Suffolk superstar 'Josh of the Jungle' halfway through mammoth ultra marathon challenge
PUBLISHED: 05:30 19 May 2019
Suffolk's answer to George of the Jungle has reached the halfway mark of a mammoth fundraising task, running nearly 300 miles through rainforest in Sri Lanka and Peru.
Josh Hearnden, aged 27, is taking on two ultra marathon races in a bid to raise £10,000 for charity S.A.F.E (Supported Activities for Everyone) who provide a safe environment for people with learning difficulties to socialise and take part in activities.
Mr Hearnden completed the first of his races in May, running 155 miles over five days on a route that took him through tea plantations, 10,000-year-old rain forests, down rushing rivers and onto white sandy beaches.
However, he has little time to recover before taking on another race starting in Peru on June 2.
This time round, the trail will take him 143 miles, starting at 3,000 metres above sea level, through the rainforest with all he needs to survive on his back.
Mr Hearnden, who went to Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham as a youngster, said: "I often remind myself that I am one of the lucky ones, who has the ability to do some pretty amazing things in life.
"No matter how hard or tough life gets for me there is always someone in a worse off position with no choice. This is the reason why I have decided to run two Multi Stage Ultras this year."
The 27-year-old has a personal connection to S.A.F.E which he says is the reason he is putting himself through the two tough races.
His sister, Lucy has Downs Syndrome and lives in assisted living with her friends and learns basic everyday skills such as cooking and cleaning at classes supplied by S.A.F.E.
Mr Hearnden, who now works in Dubai, said it provides opportunities for his sister in a safe and supported environment.
"Without this support some of the people currently involved with S.A.F.E. would be left with no support network, often neglected and unfortunately in some cases abused and deprived of their basic human rights."