Simon has now completed a trio of the world’s hardest ultra-marathons - The Ice Ultra, Jungle Ultra, and Desert Ultra – and in doing so, he has raised over £43k for the charity that looks after terminally ill children.
Set across rocky and sandy terrain, temperatures reach as high as 50˚C in the desert, therefore it was important for his body to be resilient and withstand extreme heat during his final ultra-marathon.
Leicestershire’s climate could hardly be more different from Namibia’s, but in the lead up to the event, Simon was able to train in race conditions by using Loughborough University’s heat acclimation chamber, which mimics the heat of the desert.
Guided by the expertise of the Loughborough Sport Physiology team, he underwent several hourly treadmill sessions a week in the chamber and the team monitored his body temperature, heart rate and running pace to ensure he could adapt physically, minimising the risk of overheating or exhaustion in the desert.
“The sessions are really useful. The first time you come in you feel awful afterwards, it really hits you. Your heart rate is much higher than it would be, and then over time it gets easier and you certainly feel better,” he said, after his final session in the chamber.
Speaking about the Performance Centre, he said: “The facilities here are fantastic. I’m so lucky, so privileged, to have this on my doorstep and the university have just been brilliant with all the help and support that they’ve given me.”
Simon has pushed himself through this incredible feat in the hope that it will get more people to donate to Rainbows Children’s Hospice.