Brazil 135 Ultra Marathon

You think a marathons’ hard…

With the London Marathon only just round the corner some people may think that a marathon is tough enough but Gary Johnson, 41, of Target Fitness Ltd in Cheshunt has just arrived back from Brazil after successfully completing the Brazil 135 Ultra Marathon. That’s right, that over 5 marathons in one go!

This race is considered to be one of the most difficult continuous races on the planet and Ultra marathonist Gary Johnson, had a time limit of 60 hours in which to complete the 135 mile race while being self sufficient.

Professional personal trainer and owner of Target Fitness Ltd, Gary, has run numerous ultra marathons in the past, usually finishing in the top 10. However, in 2009, when Gary originally completed the Brazil 135 he unfortunately became extremely ill mid-race due to having a reaction to an anti-inflammatory tablet taken for a leg injury and was hospitalized after the race for weeks for dehydration and a serious kidney problem that almost cost him his life. After a successful recovery, a very determined Gary returned to Brazil in January for the 3-day event to complete his race well and raise awareness for The Play Barn Project!

Gary, his partner Leanne Curtis and Philip Graham of PGSM initially set up the Play Barn Project with an aim to help provide a sterile and safe haven for children with cancers to play in without exposing them to the potentially dangerous viruses that we all carry such as colds, flu, coughs, etc which could prove fatal. Please visit www.theplaybarnproject.co.uk for further information.

The epic course of some 135 miles (217KM) boasts about 30,000 feet of cumulative ascent and 28,000 feet of cumulative descent, and must be completed within the 60 hour cut off time. With only ten flat miles in the race, by the time the runner crosses the finish line they will have completed a course that is equivalent to climbing up and down Mt. Everest.

Gary arrived in Brazil some 2 days before the start of the race. The race started in the mountainous town of Sao Joao Da Boa Vista where Gary met his two-crew members that would help guide him through the course carrying his much needed supplies that would get him through to the finish in Paraisopolis. There were heavy storms in the lead up to the race day but luckily for Gary the weather held out and he was not greatly affected by any of the recent floods in Brazil, instead he had to cope with temperatures of 30 degrees plus!

Gary was one of only two intrepid Britons to attempt to run the race and due to his previous experience when he ended up in hospital, his fluids were checked regularly. He successfully completed the race achieving a respectable time of 41:00 hours, placing him 12th out of the 40 fellow Ultra Marathonists that finished, although a total of 71 participants took part but 31 of these, including the second British individual pulled out and failed to complete the event. Gary remains the fastest Briton to complete the race . More details and the results about the race can be found here: http://www.brasil135.com/

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