Adventurer Peter Messervy-Gross, 47, spent months training for an extreme four-day Mongol 100 challenge, which took place in temperatures reaching -25C, and spent hundreds on specialist kit required for the event. But when he flew from Heathrow to Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar, his bags didn’t arrive with him. Unable to buy footwear to fit his size 13 feet, he decided to take on the challenge in what he was wearing.
Peter then completed the 100-mile ultra marathon across the frozen Mongolian lake in jeans and brogues.
Mr. Messervy-Gross clambered across sheets of ice wearing his four-year-old work shoes – suffering agonizing blisters in the process. Other competitors in their correct technical footwear dubbed him ‘the rogue in brogues’ as he struggled across ice sheets. Other trekkers and the UK organizers Rat Race Adventure Sports loaned him emergency rations and extra clothing.
The father of three, from Jersey, was left in agony for his efforts – but unlike others who dropped out of the race through injury, fatigue or the cold, he kept on going.
He said: ‘Your feet swell because you’re on them for so long. I literally became too big for my boots. My feet blistered really badly, especially on my little toes. But I just wanted to keep plodding along.’
The four-year-old battered leather brogues he had worn to work, with spikes attached, got him safely through the 100 miles of frozen lake.
Mr. Messervy-Gross said he never found out what happened to his bag in the time the airline lost it, but added:
‘People were amazing, offering up stuff for me to use, which was incredible because it meant they were worse off. A guy gave me some socks, someone else handed me a balaclava – I was a walking charity shop!’