Dalip Shekhawat’s latest adventure took place in the largest tropical rainforest in the world.
From June 5-9, the St. Vital resident completed the latest edition of the Jungle Ultra event – an ultra-marathon that took place in the Amazon rainforest in Peru.
Considered one of the most difficult races of this type in the world, this five-day, five-stage event totals 230 kilometers. Due to its location, competitors have to contend with very high humidity and temperatures, as well as some rain, Shekhawat said.
Jungle Ultra is a self-contained race, which means runners are responsible for carrying their own food, 2.5 liters of water, hammock and sleeping bag, and safety gear. Accommodation each night was provided by the research stations; participants slept outside in their hammocks in the jungle.
Reflecting on his experience in South America, Shekhawat – who has taken on many extreme challenges around the world – said the event offered a number of limit-testing challenges.
“The race was intense, adventurous and soul-cleansing,” Shekhawat said in an email interview, noting that a total of 38 competitors started the race, 20 of whom completed the full course.
“Each stage was difficult and offered different challenges. I felt like the jungle was hitting me – I tripped and crashed several times on the trail, got bitten by fire ants and bugs, fell on sharp rocks, I I was scratched and bruised by the thorny undergrowth. Still, with the determination to finish the race, I managed to crawl and stumble through the slippery, steep climbs, shins-deep mud and waist-deep knee-deep water.
“The dangerous wildlife, heavy rains and sweltering humidity left me drenched and uncomfortable. Sometimes I felt weak and vulnerable but very lucky to pause amidst the chaos and admire the beauty of the Amazon. All the scratches, bruises and pain were the gifts of the jungle,” he added.
In addition to the personal challenge, Shekhawat also participated in the event to raise funds for the Homes for Heroes Foundation, which was developed in response to the growing number of military veterans facing crisis as they return to the civilian life and find themselves on the way. to homelessness.
“The goal is to integrate homeless military veterans into the community by building small homes, with full social support services, across Canada. About seven per cent of Winnipeg’s population are veterans,” Shekhawat said.
To raise funds, Shekhawat created a five-member team that undertook different endurance challenges. With a goal of $5,000, the team ultimately raised $2,153.
“I am so grateful to everyone in the community who supported our homeless veterans,” he said.
Next on his horizon, Shekhawat will travel to the South Pole in December for a 16-day skiing expedition.
Anyone interested in supporting him can visit gofund.me/832fb964 online to donate.
Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 204-697-7111.
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