Challenges to come

2018: Events & Races

Kev training with 'Husky', his pulk (sledge on wheels) simulator for the 6633 ultra

Kev has set himself plenty of goals for 2018 & these include the Races below:

"In all aspects of my life, I have always believed that if you only do what you have done before that is not progress, additionally, I have always had an aversion to false accolades. Having said that, its really about self actualisation; that is, me knowing that when it came to it I pushed myself and did the best that I could in any given situation.

"As at January 2018 I feel physically 95% and that is good enough for me to crack on and try to better what I have done before. Running is also the thing that keeps me at 95% mentality or above. Before I believed I could run again I was at my lowest ebb in life, teetering into the minus percentage at times.

"And if anyone asks me what they should do if their own situation is suffocating them, then I just say this; find those things in life that make you smile, give you zest, that encourage you to be more positive... and pursue them. Even if it seems silly or unimportant to others or even yourself at times, if it has a positive effect then do it. It will lead you to a better place than the one you're in right now and that, quite simply, is progress and you have no way of knowing what doors it will open up in the future, you really, really don't!!

"Personally, I don't want those dark times back so below is what I am planning to do to help my health stay as strong as possible in the circumstances, which as I've said also keeps my mind strong too."

March, 2018

COMPLETED!

The 6633 Ultra, Canada

  • Distance

    120 miles/380 miles
  • Number of Runners

    25+ runners in total
  • Duration

    3 Days/8 days
  • Starting Location

    Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory, Canada
  • Finish Line

    1. Fort McPherson
    2. Tuktoyuktuk
    (Northwest Territories, Canada)

6633 Route

From Eagle Plains to Tuktoyakatuk

"I chose this race because I've done some events in heat and whilst I love the heat and it will always be a challenge I wanted to push myself differently. An event called Fire and Ice in Iceland in September 2017 was a stab at performing in the cold but in the end it was not much colder than an average English winter.

The 6633, however, is in a different league. It is run entirely in Canada and just getting there is an adventure with a flight to Vancouver, then another to a small place called Whitehorse. From there is a drive north to the start in Eagle Plains. The finish for the 120 mile race is in Fort McPherson and the 380 mile version finishes at Tuktoyakatuk on the shore of the Arctic Ocean almost 9 days later!

This is a self sufficient race so I went out there with a Pulk (sled) to carry all my necessary kit, pulling it along myself and on it was all my food, my sleeping bag, a bivvy bag (an outer survival layer for protection), cooking equipment and all my other bits and pieces including, of course, the very anti-cancer drugs that are essential for my prolonged scrap with prostate cancer. This was an unbelievably tough event for many reasons -you can read more about it in my blogs- and this was filmed by Richard Alexander for his upcoming film. The stuff he shot shows the beauty of the place, as well as doing a pretty good of showing how harsh, barren and massive the place is.

The worst thing for me was probably the sleep deprivation, the severe cold coming in second and, like I said, there is a list of things that make this difficult... too much to go into here. Eventually, of the almost 30 runners who signed up for this, only 2 of us managed to finish the 120 mile version, and only 6 the longer race. I think that shows just how tough this was"

April, 2018

COMPLETED!

The Marathon des Sables, Morocco

  • Distance

    250 km

  • Number of Runners

    1,000+ runners approx.
  • Duration

    5 Days
  • Starting Location

    Sahara Desert
  • Finish Line

    Sahara Desert

Marathon des Sables route

250K across the Sahara Desert

www.marathondessables.com

"I love, love, love this race. If there's one multi-stage ultra race that everyone should have a go at its this. Yes it costs but the organisation is second to none and the actual race is brutal; 250 kilometres across massive sand dunes that seem to go on forever; mountains (Jebels); endless salt flats. But the camaraderie on this event is the best I have ever experienced, its amazing and I will never forget my mates from previous events, those guys in tents 105 (in 2016) and 107 (in 2017).

Again, this is a self-sufficiency event so you have to carry a pack with your water and supplies but thankfully you can sleep in between stages and the temperatures do cool down at night.

Well, I'm so pleased that I did it, although I had serious doubts after day 2 when I was feeling pretty rough. I have now actually finished my third, consecutive Marathon Des Sables; I don't believe that anyone has done that before with any T4 metastatic cancer including my prostate cancer. There were many heroic stories out there and a fair few sand storms and if you want to read more details, just check my blogs, it's all there!”

June 2018

COMPLETED!

Northern England :
7 Days, 7 Marathons

"Colleagues at the bank put together this incredible logistical challenge that consists of 100s of employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland at seven different locations in the north turning out for marathons!

We travelled around from location to location, a different one each and every day joined by teams of volunteers who turned out en masse - all in aid of raising funds and awareness on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK, which is simply amazing...

When we were planning it we didn't know exactly what we might achieve in terms of fundraising with the only thing certain being that a huge number of people were putting their hearts and souls into this, with many never having even got close to covering this kind of distance in one day. I was so humbled and so, so grateful that they organised this.

Employees from the various branches around the locations all did their 'local' marathon and I completed all of them... as did Michael Tattersall, the Chief Executive Officer of The National League (previously known as The Football Conference) - despite NEVER having done anything like it before!!

Amazingly a sum of around £90,000 was raised for prostate Cancer UK - an incredible achievement and something that made me feel really proud of the bank and my colleagues.

  • Distance

    183 miles approx.
  • Number of Participants

    about 130 people
  • Duration

    7 Days
  • Locations

    1. Newcastle
    2. Leeds
    3. Sheffield
    4. Hyde/Stockport
    5. Oldham/Gtr Manchester
    6. Preston
    7. Liverpool
  • Funds Raised

    around £90k

July, 2018

COMPLETED!

Al Andalus, Spain

  • Distance

    230 km

  • Number of Runners

    80 runners approx.
  • Duration

    5 Days
  • Starting & Finishing Location

    Loja, Andalusia, Spain
  • Ascent & Descent

    Over 14,000m in all

Al Andalus route

From Loja > Alhama de Grenada > Játar > Jayena and back!

www.alandalus-ut.com

"I did this race in 2017 and it's 230 kilometres in the mountains in an area of Spain called Andalusia. It's not self-sufficient so no pack but in 2016 we experienced the hottest day on record where it was 47.5c in the shade and unlike the Sahara, it never really cooled down that much at night.

There is over 7000m of ascent – and what goes up must come down which puts a whole different level of strain on your legs as you descend. It is arid, undulating, dusty, the running surfaces are extremely tricky at points, so all in all a really tough challenge and the unbelievably scorching sun with practically no shade throughout.

So, why enter it again? Well, it was 'unfinished business' as I was pulled out by the race director 18 kilometres from the end in 2017 and was utterly determined to finish it this time. It was as tough as I recalled from the previous year with a high number of competitors having to drop out of the race over the five days. Day four was the big barrier and, knowing this, I planned meticulously to ensure I had the best chance of completing this time around.

Crossing the line was exhilarating knowing that I'd conquered it. Fabulous.

Sept, 2018

COMPLETED!

Albania

  • Distance

    220 km

  • Number of Runners

    80 runners approx.
  • Duration

    6 Days
  • Starting Location

    Berat, Albania
  • Finish Location

    Butrint's ancient amphitheatre
  • Ascent & Descent

    Over 8,000m

'The Hidden Treasure' route

Starting in one World Heritage site & finishing in another!

www.global-limits.com

"So... this is really an amazing sounding event, tucked away in a country a lot of people have barely even heard of yet once you do some investigation you realise it's an incredibe place!

There was over 8000m of ascent/descent and starts in the incredible World Heritage site of Berat (google images of it and try not to be impressed), finishing 220km later in an ancient amphitheatre, in yet another World Heritage site called Butrint.

As I did more research on this race, the country and the people I became less concerned about 'potential horrors' I could encounter (you know; rumours and fake news!) and more fascinated about the country and the people. If you want to know more details about the race and what I encountered just head over to my blogs... this event really did live up to its name as The Hidden Treasure Race..."


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