I have signed up to run the Marathon des Sables 2018 to raise money for the Lord’s Taverners. Marathon des Sables styles itself as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’ and consists of 6 back-to-back marathons (over 150 miles) in 7 days across the Sahara Desert in temperatures of over 50 degrees Celsius. I must carry all my gear and food for the week on my back except for a tent which is provided in a communal camp every night. Water will be rationed, and if I exceed the ration I will suffer a time penalty.
This is a continuation of my mid-life crisis which started 2 years ago with the onset of middle-aged spread, and being surrounded by elite athletes in my day-job, and all stories of my rugby and mountaineering exploits now more than 25 years old. I set myself the task of running a marathon. I never expected to enjoy it, never having liked running in the past, and never having been particularly fast or good at it. Something happened half way through my training, though. I fell in love with running. I loved running over long distances, over shorter distances, quickly and slowly, and in all weathers. I ran the Brighton Marathon in 2016 and then immediately set about training for my next marathon. I ran the Edinburgh Marathon a fortnight ago, and so now I have decided my next challenge is the MdS in 300 days’ time.
The Lord’s Taverners is an incredible charity whose mission is to enhance the lives of disadvantaged and disabled young people through sport and recreation. Every pound they raise goes towards creating ‘sporting chances’ for some of the most marginalised and young people in the UK. You can donate here.
Over the course of the next 300 days I hope to share details of my preparation and training for the event and also some of the great work that the Lord’s Taverners are doing. Next week I’ll kick it off with my next blog: ‘So how do you train for 6 back-to-back marathons across the Sahara?’ You can follow my training on Strava here. Last week I ran 30 miles and my longest run was 12 miles.