A very good friend completed the Marathon des Sables (MDS) in 2007 and since then the idea keeps popping into my head, each time I have rapidly tried to send it away. However after a while I had to accept that this is something I really wanted to attempt.
I am not an endurance event specialist at all, but I have been on a few mountaineering expeditions that have seen me go for days and days without toilets, showers and decent food, so I do know at least that I can cope with that aspect of the race quite well. In fact, to be cut off from modern day appliances and technology for a while is actually something I really enjoy. Training has been intense the last 6 months, with my longest training race to date being a 69kms night race that started at midnight. This gave me a little taste of what it is like to continue through the night with no sleep, hopefully this will stand me in good stead for the long stage on day 4.
Of all the years I chose to do the MDS, it has been one of the coldest on record in Geneva, training at 6.00 a.m. in -5°c has not really acclimatized me to the idea of 45°c in the desert, so this may be one of the biggest challenges for me to overcome.
The MDS is an incredibly popular event, despite it being dubbed by many as “the toughest footrace on earth”. Due to the commitment in time, personal money and effort that competitors have to put in to succeed in this event, many take the opportunity to raise money for a charity at the same time. I have chosen to raise money for the Children’s Heart Federation. Having grown up in a family with a sister that was sick, I know only full well the disruption that hospital visits and tests can have, not only on the sick child but the family unit as a whole.
Knowing that friends, family and colleagues have sponsored me to help the Children’s Heart Federation will hopefully help me carry on when my body and mind will probably be telling me to stop.
I am hoping to raise enough money to equip at least 4 children, born with congenital heart defects, with Heart and blood monitoring machines that will enable them to be monitored at home rather than have to make distressing, often lengthy and expensive daily hospital trips.
Lend your support to Sarah-Jayne and the CHF INR machine service by contributing on her JustGiving page.