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Tom Pope avatar
Tom Pope

Tom's Marathon Des Sables page

I am running the toughest foot race on earth for MS-UK because I am honouring my mum who passed away in 2014

82 %
£12,447
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  • In memory of: Jane Pope
  • Event: Marathon Des Sables, 01 Jan 2016 to 08 Jan 2016

MS-UK

We provide support and information to help people live life with MS

Charity Registration No. 1033731

Story

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Some of you will know that I lost my mum in 2014 to a degenerative neurological condition that she fought so bravely for 10 years. Watching her cope with this and witnessing her strength was so humbling. She has already inspired me to do many things but running the Marathon Des Sables (MDS) will be the most extreme of those to date. With her passing, I wanted to do something that most people tell themselves they can't and something I hope will continue to make her proud, keeping a smile on her face through my own strength and focus. By the time MDS arrives, I will have completed 20 marathons and 3 full Ironman triathlons all with a fundraising agenda and all inspired by mum and those that I have now met who face daily battles with their health and well being. 

There is more information on my motivation below from an article published several years ago following mum's passing;

http://www.folkestoneherald.co.uk/Mum-said-proud-stay-goosebump-moment/story-22729628-detail/story.html

The MDS is a gruelling multi stage marathon across one of the world's most inhospitable climates, the Sahara desert. The rules require you to be self-sufficient and to carry everything except water that you need to survive on your back as you run. 

Put simply, you must run a total of 7 desert marathons in 5 days. 

There is some great footage outlining this challenge on the below site;  

https://www.youtube.com/user/marathondsables

Being fit enough to get to the start line is a huge challenge in itself so I have signed up to a number of events this year to help build and create fitness en route. The bigger ones are listed here, with this growing into next year with the inclusion of a couple of ultra marathons as MDS looms ;

-March 22nd : Rome Marathon
-April 26th : London Marathon
-May 3rd : Pilgrim's Hospice 100 mile ride
-May 4th
: Milton Keynes Marathon (in a mankini!)
-May 16th : London Revolution 100 mile cycle
-May 17th : Lydd Marshman Half Ironman 70.3 Triathlon
-May 25th : 3K Eaton Swim
-May 31st : Chiltern 100 mile cycle sportive
-June 28th : UK Half Ironman 70.3 Triathlon, Exmoor
-July 19th : UK Full Ironman Triathlon, Bolton
-September 20th : London Ultra Duathlon
-September 27th : Folkestone Half Marathon - Group Fancy Dress
-October 18th: Amsterdam Marathon
-December 3rd : Charity Boxing Match (Tom Carr fighting for MS!)
-January 16th : Dover Ultra Marathon - 34 miles
-January 23rd & 24th : Double marathon weekend in Dymchurch
-Feb 7th : Thames Trot - 50 miles (in full MDS pack)
-Feb 14th : Deal Half Marathon (in 12.5KG pack)
-Feb 20th : Moonlight Challenge Marathon (in full MDS pack)
-Feb 21st : Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon (in 12.5KG pack)
-Feb 28th : New Forest Marathon (in full MDS pack)
-March 12th : Lydd 20 Mile Run (in full MDS pack)
-March 20th : Hastings Half Marathon (in full MDS pack)
-March 28th : River Thames Spring Marathon (in full MDS pack)
-April 3rd : Paddock Wood Half Marathon 
-April 10th - 16th : Marathon Des Sables 

To maintain a level of fitness and help me hit the £15,000 mark post MDS, I have several events also scheduled afterwards to keep me occupied. I will run the London marathon the weekend after MDS where I will compete as a good for age runner in fancy dress and try and break a world record.
I have also made the GBR Ultra Duathlon squad and will compete in the Powerman Championships in Denmark. 

-April 24th : London Marathon
-May 7th : PowerMan European Championships, Denmark
-May 22nd : Richmond Park Marathon

I can appreciate that I have asked a lot of my friends and family in recent years, both in terms of support and financial donation. However, in running the MDS, I intend to raise £15,000 for MS-UK, a charity with very close personal family ties and a charity that helps those with conditions linked to the one that unfortunately took my mum. I would appreciate anything that you can spare in my attempts to reach this target and will happily talk with you at any point about my motivations and rationale on taking this on. With the large target,  I have agreed to try and raise £4000 by the end of 2015 hence the reason for creating this page 16 months or so before the actual event. I will also be setting up a text service for donations. 

Please help me get there...!

With your kind donations, the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre can help suffers of this illness in the following way:

£10 will pay for an unlimited counselling call
 
£15 will pay for a years subscription to New Pathways
 
£25 will provide one mornings worth of Benefits advice and support.
 
£50 will pay for 10 CD copies of New Pathways.
 
£100 will pay for one day of a MS Specialist Advisor.
 
£500 will cover one third of the yearly costs involved in the training, telephone and other costs of one of Telephone Counsellors.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Popey x

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