Conquering the ‘coolest marathon on earth’
Wed 8th November 2023
Lifelong friends David Eveleigh and Kevin Neilson have successfully completed the Polar Circle Marathon in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland in just under and just over 5 hours respectively to raise thousands of pounds for the Rangers Charity Foundation.
The pair agreed to take on this unique 42 kilometre snow challenge inside the Arctic Circle to mark David’s 40th birthday and were two of an elite group of less than 150 competitors from all around the world to complete it. David, a piling operative from Alloa, said:
“I am used to running hills in Stirling in winter and thought I would be well prepared for it but this was something else. There had been heavy snow fall the night before and sometimes you would just disappear when trying to run. We had to use ropes to pull ourselves up the steep slopes.
“The temperature made it really challenging, ranging from minus 13 to minus 18 degrees Celsius. You had to keep moving because if you stopped you could get hypothermia.
“Some of the highlights included walking on the ice cap the night before the race, seeing reindeer and the Northern lights but it was a bit alarming hearing at the pre-race briefing that a polar bear had been sighted in the area!
“It was definitely harder than I thought it would be and we are really proud to have completed it!”
Kevin, 39, from Dalbeattie, a former professional footballer and Army reservist with 6 Scots, The 6th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland commented:
“We had grand plans for training but I have my own business and a young son and life got in the way so we had to rely on our own experience. The goal was just to finish so we were delighted to do it in the times we did.
“The best things for me were the incredible landscape and the people you meet from all over the world. David and I have been friends since we were kids and you have less free time as you get older so it was also great to spend time and share that experience with him. When things got tough, he was distracting himself by remembering his favourite Rangers moments!
“It was a real bucket list opportunity and a personal challenge but we were motivated the whole way by being able to raise funds for the Foundation which does such amazing work, including helping veterans and children.”
David Henson, Supporter Engagement and Events Executive at the Rangers Charity Foundation commented:
“We are really grateful for the support and want to say a huge congratulations to David and Kevin for completing this unique challenge. 100% of the funds will be used towards our life-changing charitable and community work on behalf of the Rangers Family.”
There is still time to donate here.