Charity marathon runner takes on freezing climates to raise money for children with cancer

Mark Baker of Upton
Mark Baker of Upton

A big-hearted Northampton man took part in two unique arctic races in Greenland to raise money for Children With Cancer UK.

Mark Baker, 36, of Upton ran a total of 39 miles and tackled ice caps, glaciers and arctic tundra in minus 20-degree climates to raise £1000 for a cause close to his heart.

The first race to go-ahead during the Polar Circle Marathon weekend took place on Saturday, October 29 and was a gruelling 26 miles but this didn’t put the keen-runner off the 13-mile competition the following day.

Mr Baker, who took part in the race dubbed the “coolest marathon on earth” said: “Not many people get to do this race, Greenland is really difficult to get to and costs a lot of money. For flights, accommodation and race entry it cost me £2500 overall.

The Greenland marathon route took place on a road near a small town known as Kangerlussuaq - just north of the arctic circle - which connects to a sheet of ice.

The fundraiser told the Chronicle & Echo that he was inspired to start marathon running when he entered the Northampton 10k run back in 2011 and he intends to run the London marathon next year.

He added: “It’s hard training for a race like the Polar Circle, while living in Northampton. I can’t do much preparation other than sprint distances, but in 2018 I hope to run the marathon in Jordan.”

“I’ve done other marathons before, such as Snowdon, which was 22 miles, it’s something I’ve always enjoyed.”

The marathon runner, who took one year to prepare for the marathon chose to raise money for children suffering from cancer as he knows youngsters that have been affected.