Caerphilly ex-Royal Marine to run six day Marathon des Sables across Sahara desert
News | | Published: 10:21, Monday March 16th, 2015.
Last updated: 11:29, Thursday October 31st, 2019
A former Royal Marine from Caerphilly will be running six marathons in six days – and if it needed to be harder there will be desert conditions added to the mix.
Lewis Stallard, 35, is running the world’s toughest foot race, Marathon des Sables, in the Moroccan Sahara desert in April.
The company director is raising money for the Matt Hampson Foundation, which provides advice, support, relief and treatment for people suffering serious injury or disability.
The foundation was formed when rugby player Matt Hampson suffered an awful injury while playing for England Under 20s.
The ultimate marathon is 156 miles across shifting sand dunes and mountainous rocky outcrops, in temperatures in excess of 50 degrees centigrade.
The racers must each carry all their own provisions to see them through to the end.
This includes food, water for the day and everything else from sleeping bags through to the mandatory emergency kit for treating blisters.
Mr Stallard said: “Physical preparation is obviously crucial, but perhaps what most people do not understand is that the challenge is almost entirely a mental one.
“The combination of terrain, temperature, vast distances and the need to be self-sustaining are a perfect storm that can overwhelm the senses and has meant disaster for some athletes in the past.
“Yet the allure of the wilderness is a surprisingly humanising process. To be amongst it allows you to think more deeply and feel more keenly.”
His training has involved running distances of 20 miles or more across terrain as varied as the Brecon Beacons to hard-packed Welsh forest tracks and Wales’ very own desert, the sand dunes at Merthyr Mawr.
• To raise money there will be a screening of the Hollywood classic film Casablanca at The Maxime Cinema in Blackwood at 7pm on Sunday March 22. Tickets cost £12 and donations can also be made via Just Giving.
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