Update: I completed the Cape Wrath Ultra on the 27th May. It was the most difficult race I have ever done.
I am doing an ultramarathon at the end of May in an effort to raise money for The Bubbles Fund (part of Portsmouth Hospital Charity). The fund was set up by staff to enhance the facilities for children and their families who are staying in the Starfish Ward at QA Hospital In Portsmouth. Starfish Ward is one of two children's wards at Queen Alexandra Hospital, caring for minor to serious issues for children from 0 to 16 years old. Hospital can be very bewildering for young ones and their families and the Bubbles Fund helps to make the hospital environment more comfortable and friendly.
Our second child, Oscar who is now 3.5 years old, was born with severe physical and intellectual disabilities; making him more susceptible to illness than a typical child. As a result, we have spent a fair amount of time in the Starfish Ward over the last few years. Firstly, when Oscar was diagnosed with epilepsy at 6 months old and then subsequent winter stays for various chest infections requiring IV antibiotics and oxygen support. For Oscar, a common cold during flu season could quickly turn into a week-long hospital visit. These days Oscar is much more active so thankfully he can shift colds before they get dangerous.
During our stays in The Starfish Ward, life was put on hold, with Trina and I taking turns sleeping on a pull out bed next to Oscar. For our daughter Alice, these times were especially trying. I cannot speak highly enough of the staff that took such great care of Oscar and made our stay a little bit more comfortable. Having an unwell child is worrying for everyone and the team on the Starfish ward work hard create a familial environment at the same time as providing first class medical care. For patients and visiting siblings, there is an indoor playroom, an outdoor playground, a parents sitting room and a sensory room. The Bubbles Fund helps pay for facilities like these. Your contribution, however small, would be greatly appreciated.
What is the event I am doing?
Starting on Sunday the 20th of May at Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, I am running the 2nd edition of the Cape Wrath Ultra, a 250 mile footrace. It's a stage race set over 8 days. Stage distances are: 23 miles, 35 miles, 42 miles, 22 miles, 27 miles, 45 miles, 38 miles and finally 16 miles: an average of 31 miles a day. Total elevation is 11,200 metres (Everest is 8,848m high...). The race roughly follows the Cape Wrath Trail and finishes at Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point of Scotland. According to Red Bull the Cape Wrath Trail "...is easily Britain’s toughest long-distance hiking trail, taking 15 to 20 days to complete." We are running it in 8 days & camping each night. Its going to be hard, wet, hilly and amazingly beautiful. Knowing I am doing it for a good cause will be a great boost when it gets tough.
I'll be posting updates on the race on instagram (@emwvincent) & will send a full report to sponsors at the end of the race.
Race website: http://www.capewrathultra.com/
Red Bull Article: https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/cape-wrath-trail-tips
Starfish Ward: http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/departments/Paediatric/starfish.htm
Thanks for reading!