From fiery bond markets to the icy Arctic Circle

3 min read 8 Feb 22

In a few hours I’ll be leaving fiery, volatile bond markets behind for a week’s long and rather chilly adventure in the Arctic Circle. The event is a 230km foot-race in Swedish Lapland where daytime temperatures can fall as low as -40 °C and is split across 5 stages of off-road terrain ranging from mountainous tundra to ice forests and frozen lakes. And if that wasn’t enough, the race is self-sufficient, meaning participants are responsible for carrying their entire kit, food, safety equipment and a minimum of 1.5 litres of water. Oh, and no electricity, showers or change of clothes for the entire race. Smells are going to get ‘interesting’.

As I check my bags for the thousandth time (the mandatory kit-list is ridiculous by the way, including tampons for firelighters and medical needles, for errr, heaven only knows), waves of anxiety and excitement wash over me in equal measure. I have to remind myself I’ve put in some tough training. For the most part it’s been 6-8 hours a week of running with extra cycling and gym work thrown in. During the last 3 months, this ramped up to 12-14 hours a week with 8-10 hours running at the weekend. The only way I found to balance this with work and seeing my family was to embrace the 5am alarm and running in the dark with a headtorch. I’ve had some serious low points getting up and running in the early hours of a pitch black, cold, muddy and miserably wet winter’s morning. I can only apologise to those I have startled while walking their dogs, although I have had my fair share of dog bites in return, so we’ll call it evens.

Why do all of this? A big part of it is raising money for the NSPCC, the UK Children’s Charity focused on protecting, supporting and preventing children and young people from abuse. This is being raised in partnership with CASCAID, which brings colleagues from around the asset management industry to raise money for charity. Its goal for 2022 is to raise £1 million for the NSPCC.

My fundraising page is below. Many thanks to all of you who have already donated.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gareth-jandrell

I’m also doing this challenge for myself. The last 2 years have been a perfect reminder that life can be fleeting and we need to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally. From this perspective, running, specifically outdoors and along off-road trails, has been an amazing discovery that I couldn’t recommend more highly.

Thanks to all of you for the superb sponsorship support I’ve had over the past few weeks. Wish me luck (I’m going to need it) and see you on the other side.

P.s. to see first-hand what the event entails, check out the behind-the-scenes documentary  that covered the race in 2018.

By Gareth Jandrell

The value of investments will fluctuate, which will cause prices to fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

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