Taking on mighty Amazon for charity

    Ken Krys run 300x250

    Doing a marathon might be enough of a challenge for many, but not for local businessman and runner Ken Krys. After taking on the Marathon des Sables, a run through the Sahara Desert in 2009, and participating in the Antarctica run in 2010, Mr. Krys will be taking on the jungles of Brazil this time around. 

    The Jungle Marathon takes runners through the Amazon, with Mr. Krys taking on the longer 220 kilometre run, which will take place in six stages. Runners have to carry their own food, clothing and even their own hammock to sleep in between stages. It even includes one gruelling 89 kilometre overnight stage. 

    “I decided I needed a change of scenery. Actually, a colleague of mine on the Antarctica run suggested the Jungle run and it seemed like too good of a challenge to pass by,” said Mr. Krys. 

    The race will offer up challenges that neither the scorching deserts nor the arctic wastes presented. 

    “Videos I have seen indicate that we will be running through rivers and swamps with water as high as our necks infested with snakes, spiders and reptiles,” said Mr. Krys. The heat and humidity will also pose a problem, as Mr. Krys said the runners’ gear never dries out and runners also face potential issues with their feet. 

    “Also wildlife and the living conditions generally will be a challenge. I am told that the greatest concern for runners is being charged by wild pigs,” said Mr. Krys. 

    With all the challenges and dangers an event like this, the question Mr. Krys is asked most often is; why does he do it? “I think the greatest thing I learn is that a person can do whatever he puts his mind to. Also, having an opportunity to run in such fascinating places gives you a sense of perspective about the world we live in and our place in it,” he said. 

    Through his participation in the Jungle Marathon Mr. Krys will be raising funds and awareness for the charity Facing Africa and for the National Council for Volunteer Organisations.  

    Facing Africa helps with the treatment of NOMA, a debilitating disease that leaves its victims, usually young children, severely disfigured and requiring facial reconstructive surgery to regain basic functions. The disease also has a high rate of mortality. 

    “I have found that the cause of helping kids in Africa who have NOMA is gratifying and I have been pleased with the efforts made so far by doctors and surgeons in the UK to give kids in Africa a better life. The NCVO is an organisation that I have been involved with as treasurer for over 10 years and have seen the benefits it provides to foster children and other children in the community. Any proceeds I collect for this run will be split 50:50 for each,” said Mr Krys. 

    Mr. Krys said that running for a charity gave additional purpose and motivation to his endeavours. “To be able to run for charity allows me to help other people while challenging myself to be a better person.” 

    The run will take place from 6 to 15 October and anyone interested in sponsoring the endeavour to benefit Facing Africa and the NCVO can contact [email protected] for further details. 

    The run will take place from 6 to 15 October and anyone interested in sponsoring the endeavour to benefit Facing Africa and the NCVO can contact [email protected] for further details. 

    Ken Krys run

    Ken Krys has taken part in endurance events all over the world, including Cayman. – Photo: Eugene Bonthuys

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