So desperate are people to support Bolton's Vernon Kay on his gruelling 115 mile trek to his hometown, some even drove for miles to track him down.

The radio broadcaster and TV  presenter is taking part in an ultramarathon challenge for Children in Need, which will end at his beloved Bolton Wanderers Stadium on Friday.

Today he set off from Derby, heading towards the Peak District, going via Duffield, Belper, Matlock, Rowsley, Bakewell, then finishing in Hope.

See today’s route here:


A post shared by BBC Radio 2 (@bbcradio2)

During presenter Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 show, she revealed to Vernon that so far he has raised £340,156.

Vernon said: “I’m going to keep saying it like a stuck record, but the goodwill of great British public is outstanding.

“Today we’ve got the actual Children in Need bucket, as yesterday we raised two and a half grand in cash donations just by walking down the road.

“I can’t remember his name, I feel really guilty, but a gentleman climbed the first hill in Derby with us who lost his leg to diabetes, but he came out for a quick walk and he was saying that this is going to help me tenfold.


A post shared by Vernon (@vernonkay)


“So, I apologise to the gentleman whose name I have forgot, but what a trooper, running out.” 

Zoe asked how he slept, and Vernon said: “It was on off the sleep.

“I woke up at half past five in pain, I was sleeping wonky on the dodgy hip.”

Zoe said: “Can I just say well done to you.

“How was it for you emotionally?”

Vernon: “Yesterday was an experience I will never forget.

“We didn’t give out a lot of the run of the route we’re taking for security reasons.

The Bolton News: Vernon Kay meets Kay Vernon who sounds the starting horn at the start of Day 2Vernon Kay meets Kay Vernon who sounds the starting horn at the start of Day 2 (Image: BBC)“People on the route are saying ‘we need to know where you’re going because there’s lots of people who want to join you’’. 

“There was a couple of ladies who had driven around for five miles which was quite funny.

“When I was running with people who randomly joined us, it was such a great moment.

“You just get to meet people from everyday life. 

“It was joyous.

“The beautiful thing about it is that we all have so much in common, we were chattering away about life, about kids, about schools for kids, life stuff, and it was a real warm heartfelt moment which kept me pushing through the run.

“I’ll be honest with you Zoe, today I feel for the first time in my life, I am not a morning person.

“I feel like the grumpy French teacher at school.

“I feel like that person today.”

Vernon also shared that he would be sharing a “strong” and “powerful” story on Friday morning when he starts off at Old Trafford Cricket Club to Bolton Wanderers Stadium.

Vernon said that his leg on the left side is really painful, so he’s changed his game plan today, where he will be walking for 40 minutes, and running for 40 minutes. 

Vernon said, “Here’s the kicker of today... it’s very undulating and one of the steepest hills is at the very end as we climb up the stupid hill where our accommodation is for tonight.

“The last three miles are all literally vertical.

 “It’s gonna be a tough one today, so if my pain brings you joy, please donate.”

To stay up to date with Vernon’s progress:

  • Listen to his regular updates on Radio 2 shows across the week live on Radio 2 and listen back on BBC Sounds (This can be paused and rewind to enable transcription)
  • To make a donation click here (

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