Jenny’s love of ultramarathons was forged here: “It was great fun; a beautiful island, and the marathon finished with a ceilidh in the pub!”
This winter’s challenge is Jenny’s second attempt to reach the South Pole, having been evacuated after 22 days in 2018 when struck down with a bowel infection and peritonitis. Last year’s disappointment makes this year’s all the more momentous.
“This time round, I did have a bit of a mental block with visualising the South Pole,” Jenny admitted. However, with the help of mindfulness and meditation, she’s more than ready to go.
“Visualisation is a big part of my preparations. After last year’s event, I started reading into this type of preparation for professional athletes. I also use the app Calm to help practice mindfulness.”
And of course, one of the best ways for her to relax is walking their dog, Bexar the Viszla.
During the expedition, Jenny is able to send a form of text message, so there is a small element of contact. But surprisingly, the isolation won’t be her biggest challenge. “It’s actually pretty special. It’s so peaceful,” she said. “But the main challenge will be keeping my focus on the goal, and remembering why I’m doing this.”
Jenny admitted that being goal-focused is relatively easy in most endurance events, but the South Pole challenge takes it to a whole new level. “There will be extreme highs and extreme lows,” she said. “I need to keep remembering why I’m doing this.”
One of her biggest drivers for undertaking the challenge is to fundraise for Women in Sport and BBC’s Children in Need, promoting the participation of women and girls in sport and the great outdoors. As part of the South Pole expedition, she has also been appointed a Polar Ambassador by the government’s STEM initiative, encouraging and inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and environmentalists. Jenny is also an Ambassador for the Free to Run charity, which uses the power of sport to help females overcome the effects of conflict and discrimination.
This charity work is a perfect fit for Jenny, who fiercely supports the participation of women and girls in sport. This has always been so important to Jenny – running, in particular. “I love running,” Jenny said. “It’s so easy to grab your shoes and go. But I also do Barry’s Bootcamp and spin classes, so there is some off-plan training involved!” Jenny is always sure to allow herself sufficient recovery time within her strenuous schedule. “Both nutrition and recovery play important roles,” she said.
In the South Pole, it’s sunny all year round, but with bad storms. Therefore it is vital than skin is protected with broad spectrum sun protection.
“Last year, I covered up so well that I came back with vitamin D deficiency!” Jenny laughed. “There wasn’t a single mark or damage on my skin though.”
This time around, the weather conditions are looking much better, so if possible, Jenny will expose a little more skin for the sake of vitamin D. “But I will be using Heliocare religiously to protect, my skin,” she added. “And I’ve also been taking the Heliocare 360 Capsules before I head off, to boost my skin protection and get my skin in the best shape.”
We are delighted that she has also chosen Heliocare as a trusted partner for her Solo to the South Pole expedition. You can find out more about Jenny and follow her progress here.
NEWSFLASH: 10 January
Message received from Jenny in the early hours of this morning:
“Guess who’s at the Pole!! Big push and arrived just after midnight x”
It’s been 43 days and some hours (official finish time TBC) but at the second attempt Jenny has made it solo to the bottom of the world. She was a few days off the record time but she really went for it and for the first 500 miles looked like she might just manage it.
After a much needed sleep and getting some treatment for her polar thigh, we will hopefully get some photos and more messages direct from Jenny later on.
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