Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of Social Investment Business, will be completing the Marathon des Sables 2016, the equivalent of five and a half marathons over six days in the Sahara Desert, to raise funds for the London’s Air Ambulance charity.
Marathon des Sables, also known as “the toughest footrace on the earth” is a gruelling multi-stage adventure through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates of up to 50 degrees heat.
The rules require contestants to be self-sufficient, carrying on their backs everything they need apart from water to survive. At least 10 per cent of competitors fail to finish.
Jonathan has to date completed 10 back-to-back London marathons from 2001-2010 and two New York marathons.
“I have always wanted to run the ultimate marathon – the Marathon Des Sables – but marriage, two young kids and a wife that was fed up of wearable media and Vaseline meant this ambition had to be parked.
I've never directly needed the help of London's Air Ambulance, nor have any of my friends and family, but as a very proud Londonder, it struck me that the work, the stories and the ambitions of the charity resonated deeply with me.
My training has been unfortunately hampered by injury, but I have bought an awful lot of kit to attempt to compensate. I have done 150km+ in a week, admittedly in snow and rain as opposed to 45 degree, but that's the UK in February for you."
London’s Air Ambulance is the charity that delivers a 24/7 advanced trauma team to London’s most critically injured. It treats on average five critically injured people in London each day, performing medical interventions at the roadside which are normally only found in a hospital emergency department.
“Jonathan is a star of the UK social investment movement and I’m proud to have him as a friend. Since I took up post at London’s Air Ambulance, he has been a staunch supporter of our life-saving charity. We reference our exceptional care in exceptional circumstances and the event Jonathan is about to do on our behalf is indeed truly exceptional.
The Marathon Des Sables is globally renowned for the sheer unrelenting scale of the challenge and the physical and mental pressure it infers on its contestants. On behalf of our patients I can only thank Jonathan for this crazy endeavour and I would urge everyone to dig deep to support him and London’s Air Ambulance.”
Graham Hodgkin, Chief Executive, London's Air Ambulance
Jonathan is already halfway to his fundraising target of £10,000 and people can continue to donate at his Just Giving page. Embarking on his challenge on 8th April and returning to the UK on the 18th, you can follow his trip updates via Twitter.