Written by Simon Davies,
I’m going to attempt a grand slam of three of the hardest ultra-marathons in the world this year – The Ice Ultra, Desert Ultra, and Jungle Ultra – to raise as much money as I can for Rainbows, a children’s hospice where terminally ill children from across the Midlands can find care, support, and love. The wonderful team of people at the hospice help relieve symptoms, improve quality of life, support parents and siblings through their bereavement and care for children until the very end.
I live in Leicestershire with my wife and 18-month old son and run a design and advertising agency called Makalu just outside Leicester. I would describe myself as a dedicated, but average, 41-year-old runner. I’ve run a few marathons and I completed the Marathon des Sables in 2014. I want to push myself even further and am taking on this challenge to raise money for Rainbows as I have seen first hand the difference they can make. I’ve completely funded the challenge myself so every penny raised will go directly to those who need it most.
During the three races, I’ll be running nearly 18 Marathons over 15 days on three continents, some days running over 60 miles. Each race is self-sufficient so I’ll need to carry my entire kit including food, clothing, equipment and survival gear. I’ll be racing across snow, ice, sand, jungle trails and river crossings – in temperatures ranging from -30˚ to +40˚.
It’s fair to say that I’m feeling pretty apprehensive about what’s to come! The first leg of the journey – the Ice Ultra – is a 150-mile self-sufficient race inside the Arctic Circle. The event is split into five stages running across snowfields, mountain tundras, ice forests and frozen lakes. It kicks off on February 18th which gives me about five weeks left to train and prepare. To make matters worse I’ve been suffering from a damaged Achilles tendon which has made running virtually impossible over the last couple of months.
I’m feeling really grateful to have the assistance of the Training Shed. Not only have they made a generous charitable donation to Rainbows they’re also helping with the rehabilitation of my damaged ankle and providing me with a strength and conditioning programme so I can keep as much of my fitness as possible whilst I’ve been unable to run.
The last couple of months have been spent doing core strengthening work, leg exercises and a seemingly infinite amount of calf-raises. I’ve also been swimming and cycling to keep my endurance and stamina.
After three months of not being able to run I’m delighted that I’m now back outside and running again. It’s a now a race against the clock to get the mileage up over the next five weeks before the Ice Ultra begins.
Friends, family, and local businesses have already been incredibly generous with their charitable donations. So far we’ve raised an amazing £7,400. Everyone’s kindness and generosity is giving me even more drive and determination to get this injury sorted and arrive at the start line in the best possible condition.
I want to raise a significant amount of money for the incredible team at Rainbows Children’s Hospice. I’ve seen first hand the invaluable difference they make to the lives of terminally ill children and their families and I can’t stress enough just how much difference any financial donation can make.
If you’re able to donate some money to Rainbows you can do so at icedesertjungle.com. Any money you can spare will be hugely appreciated. All the expenses for Ice Desert Jungle will be fully covered by myself so every single penny you can spare will go directly to where it’s needed the most.