Over one year has passed since we last spoke with James King, Sales Director for iGaming Business, about his bold commitment to raise money for charity in the form of a 150 mile race in the Sahara. Now that the big day is approaching in just over one month, we caught up with King to learn about his progress and the incredible support the online gambling industry has provided to date.
King’s family and friends have been huge supporters both financially and emotionally, especially his wife Emma who has kindly put up with his training regime, chauffeured him to and from races, kept him fed and in clean gear and was always there to pick him up in the low times.
Additional support found its way to King through the generous online gambling industry, via his own company, other companies and from countless individuals working in the industry.
“iGaming Business has been brilliant, supporting me with promotions through our various media channels as well as allowing a fair bit of flexibility to train when needed”, shared King.
“The whole iGaming industry has been fantastic with their support and donations coming from both individuals and businesses, Matching Visions recently donated £1,000 to put a small logo on my sleeve for example, it continues to show just how nice an industry we work in”, he added.
“Very much saving the biggest thanks until last, but my sponsor Andy Jones and his company Aliquantum have been there from day one and supported me and MENCAP in absolutely every shape and form (financially and emotionally), from my kit (which I can tell you there is a huge amount of as not just clothing, you have sleeping bags, food packs, rucksacks and more), physio and injury rehabilitation to large monthly donations to Mencap and regular calls and checkups. Andy- Thank you”, he said.
As a health food fanatic and dedicated runner myself, I know how difficult it can be to keep up with a routine when traveling to countless industry events throughout the year. In King’s position with iGaming Business, he is required to attend events in person so a strict regimen was something he had to learn to manage, but was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out.
“Granted this has been a tough one, but careful planning, no drinking and no late parties has meant I have stuck to my training plan as best as I can”, King said.
“To be honest, it has opened up some awesome experiences and allowed me to see different sides of the many wonderful places we visit for work. To date I have run half marathons in London and Berlin during LAC, BAC and EIG, over a marathon of running in Red Rock Canyon in Vegas over G2E and more city gyms then I can remember”, he said.
“My nutrition regime is slightly harder to control when travelling, but through being a little picky with the menu’s and travelling with the necessary supplements I have stayed as close to plan as possible”, King added.
“The biggest challenge to date with training has come following a knee injury that I sustained racing a 66 miler in early February as the injury was sufficient enough to stop me running. Overcoming this hasn’t been easy physically as well as emotionally, after 14 months of training, picking up a serious injury was crushing for me as a fear sets in that I will not perform as I had planned as I miss key training weeks leading up to the race”, he said.
Overcoming sudden challenges is nothing new to anyone who has worked in the online gambling industry for some time and as a true iGaming vet, King found a way to work around his recent knee injury.
“It has meant increasing my strength training as well as using ‘less impactful’ different cardio methods from 2hours on a cross trainer to the bike and swimming in the hope of keeping my fitness at the level it was”, he shared.
“Thankfully, coupling this with one of the best sports rehabilitation clinics in London (which I have been attending thanks to Andy’s support) I am now back on my feet with some smaller runs and should be back to full strength in time for my heat chambers later in March”, he said.
The anticipation of race day must be overwhelming, but King already has a clear vision of what he wants to do as soon as the race is over and number one on the list is “eating so much food”.
“I will lose close to a stone (6.3kg) over 7 days racing in the desert and therefore need to build up strength again. Once that is done then I can enjoy catching up with everyone who I haven’t been able to properly see or drink with over the year, I really look forward to cold beer as my last one was December 2015!”, he said.
As we approach the big race, King said all messages of support are a huge boost and donations are of course still welcome at his dedicated JustGiving page. For those of you who wish to track his progress during the race which commences on April 8, 2017, he will be circulating his race number closer to the date.