UK fertiliser mine set for world’s deepest marathon to raise funds for mental health

A team of marathon runners will use the deep mine at Boulby on the North Yorks Moors as they attempt to set a record for the deepest marathon on record and raise funds for three charities devoted to mental health issues.

The mine, operated by ICL Fertilizers, is the world’s only commercial mine extracting polyhalite. The runners include five ICL staff and two ambassadors from the British Army Cadet Force – Sally Orange and Jordan Wylie.

The event, appropriately named ‘Beneath the surface’ to reflect the hidden nature of many mental health issues, takes place on October 10th – World Mental Health Day – and will raise funds for:

  1. SSAFA(Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) is a UK charity providing lifelong support to serving men and women and veterans from the British Armed Forces and their families or dependents.
  2. Young MindsCommitted to improving children’s wellbeing and mental health. Discover information, advice & support for young people affected by mental health.
  3. Frontline Childrenis a children’s charity focussed on helping children who are caught in the middle of conflict and war.

The marathon, which will be run under the supervision of Guinness world record involves the runners completing 26 miles 385 metres (42.2km) marathon, 1000 metres below ground.

Sally Orange is a multiple Guinness world record holder and Invictus Games medallist. A military veteran, Sally is the only person on the planet to have run a marathon on every continent in fancy dress and more specifically, dressed as different pieces of fruit – a true reflection of her personality, proving she really does have a zest for life!

Jordan Wylie is a former soldier, bestselling author, extreme adventurer and also one of the stars of Channel 4’s BAFTA-nominated and award-winning shows Hunted and Celebrity Hunted.

The ICL Team comprises European agronomist Scott Garnett, and members of the ICL mine rescue team: Simon Pollitt, Phil Welsh, Steve Riddiough and Rob Smaling.

“ICL is a very proud advocate of work to reduce the social stigma of mental health,” said Scott. “We offer support and advice to all our ICL team members around the world. In the UK we have set up in-house councillors and external councillors to help anyone that wants to talk.”

Anyone wishing to sponsor the runners and support three very worthwhile causes can do so using the Virgin Money Giving page at,


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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.