Man Utd bidder Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed ‘world’s toughest race’ in the desert

Sir Jim Ratcliffe's successes go way beyond his dominance in the business world.

The Brit billionaire has become a much-talked figure among Manchester United fans after his £1.4billion bid for a 25% share of the Premier League giants last month. The 71-year-old – who founded INEOS Chemicals Group in 1998 – is a life-long Red Devils fan and has remained insistent in his pursuit of owning the club.

While Ratcliffe's net worth is estimated at £29.6bn, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, which makes him the second wealthiest figure in the UK, he does not possess a high public profile, and was once described as "publicity shy" by the Sunday Times.

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The Brit may himself to himself but one thing that's known about him is his love of sport. His passion runs so deep that he once completed the daunting Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara Desert in 2013. The ultramarathon – which is the length of six regular marathons – is regarded by many runners to be one of the toughest foot races on Earth.

The six-day trek is about about 250km and is held every year in Southern Morocco and first began in 1986. At 61 years of age, Ratcliffe completed the tremendous achievement as he went on to create the charity "Go Run for Fun", which encourages thousands of children between the ages of five and 10 to exercise through the creation of celebrity-driven events.

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While the deal to purchase 25% of Manchester United is not yet completed, Ratcliffe is expected to take control of football operations at the football giants, taking the responsibility off the Glazer family. The Brit had beat out Qatari Sheikh Jassim for ownership after he withdrew his offer last month.

During an interview on the INEOS YouTube channel in October, Ratcliffe spoke out publicly for the first time regarding his bid for Man United as he admitted that he wouldn't have been able to table an offer "two or three years ago".

"The Manchester United bid would have been unthinkable two or three years ago if we hadn’t had some of the experiences, and some of them quite difficult experiences, with Lausanne and Nice," he said. "You can’t really contemplate acquiring a brand like Manchester United and failing because the failure is just far too public and excruciating in a deal like that."

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