Former high threat IED Operator and Deputy MD of Kirintec Nick Watts has completed the gruelling 52 miles Malvern Ultra challenge. So in terms of long distance running, we strongly suspect he is!
Along with around 150 entrants, this weekend ex IED (Improvised Explosive Device) Operator Nick tackled the dizzy heights and exceptionally tough terrain of the Malvern Hills Ultra.
Those brave enough to take it on, opted for distances of either 8, 27, 34, 44, 52 or 104 miles. Nick chose the punishing 52 mile challenge – that’s over 83km!
We are in awe of him completing the 52 miles (yes, that is TWO marathons in length in one session), in 12 hours 29 minutes.
It was all in the name of raising monies for the Felix Fund bomb disposal charity.
Nick has previously conducted tours in Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq. Where he served in 16 Air Assault Brigade as part of the British Airborne Forces, but this is officially, to quote him, “The hardest thing I have ever done”.
The Malvern Hills span across three English counties: Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and the county where our office is based Herefordshire. The summit is known as the Worcestershire Beacon, and prevails 425 metres (1,394 feet) overlooking the countryside and the Cathedral cities.
This is all very beautiful if you are there to enjoy the scenery of the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), but if you are there to personally challenge yourself it becomes a very different test; especially when the skies opened and it was literally thundering and lightning as he completed the final few miles of his epic challenge.
I imagine you do lots of social searching and draw on mental reserves you may not have known you possessed to help carry you towards the finishing line. However we understand that in completing two marathons in one go, our Nick didn’t just finish, but finished respectably in 37th place (unofficial) of his category. Plus, that was carrying a 5.5kg rucksack packed with food, clothing and essential health and safety provisions.
Yet knowing Nick as we do, we imagine it was the thought of making a difference to such an important charity that added to his motivation in finishing.
The Felix Fund is totally self-funding and relies on donations, grants and fundraising events such as Nick’s. The charity was established to meet the then urgent needs of British bomb disposal personnel and their families, who like Nick will have worked first hand rendering IEDs safe.
Their aim is to provide welfare support and financial assistance to these trades within the British military and their families, particularly following their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It seems that one amazing result does deserve another. Our MD Roy Peers-Smith has generously said that Kirintec will double what is pledged when he goes online to donate.
With this in mind, we fully expect that around £1,000 will be donated because of Nick’s inspiring efforts, once it is tallied up. This is a great example of leadership and generoisty.
Just in case you are wondering, Nick is in work today. AND he looks more spritely than some! Sincere congratulations from us all here Nick. Well done for raising so much for such a brilliant charity and if you would like to, you can still donate. Nick would like to add his grateful thanks to everyone who has supported the Felix Fund because of his run too.
As of 16 May 2016, we just checked his total and it is a whopping £1,087.46 well done Nick and everyone who donated – you are superb.