Welsh ultra-endurance brothers, Scott and Rhys Jenkins have completed Run Iceland – their latest in a series of extreme running challenges – with friends Charlotte Bloxham and Lawrence Cronk. The challenge saw the quartet run 200 miles across Iceland in five days.
The group set off from Jokulsarlon Lake on 18 April before finishing in Salfoss just outside of Reykjavik on 22 April, having covered an average of 40 miles a day. The foursome were fully supported by Scott and Rhys’s dad, Terry Jenkins.
On why they undertook the challenge, Charlotte, who had previously only run 18 miles, commented: “We all had our personal reasons for doing the challenge. For me, it was about raising money for Wales Kidney Foundation as my friend was in need of a kidney transplant and the coolest thing happened on the night that we finished the run – he was called for a transplant. Makes all those miles so worthwhile.”
Scott added: “We wanted to do something that raised awareness of the two charities and drove donations for such worthy causes. For Rhys and I, we have been affected by cancer personally through our uncle and my fiancée's mum”
Run Iceland posed different challenges to the brothers’ previous American Death Valley desert runs with temperatures dropping to three degrees and a wind chill factor on top. The run didn’t disappoint with challenging terrain such as volcanoes and glaciers, near freezing temperatures, continuous headwind and heavy rain and hail for a large section of the challenge.
“The distance, headwind and elements were the real challenge here and the headwind slowed us to a slower pace than we would have liked – it really was the complete opposite of Death Valley,” added Rhys.
Lawrence Cronk, a GB triathelete and owner of Enduraprep, was new to long distance endurance challenges and the solo creator of the intense four-month training programme for the team. He said: “I have left Iceland with swollen knees and ankles – to the point even my socks are too tight and with feet that resemble pigs’ trotters more than human feet. However, it was all worth it to raise over £3,500 for the two charities and to hear that Charlotte’s friend got the much needed transplant”
You can donate to the Wales Kidney Foundation at Charlotte’s Just Giving page. Or Cancer Research UK at the group's Just Giving page.