A University of Northampton lecturer will be channeling his late mother's determination as he climbs Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.
Saul Cuttell is taking on the 4,900m trek up Africa's highest mountain in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK after his mum died of the disease.
The lecturer in sport and exercise science has already raised around £2,250 and will be helped along the way by a team of supporters, including his aunt Army Major Sharon Gough.
“People might think how on earth I’ve got myself geared up to do this, but my mum was a great motivator who always said, 'you can do anything you set your mind to,’ so I guess it’s been born and bred into me," he said.
“After a diagnosis of pancreatic and liver cancer, the prognosis is not good but mum lived for more than a year and half after her's.
"We’re going to put that same tenacious spirit into every step we take.”
Saul flies to Tanzania on an 11-hour overnight flight today (Friday, September 20), with the climbing starting two days later.
The intrepid group – supported by Action Challenge – will take the Machame Route which is broken up into stages, alternating periods of ascent and descent to help their bodies adjust to changes in altitude and oxygen levels.
To acclimatise himself, Saul has climbed Mount Snowdon and Mount Olympus in Greece, walked through part of the Swiss Alps and sought advice from doctors and altitude physiologists.
The former Royal Marine will be taking all sorts of equipment including a -40 degree sleeping bag, waterproof equipment, head torches, trekking poles, trekking trousers and boots, basic medicines and a clutch of bin liners – to keep everything dry.
Saul has been gathering sponsorship in anticipation of the Kilimanjaro climb since June last year, with football matches and other events organised to boost the funds for the charity.
All of this training and fundraising has been carried out while he still lectures at the university, runs Pitch RMT – his own football scouting website – and conducts a PhD looking into muscle damage and recovery.Of his Kilimanjaro challenge.
To donate to Saul's cause, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/saulisgettingupthathill.