Everyone at ShelterBox is wishing good luck and good weather to Bear Grylls TV adventurer Sarah Thomson from Cornwall. Ahead of her lies the equivalent of 33 marathons over a month as she tackles the rugged Wales Coast Path single-handed, hoping to raise £2,500 for the charity
‘There has been so much support from friends, family, colleagues and strangers, and with Hurricane Matthew hitting Haiti leaving devastating effects, I couldn’t be happier with my choice in supporting ShelterBox who are providing aid out there as we speak.’
These are the words of 23 year old Sarah Thomson, best known as a co-presenter on ITV’s Bear Grylls Survival School, and a brave endurance athlete and sports coach. An accomplished surfer, Sarah’s current focus is on trail marathons and ultra marathons.
Sarah grew up in South Devon, but has lived in Cornwall since her teens, where she has worked as a surf instructor. Of her Wales Coast Path challenge Sarah says, ‘I’m expecting some pretty savage weather conditions. As beautiful as Wales is, I didn’t want an easy challenge. I wanted to be pushed way out of my comfort zone and be put in a position where I will have to work hard to keep spirits strong. The distance and weather is going to be tough work, but with ShelterBox in mind, I can be assured that what people are going through in warzones and disaster areas is far worse. I’m taking myself to a place of discomfort to try and help become a big part of relieving other people’s discomfort.’
The Wales Coast Path (Llywbr Arfordir Cymru) runs from Chester to Chepstow and in addition to its 870 mile length it also rises and falls by 95,781 feet – the equivalent of 33 marathons and climbing Kilimanjaro sixty times!
And Sarah has set herself a punishing pace. ‘Currently the fastest known time of someone running the path is forty days. I will be attempting to do it in thirty days.’
During the race Sarah will be staying in a tent and cooking over fire, carrying all she needs on her own back. The endurance event will be mainly self-supported, but friends and family will meet her at certain check points on the way to restock food and provide some much needed company.
October can be a blustery, even stormy month. Is Sarah daunted by the possibility of bad weather? ‘The weather conditions for the first few days look great and I’m so happy to be embarking on this challenge, that when the rain comes I’ll just be dancing in it!’
Sarah aims to raise £2,500 for ShelterBox, and before starting was over three-quarters of the way towards her target. She has her own JustGiving page here. She says, ’To have support and publicity from you would make this challenge completely worth it, as my main goal is to raise money and awareness for the great work of ShelterBox. If it ends up with some friendly faces offering support en route as well that would be amazing.’
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