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:


5 weeks to go !!!

26 02 2011

5 weeks to go … and this will be me – it’s all getting very real now!  I love this picture from the 2009 marathon at the North Pole (last year’s pictures weren’t that good as it was near white out and blizzard conditions!) but the thought of being so close to actually doing this now and running a marathon in those conditions fills me with trepidation and enthralls me all in the same sentence.

I am working very hard in the pool and on the bike (and with the ice packs) and actually took my first steps back as a runner yesterday, since November – both knees held fine and I did all of 2 miles – only 24 and a bit to go so that should be alright then!

Just want to say thank you to so many of you who have been so generous and unashamedly please can I ask again for the support of anybody who hasn’t yet donated. Alex is in hospital at the moment having some stabilization treatment but I really would like to be able to get him to California for his major surgery in the Summer. So please don’t be backward in coming forward – every penny helps and every donation is as important as the last one we receive.

The Lee Smith Foundation TaNK treatment continues to progress well – we hope to be in patient trials with this later in the year.  Can I take this opportunity to remind you all that the donation site is:

In the Climate Chamber again with Greg Whyte on Wednesday (after he returns from the desert trek with Lorainne Kelly, Craig David, Dermot O’Leary and the Comic Relief crew!) … so he will be moving from + 40 degrees to – 40 degrees !!

Think my kit pack is finally complete – the final piece was my minus 100 degree boots to enable me to walk at the North Pole the day before the marathon and “inspect the course” before retiring to my thermal sleeping bag … my new puppy Smudge seems quite impressed with this piece of equipment.

How to donate:

Cheques payable to: The Lee Smith Foundation Ltd

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

or at:

Registered charity no: 1112905

A marathon on ice – trained for underwater !

9 01 2011

So finally I am in the year of my North Pole marathon … and disaster has struck!

Returned from Theatre

Over Christmas my left knee never got better resulting in unbelievably the one thing that I really didn’t want to happen taking place – I had to succumb to surgery on the 4th January but I did manage to get my hands on arguably the best knee surgeon in the world today – Fares Haddad. This was largely through the pulling power of my coach Greg Whyte and my physio Ed Blake.

So its now January 9th and I have my leg in bandage and we are going to spend the next month running this marathon training programme underwater.

Kicking against a jet in the pool holding onto ‘my noodle’!! Apparently this is going to be hard work and will make me aerobically fit enough to undertake this ridiculous challenge.

Prepared for deep water training - with dry knee equipment !!!

Although my left knee is surgically better, my right one is still a risky proposition we just couldn’t do two knees at the same time!

It’s 12 weeks to go this week – the mountain just got a lot steeper but having sold a chunk of my business in December at least I am going to have more quality noodle time !!

Going to do Radio 5 breakfast tomorrow morning in my capacity of patron of the British Stammering Association (talking about the King’s Speech) then off to buy a pool buoy to keep me company in the first of my many new deep water world of aerobic / kneeless exercise! – what a bizarre way to train for this crazy challenge!

This is certainly going to be ‘fun’ hope you will join me over the next 12 weeks following our cause and concerns.

Incidentally told my father who lives in Toronto over Christmas what I was doing; said that it would circa minus 40 degrees at the Pole … he told me where he lives, they call that January!

Happy New Year …

Just had to be done !

5 12 2010

Whilst most people were thinking about how to take the day off from work I woke up at 5am, looked out the window and thought …. SNOW and more than half a centimetre of it – have to get out there with all the kit and try and run … it just had to be done ! even on one leg!

As it happens Peter Chum and Ed Blake my physios have again worked minor miracles and I was capable of actually putting one foot in front of the other in a (very slow) action that vaguely resembled running, but hey I was only wearing half my North Pole kit and after about 3/4 of a mile I was hot! ….. really hot – in fact steaming! So yet again the kit is proving to do what it says on the tin.

Anyone know anything about snowshoes? That’s the only piece of kit I haven’t got and can’t seem to find a supplier who will talk to me in anything that resembles English – the options seem fairly straight forward I just need very light short snowshoes in case it is snowing heavily at the Pole in April, but nobody seems capable of offering me anything that fits that bill – so all information gratefully received!

Hopefully back to some sort of running next week; gearing up to publicize this in the new year – so anybody out there with any pertinent causes – I am close to finalising for whom we are going to fundraise but I still have capacity to help if anybody has a further worthwhile cause that I can support.