Amazing Steve completes the ultimate ice challenge
Date published: 27 February 2018
Steve Hill completed his ultimate ice challenge
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He did it! St Joseph's primary school's intrepid deputy head Steve Hill MBE has completed his toughest charity challenge yet.
Previous expeditions have taken Steve climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro, tackling Mont Blanc and trekking through the Sahara Desert no less, but this time he has truly excelled himself in completing one of the toughest footraces in the world - the Arctic Ice Ultra Marathon.
During his recent half-term break, dedicated Steve was totally self-sufficient as he trekked a total of more than 200km through the Arctic, where temperatures sunk to around minus 40 degrees.
Backed by the full support and encouragement offered by his Year 6 class at the Shaw school, Steve travelled an incredible 250km across five gruelling race stages, regularly running for up to 17 hours each day..
Gutsy Steve, who, incredibly, returned home from the Arctic on Sunday night before reporting in for school duty on Monday morning, said: "I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep – I was running on adrenaline really.
“Once it’s cold it’s cold, but once you’re creating heat you can maybe take your gloves off and you start to get hat numb feeling in your fingers.
“I have come back with a bit of frost nip in my fingers, but it is about keeping moving.
“As long as you keep moving and creating that heat, then you’re fine.
“Once you’re stopping, that’s when you start getting cold."
The children at St Joseph's certainly proved inspirational in Steve's latest epic adventure, another which is sure to stay long in his memory.
He added: “It was spectacular, but at times I wasn’t taking it in.
“What does stick out is when I was on a 20km frozen lake, and as I was running through the northern lights came out.
“They were dancing across the skies as I was running through, and that really was a magical moment.
“The mental challenge is the hardest bit, though.
“I was thinking about the children at school and what they’d be saying, like ‘keep going, Sir’.
“I wanted that medal for them and to not let them down, but I was also thinking one step at a time, one mile at a time and one checkpoint at a time.
“You’ve got to break it up like that, down to small manageable steps.
“I had the kids’ letters too, and they were a massive motivation."
After paying for the trip himself through various fund-raising activities before-hand, Steve raised lots of money for Dr Kershaw's Hospice, Cancer Research Uk, the RSPCA and Supporting Shane - a boy in Year 6 at St Joseph's who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Steve Hill did his best to take in the Arctic sights during his epic week-long Arctic Ice Ultra Marathon