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I am attempting to complete the Marathon des Sable to raise money for two north east charities. The Marathon des Sables covers 243km/151 miles run over 7 days – equivalent to 5 1/2 regular marathons. In addition to that, I have to carry everything I will need for the duration (apart from a tent) on in a rucksack (food, clothes, medical kit, sleeping bag etc). Water is rationed and handed out at each checkpoint. On the 4th day, I will set off across the barren wilderness to complete a 50 - 56 mile stage. Few people complete this before dark that evening and some will not come in until after dark the next night, meaning a night running through the Sahara with only a head torch and compass. Temperatures regularly exceed 50 degrees celsius and then can plummet below freezing at night. Essential compulsory kit includes an emergency flare and a venom pump!
Preparing for such a task as the Marathon des Sable has not been an easy task, I have lost over 6 stone trying to get ready to take on the challenge in the Sahara and I am currently training over 20 hours per week; this takes its toll both mentally and physically. I am apprehensive about the task that lies ahead but the thought of raising money to support the lives of young children or develop a sport that I love will drive me forward through the sands of the Sahara.