Former Leicester Tigers flanker Lewis Moody set for arctic trek in temperatures of minus 30
Former Leicester Tigers flanker Lewis Moody will walk 300 miles across the Arctic next month in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees as he attempts to complete the Yukon Ultra Marathon.
Starting on February 3, he has eight days to finish the challenge and, during that time, he will be sleeping less than four hours a day in a tent.
During one weekend of training, which consisted of 48 hours of trekking with only three hours sleep, the now-retired 34-year-old was so tired that he began hallucinating near the end of it.
He thought he saw a big house coming closer to him in the final minutes. It was only when he got to within 30 metres that he realised it was, in fact, a tree.
A friend of his thought he was being chased by a panther when he completed the 100-mile leg of the trek two years ago.
"At least it made him get to the end quicker," said Moody.
If it was not one of Leicester's favourite sons doing it, you would think anyone involved in such a task had to be bonkers.
But for someone like the former Tigers flanker, who has made a living from putting his body in the most dangerous positions known to man, it comes as no surprise.
Moody will tackle the task for charity. The HopeHIV cause is something he has felt passionately about for six years. He will be making the trek with the charity's founder Phil Wall and polar explorer Alan Chambers.
The size of Moody's task is made all the more clear when a man, who has made 223 appearances and won two Heineken Cups and seven Premiership titles during a glittering career at Welford Road, as well as a World Cup with his country, describes it as his "greatest challenge" to date.
"Walking 38 miles a day across Arctic Canada in temperatures of minus 50 is going to brutal," he said.
"The fitness side of that is not the most demanding part. It will be the cold and the sleep depravation that will be the hardest to deal with.
"We will have flash jogs as well at times to keep up, and I will need to have enough wits about me to work a small portable cooker to cook our meals.
"I have been in temperatures of minus 30 before and it was not ridiculously cold.
"But when you factor in some of the winds we will expect to be encountering, then it gets pretty tasty."
The event will be well-marshalled and, with "guys on skidoos" riding around to check there have been no casualties, there will at least be someone to help if Moody feels the need to bail out.
Ominously, of the 75 contestants who start the race each year, less than half of them reach the end.
"There will be proper athletes who are out to win it, but our goal will be just to finish it," he said.
"As a sportsman, I spent the whole of my career challenging myself physically and mentally every moment of the day, whether that be in the gym, on the training pitch or in a match.
"When I retired, I really missed that and this is a massive challenge for me, both physically and mentally."
To sponsor Moody on his Yukon Arctic Ultra challenge, either text MYGC99 to 70070 with a donation of £1, £5 or £10, or go to:
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