A former soldier set for North Pole Marathon

Rob Shenton

A former soldier who was medically discharged from the Army with mental health issues will take part in the third and final part of a series of epic challenges in April.

Rob Shenton, 45, of Eastleigh, will travel north of the Arctic Circle to take part in one of the coldest footraces on the planet.

The North Pole Marathon will be held in temperatures as low as 35, ° and is the only certified event of its kind to be held entirely on water.

A keen fitness enthusiast, Rob previously entered the notorious Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert (a 155-mile challenge across six days), and in 2013 he took part in the highest marathon in the world on the side of Mount Everest.

The 45-year-old, who served in the Army for more than 21 years, and saw operational duty in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, is also taking part in challenge because of his connections with Help for Heroes, a charity that provided essential support after he was medically discharged.

He said:

‘My mental health has taken me to the lowest levels of despair. It cost me my relationships, friends, property and I even tried to take my own life.

‘I got a real sense of peace and calm when I visited the Help for Heroes Recovery Centres. It was fundamental to my recovery when I was experiencing the upheaval of leaving a job I loved so much and thought I would be doing for my entire working life.’

With his life back on track, the former major was determined to raise money for the Charity, and he hopes to gather at £5,000 of donations to help his fellow wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans on their recovery journeys.

By entering the North Pole Marathon, he will also close a chapter in his life and complete a task that he had wanted to achieve for several years.

Rob said:

‘I couldn’t leave the trio of toughest, highest and coldest unfinished; this will help my recovery and mark a significant step forward in my life.

‘I am really looking forward to the challenge, I love endurance events and pushing myself to the limit to get to the end. It makes me feel glad to be alive. But It also gives me the chance to say a big thank you to Help for Heroes and raise some funds for them, which will enable them to continue their vital work.’

The Veteran will fly out on Thursday, April 5, giving him a couple of days to acclimatise to the conditions ahead of the marathon on Monday, April 9.