jockey… Performing 400 sit-ups.

Six years later, Ken achieved national acclaim when BBC TV filmed him trying to break the Land’s End to John o’ Groatsrecord by running the 841 miles in under 11 days. He managed 559 miles in nine days before a damaged Achilles tendon forced him to quit.

For his 50th birthday, Ken raised money to help a local school by: Running 50 miles…Lifting 50,000lbs in 50 minutes…Playing five squash matches against an England footballer, Britain’s tennis No. 2, British badminton champion, a Rugby League international…. Performing 500 sit-ups.

In 2010, Ken flew to Switzerland with son Paul – the famous chef, recently awarded an MBE – to climb the Matterhorn.

Ken’s mental and physical strength is awesome, but it is his philosophy on what makes the human mind – and body – tick that sets him apart from most fitness gurus.

By Robin McGibbon – Best selling author


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