by Davy Kestens in Stories

75 year old runs 135-mile ultra marathon for charity

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75 year-old Kent resident Jack Denness is attempting to make history as the oldest runner ever to compete in the Badwater Death Valley Ultra Marathon from July 12th 2010.

The race covers 135 miles through the Nevada desert from Death Valley, the lowest elevation point in the Western Hemisphere at 280 feet below sea level, to half-way up Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States.

Jack is a Death Valley legend!

Jack already competed in the event 11 times.
He will face daily temperatures of up to 55oC and expects to take up to 50 hours to complete the gruelling course.

He has also competed in marathons in New York, London and the Sahara, and was inspired to take up marathon running after he quit smoking in his early 50′s.

The family atmosphere of the Death Valley race is what inspires Jack to keep returning, training “only when I’m in the mood,” he says. On average, Jack and Max the dog will complete a 26 mile run each Sunday in the lead up to the race.

“It’s like a family out there in Death Valley, we look out for each other, it is not about winning or losing, but about helping everyone reach the finish line.”

(RunAddicts covered Badwater Death Valley in a recent article)

Supporting the local charities

The marathon runs have also helped Jack to support local charities and he has raised over £100,000 since his running career began. In 2010 he will be supporting Kent organisation Cerebral Palsy Care of Cliffe Woods.

“The work Cerebral Palsy Care of Cliffe Woods do is amazing in enriching the lives of children affected by Cerebral Palsy. The staff are so dedicated to the kids and it’s an honour to do what I can to help them in their work. Seeing how the money raised benefits the children is motivation enough for me when I’m running.”

Jack will be supported in Death Valley by a crew of six including his loyal wife Mags. The crew van will travel alongside Jack to keep him motivated and hydrated.

Stay updated about his venture

Supporters can follow Jack’s progress through video and photo updates on facebook by becoming a fan of his official page ‘Death Valley Jack’ and helping Jack get more fans than Usain Bolt.

Jack and his support crew will also tweet on his race progress via @jackdenness from July 11th.

For more information on Cerebral Palsy Care of Cliffe Woods visit To make a donation visit Jack’s Just Giving page

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