'The Toughest Footrace on Earth'
I entered the 2019 Marathon des Sables (MdS) in April 2018. I wouldn't have described myself as a runner at that point & I certainly didn't know much about the race.
18 months earlier I had been recovering from being pretty poorly after an unexpected operation. As I got better I would take my camera and go for a walk around the Thames. I could initially just about make it to the heliport at Battersea where this little red helicopter kept coming in & out - London's Air Ambulance. I then found out they relied on public donations to meet their budget which I still find shocking.
They fly a specialist trauma doctor and paramedic from the helipad at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel directly to the incident where the patient receives emergency treatment. They can get anywhere in London in 12 minutes and provide immediate lifesaving treatment. Members of the Air Ambulance team themselves undertook the 2018 MdS which was a phenomenal achievement bearing in mind they already provide the service itself!
That's why I made an on the spur of the moment decision to enter MdS (luckily before I found out what it all entailed!). Make a difference, raise some money.
I leave on 5 April 2019 which is not long now. MdS is a 250km foot race through the Moroccan Sahara over 6 days. You carry all your supplies as you go, it can get to 50 degrees plus during the day, and almost freezing at night. I hate the cold too!
The longest stage is over double-marathon length - 85 + KM & well into the night. I could just about run 10 KM when I started my training & confess to finding it all a pretty daunting prospect.
I have been training hard since April 2018. All the money raised goes to the charity - I have paid the entry and training costs and am totally self-funding this. In the unlikely event I don't make the start due to injury I hope you will agree that this essential service can still benefit from your donation.
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