Leeds man gears up for Mongolia charity challenge

Ian Chappell.
Ian Chappell.
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It’s lucky for long-distance runner Ian Chappell that he likes the sun.

For in the summer he will tackle a 150-mile endurance race in temperatures of 40C (104F )or more.

“I think I have the DNA of a camel,” he joked. “I tolerate heat quite well.”

But there will be water stations anyway as he runs across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia over six days.

At the very same time, his son Jonathan, who is at Kent University, will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

Ian, has had to stump up nearly £2,500 of his own money to enter and fly to Mongolia and all sponsorship money will go to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Up to 70 international runners will converge on Ulaanbaatar, the country’s capital, before being taken out to the Gobi in the south.

Father of two Ian, 51, of Horsforth, has tackled gruelling challenges before, twice competing in the Marathon des Sables in Morocco, believed to be the toughest of them all.

“My feet were pretty bad at the end of seven days,” he said, “and it took me a good month to recover. But I have learned lessons from it.”

He will jog in a fell runner’s shoe with a special cover to keep out the sand. And he will wear a cotton top and lycra shorts and smother himself in a special sun cream.

“When I have run in the sun before, I have come back as white as I went!” he smiled.

He is taking dehydrated food to keep his load down and he expects to lose weight. “I’ll be using up 3,000 to 5,000 calories a day,” he said, “and only eating about 2,000.”

Ian is a former scout leader with Cookridge Methodists and a past County Commisssioner for Central Yorkshire Scouts, an area which takes in Leeds and Wakefield.

He said: “I have been involved in scouting since I was eight and it has given me a thirst for adventure and challenge. Ultra distances are a runner’s ultimate challenge, especially in hostile environments like deserts.”

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