Jamie is hoping to raise £15,000 in aid of St Luke’s Hospice.
Running a successful business may be time consuming enough for some people. Jamie not only balances a busy work and home life, but he also finds the time to compete in a number of fundraised events every single year to raise money for charity.
Jamie’s experience knows no bounds, after previously Scaling the Great Wall of China in 2000, completing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2003, climbing Machu Picchu, crossing the Arctic on Husky dogs, cycling John O Groats to Lands End incorporating the three highest peaks and the three largest Lakes and most recently; a 250 mile cycle across Costa Rica in 2016.
“I have fundraised for many charities over the years including Pearn Residential Home, NCH the Children’s Charity, St Luke’s Hospice and Prostate Cancer”. Jamie has a personal connection to St Luke’s after losing a number of close friends and seeing the incredible work that the charity offers.
St Luke’s Hospice provides vital care to patients for a calm and peaceful onward journey to the next life. It costs more than £5m per year to run the Hospice and only 30% comes from the government leaving more than £3.5m to be raised by donations and the help from volunteers.
Jamie’s latest challenge, and no doubt his most ambitious to date; is to complete the infamous Marathon Des Sables, or MDS for short. A six stage ‘Ultra marathon’- MDS is a truly gruelling multi-stage adventure through a mythical landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable environments.
Marathon Des Sables covers 6 stages over 7 days, with each participant running a total of 156 miles in up to 60 degrees of gruelling desert heat.
“The marathon Des Sables is something that I’ve always wanted to do. Everyone I’ve spoken to that knows of it has said it changes you for life. People have come back, tend to look at life differently, perhaps appreciate things a little more”.
Jamie tells us that he has no problem when it comes to determination and motivation. “The two reservations I have are food and heat. Bugs, spiders, scorpions are all fine. But running in 50-60 degree heat- I’ve never done anything like that before”.
“We will have to overcome sand storms, de-hydration, hunger, extreme fatigue, mental barriers, desert wildlife and our perceptions of our own capabilities to complete this race”.
What makes the MDS perhaps even more gruelling than the fact it’s in the Sahara Desert? Jamie explains that you have to run with enough supplies to last you the entire 7 days.
“You have to carry all your own kit including a rucksack, food, sleeping bag, mattress, first aid kit, cleaning materials and anti venom pump – you’ll be eating about 2000-2300 calories of food a day so you’ll be deficient from day one but you have to choose; less food meaning less weight to carry, or more food which can potentially slow you down”.
Jamie has recently returned from a Marathon Des Sables specific multi Day training camp in Lanzarote called La Santa, learning from previous MDS runners such as Tom Evans- who placed 3rd in 2017’s event. “We ran ten times over the seven days in challenging conditions.
Training on Volcanic rock and sand with weighted packs to try and prepare as best we can”. Jamie tells us that Ben Annis from the college of Marks and St John’s has kindly offered the use of their Heat Chamber for heat acclimatisation training in preparation for the Sahara.
Before you enter the MDS you have to have comprehensive checks by a Doctor to ensure you are in a fit state to compete, and every participant has to have an ECG. Jamie explains that it is also recommended you take out a specific type of insurance especially for events such as MDS.