Two Medivet vets will navigate 185km of snow and ice, travelling through rivers, lakes and forests, and crossing the Arctic Circle twice as they participate in the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra. The event takes place from 6 to 16 March in Swedish Lapland, starting and finishing in the small town of Överkalix in the province of Norbotten. Vets John Beel, practice development director at Medivet, and David Abratt, pricing strategy director, are taking part to raise funds to help save the rhino from extinction.
David Abratt is a veteran of ultra and endurance running events, having completed the Gobi Desert Ultra, a gruelling multi-day race across the Gobi desert. John Beel has competed in various Ironman events and several multi-day mountaineering climbs. They decided to tackle the Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra as it represents a different challenge and an opportunity to see a spectacular area of the world. If they are lucky, they may get to see the Northern Lights.
The two vets are actively training and preparing for the demands of the race, both physically and mentally, although they say getting exposed and fully prepared for the extreme environmental conditions they will face is not easy in the UK.
Medivet is a long-term supporter of the Wilderness Foundation Africa’s Forever Wild Rhino Protection initiative, a global alliance of charities which aims to protect and connect wilderness, wildlife and people. In South Africa, the charity’s efforts to reduce poaching are led by Dr William Fowlds, a former Medivet employee.
John explains: “We have signed up for this gruelling ultra despite not being sure that we even like the cold but the difficulty of the challenge to us is nothing in comparison to what this iconic species is currently facing. We have been lucky enough to work with this amazing animal and we are determined to do all we can to help them survive.”
David adds: “Having grown up in South Africa, the cold will be very different to anything we’ve experienced before, so we’ll be packing lots of layers! We’re looking forward to crossing the Arctic Circle and experiencing the pristine landscapes and wilderness.”
Donations to support John Beel and David Abratt’s Montane Lapland Arctic Ultra fundraising can be made via the justgiving website.