BBC documentary producer to compete in the Fan Dance endurance race
10:30am Thursday 16th January 2014 in News By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
A BBC wildlife media producer is preparing to take part in one of the toughest endurance events in the UK this weekend.
Fergus Beeley, from Badminton, is competing in the Fan Dance on Saturday, January 18.
The 15-mile run over the Brecon Beacons is fought out by potential members of the British Special Forces as part of their selection process. The race covers a lot of ground quickly and requires participants to carry everything they would need to cross the different terrains.
Fergus, who is running in aid of two cancer charities after friend of 40 years Mark Donegan was diagnosed with cancer last year, has taken some unusual steps in preparation for the gruelling challenge.
As well as physical training, he has needed specialist equipment to complete the race including a hi-tech pair of glasses.
Fergus visited Specsavers in Clifton Down Shopping Centre just before Christmas for a regular eye examination. Due to the nature of his work, perfect vision is very important as Fergus travels all over the world across a range of environments where visibility isn’t always clear.
Following a conversation with store director Chris Child, where Fergus explained how many glasses he had broken or lost during his expeditions, the store offered to supply Fergus with high quality, secure goggles and accompanying varifocal lenses as a form of sponsorship for the difficult challenge.
He said: “Specsavers is essentially helping to keep me safe and Chris has been a great help making sure I am ready for the race.
“In my line of work, I desperately need good eyesight as I need to be able to see every contour on the map, this is even more important when navigating at night as people can die from poor visibility.”
He added: “I will be raising money for Cancer Research UK and the Oracle Cancer Trust after a friend of mine was recently diagnosed with the disease.
“With the help of our supporters we have already raised £250,000 but still need to double the amount to reach our target. So please, this New Year, if you can spare a few pounds please do.”
To sponsor Fergus go to www.justgiving.com/markandfergus
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