Equivalent of Ben Nevis twice in 24 hours on cliff paths is one man’s personal challenge

AT MIDNIGHT tonight, Mark Prevel will set out from Havelet Bay on a walking challenge equivalent to climbing and descending Ben Nevis twice – a feat he aims to achieve before Saturday becomes Sunday.

In one 24-hour slog, he hopes to walk the length of the south coast cliffs to Fort Pezeries and back, before taking a cold bath at his home at La Charroterie and then setting off from Havelet again.

If he is successful, he will reach The Imperial Hotel before closing time for a well earned pint or two of his favourite Guinness.

The 45-mile adventure has two purposes – Mr Prevel wants to raise money for three good causes and he also wants to continue getting the best out of a body that was once ready to give up on him.

When he was diagnosed with chronic emphysema in 1993, his heartbeat was undetectable with ultrasound due to the condition of his lungs.

He was put on a waiting list for a transplant but instead took up an option for an experimental procedure to remove an enlarged pocket of air that had formed inside the lung.

This was successful and he grasped the new lease of life with a revived enthusiasm.

Mark Prevel faces the daunting task of tackling the south coast cliff steps in their hundreds. (29628921)

‘After my surgery, I was running around like Tigger,’ he said.

‘I completely changed my diet. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan but I virtually cut out meat and I stopped eating any processed foods. I felt the difference, you could say, almost overnight.’

Mr Prevel now fuels his herculean fitness efforts – his pedometer shows he has walked 2.6 million steps so far this year – predominantly with a combination of fruit, vegetables, seeds, beans and mushrooms.

‘I did get tempted into having a big Sunday roast the other day and it just fogged me up,’ he said.

The motivation for this strict regime is caution, as well as aspiration – his ongoing health depends on a high level of fitness to stave off further accumulation of liquids in the lung.

The challenge is another stage in the build up to his ultimate ambition of walking the length of the cliffs 10 times within a week, which he hopes to achieve by his 60th birthday next year.

All these challenges are in aid of Royal Papworth Hospital, where he was given his life-saving treatment, along with the Children’s Ward at the PEH and Lungevity – a Guernsey charity supporting those with lung problems and their carers. n Donations can be made via Mr Prevel’s website - papaprev.org.

Accomplishments to be in a book

MARK PREVEL has derived inspiration for his healthy lifestyle from a book called How Not To Die, which was given to him by his daughter, Kama.

His growing list of accomplishments will now be the subject of another book with the working title Why The Hell Am I Doing This?

Each of his four children has contributed a chapter and he has also written one about Kama and the inspiration she helped to provide.

Mr Prevel hopes to have the book ready for publication by the autumn, with all profits being divided up between the same charities that benefit from his walking exploits.

In order to ensure as much of the sale price as possible goes to the charities, he has secured help with editing and he is also now seeking a sponsor to cover the cost of printing.

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