Soldier smashes Jungle target
4:22pm Wednesday 30th October 2013 in News
A BURY soldier who embarked on a gruelling journey across the Amazon to raise money for fellow servicemen has smashed his fundraising target.
Michael Ford, aged 24, travelled to Brazil for a 127km race through the jungle and spent two weeks in the country, battling insects and testing the limits of his physical endurance.
He is serving in the Royal Engineers, and has completed tours of duty in Afghanistan, Jordan and Kenya throughout his six years of service.
Funds raised will go towards the Army Benevolent Fund, which provides support to current and former soldiers as well as families of those in need.
He has nearly doubled his original target of £1,000, raising more than £1,800.
Although Michael is no stranger to such events, after completing an ultra marathon two years ago in Nairobi while serving there, he says it was an unforgettable trip.
“I found the whole situation amazing, an absolute once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.
“Brazil was such a beautiful place, especially the area of jungle we were running in, the Flona Tapajos region of the Amazon rainforest. I found the race extremely tough, 127km of racing through jungles, native villages, rivers and swamps.”
He completed the four-day race in a combined time of 28 hours and 30 minutes, and finished fifth in his catefory in a field of competitors who had travelled from around the world to take part.
The race is recognised as one of the toughest endurance races in the world. Michael was stung on five separate occasions, and encountered exotic creatures such as tarantulas, snakes and hornets.
On his return, a fundraising race night was held at St Joseph’s Parish Centre in Walmersley Road last Friday, which raised £605.
He is set to leave the army at the end of the year to find a new career, but says he will still serve in the Territorial Army.
Donations to the charity can be made by visiting justgiving.com/ Michael-Ford1
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