Former couch potato turns ultra-adventurer
Vladimir Morozov from Birmingham is to begin his latest challenge on September 3 - running 1000 miles across Nepal solo and unassisted.
The 34-year-old has completed several physical challenges such as the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc and climbing several mountains (some solo) but nothing as immense as this. Until a few years ago, he did not even exercise, but a critical event in his life gave him the wake up call he needed and he decided to lose weight and take up exercise.
He took that to the extreme, however, and having completed running, mountaineering and triathlon events, suffered burnout. He was hospitalised for exhaustion and over-training.
It took him five months to be able to start exercising again and, when he did, he realised he hadn’t lost his passion for it. He says: “Getting back to training filled me with joy again. I wanted to test myself again now I knew my limits. I started by doing small challenges again and they seem to have got bigger and bigger – until this!”
Vlad has meticulously planned the route himself - a challenge and responsibility in itself that he finds incredibly rewarding. Using satellite images, elevation scans and old Chinese military maps, he has chosen a route that starts on the India-Nepal border near Dadeldhura in the west and ends in near Pashupatinagar in the east. He has specifically designed the route to take into account its altitude (running at a height of between 1000m and 2500m) and to ensure that he runs at the most suitable temperature.
It is not just the physical test of running such a distance and across unknown and challenging terrain that spurs Vlad on, but also the opportunity to travel, see different cultures and meet new people. He will be carrying all of his equipment and will be entirely self-sufficient. He plans to camp each night and source local food where possible, but he isn’t afraid or too proud to accept help if offered. He will be independent only to the point he needs to be. The thought of being alone is not something Vlad dreads. In fact he feels the opposite, saying: “Running has become meditative for me. I like the solitude of it and I’m at my happiest outside – between the sun above my head and the grass under my feet.”
Knowing how much he would enjoy it still wasn’t enough for Vlad. He wanted other people to benefit from his enjoyment and decided that the best way would be to support a Nepalese charity. He is raising money for Nepal Youth Foundation UK, a charity offering hope and opportunity to the most vulnerable children in Nepal since 1992. “I thoroughly researched charities in Nepal and, when I saw the work that NYF was doing, it really clicked with me. We share similar values and I respect what they do. Some of the programmes they run are pioneering and they are clearly making a significant and enduring difference. I can’t wait to be able to see this for myself during my trip.”
Although he will be running long distances every day to meet his goal of 1000 miles in under three months, there will be rest days and he will use this time to visit NYF’s projects and meet the children they help, as well as get to know the local communities that he is staying in. Visiting Nepal has been on his radar for some time; it was at the top of his dad’s wish list before he sadly passed away. Now he has found the perfect way to combine his passions of adventure, nature and helping others as well as fulfilling the dream he shared with his late father.
For more or to donate go here.
To learn more about the charity he is supporting please click here.