Alex Field …

24 06 2011

I just wanted to let everyone who so generously supported my North Pole Marathon cause to help Alex Field travel to America for potential life saving treatment of his brain tumour; that young Alex and his family left for Chicago last Sunday, where he will be meeting with the oncologists this week to discuss the options now open to him.

Fundraising is still continuing as this process is not cheap (!) but we have raised to enough for him to begin this important journey.

He has been so brave recently having suffered further fragmentation and growth of the tumour. All our thoughts and prayers are with him as enters, what we hope, will be a period of positive treatment that will help give him back his life.

Thank you all again so much on behalf of Alex and his family.

How to donate:

Cheques payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

Reference: Polarrunner

Send to: The Secretary
The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd
First Artist House
85A Wembley Hill Road
Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8BU

or by debit/credit card at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/polarrunner





And finally …..

12 04 2011

And Finally ……. the mission is complete !

Having arrived at base camp in Spitsbergen to minus 25 degrees and howling snow on Sunday 3rd April - we then got stuck  in Longyearbyen until Friday 8th.

Whilst Prince Harry was at our North Pole camp with the ‘Walking with the Wounded’ soldiers, we were with his plane in Svalbard. As the weather started clearing on Tuesday,  so the ice runway at the Pole cracked (apparently due to the sizable closeness of the large full moon the previous week which had disturbed the worlds oceanic flow and had put additional pressure on the Arctic ocean cap). The Russian Military worked overnight to create a new runway and we finally arrived at the site of our North Pole Marathon very early in the morning of Friday 8th April (circa 7am).In fact it’s probable that we only got on that first flight out through the influence of our organiser Richard Donovan as the queue for polar trekkers waiting on the island of Svalbard was now sizable … and the fact that the world’s media had turned their attention to our young prince who was stuck on the ice awaiting his / our plane … well actually plane is an exageration it was a tube with two engines with us strapped in !! (see apprehensive me en route)

The marathon started at 22.00 that night and was absolutely brutal! I am wearing a blue jacket, yellow vest and the number “21″.  By now the temperature had dropped to minus 32 degrees and although beautifully bright and sunny, the storms that had passed through the previous days had left the course covered in really powdery snow so it became exceedingly difficult to get a grip underfoot.  As the temperature dropped some parts of the course resembled a skating rink with the top end of the lap (there were 14 laps around the Pole) appearing to be a thin covering of ice over the blue ocean which creaked and cracked as you ran across it and sent ‘pinging’ noises like a sonar to the ice and snow features surrounding us. Although I didn’t really take it all in at the time, it was abjectively beautiful … the bright sun reflecting off the white blue ocean turning some of the snow hills to lime green … if only my legs would have appreciated it!

We couldn’t carry any refreshments as they would freeze so I planned to come into the medical / refreshment tent every other lap to make sure that I was refueled, but this changed as I got to lap 8 and various body parts started to sizably ache, largely due to the stumbling, falling and enormous effort required just to run through some of the hillier areas of the snow on the course that, in places, meant we were running virtually up to our knees in the stuff.

Lap 10 was my only major problem when both my eyes froze and I committed the cardinal sin of removing my right hand glove (Greg Whyte had only told me about 400 or so times NEVER to do that!) to un stick my right eye which had only just iced over. Within no more than 20 seconds my thumb had frozen and was turning a delicate shade of white at the top (the first sign of frost nip) so I had to haretail fairly rapidly (well sort of!) back to the refreshment tent, fortunately only a third of a lap away, where they applied heat and TLC to ensure that I didn’t loose my thumb.

All the runners were concerned for each other, the comradarie both immense and intense.

So eventually the race was won in a fraction under 5 hours and I came in (not last as I expected !!) in 8 hours 34 minutes 44 seconds. Crossing the line was a lifetime moment that I shall never forget followed by a feeling of intense nausea and 90 minutes of constant convulsive body shaking! Some of the other competitors came round, stripped me of my sweaty gear, which had now turned to ice on my body, warmed me up, redressed me and threw me in a cosy sleeping bag … I am as indebted to them as I am to all of you who have supported this project of mine both financially and spiritually!

So finally ….. its over and your junk boxes will no longer be bombarded !

The TaNK treatment that Lee’s charity is helping fund is progressing very well and will, in time, help save many lives, which, as Mastercard would say …  is priceless!

Thank you all so much for your patience and your support: between us all we have raised enough money to give young Alex Field the opportunity of his life saving treatment.

All of my good wishes and positive thoughts now go to him – his battle is far more important than my challenge !!

Jon and Alex ...

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

check out the video page and polar gallery for updates ….

How to donate:

Cheques payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

Reference: Polarrunner

Send to: The Secretary
The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd
First Artist House
85A Wembley Hill Road
Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8BU

or by debit/credit card at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/polarrunner





The most amazing experience!

9 04 2011

Jon has successfully completed the North Pole Marathon … After all the delays due to cracks on the runway the competitors were eventually flown out to the race site at Barneo ice station on two separate flights on Friday 8th April. The race began 22:00 on April 8th and was run throughout the ‘night’ finishing on Saturday 9th April. As there is 24 hour daylight at the Pole this made it easier on the time clocks of the competitors.

The temperature was -32C and conditions underfoot were very powdery and uneven which became more difficult as the race progressed.

Jon finished the marathon in 8 hours and 34 mins  – a personal best having never run this distance before (or probably again!!!)

A full update together with pix and video will follow on Jon’s return from the Pole to the UK!!!

Many  thanks for all your support…

 

How to donate:

Cheques payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

Reference: Polarrunner

Send to: The Secretary
The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd
First Artist House
85A Wembley Hill Road
Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8BU

or by debit/credit card at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/polarrunner





It’s SNOW joke !!!

6 04 2011

Me in Longyearbyen

LATEST UPDATE FROM NPMARATHON WEBSITE:

North Pole, April 8th (pm): The AN-74 plane safely landed at the Pole with 15 marathoners and picked up Prince Harry in the process. The course is currently being marked and the race is expected to begin at 21:00 GMT after the remaining marathoners arrive on a second flight. The scenery and light is amazing with temperatures of -25C approximately. Spectacular hillicks of ice dot the horizon. A Russian special forces soldier at the Russian base will also join the marathon to bring the total to 27 competitors.

UPDATE: 06.30am – Friday 8th April …

Test flight landed successfully at Barneo Ice Camp overnight. I am at the airport waiting to board our flight … on our way to NP Marathon site … todays the day!!!

7th April: The weather has been quite extreme changing from minus 27 here at base camp with howling 80 mile an hour winds and driving snow and tonight it’s bright sunlight at midnight like a glorious summers day in the middle of the night and only minus 9 degrees!

But we have a problem that the runway at the Pole has cracked leaving Prince Harry and his entourage up there and us stuck here at Base camp in Spitsbergen…we are using Prince Harry’s plane to take us up to the Pole.

So that’s it: we are stuck until they stick it back together again !! The probability is that they will extend the runway and / or dig down into the crack and flood it and it will freeze solid in a few hours….. so we are hoping that we might get up to the North Pole on Friday or even Saturday !!!!

North Pole map showing crack

The hotel is full for tonight as we were supposed to be at Barneo Camp on the Pole … so they have moved us to the local gym floor!!!

Update: 5.15pm April 7th …. Test flight going upto Barneo now so if all goes according to plan both Prince Harry and I will be back in the UK for the Royal Wedding (!)… with one of us having attempted the NP Marathon !!!

How to donate:

Cheques payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

Reference: Polarrunner

Send to: The Secretary
The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd
First Artist House
85A Wembley Hill Road
Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8BU

or by debit/credit card at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/polarrunner





The moment has arrived …

31 03 2011

Thumbs up from Alex ...

So finally after a little over a year of working towards my marathon at the North Pole – the moment has arrived … I leave this weekend for the Pole.

Actually, firstly via Oslo and onto our base camp at Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle. I spoke to the organisers of the event the other day and asked them what the time difference will be at the Pole … most amazing answer – there is no time at the North Pole! This is because all the world longitudinal lines that determine the world’s time zones meet at the Pole. So I can stare due south to Great Britain and be on BST, turn a couple of inches to my right and be on West Coast American Time, turn to my left and I am on the same time as Tokyo or turn behind me and be on the same time as New Zealand!! – So actually I will be doing my marathon in NO TIME at all !!!!

Near disaster yesterday … knocked out half a marathon before breakfast in 2.5 hours but swallowed some pain preventatives, just in case I need them half way through and was quite ill for the rest of the day. Arrived home with a couple of nice blisters but most depressingly a very sore left knee which puffed up quite nastily, so I am having to pay a final visit to the hospital tomorrow to have it aspirated one last time.

Then I travel with good heart, good hope and a lot of Compeed!

Peter Crouch and Alex

Looks like we might meet Prince Harry’s ‘Walking with the Wounded’ at the Pole.

I leave Spitsbergen on Tues/Wed by Russian Millitary plane and then get ferried by helicopter to the Pole – so I guess this will be the final blog before I get there although if possible I will try and send something from Spitsbergen.

To those have followed my blog during the last year, thank you for your interest and support I hope it has been mildly informative and of some amusement! To the many sponsors who have raised so much money for both Lee’s Charity and Alex’s treatment a huge and heartfelt thank you – in a real goofed up world each and every one of you have made a real difference!!! … and finally to anyone who is still thinking of donation – NOW would be a good time!

Harry Redknapp and Alex

This blog is being written at the end of a long day … I took Alex and his family to meet Harry Redknapp and the Tottenham team today – what a great bunch of lads who spent so much time caring and encouraging Alex. That was followed by Andrey Arshavin coming down to spend some time with Alex and the family. For those of you who are bored or can’t sleep Sky Sports News have been running a piece all evening at about 10 to the hour which will be run all though the night on the project and Alex’s day. All in all it was a really positive day that in my darker moments at the Pole will lighten my spirit and make me realise yet again how important it is that we give a little back to those that really do need it!

Andrey Arshavin and Alex

How to donate:

If you would like to donate by cheque they should be made payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

Send to: The Secretary

Reference: Polarrunner

The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd
First Artist House
85A Wembley Hill Road
Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8BU

or by debit/credit card at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/polarrunner

 





One week to go !

25 03 2011

I thought you might like to see the pictures that I have received from the advance party setting up camp for us at the North Pole …. this time next week I will be partaking of the last supper !! before I depart.

Laying out the course !

Dormitory Tent

Kitchen Tent

My kit list is pretty much complete now – I have enclosed some pictures of what’s going to be travelling with me … all feels a bit surreal at the moment as I am writing this sitting outside wearing only a t-shirt and it all feels so much like Spring (don’t forget the clocks go forward this Saturday night / Sunday morning !) and in a few days time I will be deeply embedded in the biggest Winter I have ever experienced – but it will be  24 hour daylight!

Not the Fairmont ... but warm with hot tea and Vodka !!!

The fundraising is going really well. Between Alex’s Family and various allied groups together with our own sponsorship effort we are only £23,000 away from reaching the target required to help send Alex Field to America to start this hopefully life changing treatment.

Lee’s Charity funding continues at a pace as well and I really want to thank the many Trust Funds that have donated separately to this cause.

How to donate:

If you would like to donate by cheque they should be made payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

Send to: The Secretary

Reference: Polarrunner

The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd
First Artist House
85A Wembley Hill Road
Wembley, Middlesex HA9 8BU

or by debit/credit card at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/polarrunner





Mail on Sunday feature …

20 03 2011

Click on the image bellow and zoom in to read the article.

Thank You








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