A FITNESS fanatic is pushing his mind and body to the limit by embarking on a solo cycle across the Australian outback while also completing five park runs.

Dennis Warner has spent the past nine months planning the 3,200 mile cycle with park runs in-between from the west coast to the east coast of the country.

It’s the latest in a long list of challenges the 59-year-old has completed across the globe since 1988 from cycling from Harwich to Timbuktu to climbing North America’s highest mountain Mount McKinley, in Alaska, which is 20,260ft.

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He said he felt inspired to take on his latest challenge after he spent three months touring Australia last year with his wife Diane.

Dennis, of Beech Grove, Little Oakley, said: “This challenge will be sure to push me to my limits.”

He will be flying to Perth in Western Australia on August 15 and will start his adventure on August 18.

His plan is to complete the cycle in 44 days covering an average of 73 miles per day.

Dennis will start his voyage near Perth and cycle 1,549 miles to Alice Springs in central Australia, then cycle 1,624 miles to Sandgate on the east coast.

On his days off from cycling he will take on five park runs across the country which are three miles long each.

He said: “I have been planning the trip since October and I have had nine months to prepare for the cycle.

“I am going the distance alone and there might be three or four days I have without seeing another person on the remote parts on the journey in central Australia.

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“The main road ends at one point and there is a track and I may see the occasional 4x4 - but that would be the only human company I see.

“I will be camping there and although it is not enjoyable, I get a satisfaction from camping and it’s always a nice achievement once you’ve done it.” Dennis will be cycling in the Australian spring time where the temperature will be between 20 and 30 degrees with a low chance of rain.

He said: “I avoid sponsorship as I don’t want people to pay for my trips.

“The last big challenge I completed was about five years ago, but I have been doing trips to Africa in the meantime for volunteer work.”

But the laboratory technician won’t be collecting money for charity while he completes his Oz challenge, because he doesn’t want people to pay towards his trip.

Instead he is taking on the challenge as a personal adventure.

Some of Dennis’ toughest challenges include, climbing the 15,771ft Mont Blanc, in France, in 1988, to cycling from Uganda to Victoria Falls via Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia in 2009.

He said: “The most difficult part of the challenges I’ve done is probably how unpredictable people are and I have had so many things go wrong from having my passport stolen to even being held at gun point.

“I think I am on the last of my nine lives now.

“But if these challenges all went according to plan there would not be as many stories to tell afterwards and memories to look back on.

“When things do wrong you have to learn that whatever life throws at you, you just have to try and stay calm and deal with it.

“In the western world we are so used to calling the emergency services for help to deal with a bad situation but in a remote area alone you have to deal with problems yourself.”

Over the past 30 years Dennis Warner from Little Oakley has taken on numerous adventures and personal challenges across the globe: 

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  • 1988 Dennis climbed the 15,771ft Mont Blanc in France
  • 1990 he climbed the 20,260ft Mount McKinley in Alaska – highest mountain in North America
  • 1995 to 1996 he built a 14ft sailing boat Diddy-Da from scratch and sailed it from Harwich to Littlehampton 
  •  2001 he cycled 4,269 miles from Harwich to Timbuktu which included a crossing of the Sahara desert alone and unsupported
  • 2006 Dennis climbed 4,167ft to the summit of the highest mountain in North Africa - the Jebel Toubkal, in Morocco
  • 2009 he cycled from Uganda to Victoria Falls in Zambia, via Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia