"I returned from the MDS energised"
Jakob BLOCH (D008-DEN)
Jakob is one of the few Scandinavian participants at this inaugural South American edition of MARATHON DES SABLES. He established an ultra-running charity supporting team called CAMEL SPIDERS in 2016 raising over $50,000 to date. His first ultra was the 31st MDS taking place in 2016. He signed up without having a single Marathon distance to his name and with only 6 months to prepare. Jakob caught the running bug in 2015 when he was recovering from an ankle arthroscopy following a football injury. He set himself the aim of becoming a long-distance runner at that point. Running didn’t stop with the MDS; he ran the London marathon a week after returning from Morocco and has subsequently completed several marathons and ultras. ‘Watching the 2017 MDS from the office felt wrong. I should have been in the desert with this year’s runners. When the Peru edition was announced, it was just what I needed - I didn’t hesitate and signed up as soon as they opened for registration’.
His day job is CEO of a specialist headhunting firm with activities and offices in London, Houston and Singapore. Fitting running in with his day job means scheduling runs with clients which he does frequently, whether it’s the botanical gardens of Singapore, the Swiss alps or Central Park in NYC. Jakob’s personal impact on the children’s charity Dreams Come True has been immense. He subsequently joined the board of the charity dedicating time and large donations from the global business community supporting his efforts. ‘The support of the charity and the associated beneficiaries has been incredible. Reflecting on the impact a charity run can have, particularly during the long stage of the MDS, is a real tonic in the tough periods of an ultra’
Benefiting from living in a rural part of England, there are plenty of trail runs on offer and Jakob tends to clock up around 100K per week when training for a race. ‘Running is now an integral part of my wellbeing. It’s fundamental to my ability to focus and is my natural energiser that I use in my professional life. I find the trail ultras highly therapeutic. Being someone who struggles to switch off, even when on holiday, I found that the spirit of the MDS was a real eye opener. I returned from the MDS energised, not worn out’
Jakob is a Danish national, UK resident, father of Anna (16), Sara (14) and William (10).