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Reporter's Death Valley trip helps OAP break record

A weekly newspaper reporter was part of a support team which helped a 75-year-old man complete a record-breaking charity challenge.

Reporter Keyan Milanian, from the Medway Messenger, has just returned to the UK after accompanying Jack Denness on the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, California.

The pensioner became the oldest person to ever complete the challenge and Keyan ran alongside him for part of it, keeping his spirits up and making sure he was properly hydrated.

Keyan kept his newspaper updated with regular pieces on Jack’s progress – providing information on him completing the marathon in time for deadline, despite the eight-hour time difference.

He said: “Seeing Jack’s efforts at close quarters made me realise how amazing he really is. At one stage, I accompanied him for a few hours, got tired and had a nap in the support van. When I woke up Jack was still going strong.”

Jack raised money for charity CPC Kent, which the Medway Messenger supported earlier this year when three of its reporters, including Keyan, completed the Three Peaks Challenge.

Editor Bob Bounds said: “Keyan jumped at the chance to go with Jack to California and it was a great opportunity for the paper to cover a story like this first hand.

“No other media outlet was able to get as close to the story as we were, as no one else had someone on the ground.

“As a local newspaper we’re keen to foster strong links with groups and charities in our area, and it’s something we’ve managed very successfully with CPC Kent.”

Jack, who is known as Death Valley Jack, has competed in the Badwater Ultramarathon 14 times.

He finished his latest one earlier this month after 59 hours and 13 minutes of walking and running.

  • Jack Denness, second left, and reporter Keyan Milanian, third right, celebrate with the rest of the team after the completion of the race.
  • Comments

    hot stuff (27/07/2010 14:19:40)
    The big question is – Who paid? I bet £5 it wasn’t the newspaper!