[updated Aug 12, see below]

In August this year I will attempt to complete RacingThePlanet’s latest roving race in Iceland (http://www.4deserts.com/beyond/iceland/). These events require competitors to traverse 250 kilometres of rough country terrain over seven days with only a place in a tent and water provided each day; everything else must be carried for every step. In completing this race I hope to raise as much money as I can for the Children’s Medical Foundation, a wonderful charity that develops and implements programs in rural China to improve health care available to children.

I really need your support to get me through this physical & mental test and you can help by donating using the link below. It may be a cliché, but any amount can make a difference to the lives of these children.

None of the donations will go towards race fees, travel or equipment; I have covered all of these costs personally. Also, CMF’s Board of Directors is a 100% giving board. Their contributions cover 100% of CMF’s administration costs, meaning that 100% of your donation goes towards the programs.

Thank you in advance for your donations. I promise I’ll do my absolute best to get across that finishing line.

— Ross Hunt 

Support Ross and his amazing journey across Iceland from August 1-11, 2013 by sponsoring his race and Children’s Medical Foundation’s efforts to save newborn babies in rural China.

Donation by Paypal (this button will take you Paypal’s website):

You may enter any donation amount in “Item Price” field.

HK$100 buys 1 training manual

HK$1,000 trains 1 nurse

HK$8,000 saves a newborn life

Donation Form (please click icon below for our donation form):

When completing this form, please write at the top: “Ross Hunt – Iceland 2013” so we may accurately reflect your sponsorship.


Updates from Ross


Smiles at the finish line with fellow CMF supporter Christopher Huang!


August 9, 2013


…the physically worst day of my life. The rain and wind started up after stage 4 ended and didn’t stop through the night so we endured a very cold and wet tent (anything that touched the side walls caused a leak) and a equally unpleasant morning. Because of the atrocious conditions we were told in the morning briefing that we would be given our drop bags that night and staying somewhere warm which lifted the atmosphere briefly and allowed people to put on more warm layers (that they were trying to keep dry). My tentmate (Ben Chandler) and I decided to buddy up to get through this 64km stage so off we went into driving wind and rain and the first 8kms soon passed by to checkpoint 1 but I was struggling to get my right knee warmed up and it started to get painful. The next stage saw us go offroad and down some stunning valleys albeit less stunning in the weather conditions. I had to take painkillers at checkpoint 2 as the knee was really uncomfortable and we had a long hard road ahead. Halfway into this section we hit a black sand beach. Now most people thought this was beautiful. For Ben and I it was the worst thing ever (I hate going to a beach in normal conditions)….and we had 6km of it! Add to that swirling sand storms and it was a very unpleasant one hour. Checkpoint 3 came eventually and we both had to change socks as the rain had left our feet sodden. Putting used socks on already cold and wrinkly feet is really not nice but it had to be done and we both squelched off. Our spirits were up at this point despite the pouring rain as we were taken along some spectacular lava cliffs for 4km with the angry waves pounding the cliffs. The rest of the section was along a never-ending sandy, gritty path but we were very happy to be receiving hot water at the next checkpoint (only happens on the long march). Our spirits were massively dashed when we got there to find the staff struggling to boil any water because of the weather. Even the tent that they had put up for shelter was being thrown around in the wind. So cold, tired, hungry and thoroughly demoralised we plodded on into what felt like a cold version of hell; the path took us right beside the ocean on a sandy path and the wind was just unbelieveably strong, I was nearly pushed over on multiple occasions and unable to do anything but a slow, slow walk. At this point I was near to quitting as I just couldn’t believe I had to do another 20km in this weather. We were hit by another hail storm that stung my face and all I could think of was happy thoughts (which actually brought tears to my eyes….but that could’ve just been the sand 🙂 ). Checkpoint 5 seemed like a eternity away but after we arrived we were able to get out of the wind and rain for the first time in 11 hours in an under-road tunnel. Faced with another 11.5km to the finish and fading light we decided to crack on with only a small break. The wind died down a bit and the stage was on gritty road so we managed to pick up some speed and just put our heads down and pushed through. At this point I started to get cold & shivery and realised I had little time to finish before my body temperature dropped and it became dangerous. Finally we saw the buses (to take us to the warm place) and realised we had done it. Long march done in 13h15m. At this point my teeth were chattering so I ate the last of my chocolate (which was covered in black sand!) to take my mind off the cold and we were whisked to a gymnasium in the local town and given our drop bags with warm clothes; we even had access to a warm shower which was very much needed as most people came in with mild hypothermic conditions. After being clean for the first time in a week I ate some warm food and waited for the rest of our tent. Every bus load of people that came in was in a worse state than the previous as the temperature had dropped. I helped some people until 2am and finallly had to go to bed. The last competitor finally got back at 3:30am, a full 19 hours after finishing. The gymnasium currently looks like the pictures you see on the TV when a hurricane destroys a town. Literally carnage. Wet clothes and bodies everywhere. After a good night’s sleep most people are in better spirits especially when they opened the swimming pool and outdoor jacuzzi next door 😉

A final 10km tomorrow across lava fields into the Blue Lagoon, Iceland’s most famous geothermal hot baths. That will be the nicest soak I will ever have. And I am already dreaming about fresh food…..

240km down, 10km to go. A lot of people have asked will I do another one of these races….I can honestly say now the answer is no.


August 7, 2013


..that I felt as good as i did today. Awoke with the same aches and pains as the day before but after a caffeinated energy drink and two painkillers i started strong as the the lava tube was after only two kms and i didnt want to get stuck in the big pack. Head torches on and we delved into the Icelandic underworld in the 400m tube. It was incredible that nature had carved this given the size of the boulders in there, there was a particularly tight bit which caused concern for a few runners but i loved every minute. After leaving there i still felt good so i just ran and told myself to stop when i stopped feeling good. Fortunately that didnt happen for over 20km as the terrain was so nice and perfect for all the training that i did in HK. The last two sections were hilly so i took my time, the last 11km in particular took us over some pretty intense climbs especially on legs that had nearly done 4 marathons in 4 days! We were treated to a very ethereal section through a huge geothermal spring area which had huge aqua blue pools of steaming water and lots of squelching from the muddy holes; we were even treated to a hard boiled egg that had been cooked in one of the pools, i have never enjoyed an egg more that that in my life. The last 4kms were tough as you could see the campsite in a valley which never seemed to get any closer. The terrain was rough and included a couple of small river crossings and a bog, mmmm nice. Finally i made it and found out i had a 78th place finish which was much better than the 160+ place yesterday! I still have enough left in these legs for the long day but the weather has turned cold and rainy and hearing there is a storm brewing off the coast. We’re supposed to be running along the coast tomorrow so not exactly ideal. Tonight is all about staying warm so i am off to get into my sleeping bag and try to get some sleep ready for tomorrow. 175km done, 75km to go….

Love to everyone back home. Singing songs from Peter Pan and the Lion King got me through the tough parts today, amazing what these races can do to a man….


August 6, 2013


the wind bloweth over and we awoke to blue skies, warm sun and no wind (well very little, there’s always some!), pretty much perfect weather conditions. Unfortunately my body was less than perfect; the achey feet from day 2 became painful feet so I took my first painkillers in a couple of years and dragged myself to the start line. Luckily it was a 30min bus journey away so we had a bit of time to rest, less lucky was that I downed a load of electrolyte on the bus and then had to hold the biggest wee of my life for the whole journey 🙂 At the start everyone soon stripped off their waterproofs when it became apparent that even where the race was the weather was still very nice. I ran the first 3-4km but the painkillers wore off and I decided, because of the pain, there and then to walk the stage, which turned out the be the best decision. The scenery was beyond description today, I can’t even try and no camera could take what is simply nature as its very best. I highly recommend visiting this country (but maybe not do the 250km running…..). All through the day I met a few new people but I did find myself walking alone for most of the time. Mentally this was very tough and I found myself shouting ‘Pain, just f**k off’ at one point, then I realised I probaly should take a breather by finding a seat shaped rock, resting the pack, taking out some food and just appreciating the view. The terrain was still mostly rocky, sandy roads with a brief 3km across grassy, mossy fields (where the trolls live!) until the final section which was 11km of just rocky roads including an uphill and sharp downhill. Trying to do this on feet that are just screaming out is not something I wish to experience ever again. I finally made it to camp after 8h30m and saw a scene of hobbled people and a medical tent that was full. Seems I wasn’t the only one to suffer today.

I actually feel the same way I did last night which I suppose is a good thing. Every muscle in my body aches and I need a good night’s sleep which I haven’t had since I left the UK. I am still very positive about completing this thing. Day 4 tomorrow which includes the lava tube which should take my mind off things. 135km down, 115km to go.

Thanks again for all the blog comments, they really do lift my spirit. My cous cous has been noticed by another three people and I even overheard one woman explaining it to someone else! Now some of the volunteers know me as ‘cous cous guy’ – not sure how happy I am with that 🙂


August 5, 2013


was the scenery, blowy was the wind. The night in the tent was pretty horrendous. A tentmate was in a bad way after day 1 so I took one for the team and took the side of the tent. Note to oneself; never do that again 🙂 The overnight temperature went as low as minus 2 and the wind was, well, the wind really. They really should rename this country Windland….

As for the stage. There was highs and lows. First section was downhill with the wind behind us finally so it was a pretty easy first 12km. Second stage was over rough ground which consisted of moss covered rocks and gritty sand. I ended up walking most of section to the checkpoint hoping that a quick break would change my mental state but unfortunately the third section was across more rocky, sandy ground and my feet started to ache. We had been told about a run beside a river which sounded quite nice. Not when it’s a raging glacial river and the run takes you up into the valley with wind so strong it knocked some runners over. The checkpoint was near the top of a shingly climb and seemed like it would never come. Eventually I got there and took 5 minutes to catch my breath and take on some much needed food and energy drink. Feeling good I left the checkpoint only to be told the climb over the top got even windier! ugh. And boy I have never experienced anything like it I was running down steep hills at 45 degree angle and the wind coming up the hill was supporting me but we were rewarded with the most incredible of a glacier and glacial lake. The next section took us through a huge black sand desert complete with raging sandstorm in the distance (phew!) and then on to a fifth section which was a 10km hike down the road. I did manage to get some chafing in an unfortunate place so had to nip behind a rock to re-apply my body glide 😉 getting your nether regions out in Iceland is an unusual experience shall we say….

We hopped on a bus at the end of the stage to get a 15min drive to camp and there is finally no wind (fingers crossed it stays away) and we’re camping on grass….ahh bliss. The main thing is I am still smiling! Food wise is going all ok, body isn’t rejecting anything (yet) and I have been asked multiple times about one of my dinners which isn’t in one of those dreaded orange bag! Atmosphere around camp is much better tonight. Day three is always the tough one mentally so I am preparing myself. No blisters as yet but I do have achey feet but I am looking forward to getting to the halfway stage tomorrow. 92km down, 158km to go.


July 31, 2013

In the final days of race preparation, Ross gets his head shaved!  Nice and short and saves enough weight so Ross can carry more energy bars!!!



July 25, 2013


Into the final stages of training now. Spent a few days in the Scottish highlands hiking in glorious weather. Even took a dip in a mountain loch (lake) to cool down the joints. Pack is feeling good; the final weight will be around 10kg (6kg kit and 4kg food) which is at the upper end of the range I was expecting but due to the colder and wetter conditions I will likely experience the extra kit will be much needed. I leave for Iceland in eight days and I’m really looking forward to getting there now. The next week will be a time to rest the joints and try to put on a bit of weight which I’m also looking forward to!


CMF congratulates Ross on his successful finish, and is grateful for Ross’ support, and yours!