Barnstaple man pledges walking a marathon for every week of the year in support of Devon Air Ambulance

Experienced walker, Keith Maynard, age 59, from Barnstaple, has pledged to walk 52 marathons in 52 weeks - a marathon for every week for the year, to raise vital funds for the life-saving local service. Keith is no novice, but this nevertheless a mammoth task for the grandad of five.

Keith’s previous endeavours have seen him complete many charitable missions including walking from Barnstaple to Brighton for the Anthony Nolan Trust and Land’s End to Barnstaple, including Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and Exmoor, which was approximately 220 miles over 14 days.

The fascinating thing about Keith is that he journeys the miles and miles of rugged terrain across Devon and the surrounding counties without being able to read a map. He jokes that for this he has his friend, ‘Map-reading Dave’ (pictured with Keith above) who accompanies him sometimes, otherwise he is guided by well-known landmarks and following the well-trodden routes of those that have walked before him.

Keith retired after 41 years in the pharmaceutical industry and is now happy doing what he enjoys most, though on one occasion he suffered a bad nosebleed on Dartmoor and began to think about who might come to his aid should he get into real difficulty whilst out walking alone.

The fundraising team at Devon Air Ambulance is hoping that when lockdown restrictions allow, they can encourage more people to join Keith on his journey and perhaps accompany him between major milestones throughout the year ahead.

An Update from Keith on his latest few weeks walking...

I'm loving it out there supporting the charity in the great outdoors and quite a challenging walk this week with a sore foot, sinus infection, turning sixty, Chelsea losing the Cup Final, the odd monsoon and having my second Covid jab - but loving it and I'm still committed to the challenge!

I have now set up an Instagram account which records photographs of each week of my proposed 52 marathons.
Each week has seven photo's and the Instagram account name is:  52_marathons
I'm really pleased with the monies raised so far and I'm hoping there are still lots more DAA supporters out there that will pop a few pounds into my fundraising pot! 
The walks are going well, the weather has been good to me in general and I'm currently averaging approximately 42 miles a week, which as the crow flies has taken us through Paris whilst heading to Rome, which is the approx distance from my home x 52 marathons - if only I was walking directly to Rome, that really would be a walk to remember!

Please help to support Keith’s fundraising efforts for Devon Air Ambulance by donating to his fundraising page and follow his progress on his Facebook page where you can view pics of his journey so far.

Do you have a fundraising story you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you


Keith is not put off walking whatever the weather throws at him!