Man completes epic 400-mile bike and run challenge for deaf kids

An epic 400 mile cycling and running challenge has been completed by a man from Exmouth for the National Deaf Children’s Society. Paul Baker, 39, dubbed his challenge “400 before 40” after setting himself the task of cycling 250 miles and running 150 miles before his 40th birthday. His challenge started on January 1 and ended on March 28 – a total of 87 days, an average of 4.6 miles per day.

Paul has set a goal of running five times a week, with longer runs on the weekends. His racing route took him around his local estate, but his bikes ventured further afield, to the outskirts of Exeter and then along the estuary. He is close to hitting his fundraising goal of £800, with £670 raised so far for the National Deaf Children’s Society, which supports the UK’s 50,000 deaf children.

He was inspired to raise funds because his daughter Daisy, 9, was identified as deaf when she was a few weeks old and recently had cochlear implants. His family receives continued support from the charity. Paul works for a recycling company and lives in Exmouth with his wife Paula, son Sam, 12, and daughter Daisy.

Paul said: “It’s been a tough challenge for me, but I know it’s nothing compared to what Daisy has to deal with on a daily basis. Since being diagnosed with hearing loss, we have received invaluable support from the National Deaf Children’s Society. I wanted to do something to say thank you for this support. Daisy had cochlear implants last year. Her incredible determination got her through a few tough months.

“The vision of the National Deaf Children’s Society is a world without barriers for every deaf child. It’s a vision we share for Daisy. We want her to take advantage of all the opportunities that a hearing child is capable of.

Melissa Jones, who supports fundraising for the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: ‘I want to say a big thank you to Paul for taking on this epic challenge for us. It was a really imaginative idea and we’re so glad you broke it, thank you so much. The National Deaf Children’s Society is dedicated to supporting the UK’s 50,000 deaf children and their families. The efforts of selfless fundraisers like Paul will help us continue to do our vital work, now and in the future.

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