As far as the Challenge Cancer 'Guesstimate' contest goes, I've worked out that I would have reached Dawson City in 11 days, 13 hours and 48 minutes (based on my actual pace of 337 miles in 8 days, 11 hours and 31 minutes). In the circumstances, this seems the fairest way to decide the winner, and after scanning the list of guesses, Jim Clark's estimate of 11:11:11 secures him the £150 prize.So, finally - many, many thanks to everyone who contributed; with tax refunds, the total donated to Challenge Cancer is well over £2,000, all of which is now in their account.
**** UPDATE 25 JAN **** Many thanks to all of you who've helped hit the original £1,000 target! I've upped it again because I don't want to deter would-be sponsors from having a guess - and it'd be great to raise a bit more. **** Thanks again ****
On Feb 11th 2007, I'll be on a startline in Whitehorse, Canada, to run the 460-mile Yukon Arctic Ultra - a non-stop, unsupported race to the remote gold-rush town of Dawson. The race route traverses frozen rivers, tundra and mountain ranges, and regularly sees temperatures drop to -40C.
In return for a donation of £5 (or more!), there's a prize of £150 for the closest guess to my finishing time - days, hours and minutes - with ALL the proceeds going to a Derbyshire-based charity called Challenge Cancer Through Adventure. In short, they fund adventure trips for people with cancer and potentially terminal illness (see www.challengecancer.org.uk for more details).
The inspiration for trying to support this charity has come from the courage, spirit and determination shown by friends Jill Leheup, Nicky Spinks and Denise Crowther, all of whom were diagnosed with cancer last year and are fighting hard to overcome an illness which I'm sure has affected - in one way or another - many of you reading this message.
Many thanks - Andy Heading
PS - please enter your finish time in the COMMENT box on the donation page. For more info about the race, log onto www.arcticultra.de which will carry race updates from Feb 11th so you can see how your investment is doing!
PPS - guess tip: in 2005, a shorter (300-mile) version of the same race took me just over six days, 8 hours.
PPPS - if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your donation at no cost.