Vernon Kay battles pain as he receives a hero’s welcome in Derby after hitting a new milestone at the Children in Need ultramarathon

TWO days into his Children In Need ultramarathon, Radio 2 star Vernon Kay had his very own Rocky Balboa moment as he ran through Bakewell in Derbyshire last night.

Vern received a hero’s welcome as he embarked on the final leg of his 40-mile day, which marked the end of the hilliest part of his 110-mile route.

Vernon Kay's journey took him through the hilliest part of the ultramarathon he is completing for Children in Need


Vernon Kay’s journey took him through the hilliest part of the ultramarathon he is completing for Children in NeedPhoto credit: Tracey Welch BBC

On the way, Vernon said he was handed Bakewell tarts to fuel the journey, adding: “We have several, we’ll save those for later.”

“A nice lady just gave me a bottle of hot vegetable soup

“I don’t know how to get it back from her.”

Vernon fights through pain to complete the epic challenge, admitting, “The left leg is fine, but the right leg is bad.”


He will head straight into an ice bath when he finishes tonight ahead of the third leg of his journey, which will see him head to Manchester tomorrow.

Yesterday Vernon spoke to his Radio 2 co-host Zoe Ball and admitted he had struggled to get a goodnight kip before the run today.

He said: “It was constantly going in and out of sleep. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. in pain, I slept unsteadily on my flabby hip.”

Vern also changed his plans after running solidly for 27 miles on the first leg.

Yesterday he said he decided to run and walk the 40 miles.

He explained: “We walk for 40 minutes and run for 40 minutes because we have a long way to go, 40 miles, and the terrain is hideous.

“It’s not the best. It’s not Holland.”

Fans can donate to his fundraiser for Children In Need at

John Verrall

John Verrall is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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