Endurance athlete Jordan Wyn-Jones is gearing up for an epic challenge. He is currently training for a 1700k run, walk and cycle, which he hopes will be a record-breaker – and you can join him on his journey! Photography: Roger Moore
For personal trainer Jordan Wyn-Jones, being able to do his latest world-record challenge is something he could never have imagined five years ago.
At the age of just 28, endurance athlete Jordan had a heart attack. Since then, he has fought his way back to health under the guidance of leading medical experts in London.
And he is now ready to take on his latest and greatest challenge to date, in a bid to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.
In June, he is attempting a Guinness World Record walking and running from Brighton to Glasgow then cycling back – a total of 1700k in record time and along the way, he will be joined by various celebrities as well as members of the public who want to support his endeavour.
“This is a journey that at one point, I never thought I would be able to do. I have a great support team,” says Jordan, who has numerous sponsors involved, including Skins Sportswear and Tannus UK.
Members of the public who want to walk, run or ride with Jordan are able to join him for a £1-per-minute sponsorship slot: “They just need to keep an eye on social media and there will soon be a link as to how and where they can join me.
“I want to get the message out there and bring people along with me on my endurance adventure. I want to swap stories with them, find out about them. Everyone has a story to tell, it’s going to be a beautiful journey.
“I am in better shape now than I have ever been before. I’ve been training like crazy,” says Jordan, who has been a coach and PT for around 15 years.
“It’s about getting your body and mind accustomed. You go through a lot of emotions.”
Psychologically gearing up for his epic journey, he adds: “When you do something like this you have to understand how to carry on when your body is telling you to stop. It is not just a physical fight it’s a mental one too.”
Having lived in many countries throughout the world, two years ago Jordan moved to Lancashire from Australia where he had been living, following a number of years in the Royal Navy.
He recalls: “After my time in the Royal Navy I expected a lot out of life. I liked adventure. When I moved to Australia around six years ago, I kept leaning towards endurance sports and I decided to walk from Sydney to Brisbane in 19 days to set a world record.”
It was during this gruelling challenge that sparked a chain of events that would change Jordan’s life.
He contracted a viral infection that spread to his heart that subsequently turned into acute myocarditis: “I was very egotistical – I wanted to prove everyone was wrong,” recalls Jordan, who went on to train for another event: “I was with my coach and the next thing I knew, I woke up in an ambulance. My whole world was turned upside down. I had been a long-distance, endurance athlete and there I was with a heart that was unbelievably fragile.”
Turning away from endurance pursuits, Jordan turned to more intellectual interests, reading and the creative arts: “Looking back it was all part of my journey. Without the heart problem I would never have learnt so much – being still, forced me to learn about myself. I became a different man.”
With great relief Jordan was eventually ‘signed off’ by his Australian cardio team: “I was fine,” he says. “I was ready for another adventure!”
This time Jordan and a friend decided to stand-up paddle-board from Newcastle in Australia to Sydney – a 10-day epic journey that saw them boarding through white shark waters and taking turns to nap. The challenge was a success – however Jordan was later to learn that he had been unaware of the danger it had posed to his health.
Moving to the UK, two years ago, the cold weather sparked the return of myocarditis, which he learnt had never really gone away: “On reflection I should never have done the paddle board challenge,” says Jordan, who was treated by a specialist cardiology team at the renowned St George’s Hospital, London. “They are an amazing team! I have now got my life back on track.”
In order to raise money for the British Heart Foundation Jordan’s latest 1700km ‘thisismyheart’ challenge will take place from 1st to 30th June when he arrives back in Brighton. To see how you can join him on his journey a link will appear on social media.