Wigan borough fitness instructor takes on gruelling SAS challenge to help good causes
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Keith Ribchester is aiming to complete the Fan Dance – a 24km march across the Brecon Beacons, which is used for the infamous SAS selection test.
It will be difficult from the start, as it begins with an immediate ascent of Pen y Fan and returns with an even tougher climb known as Jacob’s Ladder.
But 45-year-old Keith is making it even tougher by carrying a bag weighing 15kg as he walks.
Keith, who lives in Leigh and works at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre, has taken on tough challenges before, including the Yorkshire three peaks, and is determined to finish.
He took on the challenge last year but only made it to halfway, so is doing everything he can to make it to the end this time.
He said: “I did it last year and I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I had not trained enough as I was working too much and I didn’t put enough effort into my training. I’m more prepared this time and I know what to expect.”
Keith is now busy getting ready for the trek, which takes place on June 17, by ensuring he is as fit as possible. He has been working hard in the gym, particularly on load-bearing exercises, and going out walking to make sure he is up for the challenge.
He said: “Outside it’s putting the boots on and putting things in a bag and getting the miles in. I have been to Rivington and it was very muddy, but I did 11 miles in just under four hours.”
This time Keith will have extra motivation to keep going, as he hopes to raise money for Daffodils Dreams, which supports vulnerable children and families in Wigan and Leigh, after asking his manager to suggest a good cause.
Keith, who has a 10-year-old daughter, said: “I like the amazing work they do and it seemed right.”
He will also be walking in aid of Chorley Youth Zone, where he works with children a couple of days each month.