Hayscastle adventurer, Chris Gouldsmith, will attempt a world record breaking journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats this summer, as he aims to become the first person ever to complete the journey on roller skis.
Ex-soldier, arctic adventurer, ironman coach and cross-country ski instructor, Chris is currently in training for the arduous task which will test his fitness, courage, and determination.
He will set off on the 900 mile challenge on August 1 and aims to complete the journey in around 15 days, covering between 55-60 miles a day.
Roller skiing is a popular sport in Europe and is the off snow equivalent to cross-country skiing. It is usually practiced on fairly flat smooth tarmac routes and the undulations of the British roads, not to mention the surfaces, are two of the technical challenges Chris anticipates.
“It’s going to be difficult,” said Chris. “I have had a few falls and things but it’s not going to faze me, I’m quite determined to do it.”
Chris is taking on the challenge to raise awareness of roller skiing as a sport and to raise funds for two charities close to his heart; The National Autistic Society which raises funds, awareness and understanding for those affected by autism and the brain injury charity, Headway.
Headway provides rehabilitation and support programms to survivors of brain injury, their families and carers. The charity is personally important to Chris who lost his identical twin brother Jonathan following a head injury. Jonathan was knocked down and killed by a taxi in Llanelli while on leave from the army in April 2011. He was 24 years old.
Chris hopes to raise £6,000 for both charities and will hold a fundraising ball at Wolfscastle Country Hotel on September 8 to help reach his target. You can sponsor him at www.virginmoneygiving.com/RUNgoldieRUN.
Chris is also looking for a local sponsor who would be able to help him with travel and equipment costs.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Training is going well and I’m working on building up balance, flexibility and endurance. Hopefully I will be the first person to roller ski the length of Britain.”