I posted a story on the Last Desert ultramarathon, a tough six-stage, seven-day race that just wrapped up in Antarctica. The event capped the 2012 edition of the 4 Deserts series of races and was a grueling event that tested athletes both physically and mentally.
One of the competitors in the event is a 60-year old adventurer by the name of Len Stanmore and by completing the race he has managed to add yet another accomplishment to his already impressive resume. Len is now officially the first person to ski to both the North and South Pole, climb all of the Seven Summits and run each of the 4 Deserts ultras. That's quite a bit of adventure for one lifetime.
Len's adventurous life actually began back in 1998, when he sold off his successful telecommunications company and suddenly found himself financially secure and with plenty of time on his hands. A bit out of shape and looking for ways to motivate himself, he decided to set a goal for climbing Kilimanjaro and in 2001 he did just that. After that he was hooked, and soon found himself pursuing a host of other active endeavors including running in the Transrockies Run and numerous marathons, in addition to the expeditions mentioned above.
Perhap's Len's greatest achievement falls in the realm of fund raising for his favorite charity. At the end of the Last Desert, he'll have raised more than $100,000 for Trekking for Kids, an organization dedicated to improving orphanages around the globe through the use of purpose-driven, socially-conscious treks. The non-profit actually organizes some of the world's most iconic treks and sends hikers off on adventures as a way to raise funds for the cause. Some of those treks include hikes to Everest Base Camp, up Kilimanjaro and through the Andes of Peru.
According to the official results of the Last Desert, Stanmore has finished 31st of 49 competitors, putting him right in the thick of the pack. But considering he adventurous outlook on life and approach to raising funds for a good cause, I'd say he more than finished out front. You definitely have to respect a person who has found a way to enjoy their life and pursue all of these great adventures, while still finding a way to give back in the process. We should all be so fortunate.