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ESP columnist Darren Grigas is heading out on his biggest challenge yet…

If you’re struggling to keep up with your ‘must get fitter’ New Year Resolution or doing battle with ‘Dry January’ or just hating the miserable chilly weather, spare a thought for our columnist who’s about to tackle something a tad tougher than usual!

Our resident extreme adventurer and columnist Darren Grigas is renowned for taking on a big challenge for charity and this year is no different.

In his continued support for local charity Anna’s Hope he’s taking himself to new extremes and on January 21 is travelling to Outer-Mongolia as part of a select few attempting to run 100 miles across a frozen lake.

Darren’s earlier adventures have seen him take on the toughest footrace on Earth – the Marathon des Sables across the desert – and although he’s been in training he admits this latest challenge will push him to his limits in other ways.

“I don’t do too well in the cold, suffering with Raynaud’s which means the blood-flow to my fingers cuts off easier than normal and they can get painfully cold even just in moderately low temperatures. So as temperatures on the lake can reach -50c, I’m a little anxious to say the least. These are extreme conditions I’ve never faced so I’m not sure how it’s going to play out and hope my body doesn’t freeze up and bits fall off!”

As well as facing the lethally low temperatures it’s also an area inhabited by wolves, lynx, bears and many more sharp-toothed animals that can run much faster than him. Darren hopes to achieve this feat to raise awareness and funds for Stamford based charity Anna’s Hope, a fabulous cause close to his heart that helps improve the lives of children battling brain cancer.


“Having met children that have had their lives transformed by Anna’s Hope and seen first-hand the amazing value in their work, I’m passionate about contributing to that in any way I can,” says Darren. “I have to up the anti with every new challenge I take on as some seem to think it might come easy to me. 

“Here’s the secret; it’s never easy, it’s always 100% and can hurt and damage me a lot, but it’s worth it. I’m lucky enough to be able to push myself to these extremes to help make a difference to those who aren’t so lucky, those who simply hope to be able to walk or talk like normal children again, I’d be failing them if I didn’t put myself out there to do something for them.”

The ESP team wish him the very best of luck and hope he’s a) not fallen down a crevice, b) been eaten by anything and c) thawed out in time to write for ESP again next time with some more (easier) adventures we can all try out.

Darren and all at Anna’s Hope would be thrilled for any support, donations can be made here:


Darren has called in some favours and now there are prizes up for grabs from local businesses as a way to say thank you for your support.

First on the list is a free night away at the newly refurbished luxury Riverside Apartments of Stamford, as well as more prizes being added to the list.

For every £5 donated you get an entry to the draw and the prize list is growing fast.

Find out more on the donations page.

Links for the apartments:

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