A University lecturer is preparing to reach the summit of his recent charity supporting activities by walking to the top of the highest mountain in Africa later this month.
Saul Cuttell, Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, will be trekking Mount Kilimanjaro for a body-pummelling six-day walk to the summit – 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) from its base – all in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK.
His adventure starts on 20 September when he leaves the UK for an 11-hour overnight flight into Tanzania. The climb into the clouds starts two days later and Saul will be joined by supporters including his aunt, army Major Sharon Gough.
The intrepid group – supported by Action Challenge – are taking 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 been taking part in training exercises for the past year. These include trekking Mount Snowdon in Wales, Mount Olympus in Greece, walking through part of the Swiss Alps (where he is pictured, above) as well as seeking advice from doctors and altitude physiologists.
Saul, a former Royal Marine, is already kitted out for the endeavour and will be taking equipment including a -40 sleeping bag, waterproof equipment, head torches, trekking poles, trekking trousers and boots, basic medicines and a clutch of bin liners – to keep everything dry.
All of this training and trekking has been carried out while he still lectures at the University of Northampton, runs Pitch RMT – his own football scouting website – and conducts a PhD looking into muscle damage and recovery.
Of his Kilimanjaro challenge, Saul said: “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.
“After a diagnosis of pancreatic and liver cancer, the prognosis is not good but Mum lived for more than a year and half after hers. We’re going to put that same tenacious spirit into every step we take.”
You can support Saul and his team by donating here.
Find out more about Pancreatic Cancer UK.