The Jenko brothers vs. the Death Valley

On 14th July, ultra-endurance brothers Rhys and Scott Jenkins from Cardiff embarked on an ambitious 292-mile run through California's Death Valley to raise funds for Save the Children and Operation Smile.

The pair set out to run the equivalent of 10 back-to-back marathons through the Badwater Basin, starting at 282ft below sea level and continuing to the top of a 14,000ft mountain before running all the way back again.

With temperatures hovering around 37ºC and peaking at almost 49ºC, it was destined to be a challenge.

Battling heat, injury and time constraints, the duo did not achieve their intended Guinness World Record, but younger brother Rhys Jenkins did become the first British male to run the Death Valley Double and they are now the first siblings to complete a single crossing of Death Valley.  

So, what went wrong? "I had too many blisters causing me to alter my stride and ultimately injured my knee as a result coming down the mountain into Panamint Springs," said Scott. "This was a devastating blow that really took every ounce of determination to continue through the pain and overcome that feeling of 'argh, why!!'"

"Scott's knee, I passed out, the dust storm, the lightning storm - it was certainly an adventure! But it made it more epic and memorable having these things along the way," said Rhys.

But the bold record attempt certainly had its high points. "The best bit for me was Whitney and the final mile," said Rhys. "Both are key landmarks in the challenge. In addition, the sunrise every morning was amazing! It really made me want to get out and run! Another high were the messages we received and the support; it kept us moving." 

Following the challenge, the brothers celebrated in style. "We went to Vegas and had a few margaritas!" said Scott. "That sure gave us time to relax until I lost at blackjack! Other than that is back to training in the gym and doing some light cardio."

So do they plan to return? "Yes I plan on going back and running the quad - Scott is as well! We like to do the epic challenges together." said Rhys.

"I want us to get that record," Scott agreed. "We just need to take the lessons from this attempt and use them in a positive manner for a new attempt."

For more on their adventures, head over to the Jenkins brothers' website.