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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Hypothermia halts Ulverston businessman’s 108-mile challenge

ARCTIC conditions halted an Ulverston business man’s ambition of completing a 108-mile mountain marathon.

Wayne Singleton, HR business partner at Siemens Subsea in Ulverston, was forced to pull out 35 miles into the brutal Spine Challenger race after suffering hypothermia.

Extreme conditions of snow, hail and freezing wind claimed a number of victims on the exposed terrain between Edale and Hawes, in the Pennines, with over 50 per cent of participants having dropped out by Sunday morning.

Unfazed, the 38-year-old says he will return to conquer the Spine Challenger in the future.

“It was a fantastic event and I met some really good people. It was a great experience and good fun.

“It’s affirmed a lot of what I believed about life,” he said.

Mr Singleton had done “shed-loads” of training ahead of the event and was in peak physical condition but the conditions proved too punishing on the day.

“We had volunteered for that sort of adventure,” said Mr Singleton, who competed with close friends Glynn Rose and Chris Chadwick.

“It’s billed as one of the most brutal and terrifying races and the words really do describe it,” he said.

“I really did enjoy it right the way through until 10 minutes before I sunk.”

Describing the conditions on Saturday, he said: “We carried on over the moors and it really got cold around 8.30pm.

“We couldn’t see a great deal, the fog was really down. I could just feel the heat leaching out of my feet.

“I could feel every bit of warmth in my body getting sucked out of me.

“We were due to meet our support crew on the motorway bridge over the M62.

“I thought it would be a good chance to warm up and get some different clothes on and get going again.

“It didn’t turn out that way – I got hypothermia brought on by dehydration.”

Although physically prepared, Mr Singleton said he struggled psychologically with the enormity of the challenge.

“I get really bad anxiety and terror before the start of an event, which is draining,” he said.

“I did the Marathon des Sables a couple of years ago and that was horrendous for weeks before. I was waking up having panic attacks.”

But unlike the Marathon des Sables, a 150-mile race held in the Sahara, the appeal of the Spine Challenger is it’s proximity.

“I can’t quite see it from my window but it’s only an hour’s drive from where I live,” added Mr Singleton.

“There’s no doubt in my mind I will give it another go.

“There’s a lot of unfinished business and you don’t want something to beat you like that.”

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