Polar Challenge raises vital funds

Dedicated fundraiser Nicky Chisholm recently completed her biggest challenge yet – a half-marathon in sub-zero temperatures in Greenland – raising almost £2,500 for Chestnut Tree House and another local charity, Safe in Sussex.

Nicky, 51, did some of her training in the University of Brighton’s Environment Extremes Laboratory, to replicate the hostile weather she would experience during the race.

The Coolest Half Marathon on Earth, as it is dubbed, takes place in one of the world’s most remote and challenging environments. Runners need specialist running shoes and clothes to cross the arctic desert with its backdrop of endless ice, glaciers, and tundra. They also need to stay alert to the possibility of curious polar bears venturing close: “The guy who started the race had a shotgun on his shoulder,” says Nicky.

Nicky, who lives near Brighton Marina, says she had been dreaming of completing the half-marathon for four years and training for over a year. “I enjoyed every single minute. I was absolutely determined to get around smiling because it was the privilege of a lifetime.

“The last mile was very tough – it was uphill, I had been out in the freezing temperatures for three hours and 30 mins and was cooling down fast. I had no energy left to pick up my speed up, my legs felt like lead. That finish line and my hot flask could not have come quick enough. The moment I crossed the finish line will stay with me forever!”

Highlighting the value of Nicky’s support, Chestnut Tree House Community Fundraiser, Caroline Roberts-Quigley said, “Nicky has been an avid supporter of Chestnut Tree House for several years and we can’t thank her enough for everything she has done. This latest fundraiser was a huge challenge and we’re blown away by all the training and commitment it involved. Only a small proportion of our care costs are covered by central government, so we rely heavily on the generosity of our local community – and inspirational people like Nicky who take on fundraising challenges. On behalf of everyone at Chestnut Tree House, I would like to say a huge thank you for helping to make children’s hospice care possible.”

This Polar Circle half marathon was the latest fundraising adventure for Nicky, who has previously abseiled down Arundel Castle’s Bake House Tower for Chestnut Tree House.

Nicky says "Thank You!"