Former GB para-athlete Jonny Huntington will set off on October 30 to run from Manchester to London on an epic ultra-marathon.
The challenge is in preparation for his attempt to become the world’s first disabled person to ski solo and unsupported across 911 kms of Antarctic tundra to the South Pole.
After suffering a devastating stroke in 2014 Jonny was paralysed down one side, but with extensive rehab has gained some movement back.
He hopes that the epic journey from Manchester to London, and subsequent Antarctic expedition next year, will prove that no matter a person’s physical ability, they can achieve things that haven’t been attempted before.
Fewer people have skied solo to the South Pole than have been into space. And to date no-one with a disability has ever attempted a solo, unsupported expedition to the South Pole.
Jonny Huntington is aiming to be the first.
But first he aims to test the resilience of his body by putting it through similar stresses to what it will face on the expedition - by running from Manchester to London.
“This is a massive undertaking for an able-bodied person. Add my restricted movements, especially my lower leg, and it takes the challenge to a whole new level,” says Jonny.
Along the way, Jonny will be visiting schools to show children that anything is possible with self-belief and determination.
“It's important I use this as an opportunity to inspire children around the country, helping to give young people the belief and confidence to attempt incredible things and live up to their potential,” he added.
He will also be raising money for The Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST), Adaptive Grand Slam (AGS) and Invictus Games Foundation charities.
Jonny joined the army in 2013, training at Sandhurst to become an officer. In June 2014, just eight weeks after commissioning into the British Army, Jonny was in the gym when he suffered a devastating stroke. The neurological damage left Jonny paralysed down one side.
During his recovery Jonny became a member of the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST), which fuelled his love of cross-country skiing.
This led to Jonny becoming one of the first athletes in a new GB Para Nordic ski team, where he competed from 2017 to 2020 at international level at World Cups in Lviv, Ukraine and Vuokatti, Finland, as well as the inaugural European Paralympic Committee Games in Poland in 2020.
Para classifications and his unique physical limitations eventually made it impossible to compete at the highest levels, however this experience laid the foundations for his plans to be the first disabled explorer to reach the South Pole.
“Through the expedition to the South Pole we are breaking boundaries within the disabled community and pushing the idea of human potential,” said Jonny.
“For me, the South Pole expedition is about challenging myself, about pushing myself further than I've ever pushed my body before.
“My hope is that this expedition will highlight that no challenge is insurmountable, whether someone is disabled or not.”
To find out more about Jonny’s adventure visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/jonny-huntington-m2l