28/10/2010 – Simon Biltcliffe (45), Managing Director of Webmart in Bicester, has completed the Polar Circle Marathon – known as the coolest marathon on earth and one of the world’s toughest challenges – in aid of Starlight Children’s Foundation, the UK’s leading wish granting charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Taking up the brave challenge with fellow businessman Tony Jones, who was running for Macmillan Cancer Support, Simon completed the difficult route in 5 hours and 53 minutes. Given that 150 runners take part in the marathon and only 50 are expected to finish, completion of the race is a feat in itself.
The pair were unable to prepare for the harsh weather conditions that they would face and could only get in shape by running around Bicester – a far cry away from the -15C temperatures they could expect in Greenland. The conditions were so extreme that, despite four layers of clothing on top and two layers on their legs, for the full marathon the runners were unable to stop to take a break as their sweat would freeze on their bodies.
Simon, who was this year named by the Institute of Directors as Director of the Year, explains why he chose to do the Polar Circle Marathon for Starlight: “Aged 20 I was told by doctors I wouldn’t be able to run again because of my unusually shaped feet and for the last 25 years I’ve not. Having seen the amazing support and joy that Starlight brings to the lives of seriously and terminally ill children by granting once in a lifetime wishes, I was moved to do this run. By doing this marathon, I can help Starlight make the dreams of poorly children come true and that will make my pain truly worth it!”
Campaigning to raise funds and awareness for Starlight in the lead up to the marathon, Simon received some unusual offers, including the shave of his life from Will King, the entrepreneurial founder of company King of Shaves, to raise money for the wishes of children with serious and terminal illnesses.
Returning home, Simon described the marathon as “a once in a lifetime experience, quite literally, it will never be repeated!”
If you would like to make a donation, you can sponsor Simon at: http://www.justgiving.com/simon-biltcliffe
Contact: Henny Breakwell
Tel: 020 7262 2881 #231
Starlight grants a once-in-a-lifetime wish for seriously and terminally ill children, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share, whatever the future holds.
Starlight also creates entertainment in every hospital and hospice throughout the UK. Sick children go to Starlight parties, laugh their way through pantomimes, go out on Starlight Escapes, play games and watch films on the Starlight Fun Centre, and enjoy the toys and puzzles of the Starlight Distraction Box. Happy children respond better to treatment and Starlight helps children to forget about their illness and simply have a bit of fun.
You can make a donation online or by calling us on 020 7262 2881. For every £1 you donate, Starlight can assure you that 91p goes towards helping very ill children. To refer a child for a wish, simply complete our wish referral form.