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The latest challenge – Beyond the Ultimate Jungle Ultra 2016

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www.beyondtheultimate.co.uk

If I could run anywhere in the world where would it be?

I am expecting the Jungle Ultra to test my endurance like never before, there are so many unknowns that I am feeling a little overwhelmed in how best to prep for this one. This is a multi stage event, which I love but I will be running in next to 40 degrees heat and 90 to 100% humidity, at that level maintaining core temperature is so tough and makes hydration crucial. As I run the 230km through the tough jungle trails, mountain roads and village tracks, making my way from Cloud Forest and down 10,500ft to the Amazon Jungle below I’m expecting to experience some pretty amazing stuff in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. For the race itself I will be self-sufficient carrying my own hammock, sleeping bag, food and supplies for the entire race.

Race day 1 is a 9000ft descent from Base Camp at Cloud 9 to the Amazon basin through breath taking vistas, waterfalls and tunnels to Cock of the Rock camp, its total of 38km, an easy distance for me but by no means am I underestimating how tough this is going to be!

Race day 2 is called Amazonia and described as a first taste of the Amazon Rainforest, using little known trails through thick vegetation with the likelihood of meeting some of the Jungle’s exotic wildlife. Jaguars, Monkeys, Tapirs, Parrots are some of the species I could encounter. I am desperately hoping the Anaconda isn’t particularly interested in meeting me, this is one guy I’m really not that fussed about seeing.

Race day 3 with river crossings and extremely tough logging roads before entering into primary Amazon Rainforest this will be tough on the legs, whilst this is the shortest daily distance of 30km, I am under no illusion this is going to be easy or deemed a half way recovery day! I just do not think that can happen in this race.

Race day 4 The Lull, described as ” don’t be lulled into a false sense of security”. The route passes through Manu National Park and its primary rainforest, with some extreme inclines and declines, creeks and river crossings, this is supposed to be the toughest test yet.

Race day 5 and hopefully the final straight, it is the longest distance with a 5am start, we will be covering 92km. It is 92km that stands between me and the ultimate goal of being a Jungle Ultra finisher. The problem is, this is the Jungle, it is race day 5, my legs with be shot, my body will be so fatigued, I will be suffering from de-hydration as well as all the other Ultra distance niggles I pick up along the way. This race stage has 50 river crossings, 1500ft of incline, 20k of thick jungle and a timed cut-off to ensure runners safety. What a fitting way to end one of the worlds toughest foot races!

I have decided to run the Jungle Ultra for BLESMA https://blesma.org/ the limbless veterans society and this is where I am hoping you guys will help. You can sponsor me and in turn support this understated forces charity that looks after our troops and their family, as they have sacrificed so much for us. Often returning from warzone with life threatening, life changing injuries, read Mark Omrod’s story https://blesma.org/how-we-help/members-stories/mark-ormrod/ and please sponsor me.

https://www.justgiving.com/MichelleBowenJungleUltra

Text: MBJU99£5 to 70070

I thank you all for your continued support (especially my folks, because I know how much they worry when I’m off on my adventures) and welcome any words of wisdom, advice or guidance from any running buddies out there! x

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