A REAL life Tarzan is taking on beasts great and small in the deep Peruvian jungle for a cause close to his heart.
Tony Sheridan from Whitnash is preparing to complete an 150 mile ‘ultra-marathon’ – the equivalent of six marathons in five days – on a route through the Amazon, affectionately known as ‘The Gringo Killer’.
Through his challenge beginning on June 3, he aims to raise £3,000 for Tiny Tickers, a charity which trains nurses to detect serious heart defects in babies after a friend’s baby was helped by the charity.
The 48-year-old along with eight friends will be faced with high altitudes, high humidity and a number of deadly predators including snakes, spiders and even jaguars.
The dad of two will also be on the alert for bullet ants whose venomous stings are thought to be the most painful known to man.
And some 70 river crossings will require a number of transport methods from boats and tubes, to zip wire crates and wading through swarms of piranhas and caiman.
He said: “I relish the thought of being in a remote place with a handful of people where you depend on each other.
“I know this event will throw every emotion at me. To me it’s one foot in front of the other and repeat.
“How many people can say they’ve done six marathons through the Amazon jungle?”
Tony revealed he spent the last week lying awake thinking about wading through chest deep water and wondering what could be in it.
But despite the lack of sleep, the adventurer is undergoing gruelling early-morning gym sessions to prepare for his latest challenge, along with ‘hot yoga’ – designed to allow those practicing to adjust to hot conditions.
Tony has already completed a marathon style event across the Sahara Desert and more recently attempted to row across the Atlantic – a mission which had to be aborted.
He said: “My dad actually told me off the other week and asked me not to do anything like this again.
“We had to abort the Atlantic attempt due to a sick crew member.
“The helicopter that came to rescue us nearly ran out of fuel so the airport closed to all flights just so we could land.”
Tony has not told his dad he is planning ahead for a similar Arctic challenge.
Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/tonysheridan to donate to Tony’s cause.