Jungle Marathon Update

A fortnight ago, Steve Hayes and Pete Wright set off on an adventure of a lifetime.
Their mission was clear – to run 254km through the Amazon jungle in Brazil… all in the name of raising funds for Durrell.
They received a special send-off from Durrell’s very own Ambassador, Henry Cavill.  And even he was impressed with the extraordinary challenge that lay ahead…


You may remember a few weeks ago we told you about the extraordinary challenge taken on by Pete Wright and Steve Hayes….

Posted by Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Friday, October 9, 2015


Help Pete and Steve complete their goal!

Pete and Steve achieved their incredible mission by completing the 254km “extreme marathon”, but they need your help to reach their fundraising goal…

Their aim is to raise £2,000 for Durrell. Please join the 30 donors who have pledged £905 so far, and help Pete and Steve over the finish line once more!

Donate now

Pete and Steve during the challenge

Pete and Steve during the challenge

“I came across snakes, spiders, huge webs, wild pigs and monkeys. Adrenaline was always pumping and the thought of what lurked in the jungle or the rivers didn’t really enter my head at the time.

 It was the ultimate adventure, and I am immensely proud of the achievement. The fellow competitors and medics were our Band of Brothers throughout and this really kept me going. In the evenings I had a picture of my kids hanging in the hammock and I would tell them about my day.”
 The hardest part for Steve was navigating the treacherous terrain and the intense 45-degree heat.
 “There were very steep ups and downs and a lot of the course wasn’t runnable. The leaves were thick – ankle depth – and underneath those leaves you got a crisscross of tree vines and tree roots, absolutely everywhere.
 The second you heard a noise and looked in that direction to see what it was, you would find yourself twisting your ankle on something. On Day 1, between Pete and I, we must have twisted our ankle about 50 times! The floor was just out to get you basically!”
 Pete struggled to acclimatise to the extreme weather, so he and Steve decided to stick to our own race strategies from stage 1.
 And on day three, disaster struck for Pete.
Pete's sore feet

Pete’s sore feet

 “I was having a good day and moving very swiftly. Then disaster struck, as I stepped over a large log and came crashing down heavily on my right ankle. I knew it was very bad and significant swelling was instant.

 I dragged myself to the next checkpoint in severe pain, took painkillers and made an effort to see out the rest of the day. This was the hardest part for me and the final 11 miles were brutal to the extreme. I filled my mind with positive thoughts of Rachel, Josh and Leila, and adopted the simple strategy of ‘one foot in front of the other, then repeat’.
 From the end of day 3, I had the ankle heavily strapped my medics and just pushed on.
 Quitting was not an option here, and fortunately walking sticks are in plentiful supply in the jungle,…and are free of charge.”
 For Steve, the river crossings were the most fraught times of the challenge: “When you find yourself at midnight in pitch black darkness and you find yourself swimming across a 600metre stretch of river with a 15kg rucksack on your back. And with head torches across the surface, you see lots of eyes of caimans, bullfrogs, and all sorts of other animals. There’s no one there to help you, no supporters, no marshals – you’re on you own. It’s kind of unnerving really.“


Steve at the Starting Line

Steve at the Starting Line

One stage involved the boys running for 108km – Steve managed to do stage 5 in 29 hours, with only a quick 45-minute nap in his hammock. But it was a different story for Pete:

 “I was in a world of pain, but finally finished stage 5 at 9:30 pm on the second day, so it had taken me 42 hours with 6 hours sleep at camp. I was elated since I knew the race was as good as complete. I had literally given everything I had and arrived to embraces from my fellow competitors.
 The final day saw us all covering 24km along the beach to the finish. I ran and hobbled most of it, and the feeling was amazing when I crossed the line.
 Steve was there to give me a hug, and helped me get my pack off. It was now time for a beer…”
 Despite all of the challenges – the heat, the humidity, the unforgiving terrain, the injuries and dangers lurking at every corner – both Steve and Pete agree it was an experience of a lifetime.
 Steve says, “This event has just reinforced how much I love challenging myself and living life to the full. I will continue to do so, and more challenges will be forthcoming. You have one chance on the planet, so grasp the opportunity and absorb the beauty.”
A few snaps from Steve and Pete’s adventure
Pete in the swamp

Pete in the swamp

The swamp

The swamp

Pete on the beach

Pete on the beach

Steve's swollen feet

Steve’s swollen feet

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  7 comments for “Jungle Marathon Update

  1. October 15, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    This is absolutely amazing & what a grand story, we are all immensely proud of what Pete & Steve went through to help bring more awareness & funds to Durrell. Sorry to hear that Pete got hurt, but what a valiant effort & courage to finish with having to endure such pain & scary stuff in the jungles. I did help with a donation before the event & will donate again to help more. Excellent & well done, Pete & Steve!!!

    October 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Good evening and congratulations to Pete and Steve

  3. M. River
    October 15, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Amazing! Thank you Henry for sending them off, you are a true ambassador. Thank you Pete and Steve for this amazing accomplishment, your will is absolutely amazing! Well done
    Thank you Durrell and Henry Cavill for your hard work and dedication to a wonderful and important cause

    M. River ❤️

  4. Stella Broster
    October 15, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve just donated! Very impressed – well done boys :-) x

  5. Teresa Lyons
    October 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Congrats, guys! Brilliant job!

  6. Olivia L Thompson
    October 15, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    What an Amazing Adventure! I hope my donation will help. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, and all of the interesting pictures

  7. Kavonne Wynn
    October 16, 2015 at 1:38 am

    Congrats, Steve and Pete! You sure did, as Henry said, smash it!

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