Former Loughborough student takes on 275km desert race

A former Loughborough student is taking on a 275km race through some of the toughest terrain in the USA to raise money for Rainbows.

Next month, Ryan Collett is aiming to complete the Grand to Grand Ultra, which takes place in the Grand Canyon, Nevada.

Starting on Sunday 24 September, with little to no phone signal, Ryan will run for six days in temperatures around 90 degrees. Carrying 10kg of equipment and food on his back, Ryan will have to contend with rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders, as well as dodging low level cacti that can puncture his trainers.

Ryan, who now lives in Hampshire, is passionate about our charity and has raised money for us in the past.

“I went to Loughborough University and lived in the area for five years so I feel I have a strong connection,” he said. “I wanted to raise money for something local, and a smaller charity. Rainbows fits that perfectly.

“Rainbows helps babies, children and young people with terminal and serious illnesses to give them the best life possible for many of their short lives. I’ve followed them and raised money in the past for years and would like to continue to help this tremendous cause.”

Ryan has been training hard all year for the event. As he will spend most of the week alone, he has had to build up his mental fitness, as well as his physical.

He added: “I have wanted to do this event for many years but I know it will be tough; there are a total of 55 racers taking part.

“I would say around 60% to 70% of the course is soft sand, up and down hills / mountains and I am expecting blisters. I will also have to wear special covers from my knee to trainer to prevent too much sand getting in my shoes.

“But it will all be worth it. I hope to raise as much as I can for Rainbows. MUFG Bank, where I work, will also contribute £250.”

In 2017, Ryan and his dad, Geoff, cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats and raised almost £2,000 for us.

Kerry Laurie, Rainbows Community Fundraiser, added: “This challenge is incredibly tough but sounds amazing and we are very grateful to Ryan for choosing to do it for Rainbows. He will be benefiting so many babies, children and young people and it is only with the support off people like Ryan, that we can continue to provide the service we do. We wish him the best of luck.”