A Brecon man who scaled South Wales’ biggest mountain, Pen y Fan, every day for a year is set to brave the Arctic.
Des Lally will pull on his walking boots to take part in the 6633 Arctic Ultra, a 380-mile non-stop race on foot to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes.
The 44-year-old will start the
gruelling, self-sufficient, challenge, on 27 February and finish on the famous Arctic
Circle nine days later. This extreme, ultra-marathon is regarded by many as the
toughest, coldest, windiest ultra-distance footrace on the planet.
To help him prepare for the
minus 40°C Arctic weather, Des spent time in an environmental chamber at USW’s
Glyntaff Campus in Pontypridd, which can simulate high altitude, low pressure
and low oxygen scenarios. BSc Sport and Exercise Science students and MSc
Sport, Health and Exercise Science students monitored the effects a freezing
environment had on his body.
Des said: “The chamber itself
was amazing. It’s just given me an idea, and an insight into when I get out
there, when those temperatures do arise, that I’ve experienced this before and
it’s not going to be such a shock.”
Des who last year raised over
£60,000 for charities Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes by climbing Pen y
Fan in the Brecon Beacons 365 times in one year, is hoping to raise even more
Des said: “I’ve never done
anything like this, and I am particularly nervous about the freezing
conditions. I feel like I have done everything I can to prepare and I feel
mentally and physically ready for the challenge ahead.
“The two charities are really
close to my heart. The courage shown by people going through cancer keeps me
inspired. When I think of what they go through and just how many lives are
affected by it, I think I want to keep going to raise even more money. I have
so much respect for members of the armed forces. I want to help these two
fantastic charities to continue their invaluable work.”