There are various sayings about courage in the face of adversity, about making life’s lemons into lemonade. We thought you might like to hear about somebody who’s made gallons and gallons of it…
We know about it because back in April 2018, as our Spring Sale drew to a close, we were contacted by a chap who was hoping to buy himself a Minimus Jacket, but feared he may have been too late (that’s not the adversity we were talking about, by the way). He did, however, have a great reason for being so last-minute.
Rob Shenton had promised himself a new lightweight jacket as a treat for completing the North Pole Marathon, and complete it he duly did. Unfortunately though, the ice runway cracked and the plane couldn’t take off, leaving him unable to return to civilisation. He sent us a picture of himself on the cracked runway (we didn’t demand proof, we believed him anyway!) wearing one of our Xero Jackets. Although it was -40°C and he was stranded in the Arctic, he said it kept him ‘toasty’.
So we couldn’t really bring ourselves to say no!
The thing about Rob’s race is, he wasn’t just doing this for a jolly. Despite the obvious appeal of running 26.2miles at -32°C with the snow creeping into your shoes and turning into icy gravel – while your goggles fog up and your clothes freeze to your body – he had other concerns to spur him on.
Granted, he has quite a taste for a challenge, but this – like much of what Rob does – was about trying to help, about making rotten situations better. He’s not had the easiest time of it: though his mother survived cancer, his father didn’t, and Rob himself was medically retired from the Army for mental health reasons. As well as running to help manage his depression, Rob’s exploits have been raising a considerable sum for charity.
Initially motivated by his father’s diagnosis in 2008 – and in spite of severe injuries which threatened to stop him running forever – since then Rob has run (among other things) the toughest, highest and coldest races, completing The Marathon des Sables in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, the Everest Marathon for Combat Stress, and the North Pole Marathon for Help for Heroes.
It could be a story of family tragedy and ill health, but Rob prefers to think of it as one of motivation. When life gives you lemons…
If you want to see what Rob’s up to (though he could be forgiven if he decides to take it easy for a bit), you’ll find his website at www.runningrob.com.