… about one of the hardest endurance races in the world.

The race in 2010 is the 25th Marathon de Sables. There will be more than 800 competitors who, like me, have waited 2 and a half years to compete in this event. I was overjoyed at hearing I had a place back in 2007, but now the race is looming and only 10 months away. My training is going well and I am preparing myself for the challenge ahead.

The training for the race has to starts months in advance as competitors have to gather kit (rucksacks, sleeping bags, stoves, dried food, torches, trekking poles, gaiters, good shoes about 2- 3 sizes bigger than normal etc). train for the mileage, mentally prepare and work out how to cope running 156 miles in the heat. Competitors have to carry all their kit with them. They sleep in ‘tents’, which are more like covers than tents. Water is rationed and given out at check points. The sand is so fine that it enters shoes like water. The heat can be extreme from boiling during the day to freezing at night.

There are several really hard days in the race; one is the day of the dunes and another is the double marathon day. The race is run over various stages and with the double marathon you have 2 days to complete it. The good news is that your pack will be slightly lighter, since you will have consumed some your food. You need to have a minimum of 2,000 calories per day all provided by dried food or anything else you feel you can carry. You can be disqualified if you have too few calories food with you.

I have hoped to run this race for the last 15 years. It has been a challenge that I have wanted to do, because it sounds so hard, so mad and so challenging. Many competitors come back and do it all again. I don’t think this will be me, but I’ll don’t know yet. My goal is to finish and not quit.

So here’s to my next long run…

I’ll cover each particular training phase, strategies to cope with long runs, eating on the run and other key tips over the next few weeks. I will be doing this for 2 charities (F.R.O.D.O. and Against Malaria) as it will keep me going in the toughest moments both during training and in the race. If you want to keep up with my training then visit www.run.uk.net/training diary

If you want to get fit for summer, why not try early morning bootcamps? The June bootcamp is in full swing, and the July camps starts on the 29th June. Visit www.run.uk.net for more information or call Georgie on 07736 070612.