Simon’s chilling start to epic endurance challenge

The East Midlands businessman running 450 miles across three continents to raise cash for youngsters with life-limiting conditions has completed the first stage of his epic challenge.

Marketing professional Simon Davies, 41, from Market Harborough, ran 150 miles across the Arctic Circle in sub-zero temperatures approaching 40 degrees below, completing the gruelling distance over five days. 

Simon commented: “The Ice Ultra was an incredibly tough event, with very long days, lots of snowfall and record low temperatures down to -38 degrees. However, I’m absolutely thrilled to have completed the first leg of my Ice Desert Jungle challenge and pleased to have raised nearly £18,000 so far for Rainbows children’s hospice.”

He says he ran up to 13 hours a day in conditions that “made doing just about anything else impossible”. 

Undaunted, in May he plans to head for the suffocating heat of the Amazon Jungle to complete a similar distance before rounding off his extreme triple challenge with a final 150 miles across the Namibian Desert in the Autumn to become the first person ever to complete all three extreme events within the same year.

He hopes to raise £25,000 for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People from the gruelling three-part challenge.

Simon, who is a partner in Enderby-based marketing agency Makalu, says becoming a parent himself to toddler Morgan was his inspiration.

He said: “When you become a parent it changes your perspective. I feel incredibly grateful to have a healthy child. I just can’t imagine what parents of children with life-limiting health issues must go through.

“I have visited Rainbows before, so I have seen the amazing support youngsters and parents receive when they need it most. I want to raise as much money for this incredible charity as I can,” Simon added.

He’s set to resume training for the jungle stage of his epic run, working out two hours every day at the Training Shed gym, which is providing structured training throughout the entire challenge. He’ll also be running long distances at the weekends until the next five-day race.

Tom Stanyard, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser at Rainbows, commented: “We have been following Simon’s progress with a sense of awe. What he is doing is amazing – and we are extremely grateful for his pledge to support Rainbows.”

Simon says he gained a taste for tough physical challenges after completing his first marathon in New York 15 years ago. “I’ve also run across the Sahara since then. I suppose you always want to push yourself that bit further.”

He says he spends much of his working day behind a desk, sitting in meetings, or on the telephone. “I’m passionate about the work I do. The same goes for my leisure time – and doing something physical is a good balance to my days spent in the office.”

For further details about Simon’s extreme challenge, or to donate visit:

Our picture by Mikkel Beisner shows Simon during his Arctic challenge.