An ultra marathon runner will be tackling 273km across the American desert to raise funds for Blythe House.
Ian Dalton, from Thornbrook Road Chapel-en-le-Frith, jetted off to start the extreme challenge today, Tuesday, September 19, and it will take him seven days to complete.
The 56-year-old said: “I like pushing my body to the extreme and doing runs like this gets me off the beaten track and I get to see more of the country than other people might not see.”
The Grand to Grand Ultra takes runners through the Utah and Arizona desert starting from the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and finish on the summit of the Grand Staircase.
Despite strict weight limits Ian will be taking a camera as he does not want to remember the run for years to come.
Ian, a draftsmen, said: “You have to carry all the equipment with you all that is provided for you is a tent and hot and cold water so it’s going to be a long hard slog but it is going to be worth it.
“Every penny I raise will go and help Blythe House Hospice - I’m fortunate I’ve never had to use their services but you never what the future holds and they do such good work so if I can support them by running around the dessert I will.” This is not the first ultra marathon Ian has done, he ran the Fire and Ice race in Iceland and also completed the prestigious Ultra Tour Mount Blanc.
He said: “It’s going to be tough but you have to push through the mental wall, your body will always heal but opportunities like this don’t come round very often so you need to take the chance and see the world.” The dad-of-two has the support of his friends and family he said: “They think I’m ridiculous but I love the challenge and it’s not like doing a 10km run where you are competing against the clock or people trying to get a personal bet. These events are full of camaraderie and support for each other as you are all in this together.” The last day of the race will be seven miles but Ian said it will still be hard work as he will be running up 45 degree incline hills.
To support Ian visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-dalton3