Bridgnorth resident Craig Williams is set to take on 230k of the deep Amazonian jungle in Peru.
Most people would agree that completing marathon distance races would pretty much be the pinnacle of personal challenge. Former Royal Marine and self-professed occasional runner Craig likes to go a little further than most.
The majority struggle through a one-mile jog each morning, and to others, the London Marathon is a significant test of their mettle, but one Bridgnorth resident is set to go beyond even that, taking on the Peruvian Jungle by running not just one, but seven marathons over five days.
Craig Williams, 41, who co-founded internationally renowned extreme weight loss camp, TEAM Bootcamp in Eardington will fly to Peru, on May 31, to join a small number of Ultra runners and adventurers in the Jungle Ultra, a gruelling 147-mile run over the Andes and deep into the Amazon between June 2 and 7.
“Although the Amazon has almost always had a mystical appeal to me, it is an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment. Pretty much everything wants to bite, scratch, sting or suck your blood and the weathers can be just as hostile” said Craig.
“My biggest worry is looking after my feet and managing my water intake! I completed the Marathon Des Sables in 2016, a similar race across the Sahara desert and almost fell foul to dehydration and heat exhaustion then. I don’t want history to repeat itself.”
From the ancient capital of the Incas, the Jungle Ultra will take Craig through the mountain passes of the Andes to an altitude of 17,000ft above sea level, before descending 9,000ft into the Amazon rainforest, where he must live almost completely self-sufficient living on the limited kit and equipment carried on his back.
“Jaguars seem to be the biggest worry for most competitors, personally I am more concerned about the distance which culminates in a double marathon stage on the final day of 58 miles in a single day. We get limited protection from armed wildlife rangers, but the flora and fauna only add another dimension to what I know will be an amazing adventure.”
Craig’s decision to enter the Jungle Ultra is a culmination of his just as impressive rise from heavily depressed, suicidal former Royal Marine suffering from symptoms of PTSD to business owner, author, coach to the stars and even his post as resident expert for weight loss to ITV’s Jeremy Kyle show.
No stranger to endurance events and harsh environments, Craig joined the Royal Marines after leaving school and passed the arduous Commando Course at a little over 17 years of age.
Craig conducted many jungle operations whilst serving in the Marines including Brunei, Guatemala, Belize and Sierra Leone.
Race organisers Beyond Ultimate ensure each competitor carries a number of compulsory items including a minimum of 2.5 litres of water, 2,000 calories of food for each day, sun lotion, a sleeping bag and hammock, a head torch, a knife and venom extraction kit.
In 2016, Craig ran the Marathon des Sables, a gruelling six-day race through the boiling sands of the northern Sahara Desert.
All the money raised from sponsors of his race will go towards Save Our Soldier a veterans charity who made Craig a patron in 2017.
To help Calvin towards his £3000 target for SOS, visit his VirginMoneyGiving page.