For the past 20 years, I have been a runner at some capacity.
It all started with a bet over an alcohol infused dinner in 1998. It was November and the bet was to complete the London marathon in April. Unfortunately, those days you could still get a place that late in the year.
The bet was won and the journey commenced, it continued over several London, then Istanbul and San Diego marathons till about 2002. Then, I moved to Cyprus and for the next 5 years all I could manage was the eventual 5km beach runs in the heat and humidity.
By 2008, I had put on weight and work/stress had taken over my life. Then, life took me back to London. As soon as, I arrived I started my quest for a new challenge. Ordinary marathons were not enough. I was looking into alternatives like the Zermatt marathon when I came across desert ultras. That was late in 2009.
Since July 2010, I have completed 5 desert ultras in some of the most gruelling conditions, ranging from +60 to -20 Celsius, from the high planes of Atacama in Chile to the depths of the Gobi in China, from the sandy dunes of the Sahara in Egypt and Jordan to the ice fields of Antarctica.
By March of 2011, I had completed a desert series having run 1,000 kilometres across 4 deserts in 9 months carrying all my own equipment, water and food on my back. (This is my TEDxTalk on youtube, reflections on these runs http://tinyurl.com/6u5emno).
Lately, I have shifted my focus to mountain trails. I have completed in and sometimes completed runs like the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (France, Italy & Switzerland), Crusaders Castles Ultra (Cyprus), İznik Ultra (Turkey), Torres des Geants (Italy) and Cappadocia Ultra Trail (Turkey).