Suicide charity will gain from mental health physio’s desert marathon

A mental health physio will run for six days across the desert to help raise funds for a charity that stops men from taking their own lives.


Jon Woods (right) tackling the South Downs Way 50 ultramarathon with two fellow runners

Jon Woods, senior acute and older adult mental health physiotherapist at St George’s Hospital, Stafford, must carry everything he needs, including food and water, for 165km in the Oman Desert Marathon in November.

He will take part in one of the world’s toughest marathons to raise cash for CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably), which aims to prevent male suicide in the UK and the charity Facing Africa, which treats children attacked by the gangrenous infection Noma that affects the face.

A regular ultra-marathon runner, and ironman competitor, Mr Woods said he wanted to complete a race that would take him out of his comfort zone.

‘I was looking for something to challenge myself and this is a ‘one and done’ event, or at least that’s what I tell myself,’ he said.

‘I’ve been running up and down the beach in Formby near where I live wearing layers of jumpers to try to replicate the heat. I’m a big guy, over six feet, and big people don’t cope with the heat too well. I’ve been getting some funny looks.

‘And I’m constantly putting myself back together after training sessions, and I’m having to do the stretching that I’ve advised others to do for years!’


Jon Woods celebrating at the finish of the South Downs run

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